Monday, February 9, 2009

The Pause Before The Jump

All the hurry up of our training over the past 4 has come to an end. We truly are in wait status here at Camp Buehring, Kuwait. We arrived here in the very early morning hours of the 5th, our intermediate stop before moving into Iraq, our final destination, in so many ways.

We sat through some last minute classes to orient us with the latest changes and situations in the theater. Then we had a check fire opportunity with our weapons. Essentially, a last time visit to the firing range to ensure our weapons are working. That was two days ago. Since then, we wait. Bags packed, minds packed, a pregnant pause in the process, waiting for the word - “get your bags, we’re moving out.

The amenities here are many, pizza, KFC, Taco Bell, 3 D-Facs, 3 PX’s, laundry, you name it, it’s here. The environment, however, nothing. We literally have been dropped into the Kuwaiti desert. The horizon stretches out beyond the sands of time, the sun a glowing orb at the edge of the world which cycles through a  spectrum of earthy colors from sunrise on the low eastern horizon till it sets in the dust filled air in the west.

It’s winter here and so the daytime temperatures range from the 40’s at night to the low 70s at night. Passing desert storms have visited us over the past few days, leaving a pockmarked pattern of tiny craters left from the falling rain drops. This kind of waiting encourages your mind to wander a bit. How is my family, my friends, my life back home. We are out of touch with it all. We have been able to make some phonecalls home, but the cost can be a little prohibitive for regular voice to voice contact. Email is the next best thing, but even there, the access is a bit limited and at times a bit sketchy.

Camp Buehring is a definite line in the sand between home and the year ahead of us. I look around our tent as we wait and see every soldier passing the time by getting some jet lag induced sleep on army green cots. I’ve done it too. There’s not much else to do. I can’t help but think of Rip VanWinkle. When we awake our world will be changed. Our daily pattern of life changed and, metaphorically speaking, our lives will be changed, by the experiences we’ll have over the next year. We’ll wake up in January 2010 and wonder where the time went.

Back home I am sure that the time for our families and friends is not so mundane. Life is filled with daily life. Keeping up with bills, raising kids, going to school, dealing with the economy, fixing the car, whatever it is - all the time wondering and waiting for some word from one of us here.

Well - here are a few words. We are doing fine, anxious to get the job done, and get back home. 

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