Wednesday, July 20, 2005

The Heat Is On

It has been a few weeks since my last update. The time seems to be going by a little faster now than when I first got back from R&R. "Time" is such a relative subject. On one hand I want "time" to go by quickly so I can get home to my family. Therefore, I rejoice in looking down at my watch and seeing that the day is almost done. On the other hand I believe in making the most of every moment and regardless of your situation or surroundings, we should find the "time" to enjoy the good people we are with and realize that every moment we have here on earth is precious.

Things here are going well. CNN continues to show the horrors of the day and seem to indicate that things are bad and getting worse. We don't see it like that from here. We did get to spend the better half of the past few weeks in our Individual Body Armor (IBA). That along with the heat has made for some interesting days. Mortars and rockets continue to hit our base, but no injuries have resulted. The heat seems to be our biggest threat right now. Today I saw a temperature gauge that was hanging in the shade. The gauge only measured up to 120 degrees and the mercury had pegged out at the top. Some of my guys spend the better part of the day outside, but they are coping with the heat just fine. In fact not one of them has really complained, but all are amazed at the climate. I keep reminding them that August is the hot month, so there is more to come.

Our replacements have been identified and I am able to correspond with them by email. What a relief to know that they are already preparing for their tour. We've exchanged some do's and don'ts, and the rest will be covered when they get here during our Transferring of Authority (TOA). We should receive a date for our TOA in the next few weeks. The light at the end of the tunnel is getting brighter and some units are coming up on their re-deployment dates soon.

Back home, my wife has the house running like clockwork again. She has re-established the daily routine that I managed to ruin during my short visit. I've talked to my boys several times on the phone. They are doing great and enjoying their summer. The baby is now sitting up and my wife informed me that, after all the time she has had with him, he looked her straight in the eyes the other day and said...."da-da-da-da". She was able to laugh about it and the email she sent me describing the event was precious. I can't wait to hear him say it myself. I missed our 15 year wedding anniversary, and her birthday is just around the corner. I've got a lot of making up to do when I get home, but that will be the fun part!

My unit continues to do a great job here in both of our locations. There are still a few people that are preparing to go home on leave and after they return, we will start to focus more on our own redeployment. Even though it is still months away, my Commander is a true forward thinker and has most of the staff preparing for the redeployment phase already. I can't help but start to think about coming home for good myself and all the things that need to be done before I am released from this active duty tour. Every major deployment has left a significant impression on me and helped shape my future. It will be interesting to see how this tour affects my life as well as the others when we get back home.

Thanks again to everyone for the kind emails, thoughts and prayers. All of them are greatly appreciated!

Take Care and God Bless