Monday, March 15, 2010

Starting for home!

I can’t believe it! Our journey home has officially begun. After several days at Bagram, breathing the dust and wrapping up work, we left yesterday for the States. It is a bit of a convoluted process getting home. We flew to Kyrgyzstan and will spend a few days here awaiting a flight to the United States.

This old Russian base is not exactly somewhere I would want to be much longer than a day. We stay in a huge “circus tent” with a couple hundred other women. They leave the lights on all night and the heat at full blast. They lecture you about not leaving your valuables “unattended,” but you can’t take a backpack anywhere, and they provide
nothing for you to lock your things in.

Oh, well, it is short lived. The gym is nice, chow is open 24 hours and I am at least here with friends—it would be miserable here alone. Oh, and how could I forget? We are allowed two beers a day! Believe it or not, I was so tired last night I didn’t even go have one. I will have to make up for that today.

If all goes well, I will be in Texas by Friday. I still have a hard time wrapping my mind around the fact that this long year is over. I continue to thank God that our team was spared any major incidents, especially as I sit and talk to friends and hear of their experiences.

Afghanistan is a beautiful country, but there continues to be so much to do to end the conflict there and improve the lives of the population. We joke that we will be back in a few years when our numbers come up again, and I laugh with mixed emotions. I would enjoy seeing progress made, but also know that little will advance as long as the corruption and insurgency continue.

Enough introspection. I am off to find food, maybe browse the PX and turn in my gear. It will be nice to be rid of my body armor and know for certain I am truly out out of the war zone with no need for that heavy vest, anymore!


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

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