I hope this note finds you all well. I'm doing okay. Still getting my bearings here. The living and working conditions are way above my expectations, considering that I had no expectations. I was pretty miffed about somebody stealing my gummi bears and a set of PT clothes out of my ruck sack when I first got in theater, but I tell myself that if that's the worst of my experiences on this deployment, then I'm better off than most.
The days seem to run together so much that I can hardly tell that it's Thanksgiving Day tomorrow. Even with that, I feel really blessed and fortunate to be among such a good group of people, many of whom have done this deployment stuff many times over.
So far, I've been through two of the IED/mortar/whatever-you-call-them attacks, and although the booms have been a safe enough distance from me, I still find it a bit unsettling and scary. You should see me scrambling to get to the nearest bunker. Among other things, I'm really thankful that I haven't been in the shower when those happened.
I wake up in the middle of the night to the sound of helicopters and big planes flying over and I lie there for a few minutes before dozing back off, thankful that they're up there doing whatever it is that they do on their watch. I'm praying every few minutes, "Lord, keep us safe." So far, it's working. :) We also have a group of Pathfinders with us. They're an interesting bunch, but not unpleasant to engage. Everybody loves the S1. Some of them are even kinda cute.
More than ever, I find myself thinking about about the men out there sleeping in the ditches, and waking up daily to go on patrols and other missions that put them directly in harm's way, and I'm especially thankful for them and their commitment. I find myself thankful for all the ways that these guys and those like them have paved in the last 9 years for those of us who are out here now, that we have simple luxuries like indoor plumbing and heated tents, able to do our jobs and make our own minor contributions in substantially more comfortable conditions. Is that not amazing? It is to me. Well, anyway, I hope you all have a safe and enjoyable holiday. Happy Thanksgiving!