*** I had originally titled this post "Hurry Up & Wait", but after writing it I thought I should rename it to something a bit more appropriate ***
It's all over but the flying now. I have officially been replaced. I've turned over my key, my cell phone, my desk, my computer, my responsibilities. I am now excess baggage as far as Iraq is concerned. But that's ok, the military is funny that way. It's the goal of the military to work itself out of a job.
Take Iraq for example - when we accomplish our mission here we will no longer be needed. We're building an Army and taking out the bad guys. Once the Army that we're building is capable of taking out the bad guys without our help, we'll be able to go home. We're working ourselves out of a job.
Anyway, I'd rather not get too deep in thought right now. It's still taking some getting used to to realize that if there's a problem that I'm not the one to fix it. Phones ring and I jump to answer it. People knock on the door to ask for help and I turn to assist. It's tough to give up that responsibility, to not be the go-to guy. I have to keep reminding myself that it's someone else's turn, that it's not my show anymore, that if I see things going a direction that I don't think they should go that it's not my place to adjust their course. It's what I think it's like to drop a kid off at college, you're confident that they'll do well, but it's not in your hands anymore to make sure they do.
So now I just sit and wait. Predicting the next several weeks is fuzzy at best. We have general ideas for when things will occur, but they're all subject to mission requirements. I've learned that when you're in transit you MUST have something to occupy your time that isn't battery operated as the bateries will likely die before you get where you're going. Books fill this void nicely, so does planning. Planning for the future, for things I want to do with my family, people I want to see again, people I don't, places I want to go, clothes I want to wear that aren't ACU patterned, so on and so forth, it's one of those 'set your mind free' kind of things.
Unless something happens that is really interesting and is something that I can share, I likely won't be making another post from here in Iraq. Don't be mistaken though, this doesn't mean that after publishing this post I'm going to go get on a helo out of here, I just think it's a good thing to sort of make a clean break, I think it helps with letting go.