Well . . . in one month (ish) I should be back at home spending time with my wife and starting my Real Estate career. I still cannot give exact dates for security reasons but the song "I'll be Home for Christmas" is a certainty. I have already sent most of my un-needed items home and my bags are practically packed up and ready to go.
Kinda wierd how a year ago this week I took and passed my Real Estate Exam. I was originally supposed to report to my unit for deployment on the first of December last year so I was holding off on paying all the fee's to get my lisence. However on the last day of November I was told that i was taken off of the roster for deployment. I spent the first two weeks of December jumping through all the hoops and paying all the fee's to get my lisence. I started work with my company shortly after Christmas and the first day I sat down at my desk in the office, I get a phone call from the Army telling me that I will be going after all.
Before I was able to deploy I had to get trained up in another job. I had the privelage of spending three weeks in sunny Sierra-Vista, Arizona for training. Then the first week of Feburary I went to Fort Benning, Georgia to report for deployment. By the end of the month I was already in Iraq working with my unit.
I spent the first few months working out of the nicest base up in Baghdad. We had 24 hour gyms with brand new equipment. A superb dining facility that is good enough to make a Soldier fat. One of the biggest Post Exchanges (PX) in Iraq (sort of like Wal-Mart), which is nice to have when you are so far away from everything. Lastly never one sound of explosions or mortar fire.
After my time there I moved down to Basra. We moved onto a base that was just being established. With several thousand Soldiers we only had a PX about the size of your typical gas station. Needless to say it was always out of stock. The gyms were run-down and most did not even have air conditioning (in 130 degree whether). Our dining facility is nice but its the same food week after week and not nearly as nice as Baghdad. Lastly is our reminder that we are in a combat zone by the sounds of explosions and rocket/mortar fire that greets us on about a weekly basis.
It has had some improvements since we moved here. We did get a new gym and PX, a few venders moved on post (Green Beans Coffee - Pizza Hut - Burger King), however I have stayed clear of the fast food while here. We finally got internet available to our Soldiers however it is a mojor rip off (See my post about this, it still gets me steamed up (CLICK HERE), yet I still pay for it). However despite the improvements and everything else, it never really seemed to get better.
Geez, it almost feels like a life-time ago. Its wierd how my last deployment seemed like it flew by. Even while I was there it seemed to come and go so quickly. My guess is the difference between going on missions, living in the field, and constantly working missions, versus, working an eight to five in an office. This year seems to have taken longer than any other. This place is just like the movie groundhog day, (early 90's, with Bill Murry). Everyday wake up 0630, get ready, go to work, go to lunch, get off work, go to gym, eat dinner, go to sleep, all at the same time everyday. If it wasnt for the X's on my calendar I would never even know that time was moving. (By the way, I put the X on the calendar at the same time everyday).
Oh well, its all behind me now. Things are starting to change as we have to attend our mandatory classes, pack and ship items, create planning on how to hand off to the replacements, and other aspects that are added into our daily routines to get ready to go home.
The wife is excited, she already has the timeline that she needs to take off of work, going to try and be there when I get off of the plane in Atlanta, GA. She plans on staying with me in Fort Benning for the few days I will be stuck there, then back to the house we go. Just in time to enjoy Christmas.
Hopefully everything else will be ready to go to and I will have a few listings ready to pick up before the year closes.
As always I want to thank everyone for their support.