Thursday, December 28, 2006


To quote my wife, “I’m glad it’s over.”

In all my years and all my deployments I have only been away from home for two Christmas’ now. The first was just after my son was born twelve years ago. I guess I forgot how terrible it is. Loneliness is redefined when you’re married and again when you have kids and the Holiday Season is only a constant reminder of it.

On Christmas Eve we were fortunate enough to have some turkey, potatoes, pumpkin pie, and some brownish green stuff we assumed was sweet potatoes delivered to us nicely prepared. We added some vegetables, stuffing, cranberry sauce, and other items that family members had sent then invited some of our Philippine counterparts and made quite a feast of it. Later, we helped host a Christmas party for the Phil soldiers and their families. We had received several boxes of toys from family and friends which we dispersed to the children there then we were introduced to a number of silly party games. I didn’t stay long; I wasn’t in a partying mood.

Christmas day was a free day with nothing planned. I had hoped to spend the morning chatting online with my family but internet and computer problems turned it into the equivalent of a couple short episodes of, “can you hear me now?” With everyone off they were all online which choked out internet bandwidth so I couldn’t even kill the day playing World of Warcraft; I ended up starting a flight home courtesy of Barb and FlightSimX.

On the next morning, which was Christmas day back home since we’re about 16 hours ahead, I had received a note from my wife; apparently she had a similar day. I waited until I knew things would have settled down back home, grabbed the satellite phone, found a place under the baking sun where the phone had a good view of the sky and finally had a chance to talk. When I asked her how her day had been she replied, “I’m glad it’s over.” Our talk helped. We finally had the chance to put a happy ending onto a difficult day.

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