So, it's now been 14 years since I got out of the army. 15 years since I came home from Haiti. 16 years since I came home from Somalia. Yes, sorry to say, that's yours truly above, in Somalia, Mogadishu precisely, with good buddy Michael "Norm" Bauden. The photo was snapped just inside the back door of the warehouse we called the Mogadishu Marriott. I've never seen Black Hawk Down (read the book, skipped the movie), but I hear that a re-creation of the Mogadishu Marriott made it into the movie. Nice. I was 23 in that picture, just two years older than my daughter Kristina is now. I have no idea what was going through my mind in that picture, in that place. It's just that far removed. I could tell you...and, on good days, I will tell you...but I'll be lying.
Anyway, I don't normally get all date-specific here, or sentimental for that matter. And it's been a long time since soldiering was on my mind. But it is, today.
You know what I'm reminded of today? Back when I was still in, recently returned from Somalia and Haiti, but still in, the biggest joke we had was the fact that everyone got off on Veterans Day...except us. Veterans Day is a busy day in the world of active-duty soldiers. Parades to march in, flags to salute, brass to polish. Every jackass in the universe was off on Veterans Day except the veterans still serving. That was our big true joke.
Anyway. Welcome home.