In Iraq for 365

About my experiences in Iraq... the frustrations, the missions and this country... and the journey home

Wednesday, April 27, 2005

I promise that I will post soon.

Saturday, April 09, 2005

A night on the town has me thinking

Tonight, I enjoyed the town and let me tell you as I write this post, my scruples are not all there. But as a lifetime writer, I am gifted with the ability to write even while I am under the influence, per se.

First, let me elaborate on what I saw this evening. I saw a bunch of beautiful girls, but none I was attractive to. Not because of their bodily imperfections, but because they were all superficial. I enjoyed my evening because most of it was spent with my friend named Sia from Tanzania. He is an alien to the United States working here on a Visa. He is a dear friend, and back a few years ago he felt the percussion of a bomb at which targeted the U.S. Embassy in his country. He was the top-rated mathematician when he graduated the equivalent of our high school in Tanzania. He received a scholarship to Michigan Tech and has since received a position in Milwaukee as one of the city’s premier Civil Engineers.

As I write this, all I can think about is the soldiers who still serve in Iraq and Afghanistan. In the places I visited tonight, it’s as if these soldiers didn’t even exist. A world of apathy we live in, and it troubles me beyond belief. I find myself not being whom I used to be. I used to be a carefree guy who went to these places with a smile on my face and pickup lines in my back pocket. Now, I just look at the potential girls and guys as just brainless folks walking around a world that encourages them to continue to do the same.

The other day I received an email from an Iraqi who said that he loved my blog, but said that he didn’t agree with my cultural beliefs of Iraqis. I really hope I didn’t offend him with some of my humor. Iraqis are truly great people. Many of them opened up their homes to me and offered tea. They are sweet people and it’s important that folks in the U.S. and elsewhere understand that. For now, I must go sleepee. Me have too much to drinkee.

Friday, April 08, 2005

It’s not easy for soldiers to pack up, leave their loved ones and travel thousands of miles away to fight a war, but I think it’s harder for the loved ones. While we have a war to keep us occupied, sisters, brothers, mothers, daughters, sons, fathers and girlfriends just sit around and wait. If you don’t think loving a soldier can’t be emotionally numbing than just go read Calivalleygirl’s latest post…

Yesterday when I heard the news that my boyfriend was alright, I was okay. I slept like a log and woke-up rested this morning. I came to work chipper, but when I was sitting in front of my lunch tray in the cafeteria I realized I had no appetite. I forced myself to eat something, but after a few minutes I realized I was fighting against tears, against being sick.

She will make you appreciate the families of soldiers just as much as the soldiers.

Tuesday, April 05, 2005

Back to work

In the back corner of the room stood a life-size cardboard cheerleader. Taped on the fake lady’s lips, a sign read “Welcome Back!” All over the desk were balloons and candy and newsletters. As I walked into my office on my first day back to work, a weird feeling crept up into my stomach. Nobody was there to witness it; I was early and nervous about coming back to work. A small tear formed in my eye... I was happy to be back.

I returned to the halls of my work Monday. I am an account executive for a major public relations firm, where clients depend on me to be smart, creative and the best. There is something missing, because at times, I feel odd. It’s not the work that is troubling me nor is it the people… my co-workers were so supportive and thoughtful while I was in Iraq. I’m having trouble with the quietness. It’s like while I’m sitting at my desk, I’m waiting for a loud explosion or people to run through the halls, yelling “take cover.” The only thing that startles me is the phone.

I am actually very excited about returning to work, to a life of normalcy and planning lunches. Of course, what I am most looking forward to at work is initiating agency-wide pranks. On April Fools Day, nobody answered their phones. They were ready for me. But there’s always next year.