My Last Military "Vacation"
In 2 weeks or so, I'll be about halfway through my current deployment to Afghanistan. (.. and the crowd Cheers!)
After over 22 years in the Air Force, this will be my last "vacation" or "camping trip" .. depending on whether you want to use my wife Ana's or 3-year old daughter Jaiden's euphemism. I'm not retiring just yet. But once I get back to Fort Hood in May, I'll definitely be on the downward glidepath.
In the mean-time, I really don't have much to complain about ...
- For some reason I keep getting sent to relatively "quiet" locations for these "vacations". Seriously, the next time I expect to wear my body armor or helmet is on the plane ride home.
- This time I've got a rather nice view ... the picture above was taken right outside my tent door. That's part of the Hindu Kush mountain range.
- I live in a tent ... but I have a sleeping bag, several warm blankets, and the whole thing has a "climate control system" .. ok, so it's just big tube that runs down the center of the tent's ceiling, which blows out warm (or cold) air. But still, probably better than I would have on a civilian "camping trip".
- The food is pretty good. A Captain on my last deployment described these deployed DFACs (Dinning Facilities) as pretty much the equivalent of "eating 3 meals a day at Golden Corral .. for 6 straight months". That about sums it up. The only dangerous part is, just like at an all you can eat buffet, the dessert bar, and the temptation to actually put "all you can eat" on your plate every meal, can easily catch up with you if you're not careful.
- We've got a nice USO tent. They have video games, movie rooms, ping-pong & pool tables, and even free wi-fi (veryslow, but still free!). I usually try to get over there at least a couple of times a week, to download books onto my Kindle, or catch a movie.
- Although I work 12 hour shifts, as we're getting more used to the job, things have been slowing down a bit, so I actually have time to keep up with my email, and talk to friends and family on Facebook. Don't get me wrong, the goverment is definitely getting their money's worth out of this trip ... but I find that coming to work is actually the part of my day I most look forward to!
- Maybe it's just because we were here over the Holidays, but we seems to get a lot of care packages here. Most contain some sort of yummy treats. Not terribly easy on the old waistline .. but then again, who wouldn't want to have a box full of snickers in their office?
Now obviously there are a least a few things I don't like about this place. But really, there's nothing useful to be accomplished by recording them here. Other than ...
If I had a choice, I'd definitely prefer to be home with these guys:
Til next time ..