02 November 2006

My Bags Are Packed

What you see here is everything I'll be heading home with. A backpack with a map sack attached, a duffel bag, a laptop bag, and a foot locker (the black case on the bottom). I've moved out of my room into a tent and I'll be living out of these bags until I get home. I won't actually be traveling with the foot locker because I like to travel light so I'll be mailing that right before I roll out. That way I can still pack things up until the last day and my sweetie won't have to try and drag it home from the post office.

The 'go-home' day isn't here yet, but it's quickly approaching. Each day I'm getting more and more out of the operations loop and my replacement is taking over. I find that when the people we work with here go to him for something that I start to feel slighted, but then I remember that this is what's supposed to be happening and that the more it happens the closer I get to going home. It's tough to let go of the leadership position, but I just have to remind myself that letting go here means grabbing hold back home.

The unit that will be replacing my guys has finally landed. The guy who will be my replacement has been here for a while to help get thins set up for when the rest of his unit arrives. Now that they're here we can really start making a transition. It still doesn't feel real to me that I'll be getting out of here for the last time soon. Maybe it will set in when I'm actually on my way back, maybe when I set foot on home soil, maybe when I hug my wife and son, maybe weeks after that. I know in my head that I'm going to be going home soon, I just don't feel it yet.


Blogger Rob said...

Hey bro. Do you have any idea if there's anything you'll miss enough that you expect it to leave a lasting impression on you, or do you think the thrill of being home will outweigh any of that?

Blogger bandit.three.six said...

Things I'm going to miss:
1 - Free food. Right now I can snatch Gatorades out of coolers, stick them in my pockets and walk away. This may be a tricky habit to break.
2 - Helicopters. I've grown accustomed to having helos flying overhead several times an hour, 24x7. At first it was annoying, but now I kinda like it. I'm now able to identify the type of helo strictly by sound; chinooks, blackhawks, apaches, little birds, British helos, hueys, UAVs, etc. It gives me a comforting feeling to know that there are good guys with guns floating overhead.
3 - Being armed at all times. When I went back for R&R I found that I felt more at risk at home without a weapon than I did in Baghdad with a weapon. Being without a firearm will take some time to re-acclimate to.
4 - Justifiable paranoia. Sometimes a door slams here and everyone jumps since it sounds so much like a mortar landing. When I get back and doors start slamming I'll be the weirdo when I start looking for the impact area and taking cover. We haven't had any serious incidents with indirect fire (yet), but there have been a few close calls.

Blogger Leap Frog said...

Hey Bandit, awesome that you are heading home. Think that your new born son will definately keep your mind in the moment. Heh, and your wife too, lol. Enjoy!
Hint, they grow so darn fast and you can never have too many pictures, especially in the first year or so, the changes are astounding.

If I lived closer to 'ya, I'd be your favourite best baby sitter, after "the" grandmas of course! ;)

Thanks B36.

Anonymous Leta said...

Bandit. I'm gonna "miss" you and your stories. I always look forward to what you have to say and enjoy the way you write.

ON THE OTHER HAND - I'm not gonna "miss" you AT ALL because you'll be with your family!

Thanks for the posts. Thanks for the solid and well written information. Most of all, thanks so VERY much for your service, committment and dedication. Ah! How lucky I am to be an American and defended by you and those like you!

Safe travels!

Blogger yankeemom said...

Oh those packed bags are a good sight to see! I hope the transition to home life goes smoothly for ya. Ah, you'll be so busy getting to know that adorable son of yours, I bet you won't notice you're not armed.
Thank you ~

Blogger Flag Gazer said...

Thank you for letting us join you on this journey! You have been uplifting and inspiring!

Hug you wife and son for all of us, too!

You all are the finest in this country and we are so proud of all of you!

Anonymous Mike@CopTheTruth said...

You've earned it, brother! Safe trip and enjoy that homecoming! Godspeed.

Blogger das411 said...

Bandit36: This is my first post but I have been lurking here for a while. Just wanted to say thank you for everything you've done.

Men (and women!) like you are what make America great, and it's been a unique and very educational experience reading the thoughts, seeing the pix, watching the vids that you've shared with us.

Have a safe trip back and take it easy. You, sir, have most definitely earned it!

Anonymous Solo said...

Bandit you'll adjust pretty fast. I figure your family will shift your focus without much effort. Let us know when you get back and I'll raise a Gatorade in a cheer.


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