Archive for January, 2008

New Year’s Start

January 11, 2008

It is now 2008, and I am finally in the same year that I will redeploy in. This is amazing, and a huge morale booster. For 3 months, all I could think was that I still have another year here, and now I am within that mark. Unless, of course, my request to volunteer and extend here gets approved, but first I would have to submit it. Perhaps you think I’m crazy for mentioning it, but follow me on this thought process.

I am in Iraq, thousands of miles from my family, forced to share a room with a roommate, wearing a uniform every day, working long hours, and getting paid double what I would in garrison. I can’t drink, and get one day off a week, which might go away during a big operation and is only a priveledge, not a guarantee.

When I redeploy, I will be thousands of miles away from my family, forced to share a barracks room with a roommate, wear a uniform almost every day, work uncertain hours, and get paid almost half what I get paid here in theater. I can drink, but shouldn’t, and get two days off a week usually.

I am not blind or stupid. Well, I’m not blind at least, so I see the differences in those paragraphs as much as you do. Sure I will be in safe, green Germany for 7 months and have the opportunity to travel, but I don’t want to travel alone. I’m a very social person, despite reading and video games being my choice ways of spending my leisure time.

Here? The main thing is I don’t get to see my family. I would be able to call and chat online a bit more often in Germany, but for a little safety and a little German culture, I would be taking a pay hit of almost $1,500 a month. Plus, I spend a lot of that while I’m buying groceries, eating at the DFAC, going out with friends, buying video games and bus tickets, traveling will be expensive if I do any, and, if you hadn’t heard, the Euro is a lot stronger than the dollar right now. Listing it that way, Germany doesn’t sound too much more appealing.

Of course, since I have the luxury of almost another year to figure this out (see how nice that is? Almost a year, not more than!), I can enlist your aid and ask for you to send me your own thoughts at my email address. Please send me an email, and I hope to talk to you again soon. Until next week…

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