A young man's strange, erotic journey from Milan to Minsk...and apparently, back again.

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Location: Denver, Colorado, United States

The details of my life are quite inconsequential, really. Summers in Rangoon...luge lessons...

Wednesday, January 26, 2011


Bird-spotting: wondering which plane would take me home.

REDEPLOYMENT.  That's the odd name our military uses these days for returning from deployment.  So despite whatever logical tendency you may have to assume that it would mean "deploying again" or "returning to deployment", now you know it means coming back from one.  That's what I've now done, or am still doing: redeploying.

Hurry-up-and-wait in Kuwait.

Once again I am indebted to you, dear readers, for encouraging me to continue this blog.  I'll post in full some of those stories I missed, and will fill in more of the return experience, but as it's now 2 weeks exactly since I landed back in the U.S., I absolutely have to get something up.  Hence, this rambling piece.

Mural at Bagram Air Base, Afghanistan

It's an abrupt change, being stateside again after most of a year away.  Return from deployment tests us all in different ways...for those with their own families, there is the "reintegration" of that.  For us without, there are still numerous challenges...everyone you know is at a different point in their respective lives now.  You've changed and they've changed, and as much as you may strive to find an immediate "normal", there is none.

 Thrilled to see some immediate family at BWI!

It has rained in Jacksonville, NC, for 3 days straight, and at some point during most of the others as well.  It's a drastic change from experiencing rain maybe 3 days in all of 8 months, and only briefly at that.

The New River, North Carolina, in rain.

I check my hip constantly for my weapon.  We all do.  It's weird how many times you have to process the realization that it's not there -- you turned it in, dude.

Last twilight in Kuwait before the return trip.

I'm incredibly anxious, to what's probably an unhealthy extent, about what's next.  My pattern for a few years now has been one of chucking aside the uniform for awhile, only to grow restless and return to the one known commodity: that of going to fill an open job somewhere, one that ostensibly requires my skill sets and experience.  I've been offered a few already, and haven't even finished the mandatory outprocessing from this one.  Wish me luck as I seek to buck that trend for once.

Camp Swampy living up to its nickname this week...

Some seem to anchor themselves quite easily to what's consistent or stable in their lives.  Some might be free of past associations, but set about going after their goals in a straightforward manner.  And some return to their struggles.  I belong to that category...of those who turn inward and don't find clear goals, who overthink just about everything, who find themselves dwelling too often on things out of our control, and consequently, who wonder just where we are supposed to fit in.

Various members of family AfghaniDan rock their scarves.

I hope I can purely enjoy life for awhile, and shake off this philosopher's comes saddled with too much attachment, too much fantasy, and often, too much heartbreak.  Although I yearned every single day for all that I couldn't enjoy while deployed, there is a sudden unhappiness in being back and realizing that some things are not as you remembered, or would like them to be.  I think every day about the latest struggles my team is facing, and about those whose deployment is infinitely more dangerous than mine ever was.  And I have enough difficulty taking my mind off all the possible tasks to tackle without constantly being asked what I'm doing next...I know most people mean well, but please -- cut a recent veteran a break!

A little snapshot of my current neighborhood.
 My surroundings should soon be the Rocky Mountains again.


Blogger lorraine said...

Thank you for posting. I have found the reintegration process of returning vets most interesting. I have a son overseas but he is in Europe and his family is there too - still it is a different world and he has to come back to this one. I traveled for 2 years and spent several weeks in Afghanistan - so I had some really wierd feelings coming back with the "now what?". Happy you made it safe and sound - you may have been in a less dangerous mission but over there it is always risky. Take care and keep writing.

January 26, 2011 at 11:47 PM  
Blogger Puertorican girl in Brussels said...

I can relate to a lot of what you said, especially reaching for the weapon when you come home! I am so looking forward to seeing you next month! Take care and gros bisous!

January 28, 2011 at 2:31 AM  
Anonymous Slapple House said...

"Wish me luck as I seek to buck that trend for once." Needless to say, we're wishing you more than luck. Let me/us know how else we can help. No pressure from us, and try not to put any more on yourself -- you'll find your thing, bro.

And as for your pic of lovely outside-the-base NC, allow me to quote the great Jim Gaffigan: "WAFFLE HOUSE? More like AWFUL HOUSE!"

Welcome back :)

January 30, 2011 at 10:07 AM  
Anonymous Edward Faircloth NATO Training MIssion Camp Eggers, Afghanistan said...

Hello Dan. Sitting here at the former Desk of Major Huvane in Ministerial Development. It's a bit neater than I remember : ). Ironically, it's raining on Camp Eggers today, or should I best describe it as a heavy mist. I hope my Tar Heels from North Carolina are taking good care of you. Everyone asks about and misses Dan. I suspect in an odd way, we're both adjusting to opposites, you from Kabul to Carolina/Colorado, me Carolina/Kansas to Kabul. PS: I'm living in Iron Clad 2-2. Edward

February 1, 2011 at 7:57 PM  

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