I'm back at Dragon. I got here Thursday morning. Yes, I returned to Iraq on Super Bowl Sunday but waited to return to Dragon. Honestly, can you blame me? I just spent 3 days traveling from the comfort of my own home to be back in Iraq for another few months. Who wouldn't want to delay leaving less spartan accomodations for a patrol base with very little in the way of luxuries? On top of that, I really wasn't in the right frame of mind to start working.
Before I left, I was the lead on a project to renovate a building for use as a government/emergency services coordination center - something WAY different from what I was sent here to do. In the beginning, I was ok with it - it gave me something to do since my job was slow. When I got back, I realized that what comes of the project is of little concern to me. I'm leaving soon so I won't see the end result and whether it works does nothing for my self-actualization. What does concern me is that I'm leaving soon and I don't want to jeopardize my safe return to the States. When I got back into the office, I told my army "boss" about my concerns. He wasn't too thrilled about it but he understood my motivation. Two days later, his boss's boss told him to pull me off the project. I don't know why or how that happened but I'm ok with it. Now I can focus on the job I was sent here to do.
I've come to an epiphany of sorts, partly spawned from my R&R leave and partly from just spending time here: I don't really care about anything else except getting home safely and I'm going to do everything I can to make sure that happens. Everything else is just that, something else. Don't misunderstand me, I'm still going to make sure my job is performed adequately but I will not be taking part in other aspects of this "war", especially if it takes me off the base. That's part of the "I'm going to make sure that happens" half of my epiphany. The next time I leave this base will be the day I leave for good. No more Navy Guy, the Combat Tourist. No more patrols even to just walk across the bridge to the patrol base on the other side of the river. No more.
So, there it is. I know there are many of you thinking, "It's about time". I'm surprised I didn't think of it before either but sometimes all it takes is 2 weeks of relaxing bliss to free the mind enough to allow it to happen. If all goes according to "plan", I should be on my way out the gate for the last time in about 90 days. I'll tell you, it can't come soon enough...