Yesterday was my last day at work for a while. I’m on vacation for the next week. And, on 21 July, I will be on active duty for training (ADT) in preparation for deployment with the 445 Civil Affairs Battalion. The next couple of months will be spent in preparation for deployment.
When I was deployed in 2003, I managed to write something here pretty close to everyday. There were a couple of months where I was out on special missions but for the most part, I wrote an entry everyday. This time around I hope to be a bit more interesting. Last tour, I was responsible for keeping the communications working for a Naval Coastal Warfare unit. This time out, I’ll be a lot more involved with the Iraqi population. I’m looking forward to it.
Iraq Provincial elections are scheduled to happen in October or November. National elections are scheduled for 2009. I’ll get to see some or all of that. I think that will be cool. Of course, I’ll also get to experience America’s political struggle over the war in Iraq as well. On the up side, I will probably be out of the country for the final months of election year’s foolishness here in the States. I think that’s kind of cool.
My family is better prepared this time. Everyone has been through a deployment and knows what to expect. My daughter is old enough now that she pretty much takes care of herself. She drives which means Mom can hope to get some help with taxi duties.
This tour I will be exposed to significantly higher risks. My last tour I spent most of my time not even in the country where the war was happening. This tour, I’ll be pretty much right in the middle of it. I’m getting what I wished for. During my last tour, I said that if I did another I wanted something farther north that allows me to be more involved with the Iraqi culture. I seem to have fulfilled that prophesy. I will be much farther north and my job is to engage with and understand the people of Iraq. I’m looking forward to it.
During my last deployment this blog saw a pretty significant increase in readership. However, because I didn’t have tools in place to track how many people were reading my blog, I only roughly understood that there was increase. I was not able to look into the details of that increase. So, this time around I got several tools in place so that I can keep better track of readership statistics. This involves both web readers and news feed readers. If you read my blog via the news feed, please make sure you update the feed URL to http://feeds.feedburner.com/SmittiesRamblings. Thanks.
This next week I plan to get a few things done in preparation for deployment and do fun things with my family. My daughter and I are going to go out for breakfast at least once. My son and I will get out to Hollister Hills Offroad Vehicle Park at least once. My wife and I will get away for a few dates. The following week I’ll be a soldier but it will be a 9 to 5 ish job. Death by PowerPoint and papercuts. The part of deployment I hate the most. There is a schedule that goes out beyond two weeks but, in typical Army style, it’ll change before we get there.
[posted with ecto]
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