Well it is here, the end of another deployment and my last one before I retire. While I am extremely happy to see it come to an end, it would not be complete if I did not take the time to thank those people that made it go by a quickly as it did. It just seems like yesterday that I boarded the Chinook helicopter out of Iraq in December. Now I am packing up and waiting for the bus to take me to the last plane I will board as a soldier heading home. There I will spend the next two years getting ready to retire after 20 years thus fulfilling a promise I made to myself to finish what I started.
First and foremost, I must thank my lovely wife Patty. She has been there for me on all three deployments. While most of the time she has railed loudly about how she wants each and every deployment to be over so we can be together, she has provided me the strength to keep going and finish this journey. As I am not as a prolific writer as I would like to be, she has also been the editor of many of my papers and blog entries. She will admit though, the amount of editing she has had to do lately has become less and less, I still rely on her to make sure I get my point across. Thank you Patty and I am eternally grateful for you being in my life and the even though this journey is ending ours is just beginning.
Secondly, to my friends and mentors Nancy “aka My Girlfriend” and Kem Hauge, for the support you have given Patty and me over the last 8 years since we first met, THANK YOU. You are two of the kindest and giving people I have ever met and don’t think I can ever repay you for it. Our Friday night dinners and drinks are the one thing that we all could count on and look forward to each and every week. From the food, to the martinis (oh the martinis – extra cold and dry for Nancy) to the conversations those are some of the best memories that carried my through this deployment. THANK YOU THANK YOU.
Thirdly, to all my friends in National Guard units that I have had the pleasure of serving with thank you. While we may not speak for a while, there is a special bond between people that have served together. You understand what each has gone through during those times and the challenges we faced. We can take comfort to know that we survived and made it home. Your impact on me did not go unnoticed and I salute you and thank you.
Lastly, not all the people that have made an impact were positive. All three deployments have had those individuals that had a negative impact on others and me. While I am not going to name names I am sure if those people actually read this blog they may think I am talking about them. If they think that then they are probably correct but you will have to ask me directly to know for sure. However, they also need to be thanked. Thank you for showing me what not to do. Your lesson, while unknowing to you, was appreciated.
So this is it, the last entry in the series. However, it will not be the last blog I do. All that is left is the say “good bye and thanks for all the fish” - For Now.