Saturday, March 22, 2008

Being home...

is great!

It is the most amazing feeling in the world to be back in the States after so long in Iraq. While over there, it seemed like this day would never come, but finally it did. The flight back was full of anticipation as we all just wanted to end our long journey and be back with the ones we love and care about. For myself, from the time I was last walking around the streets of Baghdad until I landed back in the United States, it was only 4 days. Mind blowing really. One we arrived at Ft Bragg, there were so many friends, family, whatever there, that it was a HUGE crowd. We formed up and marched in while everyone was screaming and cheering, and it was so hard to not break out with a huge smile across my face. The shivers ran throughout my body, and even a little bit right now just thinking about it. It was amazing and I couldn't of asked for much more. We headed back to the company, turned in our weapons and got released for 6 hours until we had to come back to receive our safety brief to go in to our 3-day weekend that we had.

That weekend was a good time of just relaxing and enjoying being back. Of course the alcohol consumption was a necessity, but fortunatly everyone drank responsibly and had a plan for being out there. No one fucked up, no one got a DUI. So far so good. Hopefully everyone continue to do the right thing and no one ruins it for everyone. Right now for the next 5 or 6 weekends we will be having 3 and 4 day weekends every weekend. The days that we do work right now are 1/2 days, so by 12:00 we are done for the day. Its nice I'm not even going to lie. We started doing typical PT, and I am hurting. Although I was going to the gym in Iraq, I really did run all that much, and being back running hills and fire breaks in the woods has taken its toll on my legs and by the end of the 3rd day of PT, I was officially broken off and walking a little funny. Guess its going to take a little time.

One thing that was a little unsetteling while we were back was that somewhere out at some range on Ft Bragg there were launching mortars or artillery or blowing up something really big and often. There was one day where the explosions were so loud, it was shaking the barracks and could be heard AND felt throughout both adjacent cities of Fayetteville and Spring Lake. I was at the car stereo place dropping of my car to get my new system installed, when I walked outside and heard an earth shaking explosion. It didn't startle me, but it sounded like how an IED sounded if it went off just outside the gates of the FOB, and I just remeber thinking to myself, "I thought I was getting away from this crap!" Hahaha. I've gotten used to hearing them back here, but I surely didn't expect to continue to have to hear explosions. Fortunatnly I only have a couple more months left in the Army and then I shouldn't have to hear them again.

Enjoying the sun in Phoenix!This weekend I decided to take a last minute trip back home to Phoenix for our 4-day weekend. I didn't let my mom know that I was coming and totally suprised her when I showed up at her place. Its been good to see her as well as my friends. I'm having a blast here and I'm really enjoying my insanly low alcohol tolerence! I went all out on the car rental too and decided to drive around a brand new Infinity G35. It is a sweet car and I really really REALLY don't want to have to take it back. Its amazing how the weather is totally different here than back in NC. In NC I was freezing, especially in the morning and its been incredibly windy all week. Here in Phoenix it is a completly different story. The temperatures are near perfect, the beautiful blue skies are amazing and the sun beams down brightly and full of warmth. We were at the pool the other day for only a couple hours, and now as a result of not applying any sunblock, I have an attractive redness to my skin. Hopefully it turns in to a nice tan and doesn't peal away.

So that is about all for now. Like I said I am loving every minute of being back. In many ways its so surreal, but I'm taking it all in slowing and experiencing many things that I had missed out on over the last 15 months. It truly is so amazing to be back and I'm so happy that I am able to experience this amazing place again!


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18 comments:

Anonymous said...

Welcome home man, thanks for the help on my papers and the insight in general on the war. Glad you made it home with everything intact. If you ever made it up to SLC, snowboarding on me! Have you heard about Vets for Freedom? If not they are a cool organization that I think you would enjoy being a part of. Check them out, thanks for being a bad ass American Soldier!

Preston
prestondrew3@gmail.com

Anonymous said...

WELCOME HOME !!!!!!! :D Solo

Haole Wahine said...

Thank God . . .

cajenki said...

I know you know this already... but I am so glad you are home! This weekend has been truly amazing getting to see you each day! I can't wait till you live here -- awesome!!!!

Anonymous said...

A big welcome home!!!
Good to hear you are settling in and enjoying the weekends.
All the best,
Cathy B

Infantry Dad said...

Welcome back Ed.
In spirit I was jumping up and down and cheering also.
My son Matt is supposed to be back in early June, if the shit heads over there don't screw it up with their blowing crap up all over the place.
He's back at Warhorse again after 4 or 5 months in Mugdadiya, Normandy.
Ever been the either?

Have a great time.
We,re all proud of you.

Stop bye and let me know how your doing from time to time.

BrianFH said...

Hear! Hear! to all the above!

Another org you might want to check out is www.iraqvetsforcongress.com/

The number of vets in Congress is at a low point, and it definitely needs more! Especially you guys! COIN tactics should work wonders ... ;)

klaus said...

welcome home.

klaus

James said...

Welcome Home!

Airbornedad said...

Welcome home ED. I saw in the Fayetteville paper that some of the 82nd was back. I e-mailed the reporter and he confirmed that Charlie Company, 1-504 was back. Many, many smiles and high fives in Florida.

Thanks for everything.

David M said...

The Thunder Run has linked to this post in the blog post From the Front: 03/24/2008 News and Personal dispatches from the front lines.

lela said...

Welcome home! Be careful driving; when my husband returned from Baghdad, he drove like a maniac, trying to avoid manhole covers and ignoring the speed limits more than he usually does. For some reason, a lot of the folks have to transition back into state-side driving habits. Especially watch the speed in that G35! It's a sweet ride! We wouldn't want to have anyone hurt after returning safely! OK...that's my "safety brief"...

Sheila in Mesa said...

Welcome home, and thank you. I'm so glad that you got to come home to Phoenix to enjoy some of the beautiful weather we've been having. I was born and raised here, and although I hate the summers, our springs are beautiful. It's a great year for wildflowers, too.

Anonymous said...

Welcome Home! Thanks for writing for us all. My son will be home end of April, God willing. Have a great life!
Mamaworecombatboots

ps Did you get to see your dog yet?

Anonymous said...

Welcome back, man. Enjoy yourself, you deserve it. Stay awesome!

MightyMom said...

welcome home!

here's a happy dance for you! Another soldier's safe!!

enjoy your time, it's great that you surprised your mom!!

Thank you for your service to our country! It is greatly appreciated.

Anonymous said...

Welcome Home! Your story of surprising your mom was great. I can imagine the look on her face and the leap in her heart.
Thanks for your service.

Wolf Lover Girl said...

Congratulations on making it and welcome back to the good ole USA!!!

~ Wolf Lover Girl