Wednesday, May 2, 2007

Checking In

Midway through week 2 and I am hopefully nearing completion of checking in. I had to return to medical today for 3 more shots, I think I have been immunized for all known diseases to man. I have also had my eyes checked and all my teeth cleaned...Must be healthy to go forward. I have drawn my personal gear such as a laptop, digital recorder, camera and all the tools I will need as a field historian to capture the words and pictures of Marines at war. I will draw combat gear such as helmet, flack jacket etc.. . tomorrow and pickup my pistol when I get to Kuwait. Currently I am doing the mental preparations of what will be expected of me, and how I will operate once in country. I have been in email contact with members of the 2nd Marine Aircraft Wing (2nd MAW) and with the Marine Corps Center for Lessons Learned (MCCLL) detachment in my future summer home of Fullujah. In both cases they are expecting me and I have established communication which will make my arrival run smoother. I am getting anxious to move forward as I want to start this mission and begin my journey. I will be back home in Southern Maryland this weekend and it may be my last weekend before departing.

I have been slowly letting go of work related issues as I narrow my focus on the job ahead and making sure my wife and daughter are prepared for my departure. My objectives are becoming clearer as I get closer to leaving and begin to look at only what is in front of me and I begin to release the outside responsibilities of everyday civilian life and move mentally to a place I had long forgotten about. The memories remain and are brought back to life of previous deployments as a young man to foreign lands in a couple of cases for a year or more while wearing a Marine uniform. The mental preparation of leaving family and friends for an extended period of time and going into a combat zone requires some mental gymnastics and it helps to have the experience of previous deployments in your personal toolbox. I hope my next entry will let you all know that I have a departure date and have begun heading eastward from Quantico. For those who have been to Quantico you will recognize the pictures above. Liversedge is the Officer and SNCO bachelor housing and the History division sign in my unit. The Officer Candidate School (OCS) trails is where I am running to get myself in shape for what is ahead, I remember running these same hills as a Cpl in 1987 going through NCO school, although they seem much steeper and longer now.

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