Iraq, The Story Unfolds; " One Month to GO!"

Real Estate Agent with Keller Williams Realty

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.

Comments (7)

Fernando Herboso - Associate Broker MD, & VA
Maxus Realty Group of Samson Properties - Clarksburg, MD
301-246-0001 Serving Maryland, DC and Northern VA

Thank you for your service and have a happy thanksgiving. . . 2010 is going to be OUR YEAR 

Nov 18, 2009 09:08 PM
Janice Roosevelt
Keller Williams Brandywine Valley - West Chester, PA
OICP ABR, ePRO,Ecobroker

Nicholas, blessings to you and your family. Bess you for your courage, commitment and service to us all.

Nov 18, 2009 09:49 PM
Ed Silva
Mapleridge Realty, CT 203-206-0754 - Waterbury, CT
Central CT Real Estate Broker Serving all equally

Nicholas great for you, but just remember that the toughest stretch of any race is the last or home stretch when everybody goes all out. This is the time when you need your senses to be on double duty to make sure that the Holidays are happy for you and everybody around you. Keep safe and thanks for your courage.

Nov 18, 2009 10:21 PM
Missy Caulk
Missy Caulk TEAM - Ann Arbor, MI
Savvy Realtor - Ann Arbor Real Estate

Nicholas, thank you for your service. I really appreciate all you have done as well as all the men and women in uniform.

I hope you make it home to family by Christmas, that will be the best gift ever.

Nov 18, 2009 10:41 PM
Margaret Woda
Long & Foster Real Estate, Inc. - Crofton, MD
Maryland Real Estate & Military Relocation

Nicholas - I'm sure it's been a long year for you and it's great news that you could be home for Christmas.  'Looking forward to following your next year as you embark on your real estate career.

Nov 18, 2009 10:47 PM
Andrea Swiedler
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices New England Properties - New Milford, CT
Realtor, Southern Litchfield County CT

As Ed says, pay attention these last few weeks. We want you home, safe and sound! Certainly I am waiting for that post that tells us you are home!

Happy Thanksgiving!!!!

Nov 18, 2009 10:50 PM
William J. Archambault, Jr.
The Real Estate Investment Institute - Houston, TX


We're all looking forward to your get stated in real estate!

Be careful!


Nov 18, 2009 11:00 PM