I just got dressed and I am already sweating from my pinky toenail.Â Itâ€™s over 100 degrees here at an air base in Kuwait but I donâ€™t care. By this time tomorrow, Iâ€™ll getting be my pinky toenails polished and designed at my favorite nail salon back home in New York City. Yup, Iâ€™m going on my 15 day mid-tour R&R (Rest & Relaxation); two things I am definitely in need of.Â Sure I may not be getting shot at on a daily basis or doing 12-hour foot patrols like some soldiers and Marines but just living in a deployed environment for almost a year on itself is still a stressful experience.
When you are deployed, people plan two things: R&R and redeployment. I have watched people in my unit come and go on their leave and now itâ€™s my turn. Iâ€™m very excited. On my last deployment, I stayed home on my leave, not very eventful. This time around, I wanted to do something a little bit outside the box.Â So this Big City girl from the East Coast is going to see how the other side lives and take a trip to the West Coast. I am going to California to attend a conference and network with professionals in my field.
At a briefing this morning, an Army Chaplain said itâ€™s hard the first time leaving home to go to war, but itâ€™s even harder leaving the second time when you are returning to war after a relatively short, two-week visit.Â Â I can agree, from experience. Itâ€™s an emotional tease to be with your friends, family members and significant others for a couple of days and get adjusted to life at home only to leave once again just as everyone was getting used to you being around. Itâ€™s almost like you have to live as a guest in your own house. Living out of a suitcase in your own room because your tween sister has claimed your empty bed, closet and drawer space is really not cool.
Despite these trivial fears, I am optimistic about the outcome of my travels. I will see friends from college who I have missed greatly since my graduation last December, as well as my besties from back home. As much as I hate to admit it, I actually canâ€™t wait to see my little sister too.
While waiting for my flight, I decided to grab a bite to eat and as I was daydreaming about places I want to eat when I go home, I saw a familiar sign. Iâ€™m a McDonaldâ€™s junkie back home (and former employee) so to get a taste of the Golden Arch before boarding that plane will be the perfect send-off to what I hope is a perfect R&R.
Speak to you soon Parlouristas!
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