The deployment is done. It's just a matter of days before we will be back with our families and in the states, and it's time for reflection. I've asked myself what did I accomplish, what have I learned, how have I grown?
I'm not going to have all the answers now. Many will come to light through the days and months to follow. What am I most proud of? That answer is easy. I am proud to have had the opportunity to stand shoulder to shoulder with the brave men and women who put themselves at risk everyday doing the war time jobs they have been trained to do.
I am proud to have been able to have had a role in the health care of our Soldiers (Airmen, Sailors, etc...) alleviate dental issues for them and return them to their units without medivacs acting as a "force multiplier" in this current Campaign.
I am proud to have been able to follow in the foot steps of my Grandfather and Uncle who both served their country during past Wars.
I am proud to be able to go home to my family having served faithfully and fulfilled my duties to the best of my ability. To be an example to my children of how they too can accomplish things that are hard or unpleasant that will arise in their lives.
I am proud of my Corps, the Army, and my Country and the chance that I have had to step up to contribute to their great legacies.
It really hit me my last night at COB Speicher when I attended the Toby Keith concert (will post pictures and videos later). His 2nd to last song was "American Soldier" which I have always liked, but which has new meaning to me now following this deployment.
I have learned about the love and support of the American people through their prayers, letters, and care packages that they have sent while we have been out here.
I have learned about the love and support of friends and neighbors as they have stepped up and helped to serve my family during my absence.
Finally, I have learned how much I rely upon the love and support of my wife and kids, and how much I look forward to being reunited with them.