Ginger Ale

I wrote this in the first few minutes of our flight out of Kuwait back home. It was night, we had just endured a 12-hour U.S. Customs process, and I had the urge to crank out a few nouns and verbs.


Always ginger ale on flights.

It’s the quintessential traveler’s drink isn’t it?

“I’ll take a ginger ale.”

It’s something altogether functional and exotic.

“Does he have an upset stomach?” some may ask.

“Look how he holds the cup, it’s as if he is used to such luxury!”

Ginger ale was my choice minutes into our flight out of Iraq–well, Kuwait, really. We had bounced around theater for days, checking in, checking out. Sleeping on itchy Army wool and generally sweating more and more as we made our way South, to have our fevers break with the whooshing cool comfort of the aircraft’s air conditioning on takeoff.

The skyline in Kuwait was more developed than Iraq–still not American, suffice to say. I miss the night noise of Hooter’s billboards and hotel placards. Soon I’d see them again. Soon I’d see the damn posers, standing outside the bars.

I was sitting next to an S6 computer guy for the flight, as I had through chance on the trip in a year back.

We both sat silently as the orange-lit Kuwait evening passed. It was much more exciting on the way in.

Now, with combat patches on our sleeves and a lifetime older, we saw the hazy moonlight reflect off the Gulf and just shrugged.

What’s next?


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.

One response to “Ginger Ale”

  1. FTM29 says :

    I have a miniature version of this every four months. I get on a commercial bird and am surrounded by people who have no concept of what I have done or seen. I don’t want to talk with them or have them talk to me. I just want to be left alone to collect my thoughts and get ready for another reunion with my wife and son.

    Every time I notice how much he has changed, how much he has grown both mentally and physically. My wife does not see it as she is with him every day. I do though and it is so painful, like a dousing of cold water each and every time.

    I ask myself why I keep doing it. I have met my goals here, I have done my part. I have proven myself, I have endured deprivation, despair, and loneliness. I have been shot at, rocketed, mortared, and even been called bad names.

    I keep doing it because if I don’t someone else will have to.

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