Today started just like any other day. Up early, to the sounds of reveille followed by the elongated version of the Main Title from Patton (look it up on iTunes – catchy the first time you hear it but getting old hearing it every day). This was followed by the long walk through the desert sand to the dining facility for my morning breakfast which has not changed in the past 2+ months. Then off to the PX to spend some of my hard earned money from this deployment. The only problem was there was nothing I wanted/needed to buy. We had a police call, basically picking up other peoples trash, this morning but like a lot of things around here, there were two different start times disseminated so I missed it. But I don’t think I really missed it if you know what I mean. All of you Office Space fans will know what I am referring to.
Of course I knew what day this was when I woke up but it just does not feel like Christmas Eve when you are sitting in a tent with about 40 other guys and you are about 4000 miles away from home. There are no Christmas smells in the air and the smells in the air are for another time. There is only the prospect of a mediocre Christmas Eve dinner tonight in the same dining facility I had breakfast. The highlight tonight is a concert by the rock group Puddle of Mudd followed by a walk back in the desert night air to the aforementioned tent and my top bunk. Where there will be no Christmas tree to light no presents to wrap and place under the tree, and no cookies and milk to put out for Santa. Nope just the thought of when the hell can I go home and get back to some resemblance of a normal life.
This is how a lot of soldiers, to include me, will spend Christmas Eve this 2011 in Kuwait. Away from home in a tent and the only thing I can think about is the soldier’s version of Twas the Night before Christmas, Google it, I did just like I do every year. The poem reminds me while I don’t like to be deployed for the holidays that I signed up knowing that there will be times that I will have to sacrifice holidays, birthdays, anniversaries and other celebrations so that others may sleep in comfortably. It is what we do as soldiers, sailors, airmen and marines. We put others safety and security ahead of our own comforts.