May 28, 2022

Hello friends,I guess its hard trying to describe what its like here, the people we are replacing are very happy to be going, in some ways I get caught up in the excitement myself, when they talk about where they are going to go, what they are going to do when they get home. I sometimes think I too am going home, but than I wake out of that daydream and look torward the long road ahead. just tonight, there was a first sergeant who came into the toc, just beaming, he was returning from one of the far away FOBs. (forward operating base) usually there is an air of military demenaur that first sergeants show but you could see he had a huge smile inside. He was soon going to be home, to his wife and two daughters. One of them just turned 13. He said he thought he was prepared to deal with a teenager now after fighting insurgents. but he was very happy and me with less than a week in country, I tried to be happy for him but its like just arriving to prison and your cell mate tells you he just got pardoned. that happiness only goes so far. today is like the first few pages of a 6000 page book. how am i ever going to get through this?
though its funny, I never been to prison but I think this is what it might feel like in some ways. I know for a long time, during mobilization I felt like an inmate on death row, just waiting my time till that day. Now, I don’t feel that so much. if I think about stuff, I get upset so I try not to think.
though the strange thing is, as we are close to replacing a bunch of people we are getting a few who are having problems and dreading coming back to the states, some have marital problems and I guess some feel they won’t be able to manage. I understand that. In some ways I understand, there are alot of things I had hoped to acomplish by my 30th birthday, most of them I have not, this deployment put a freeze on most of those plans. over here in iraq I don’t have to think about what civilian job I will get, or where I will live (not with the parents for sure), will I even buy a car? I was thinking of riding a bike around. After this war, the consequences of the oil we intake become more pronounced to me. ( I must seem like that guy from ‘i heart huckabees who rides around on a bike’) but I can relate to that. I guess I feel time ticking just a bit faster now than I did before. I hoped to have been married by now, family, house , the whole nine. I want to be married within 2 years of coming back home. I don’t know if that is to much pressure. sometimes I wonder if I will be that soldier that has a hard time going back into the civilian world. Not like war damaged but a bit fatigued and unimpressed by what the states has to offer or what I SHOULD want to achieve. If anything I think the most important thing for a person to do is to make a good family. that said, it saddens me the constant killings that go on just miles away from me. I think I am going to see the chaplain soon. the longer I am here the more things seem to get blurry, before I didn’t believe in the mission, but I went ahead, now being here, in the middle of it. I have lost all understanding of what is going on. my brain is having a hard time piecing together the realities of what is happening outside the gate. trying to find a side that is morally right is akin to trying to find a unicorn. that is where things get blurry. this morning we heard explosions and small arms fire. it was the first time, I yawned at it, we have heard it alot, this morning coming back from the night shift, tired and hungry. I heard a large explosion and gun fire and yawned it off. who knows who that gunfire was aimed for, who lost thier life? and whose lives will permanetly be changed, and I yawned it off. I guess it starts from there. the indifference of war. I asked the guard at the entrance to the barricks how he felt about all that, he said just a few months ago a guy from one of the units here, was standing outside and a stray bullet hit him in the neck. I asked if he died? No, sent to the hospital was just a flesh wound. lucky

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