From the Solider side: When I was in Iraq (by the way, that's how most war stories should start) we had little things that we'd look forward to. I found, that if you broke it into at least one thing each hour that you could look forward to...some kind of little joy...it made each day go by faster. Some days, there was little to help accomplish this concept. Other days it might be "I wonder if they'll have steak and lobster in the mess hall for dinner?"
During a year deployment, I would submit that there were TWO (sometimes THREE) major things that most of us looked forward to. These happy times were when you got a pass to go away for about 5 days (I missed out on that) and they sent you to a place where you could even drink alcoholic beverages. The pass was a freebee that didn't count against your 30 days of leave per year.
The Second big joy was when you got to go home for 2 weeks of leave. Vacation back in the world.
The last big joy was when you rotated out and went home at the end of your tour.
I'm not going to talk about the "Free Pass" that we were supposed to get for 5 days, because I wasn't a REMF and I never got one. But this story is about going home on 2 weeks leave.
My travels home for this festive occasion occurred pretty much without incident, so I'm going to tell the story of one of our buddies.
Our buddy, I'll call him "slim" for this story, was a pretty good guy and a very good soldier. He was one of those who went to get retrained in our MOS (Mess Kit Repair) but failed the silly school, so they sent him on to war anyway to be a "filler". When I went through Mess Kit Repair school, I thought it was pretty good training. The course I took was set up for reserves, so it was spread out over 2 years. We started with 27 soldiers. At the end of 2 years, 3 of us graduated together. Now, not all of them failed...some just gave up.
So, back to Slim's story. About half way through our tour, Slim's turn came up to go home on 2 weeks leave. The difficulty was, Slim was assigned as a security team member for a Mess Kit Repair team out in Ramadi. That was a shithole. He was a saw gunner on the M1114 Humvee and if anybody needed a little break, it was Slim.
Now, if you have time, go look at a map of Iraq. He was way out west and had to return to our main camp in Baghdad. So, since he was where the Marines were, they were happy to fly him back to Baghdad so he could go on his well deserved leave for 2 weeks with lots of kissing for mama, gallons of beer, and all the Burger King hamburgers you could eat and nobody trying to kill you....back to the USofA.
To be cont....