Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Life goes on ...

When you spend a year deployed, you sometimes forget that the real world is still out there, that war is not everything and life still happens. There are new songs, new TV shows, new laws, babies are born, and people pass on. Today, several things happened to remind me of this.

First, I got an early morning call that one of the engineers we had left in the province to assist the new team woke up with "severe" abdominal pain. After a
HELO ride and quick ER evaluation, he was on his way to the OR for an appendectomy. Why now? Why him? We will never know, but I am very thankful it wasn't a few days from now, when the rest of us were boarding a plane and leaving him here to deal with this alone. He did great, is very proud of his "Afghanistan" scars and already trying to come up with his "so there I was" story.

I also ran into one of our communications technicians, whose wife was expecting their second child. He was anxious to make it home for the birth but it wasn't
meant to be. His new son was born while we traveled to Bagram earlier this week. Mama and baby are doing great and looking forward to Daddy's return. So many men here miss the birth of their children—another price paid for serving their nation.

I frequently joke about the things the Army owes me after a year away—birthdays, holidays, my boy's first lost tooth—but I am so
grateful for the things that didn't happen. I have my fingers and toes, we didn't lose a single soldier and, as much as I regret not doing "enough," we did plenty, and our legacy projects will continue to help the people of Afghanistan.

As the clock ticks down, I am more and more ready to head for home—to see my family, watch some spring soccer (GO TWISTERS!) and readjust to the real world. I want to listen to new music and catch up on all I have missed while being gone for a year. I will keep you all posted as we make the trek back to the States. I have no doubt it will be a
humorous journey as I meet up with friends from training who are also heading home. I look forward to hearing their stories, as I have come to realize there is no single Afghanistan experience, and all have stories to tell.


For Reflections on Nursing Leadership, published by the Honor Society of Nursing, Sigma Theta Tau International.

1 comment:

  1. Lori, what a whirlwind year for you! Keep us posted on if you end up coming through BWI - it would be good to see you live and in person.