Just to update, and in response to inquiries and well-wishes, I am fine. I’m wrapping up my leave, sitting in the USO in Atlanta’s Hartsfield International Airport and feeling grateful for the support of such fine people. The process of arriving and checking in has changed a bit since 2007, but the USO volunteers can’t get their arms around a Soldier quickly enough. They guide the Soldier quickly, walking with him, to where he needs to be; and then they promise to be there if he needs anything else.
You can read he as she, Soldier as Sailor, Airman or Marine… the constant is the USO volunteer.
Leave is too short. The children are awesome. Each is a gift alone; together a treasure beyond all imagining. They are what give me the humanity to see the child in the world. Some may not need to be brought by children to see such verities, but for me they are that lens.
As for the absence, I’d prefer not to make excuses. I have seen and learned so much on this tour… and it’s only half over. I’ve learned a lot more about counterinsurgency. I’ve gotten snapshots of a lot of behaviors in the field. I’ve seen a lot of great developments that I’ve not been sure of being clear to write about.
There have also been frustrations.
I needed leave.
Well, now that leave is over, where does the quest lead? We shall see soon enough… but back to the keyboard would be a good start.