I am sitting at Manas without much to do, so I decided I would write a quick note about the journey home and about the past few weeks where it seemed all we did was wait. Somehow our group of four found things to fill up our days to make them slowly drop down to one until it was finally time to leave for Manas. The day finally arrived. It was time to leave Afghanistan. We had to go to one appointment after another until it was finally time to go through customs. Customs was a “through” search of everything in our bags. With four bags, plus a carry on this took a while. I had my chemical warfare gear, two weapons, three personal bags and one rucksack full of army gear. Almost forgot, we also had our body armor and helmet. It was a pain to unpack everything and then have to repack it as fast as you could because there are a lot of other people that have to do the same thing, but somehow I managed to get everything to fit back in. Then we waited. Then they came out and told us to put on all our gear and grab our weapons, it was time to go. We lined up headed out to the plane. Got about 300 yards away from the plane and they told us they weren’t ready for us. So we turned around walked back and waited for another hour or so to do the same thing.
Finally, we were on the plane, crammed in. Do you know what it like to sit on a plane with two weapons, your body armor and your personal bag all shoved into an airline seat? Not fun or comfortable, but it was a short flight that I pretty much slept through. I guess being exhausted has its benefits you can sleep anywhere.
So we made it to Manas early in the morning half awake and sore from carrying all our stuff and sitting cramped on an airplane and it was time to sit through a number of important briefings about where we were to stay and how to turn in our Army gear. Luckily, we retained all the important information and once the briefing was complete, threw our gear down at our temporary home and then went back to pick up our bags. The army gear went in one bin and the other bags were put into storage. Since we needed to stay up for our turn in appointment we went to eat breakfast (they had juice and milk (orange and apple), something that was often lacking at the FOB) and then watched the World Series (game 2). We were able to watch innings 2-8, then had to leave for our appointment. We turned in our chemical gear, army gear and weapons. We felt free we no longer had to worry about where our weapons were and every once in awhile I still feel like I am missing something.
After everything was accomplished we had a snack and then went to bed.
We slept till about dinnertime and then went to eat and then went to the bar to hang out. Air Force members are allowed two drinks a day.
I don’t really like beer so I wasn’t too excited about this until I found out they had wine. So we hung out at the bar (Pete’s place) and then they started doing karaoke. It was fun to watch/listen to everyone and they sang. It made time go by fast and before we knew it was time for bed.
Soon I will be back in America. I cannot wait to be home, even though I will not really be home since all my stuff will be in Ohio and I will be in New Mexico until January when I will be reunited with my husband. Thanks again, for the love and support.