Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Safely Home and On Leave

My apologies for not posting since my departure from Kuwait on March 18.

I arrived in the U.S. the same day thanks to the time difference, and spent an ennervating week demobilizing at Ft. Bliss. (Although I had some measure of fun with a friend from Baghdad.) I arrived back at Reagan National Airport here in Virginia on the 23rd, 428 days after my flight to Ft. Jackson, SC, to start my activation. I have been home for the past two and a half weeks, the longest stretch of time I've spent with David since he was born. I haven't been posting for several reasons:

1) Sheer exhaustion, residual from my time in Iraq.
2) Sheer exhaustion, the result of chasing a rambunctious 15-month old around the house ten hours a day; and
3) I haven't picked up a newspaper in the past three weeks.

#1 is something most soldiers coming home from Iraq (or Afghanistan) can probably relate to.

#2 is something most parents can relate too, and to be honest, was what I was looking forward to most during the past year, even if it severely taxes me mentally and physically.

But #3 comes as a shock to most people who know me. The simple fact is that I've after living the headlines for the past year, when I returned home I found myself emotionally exhausted with all things Iraq-related and in serious need of recharging my batteries.

Also, from what I've gleaned from the snippets of the news I've heard, the new leadership in Congress has completely given up on any attempt to win the war in Iraq. This in itself is depressing to think about.

What is outrageous is that while claiming to "support the troops" they added billions of dollars in pork-barrel spending on peanut, shrimp, and other subsidies that have nothing to do with the war. And they admitted they did so in order to bribe their fellow members into voting for defeat! Even if the President finally exercises his veto over these fraudulent funding measures, it is insulting that so many politicians will cloak themselves in the mantle of the troops in order to gain narrow perks for their districts at the taxpayers expense.

If the Democrats or any Republicans think the war is unwinnable and want to end it, they should have the courage of your convictions and vote to defund it rather than play these cynical games. It is that simple. I will strongly disagree with those who do, but will at least respect their honesty.

Okay, that's my vent for now, likely one of my last as trying to introduce integrity to some members of Congress is probably an exercise in futility.

Below are some pictures expressing what occupies most of my time and most of my thoughts, and what is really important in life. In the next few days I'll post a few more pictures from my last few weeks in Baghdad.

Until then, I'd like to thank everybody for their support to me and my family over the past year, and my best wishes to everybody who emailed in the past few weeks to make sure I made it home safely. While my faith in our Congressional leadership has been somewhat shaken, my faith in the American people, especially the young men and women in uniform, has been increased exponentially.