The Sandbox

GWOT hot wash, straight from the wire

Welcome to The Sandbox, a forum for service members who have served or are currently serving in Iraq and Afghanistan, returned vets, spouses and caregivers. The Sandbox's focus is not on policy and partisanship (go to our Blowback page for that), but on the unclassified details of deployment -- the everyday, the extraordinary, the wonderful, the messed-up, the absurd. All correspondence is read, and as much as possible is posted, lightly edited. If you know someone who is deployed who might have something to say, please tell them about us. To submit a post click here.


October 30, 2006

Name: CH (CPT) Brad P. Lewis
Posting date: 10/30/06
Returned from: Iraq
Hometown: Sacramento, CA
Milblog url:

I can't imagine that there is anyone over here that does not want to go home. It's very fulfilling to be a part of something so big and to play a role in the freeing of an entire nation. But it's like Dorothy said, "There's no place like home." They treat us pretty well here, but there are some things that just can't be replaced. As I sit down for meals and talk with soldiers about life, service, home, girls, boys, families, etc., everyone misses something. For one it's coffee out of his favorite mug. For another it's the morning newspaper. One guy will miss the smell of his children or the taste of mom's lasagna. Everyone misses something. Everyone looks forward to getting back to that something. Everyone dreams of normalcy. That's where the sacrifice of these great people is most clearly seen -- in the little things they willingly give up, to live and work in a rat hole. And they don't complain or blame or whine. They just keep fighting and working and dreaming of going home. These are truly great people.

Like the next guy, I too want to go home and hold my wife and my kids, to sip coffee from my own mug, to work in my yard. But having been deployed to several locations in a very short period I miss one thing more than any other. For me, plastic is the problem. It's those silly plastic forks with the hollow tines, where everything you eat gets jammed in there and it just feels funny in your mouth. I miss real silverware. Ah the feel of smooth aluminum or steel or tin or whatever they make silverware out of (maybe its silver). I'm no utensilogist, but I know a good fork when I see one. Knives and spoons are not an issue. Forks are what I miss. Like I said, I'm no different. Just like the next guy...kinda.

You see, unlike the next guy, I have the perfect spouse. She knows me, and loves me anyway. She's perfect. So, recently I was home just long enough to drive my kids to school a couple of times and kiss my bride. And just before taking off again for parts unknown, she bought me a fork! It's not a very fancy one. Neither is it a girly fork. It's perfect. It has a nice big handle that’s a manly black and silver; it’s easy to hold on to, with perfectly straight and smooth tines. I love my fork. So now when I go to eat breakfast or lunch or dinner or just an afternoon snack, I reach into my pocket and pull out my little friend...and we enjoy a meal together. There's no place like home, even when it's the size of a fork.


forks are important.
And boy, do you have the perfect woman...

i'm sure you know, but please remember and remind the soldiers you're with that for each one of you over there, there are many of us here, missing you too and hoping for your safe return. THANK YOU!

You are our heroes. Never forget that we do care more than you will ever know.

I'm back now, but was over there too - and I know EXACTLY what you're talking about. I missed silverware, and a buddy of mine even ordered a set of real nice camping-type silverware from REI and took them to the chow hall just so he didn't have to eat with those damn plastic ones.

"I eat my peas with honey
that's how I ate them all my life,
I don't like my peas with honey,
but how else do I keep them on my knife."

That verse was probably written by a Continental Soldier of General Washington's Army, some things never change. God bless all our best.

What a charming story! Bless her heart for buying that fork, and bless you for serving in Iraq and elsewhere. All the best to you and your comrades.

That has to be one of the best blog posts I've read in a long, long time. Thank you for your service and your sacrifice with the same thanks extending to your family and the families of your comrades.

Heart felt and touching. Glad to see a post from a chaplain on here :) USACHCS sir!

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