There's a mantra in the military that anyone with experience in uniform can attest to. Regardless of the task, you're expected to be there a certain amount of time before anything begins; yet, nothing ever seems to begin on time! The process could take as little as 30 seconds to complete, but you have to be there an hour beforehand. So, most of your day is spent waiting for your turn to come, then waiting for everyone else do get done.
Such is the case for my departure from Iraq. As early as last Tuesday, I began the process of handing over my responsibilities to the incoming unit SMO. Yesterday, he took official control of the motor pool and all maintenance procedures. In short, my job here (for the most part) is done; however, I still have to sit around and wait for my flight to leave. Now, the normal person might not be too upset at the fact that he/she can sit around and do nothing each day, but there's only so many things you can do to occupy your time. A bulk of my time each is will be spent trying to amuse myself, through movies, TV, Internet, reading and working out. While this might sound calm and relaxing, the worst part about this process is trying not to think about how long you've been here and just how close you are to being reunited with family and friends. The mental aspect is the most challenging part and one that takes discipline to overcome, as the hours slowly pass by each day. What is more, we are being told that at any moment, we could get word that our flight has been moved up and we must be ready to leave immediately. Thus, we have to be prepared, while at the same time not hopeful. Somehow, human nature likes to play a dirty trick on the mind because it's hard NOT to be hopeful for something you want to happen!!!
The days a coming and going in a somewhat expeditious manner; but unfortunately, they cannot pass soon enough. Please pray for patience and discipline as we hurry up and wait.