I’m going to the house.
I will miss TQ. Hard to explain why. It can be an aggravating place. Beautiful sunrises, though. I am thinking seriously of moving out West. The desert agrees with me.
It was my honor to live and work alongside some fine Marines. I am a better man for it.
I haven’t blogged much about TQ. Maybe I will start. Others have done a better job of describing this place than I could. OPSEC means I haven’t identified people I work with, or where I work, or what I do. This blog was never meant to be all about me, or my travels.
For me, the war is not over. I am just redeploying from the Iraq Theater of Operations to the Zone of the Interior.
School of the Counterpropagandist will start back up when I get home.
I wrote the above last night in Kuwait. This is what I wrote yesterday:
I am sitting in the waiting shed at the TQ Joint Air Cargo Operations Terminal, typing this on Cannonette’s laptop that I brought back with me. I have been here many times before. They have some new blue seats in here, now. Big improvement over metal folding chairs. Last time I flew out of here I hung out with J.D. Johannes of Outside The Wire and Gene Blanton of The Fourth Rail. I was stuck here for hours with them and never said a word, because I didn’t know who they were. I finally recognized Gene on the C-130, but by then conversation had to be shouted over the engine noise. A picture of him at a feasting on goat clicked in my brain and I nudged his knee and hollered “Don’t you write for the Fourth Rail?” He smiled and nodded. We three conversed down at Ali Al Salem while we waited for our baggage pallet to show up. Good guys, both of them.
Lots of citizen journalist New Media embeds on the way out. That’s good. Send money. Money talks. Comments on blogs are cheap. Sending embeds out here isn’t.
In a few hours there will be one less blogger in Al Anbar. I haven’t really blogged that much about my personal experiences out here. I haven’t discussed my job, or the people I work with, or the things I’ve seen. That was never the purpose of this blog. It wasn’t supposed to be all about me. My contribution to the war effort has been honorable, and I am proud to have been accepted by some fine Marines, but I just don’t have the war stories some people do. I haven’t suffered the hardships, seen the horrendous sights, watched buddies die. I’ve been rocketed and mortared. Indirect fire and ambushed convoys which reduce the variety of fodder in the DFAC are about the only things the bad guys have ever done to me. The bad guys have always been a minor irritant to me, safely ensconced behind the wire, surrounded by Hesco bastions and blast walls. The enemy rarely manages to annoy me nearly as much as the friendlies. Too many people standing in line waiting for too few of whatever it is we are patiently waiting our turn at. Met some truly outstanding young Americans standing in lines. So many Americans just have no concept of the high quality humans serving in the military. It has been my honor to be alongside them.I’m moving back in with Cannonette. I want to come home to her every night.
UPDATE: I’m back in the world. The lovely and talented Cannonette welcomed me in our traditional fashion and now she is asleep behind me. Should have another lesson of the School of the Counterpropagandist up by Tuesday.