Monday, December 25, 2006

Bah Humbug

4 out of 5. 10 out of 25. That is how many Christmases I have worked in my adult life. All in all it is a pretty dismal record and I am really worn out on it. Last year I spirited off him for a 7 day break and while it was a trailer park Christmas in many ways, at least I was with my family. They know that Christmas has never meant that much to me but now it does since I have a son.

He was so excited when I spoke to him on the phone two days ago. He was going on about how good he had been and how much Santa was going to bring him. I am missing his excitement. There is no way to get these days back. As I type I am listening to him on speakerphon e while he rips open presents. It is Christmas morning at home and my wife was up first because the new puppy was up. I called about 10 minutes before my son got up so at least I did share it in some ways.

It is easy to lapse into melancholy during the holiday season but this year I am not in Iraq, cold and waiting to hear if we have any enemy activity. I do worry about my friends up there. Some of them are in 3rd or 4th tours. I am so much better off than so many other people and even though I am sad that I am not at home I know that my Christmas is still so much better than many others.

It is better than that of a single mother with children who could not afford to buy any presents. It is better than that of Christians in Gaza or Iraq that are now openly persecuted. It is better than that of a homeless man under a dark bridge in the Northeast. It is better than that of a Speedy 4 pulling checkpoint duty in Anbar Province. It is better than that of Megan McClung's family who miss her more today than yesterday.

Christmas is many things to many people. In my past I have tried to just make it a day on the calendar but I know that as I get older and see more of the cruelty that the world offers on a daily basis; it has becoem the one day when we all should be a little nicer to each other. A day when we should all give something to those less fortunate than us. A day when we should be with family, even if for a short while.

Not today, not for me. I will make it through this one like all the others. I worked just like all the others because the mission does not stop. The Army is like a shark that can't stop swimming because if it does it will drown.

Anyways, here is a photo of the extent of my Christmas decorations. It is a 18" tree my wife snet me that arrived two days ago, a bear from Camp Arifjan and a Christmas Tree ornament I bought at the Royal Mews Horse Stable at Buckingham Palace.

MERRY CHRISTMAS, Bah Humbug Indeed!


Blogger The WordSmith from Nantucket said...

A very well-written post, both beautiful and melancholy at the same time.

Hope there comes a time when you are able to be with your family every single time, during the holidays.

9:28 AM  
Blogger PelaLusa said...

Amigo, it's not fair that you're on duty and the rest of us are relaxing with our families. But if it's any consolation, please know that many of us out here have not forgotten the valiant and heroic work that you and your comrades are doing on our behalf.

From your proud Canadian friend - proud of you in the American military and proud of our own soldiers in Afghanistan.

Robert W.

10:39 AM  
Blogger Becca said...

I know it's not much, but I wish you a Merry Christmas! My family and I are proud of what you are doing for our country more than you ever know. May God bless you and your family this holiday season.


9:14 AM  

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