Medicine Soldier

A View from Iraq


On the Road Home, or The Lost Journal Entries

(Written 20:04 US Central time 12.12.2005)

It's the blogmistress here, posting at 21:04 US Eastern time on 12.12.2005. Those of you who stop by here often have probably been wondering what has happened with Scott, since he hasn't posted since October 30. The short answer is that he's been fine, just busy getting ready to come home. While he hasn't had time to post, he has done a little writing here and there. Those thoughts are posted below, under the dates on which they were written.

posted by Kelly | 05:04 Baghdad time | © 12.13.2005
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I'll Live, I Guess

(Written 18:06 US Central time 12.12.2005)

I survived a year in Iraq without even losing a sock. I still think I owe it to the overwhelming support back home and everyone praying for me. It is a war of chance over there. Some people went out everyday and never had to fire a shot, while others were just going from one camp to another for something minor and had their lives changed forever. I had my share of events from midnight raids to visiting the schools and handing out supplies.

I learned a lot this year about Iraq, the Army, and even myself. It has been physically, mentally, and emotionally exhausting. Though I have not changed too much physically, I am looking forward to the next chapter in my life where I can move on mentally and emotionally from this year. For now, I will wait here for the rest of my soldiers to join me here and help them in their transition home.

posted by Scott | 03:06 Baghdad time | ©
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I am so happy you are safe now. Have a Merry Christmas with all our love and gratitude. Thank you.

Posted by Blogger Zelda | 13/12/05 20:15  

Glad you made it home safe. I hope as you get time that you keep blogging. I enjoyed reading your view on things and even in the states, I am sure your stories would ... teach us (took me a second to figure out what I wanted to say there).

I wish much joy and peace now.

Posted by Anonymous Tami aka Marine mom | 21/12/05 21:36  

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Nothing Eire So Green

(Written 12.11.2005, posted 12.12.2005)

Three seasons in one day.

We left sandy Kuwait at 81 degrees and descended into Ireland. As we broke through the clouds, everything was green again. We landed in the rolling green countryside of Ireland. It was a quick stop but great to see shades of green again.

Our second stop was in Maine covered in powdery white snow. Our comrades from our sister companies teased us because we were closer to home than we would be when we finally left the plane. If I had known about our stop, I could have had a welcoming committee and showed them some northern hospitality.

Onward to the south, we landed in Mississippi. Many of the other soldiers did not have a chance to see their homes since the hurricane, and there was anxiety amongst them. We were all relieved to see businesses running despite the damage still to roofs and billboards. There are still teams from FEMA here, and our mobilization site is still churning out soldiers to leave for the Middle East. We thought we had left the land of explosions, but the deploying soldiers are training with simulations and blank rounds. The second time we heard explosions and gun fire, we just shook our heads.

posted by Scott | 22:00 Baghdad time | © 12.11.2005
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Caught in the Big Machine

(Written 12.08.2005, posted 12.12.2005)

The last few days at camp, we made some extra time to spend with the guys in the unit. We realized once again that things are changing, yet things could get bad before the end. We spent time enjoying a few "good" meals, and we had one last trilogy for movie nights. We spent three nights watching Gladiator, Braveheart, and The Patriot. Perhaps we were trying to relate to the heroic ideals, warrior ethos, or just share in some kind of brotherhood brought about by war.

I left the camp to play the hurry-up-and-wait game, carrying everything I still owned in theater on my back. There are things you just get used to and expect when being in the army. Even on the civilian side, when traveling they tell you to show up two to four hours early when checking in to the airport. We found ourselves sitting on our bags for twelve hours on the flight line, as our flight time ping-ponged between 9am and 9pm all day. Then it was the same in Kuwait. "Go sit in your tent and don't go far because your plane and customs could be ready in 15 minutes or three days." I actually enjoyed the time in Kuwait. I was reading some books and catching up on my journal. It was somewhat peaceful, and we had time to reflect on things again. Then before we expected, it was time to go and wait again on the airplane.

posted by Scott | 22:00 Baghdad time | © 12.08.2005
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The Last...

(Written 12.01.2005, posted 12.12.2005)

In trying to mentally prepare myself for coming home, I often thought about the usual duties and activities. I thought about my last hair cut in Iraq, my last trip to the laundry, my last inventory, and even my last patrol. It was an easy logistics run to another camp in order to pick up supplies. It was my last look at the streets of Iraq with the open air markets, children playing, and livestock in the roads. It was uneventful for the most part. I turned in all my patrol gear a few days later and felt almost naked. Still, I had only a few days to make sure my counterpart was well prepared, pack my living area, and go through the usual hurry-up-and-wait military movement routine. Now onward to Baghdad.

posted by Scott | 22:00 Baghdad time | © 12.01.2005
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