Monday, May 20, 2013

233 Days

233 days ago, I landed in this beautiful country called Afghanistan.  A lot has happened since that day and I am sure much will continue to occur in the next 22 days before I make my way home.  I have yet to receive a day off, although I will admit I have never asked for one.  I make the best of my time away from the office with coffee, sports, working out, hanging out with friends, and banana milkshakes.  Friends really do have an amazing effect of taking the burden out of life.  Thank you.

The first 15 Soldiers have arrived from our replacement unit.  They are currently conducting the necessary training to remain in country, something that is very important to us.  It almost seems surreal that they are here already.  We cleared out of MOD housing in preparation for the main body that will be arriving next week.  Instead of staying in a trailer-type metal building, in a room shared by three people, I am now living in a big bay with about 100 other females.  We are packed in there pretty tight with a few people on top bunks.  It is nice to know that there is an empty female bay across the hall from where we reside.  The only bad part about this arrangement is my working/sleeping hours.  Since my move to nights and my recent move to a bay full of another unit’s females, my sleep has suffered tremendously.  22 days.  Mark, the guy in charge of the building is a sweetheart and reminds me a little bit of my father.  He tries to make sure I am able to sleep during the day, but there is only so much he can do.  On moving day, he allowed me to take my blanket and pillow into the empty bay so I could get a couple hours of sleep before work while 100 females moved in across the hall.  As expected, a female NCO complained that I had an entire bay to myself even though I was only using it for sleeping purposes, none of my belongings were located in the empty bay, just me a blanket and a pillow, and I was told I could no longer use that bay for sleeping.  Such is the competitive/jealous side of human nature.  The bay is really nice though, so I really can’t complain.  The showers are bigger, the toilets actually flush, and since it is a hardened facility we don’t have to run to a bunker when the alarms signaling danger start making noise.  I could complain that the facility is further from work, that we don’t have any type of storage for our belongings (just bunk beds are provided), or that the bay is freezing cold, but  I won’t.  I am very thankful for what I have, 22 days left.
There is a lot waiting for me when I return to Fort Benning.  I am moving to a different state, so I have a house to sell and to empty.  I will have already purchased a new home by the time my flight lands State-side.  My new home is smaller, so I am looking to sell/give some items away.  I am switching units, so I will be re-integrating into the States, out-processing from my current unit, and moving within the first thirty days home.  I am excited for receiving the opportunity for a new career path and extremely excited to leave the unit with which I am currently employed.  I am sure there are a lot of people who can relate to this excitement.

Once the initial 30 day excitement has passed, I will be traveling home to relax and party for approximately 30 days before signing in to my new unit.  Those are my plans as of right now.