Wednesday, April 18, 2012
Well, I'm back. Back in the USA. Back to blogging. Back in the state of Georgia.
I left Afghanistan with the last remaining members of the 10th Mountain Division Band the final week of September. We actually left a day late due to there being no airplane available on the first attempt, despite a whole lot of us getting up before dawn and waiting in line, inside and outside, going through security, waiting in the terminal, and waiting on the tarmac. We weren't very happy about that.
But the next evening, we departed Afghanistan and began the process of slowly making our way back home to Ft. Drum, NY. The flights out of Afghanistan aren't direct to the US, but I'll refrain from specifics for the sake of security.
We returned to Ft. Drum on October 1st, 2011 and I was fortunate to have much of my family waiting for me. Even though I was eager to move to my next assignment in six months, being back in my home country was a wonderful feeling. I have many friends in the North Country, and I'm glad I got to spend time with them over the next several months. Their hospitality and warmth is the most positive thing I'll remember about my time in upstate New York. I am also honored to have served a full year in Afghanistan with the 10th Mountain Division, and to share that bond with my fellow Soldiers both in the Band and in the other units that served in Regional Command-South and throughout the country. In a future installment I'll discuss my thoughts on what we accomplished over there and what I can take away from the experience. I was able to conduct the band for some ceremonial occasions during my final months at Drum, and I should thank the Band leadership for allowing me to have those opportunities.
Last month, I moved to my next assignment, the Signal Corps Band at Ft. Gordon, Georgia near the town of Augusta, most famous probably for hosting the Masters golf tournament every spring. I suppose I now have no excuse not to use those left-handed golf clubs my great-uncle gave me. (My great-uncle served in World War II, so we're both war vets now, and it's cool having that in common with him.)
So now that I've had time to get acclimated to life in the US and at my new job, closer to home, family, and many friends, it's time to start blogging again. I have a lot of stuff to write about and writing much more frequently is one of my goals for the near future. (Frequent readers will note that I've updated the look of the blog page.) Stay tuned!