So firstly, I want to start off by apologizing to everyone who pretends to read my sad excuse for a blog, and while I have been pretty busy with leave (more on that later), work, and other projects; I still could have found the time to get on at least every other day and write up a quick little something. Next, I would like to inform everyone that I will be moving soon; both physically and where I post online. Unfortunately there won't be much time for me to post here over the next month or two with work and moving, but soon after that my website (!!!!!!!!!) will be up and running at full strength and I would love to invite you all over to join me as I unravel the story of "The Chosen" for you with the help of a very talented friend of mine, who will be providing the art for my webcomic. So please forgive my (damn near) two month hiatus so soon after I started, and please join me this october at SamaCaw Comics.
Now as far as leave goes, it was great!!! I was always doing something, constantly moving, seeing one person or another. It was very tiring (ironic for a vacation), but it was also very worth it. The fly home sucked (as you can read in my last entry) but the fact that I was on my way home made it bearable. When I finally got in to BOI, I was greeted by my family, best friends, and girlfriend and we all went to IHOP because it was midnight by the time I was able to get off the plane. It was a fun little reunion dinner, my friends were stoned, but nobody could really tell because that's how they've always acted even before they started smoking. My siblings bickered with each other, my girlfriend was ecstatic for me to finally be back in the states, and I was too. We all talked and caught up, everyone was asking me what it was like, I told them what I could both legally and without making them worry, I embarrassed everyone (while in uniform. it was pretty awesome), and the food was pretty good for IHOP.
From there we all part ways, my friends went to one of their houses, my family went home, and I stayed with my girlfriend to spend some long overdue quality time with each other. We ended up staying up all night talking and catching up and we went to her house so she could do the dishes and then we took a nap. We woke up around noon because her mom wanted her to check the store for some craft supplies for her daycare kids so we went around and did that, and then went to a mongolian grill for lunch. I love mongolian grill and she had never had it, so it was a pretty good meal, I actually finished my entire bowl (a first for me, but when you go 9 months without real food I guess you scarf down as much as you can). I was pretty pleasantly surprised when we were done and I went to pay that someone had paid our bill for us. At first I was a little confused, until I realized I was still in my uniform (I know, I hadn't showered yet. I felt as gross as you are probably thinking that is), which made me feel good to know that people still do appreciate service members and will go out of their way to do something nice. At the same time though, it made me a little sad because they probably wouldn't have done the same thing if I had been wearing civilian clothes. After that Jess (my girlfriend) took me home and then headed home herself. I showered hung out with my family for a little bit and then went to sleep.
The next week I spent my time hanging out with Jess, my family and friends more or less on a rotary basis, I bought a truck and a new gun and went out shooting with everybody (I was finally able to convince Jess that guns aren't scary and when used properly and safely they're actually a lot of fun), and got drunk with my friends and made EPIC mac & cheese several nights (I turned 21 while I was home, so whoop-de-freakin-do).
The last weekend I was home I went up to Portland, OR with Jess to get some actual alone time and have some fun in a decent sized city. It was a lot of fun, I got to see my aunt who lives in the area, we had the BEST sea-food either of us has ever had, and Jess got to do some shopping. We had some little fights (which really shouldn't have been fights to begin with, but whatever), but we got over them by the time we got back to the hotel. The downside of that trip though was on the last day, right before we started the drive home, I caught a glimpse of Jess's drivers license while she was buying something at the mall. Apparently she had been lying to me since the day I met her about her age, saying that she was two years older than she actually was. While it did weird me out that I had been dating someone younger that my sister for almost a year (meaning Jess was under age when we started dating), I was more bothered by the fact that she had been lying to me for this long. So that night I asked her if I had misread her license (because I had only caught a glimpse of it out of the corner of my eye) and she said that what I saw was correct and she had in fact only recently turned 18. I probably over-reacted a little bit, but I was pretty freaked out, and also pretty mad. I told her I needed to think about all of this and that I would see her and talk about it the next day. She didn't really like that I guess because she kept calling me and decided to drive to my house (it was close to 2am at this point). Luckily for me, I was not at home at the time, however she claims to have been in a car accident on her way (personally I think she was just being dramatic to get my attention because she was still able to continually call and text me and the next day when we talked her car was fine). Either way she ended up calming down and stopped calling (or maybe I turned my phone off, I don't remember) and I was able to think things through and get some sleep. The next morning I went home, showered, shaved and got dressed then headed to the coffee shop where we agreed to meet to talk about it. I was early like I normally am, and she was about half an hour late, like she almost always is. I explain to her why I was upset, she tried to make excuses for lying to me, I explained my point of view again, she tried to convince me it wasn't a big deal, it went back and forth like that for a while until I finally had to tell her that I didn't think we could date anymore, at least not for the time being. She started to cry and asked why we couldn't just start over and why I wouldn't let her build that trust back up. I don't think she realized (probably still doesn't) how important trust is to me. Either way, we both left in not so high spirits, and I only had two more days left before I had to fly back to Iraq. So I went home, talked to my family, had lunch and waited for my buddy to wake up so I could go hang out with him. From this point until I got on the plane out of Boise, I did not sleep, and I probably drank way more than I should have. My last day I went to see transformers 3 with a couple friends (while drunk, it was a lot of fun lol) and then hung out until it was time to get to my house so my family could give me a ride to the airport. It was pretty bittersweet because I had to leave, but also knowing that I was almost done and would be back soon. I also think that I was still a little bit inebriated until I arrived in Dallas.
In Dallas, all the flights to Kuwait had already left by the time my flight got in, so everybody who was returning from cities west of Phoenix were put up for the night at the holiday inn. Most of the soldiers put on some civies and went out for one last night of partying, while I decided to get a free dinner at the restaurant downstairs and get some much needed sleep. I'm pretty sure I slept for 12 hours. The next morning we all went back to the airport, went through customs and security and then flew out to ATL for a layover and to pick up some more soldiers. From there we flew to Europe, then back to the sandbox. I spent a few days at various bases, then right back to the patrol base for ten more days of guard and pointless missions. Now I'm still in the sandbox, just not doing much except avoiding the heat and whatever stupid little detail comes up. Oh yeah- and working on getting my site setup. So until next time (which will hopefully be at a new location), speak softly and carry a big stick ;)