I’m out this biznitch

As we took off, some people started to cheer.

It had taken some time, but hours after we had checked through the PAX terminal, and after a long day of loading and final ceremonies, we had left Camp Taji for good. I couldn’t resist throwing up the bird at the place–not that it had been a bad spot to squat for the year, but just as a let-loose at the final glance.

Looking out of the back of the Chinook, the sprinkling of lights spun and moved away as the chopper whirled around and started north. After a minute, the ominous Taji refinery creeped into view. I had no idea what they burned there, but the flame was constant, always lighting up the sky to the east, it’s murky orange flame flickering high into the haze, like Mount Doom from Tolkien’s Mordor. Around it was large swaths of black, peppered with the scant lights from random street lamps.

I was tired of the Iraqi nightscape and looked forward to rows of lit streets, trees, pools, grass, and the lack of imminent indirect fire. Ah, it was going to be glorious getting back to the states! A captain I had shared a bench with during our hours at the flight line asked me if I was excited to get back. I hadn’t thought about it much, other than the “not Iraq” portion of my next few months; but, yes, I was getting more excited by the day. I’m sure that as our plane touches down on American soil I’ll drop a tear or two. Sappy? Yeah, but is a big deal after you’ve been away for awhile.

Our time in Anaconda has been swell so far. Things are a little hot, but the skank musk doesn’t seem so bad any more, I suppose because there’s an end in sight, like knowing a dreadful camping trip is nearing the final evening. While the new formations and constant checkups on weapon serial numbers are a bit tiring, we don’t care. Most troops offer up only token bitching, but the leaders are here with us, going through the same crap, just as eager to get home, although more reserved. They aren’t being Nazis about things, “Let’s get through this so you all can go to the movies.” Hearing something like that is amazing.

All year and the months before it has been WAR WAR WAR WAR AAAAAAAAAH THE WAR!!!! And now we have to notch down, return to the world.

I think I’ll be up to learning how to have a weekend again, and holidays every now and then. Nine to five sounds sweet, as does having a car and the chance to see a movie and a mall–maybe catch a show or a concert.

I’m coming home, America. Thanks for not burning the place down while I was gone!

###

About salemonz

Born in San Diego, Calif. Raised as a Navy Brat, I jumped ship and crossed over to the Army. Served as an enlisted journalist for a bunch of years, then helped the DoD figure out what the hell to do with social media. After the Army, now I drift down the river of life, trying not to be a jerk.

13 responses to “I’m out this biznitch”

  1. beka says :

    I’M SO EXCITED YOU’RE COMING HOME!!!! 🙂

  2. Radio Free Babylon says :

    Welcome Home, Sgt. Salmons.

    Take a breather. Enjoy our corner of the world.

    We appreciate you.

  3. ZNB says :

    Glad to have you back. We’ve missed your sexy monkey body.

  4. Pam Salmons says :

    Seeing is believing, so seeing or talking to you in the good old u.s. of a will be believing. so, I am his mom, go figure… mom

  5. Felyne says :

    You’ve done a super fine job there, Mom. 🙂

  6. BWJones says :

    Sgt., Yo! Look me up if you are in this part of the country.

  7. hynes says :

    Glad to see you’re heading home. We need to hook up once you get settled.

  8. wilsonian says :

    Take your time settling back in… you might be surprised by the things that hang-on longer than you realize.

    Peace-

  9. brogonzo says :

    I’m coming home, America. Thanks for not burning the place down while I was gone!

    Well, we came close a few times.

  10. Shannon says :

    Awesome. Eat lots of poptarts for me, please! Just think, no more sand in unmentionable places. Woo-hoo!

  11. beka says :

    are weeeeee there yeeeeeet?

  12. Sailor says :

    Glad you are on your way home. Thanks for your service and thanks for your wonderful writing.

  13. Beth* A. says :

    Hurray!, Josh Salmons! Happy for you, and Welcome Home!

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