Well, Everyone.. It's been ENTIRELY too long since you have heard from me, and I figured I'd tell you a bit of a human tale. See Fairy Tales are highly exagerated, fictional stories about real people that the fairies happen to respect, love, or hate. Fairies are quite destinctly the worst liars ever. This is a human tale, it is mildly exagerated (for comical use only of course), truthful story about someone in which the author is well versed with. In this particular case, the author and main character is myself, so please bare with me as fairy tales, for all their heros and glamour, are much more entertaining :-).

So we left Fallujah about a week ago, It was a long seven months and I was definately looking forward to getting home to the states, and enjoy the company of family and non-pre cooked food. So Finally our day arrived and we took a helicopter from Fallujah to TQ and got basic free run of the base as long as we keep the shadow principle. Now I'd like to discuss this 'shadow principal' for a moment. The Marine Corps likes to give nomenclature to terms that could be quite easily described in other words.. and they do this ALOT in a certain circumstance.. When the Army already calls it by it's common sense name. See you are not allowed to go anywhere without a 'shadow' because were we to get attacked, or hurt, there will always be someone there to help you resolve the situation. Just as your shadow is incapable of leaving you, so is your human shadow, he follows you wherever you go, and this way you are 'safer'. So if I might put this another way.. if you ever have a combat or battle oriented situation... you will always have a buddy to witness your demise, as accountability is paramount. In some small instances he might even be able to help you survive whatever mortal situation arises, as in a broken leg.. making this a nonmortal situation... but in most cases, It's usually what I like to call Lion math. If you and a buddy are getting chased by a lion out to kill you... you don't really have to outrun the lion.... you just have to outrun your friend who is running from the lion. Now though we are all knowledgable of a lion which lacks courage.. if the Lion has Pride... you're both kinda screwed. I have regressed... So if you have a Battle situation you have a Buddy to help you out. So the army calls this a 'Battle Buddy'.. makes sense right? Well the marine corps, in the persuit of being NOTHING like the army, calls this the 'shadow principle'. "The shadow principle is in effect." Which we all know means we have to go everwhere with a 'shadow' or buddy.

I know what you're thinking.. why am i really complaining about this? I'm getting there.. okay... I'm here. This system does not bother those who would normally try and travel in packs anyway, this system bothers those of us who are generally turned off the topics of conversation and compulsion to oogle in detail about everything with opposing chromosomes. It actually turns my stomache. So TQ was spent with two friends who are a bit abnormally negative in nature, but are quite opposite to the destructive behavior I find everywhere else with my peers. I spent alot of time running in circles.. as I did not have a 'shadow' willing to go running... and staring at the ceiling :-). So after two days of this we are told to pack our bags.. we are going to Kuwait early.. WOO HOO!!

So we pack our bags and jump on a C-17, being entertained by an Air Force crew which apparentely think immitations of SouthWest employees are blatently hilarious. I would like to state at this point in time that, though this flight was uncomfortable.. it was FAR better then flying in a C-130... for those of you who are unaware of the difference... I do not have the mastry of the English language required to express the level of discomfort provided by a C-130 ride that lasts longer than twenty-two seconds. I would also like to note, that I personally believe there is a conspiracy between the marine corps and the Air Force. The Marine Corps pays pilots on the side to fly in circles making all uncomfortable flights twice as long as they are required to be... I am completely convinced of this... because when you fly on a C-130 and there are only 10 people on board.. you get to your destination in like 10 minutes. When you fly in a C-130 with 75 people on board; with your knees interlocked and the two fat guys on either side of you bleeding into your seat.. bringing on 3 carry-ons, none of which fit under their seat.. THAT flight takes two hours at a minimum :-). So after a mildly uncomfortable flight on a C-130 for about an hour and a half we arrived in Kuwait.

Kuwait... WOW... um I have nothing positive to say about the guys who get stationed here. These army guys wandered around yelling at marines to salute officers.. and just in general... acting very garrison and ultimately acting as if we were 'on their turf' *blink* Okay.. losers.. you just deployed to a NON combat zone with a McDonalds, Pizza Hutt, Subway, a fully staffed USO, and the entire base is covered with ways to call home and tell mom and dad about how much you miss them.. AHHH I was very upset with the locals here.. and will NOT continue in this regard. After three days of getting harassed by the locals and by our own chain of command (this is normal, and a part of being in the military :-) It's to be expected) We are finally packed up and taken to the buses to head back to the airport to go through Customs...
Customs!! oh my gosh! lol, we dump everything, and they make sure we aren't taking back bags of sand to our family back in the states. *blink* I'm going to be honest with you... I think sand would be a lousy gift :-) But that's just me.. So they look through all our stuff to make sure we aren't bringing back guns, knives, or ears.. human or otherwise. After going through my underwear and cd collection I am told to repack both of my bags and go help the x-ray guy. If you guys ever get to look at the x-ray machine that scans baggage.. it's WAY cooler than you'd think it is. You can't exactly tell whatever thing is, but it's alot more fun than you'd imagine. So I got to help the AirForce guys scan everyone's stuff looking for rifle rounds, hand grenades, and thermo-nuclear devices. We found a few of the first, and none of the other two. I was alittle relieved and alittle disappointed.. I think looking at either with the x-ray machine might have been interesting in a non-lethal fashion.

So we load the aircraft up and all smoosh all 400 of us into a twin engine commercial sesna. Now.. some of you reread that sentance a second time.. and that's because you are aware that I just named off a plane which could not have seated a tenth of the given number. This was a joke :-). We were pretty cramped though :-). But at this point.. we're all going home... so you put up with what you have to to get back to the ones that you love. We landed in germany and I got to laugh at the alcoholics who were informed they were not allowed to get drunk. You have never seen anger until you promise a bunch of marines they can get drunk and then take away the ability to drink for ONE more day until you send them back to a four day holiday and all the tax free money they allowed themselves to walk away with... lol very comical :-). After reloading the plane we fly to Baltimore where we dropped off a bunch of Air Force guys, making the plane alot more comfortable until we finished our flight all the way to california. We unloaded the jet and all hopped into buses taking us back to where some people had family waiting for them. We all turned in our rifles and then got to go on a four day holiday.. :-)

Things brings me to where I am today.. I am in California staying with the family which adopted me three years ago. Enjoying civilian clothes, and a completely lack of military personel around me.

I am glad to be home.. and I have come home with all appendages and phelanges attatched. Thank you for your prayers.. I missed you guys!