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.


December 28, 2009

Name: Six Foot Skinny
Posting date: 12/28/09
Stationed in: Iraq
Hometown: Minneapolis, MN
Milblog: Lost in the Desert

The alarm goes off way too early. But then, when does an alarm ever go off at the right time? It’s always too early or too late. She stirs a little, makes some cute noises. I leave her sleeping. She didn’t need to be up yet. Kitchen. Coffee started. Bathroom. Shower started. Teeth brushed. Water’s warm. Shower. Turn off the coffee. Shave. Wake her up. Good morning kiss. She tells me to quit looking at her like that. Like what? Like you’re going to miss me.

She makes me fried eggs and toast for breakfast. The bread in Iraq is terrible -- Wonder bread or brown Wonder bread – and we can’t have runny yolks with our fried eggs. She eats cereal and yogurt. We don’t say much. There’s not much to say. It feels odd to put my uniform back on. I’ve been living in my favorite pair of blue jeans for the last two weeks, and loving it. The boots are particularly uncomfortable.

Last check of the apartment. Didn’t bring much home, think I got it all. A last look around. I like this place.  It smells and feels like everything that is home. Down the stairs and out the door. The weather has been mild. I take credit for that. Not too cold in the car. The slightest drizzle in the air and on the windshield. Perfect for the occasion really.

Short drive to the airport. She pulls up to the curb and turns off the car. We have decided that coming in to see me to the gate sounds like a better idea than it actually is. We look at each other. We get out. Hug. Kiss. Cry. Like the drizzle -- just a little. Go, so you can come back. And I do. So I can. The last time.


And did one shave in those two weeks?
Upon my return from across the pond it seemed to be an unwritten tradition not to for us Marines home on leave. And, the enjoying of the silent nights and early morning is a pleasant memory. Welcome home.
Peace & Happiness to you,

i wish you the best luck...i can't wait when i turn of age i will join the airforce however my dad swears he'll disown me

I did shave - mostly because she wouldn't have kissed me otherwise...

I've been reading the Milblog for an English assignment. Before now I've never heard of it. Just wanted to say that was so beautiful what you wrote.

I've read a few of your posts and this is probably my favorite. Best of luck over there.

My English professor dirceted our class to this site. It has been an eye opener. I couldn't imagine saying goodbye to a loved one like that. It takes courage to do what you do, thank you!

Wow. It must be hard to leave her like that. I can't imagine what I would feel or what I would do if I was in your shoes. I just want to say thank you for serving, and I know how much you sacrifice back at home. Thank You.

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