McDonald’s, Manicures and Military Leave — Home is Where the Heart is

I just got dressed and I am already sweating from my pinky toenail.  It’s over 100 degrees here at an air base in Kuwait but I don’t care. By this time tomorrow, I’ll getting be my pinky toenails polished and designed at my favorite nail salon back home in New York City. Yup, I’m going on my 15 day mid-tour R&R (Rest & Relaxation); two things I am definitely in need of.  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 it’s my turn. I’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.  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 it’s hard the first time leaving home to go to war, but it’s even harder leaving the second time when you are returning to war after a relatively short, two-week visit.   I can agree, from experience. It’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. It’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 can’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. I’m a McDonald’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!

Last 5 posts by Soldier Girl