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!