I wrote this and meant to post it over a month ago... I am so bad at making time for this out here! So this was from 26 April.. If you're on my email list you got this already but I wanted to put it on here too :D
I know it's been a while since I've emailed or blogged but I have been CR-AAAA-ZZY busy! I can't believe I've been in country for over a month! Where has the time gone? I've gotten my legs under me here and feel like a vet at this Iraq thing.... kind of. I could do without the sand/dust storms (which at this time of year seem to happen at least once a week here in Tikrit), but other than the weather I can't complain! Do you remember what it felt like your first day of middle school or maybe even at a new school? You were so excited to start something new. Then you walk through the doors of your new school and you meet hundreds of new people, need a map to get to the bathroom, feel out of place, maybe even a little akward and aren't really even sure how to open your locker. The excitement starts to fade as you realize you aren't "home" anymore and you're having to adjust to this new life at your new school. Suddenly getting to change classes doesn't seem as cool as it once did b/c you dont' know how to get from the c-pod to the a-pod without being a nerd and asking a teacher for help....b/c you can't ask an 8th grader, then they'd know you're a SEVIE (what a term for 7th graders). All that to say, things are overwhelming and not really what you expected them to be at all. But eventually you start to settle in and actually start to enjoy your new school rather than dread it. You know where you're going and even have time to hang out in b/w with some of the friends you've made in your new classes b/c you instead of taking 5 wrong turns you only made one wrong turn and that has cut your travel time considerably. So that's kind of what I felt like my first couple weeks. There was a lot of things to learn and get under my belt... I wasn't sure my belt was big enough at first. But yesterday when I was at the DFAC (dinning facility) waiting in line, I saw a now familiar face and it dawned on me. I'm not the new kid anymore and I feel at home (as much as possible) here on Speicher.
I am loving my job, the people I meet and the opportunities God is walking me through. There have been some challenges but I don't mind, it makes life interesting! I meet some of the most amazing people out here. And I'm talking more about the Soldiers than the entertainers (but they have been amazing people too). The thing that has hit me the hardest is how YOUNG some of them are (yes, I sound like an old fuddy duddy right now). They all have different stories of why they joined the Army but when it comes down to it, they are sacrificing. For you, for me, for their families and our country. Some of them are on their second or third tours and are will choose to come again. wow. if that doesn't humble you, I dont' know what will. I absolutely love that I get to serve these Soldiers by bringing them the entertainment we are assigned. Most of them thank us repeatedly while we are on their base but even IF they never uttered a single word, I would know. The smiles that break through their normally grave faces tell me over and over again. And that's all the thanks I need! I love my mission out here! This is someting I won't soon forget!
I hope everything back in the States is well with all of you! I do miss you and think of you often! I will try and post pictures when I have time to download from my camera! Feel free to write anytime... I love hearing how everything is going and catching up with my people from back home! Til next time!!! :D