Home sick from a place we never wanted to call home.

I often wake up hoping I’d be in a cot. Hearing Jason screaming the lyrics to barbie girl. I’d roll over and click play on the pre-mission playlist; Big Krits  “Rise and Shine” plays. Maybe Poly would come in and slap my foot and say lets get chow or Ryan would have already been up giving me his leftovers while I tell him his sister is beautiful, A running joke that has been going on for nearly 4 years now.

I wake up in a full size bed on Long Island. No chow hall but easily accessible food everywhere in sight. I can get a breakfast sandwich if I really wanted. Freshy Fresh isn’t too far. I no longer see the faces I’ve grown comfortable and accustomed to seeing. The things that were so agitating have become memories and jokes. We would tip beer bottles and laugh about the indirect fire and Rashaldo’s reaction to it. The time when First Squad’s tent got deflated because of people playing with knives. It was a big deal, angry faces and threats left and right but in the end, why be mad? Brothers forgive. I can still hear Big Davis, Gabe, and Tony P arguing over the state of hip hop. Life was simple.Life was good.Life wasn’t promised.

When over there things didn’t matter. It just was. We had no control over what happened back in the United States. The only thing we could do is complete the task at hand. When that was done we had to enjoy the time we had. We never wanted to go there but we were there. We made the best of what it was. We hated the taste of dust in our mouths. We hated 10th Mountain’s leadership for making the rules that made our lives difficult. We hated the Taliban. We hated the IED’S.

We landed in El Paso, Texas and said hello to America. We put on normal clothes, Laced something other than combat boots and PT shoes, and Hopped in vehicles that weren’t MIne Resistant. Something felt missing and couldn’t explain what it was. Unlocking the door to our barracks room felt unreal. Eating jack in the box couldn’t compare to taco Tuesday on FOB Arian. The shopping mall didnt give you the same excitement as the PX on FOB Sharana. The comforts of America no longer made us feel normal.This wasn’t where we belonged. We became home sick for the place we never thought we would call home.

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272 thoughts on “Home sick from a place we never wanted to call home.

    1. This is so true! I miss my days being in Iraq! I knew what I had to do everyday, ran wide open at 300%. Came home and it was like hitting a brick wall. Don’t get me wrong I missed the family but now I had a new family that was experiencing the same things I was. I am deployed again and I can’t wait to go home but as the days get closer I wish they would stop and slow down. I know I am going to long to be back here and miss it every day that I am home. Going from comfortable to awkward is a hard adjustment!

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      1. I saw this on Ryann’s FB page. I appreciate what you are saying & it helped me to understand what you and others have gone through. I appreciate your service to our country. I do what I can to support our troops via S.A. and hope it helps in some little way. With highest regards and a prayer that you find that feeling of belonging to something important again.

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      2. I live on Long Island too. Totally understand… It’s a different world. Man we don’t fit in here. This isn’t our world, Iraq was our world. This is our place now sure but the sandbox will be where we left our souls.

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  1. True story, life was so much easier and harder all in one big melting pot of emotion. Would I go back ? In a heartbeat . Op Herrick Vet – British Army

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  2. Lord, it feels good to hear the things I thinks of ringing from another’s mouth. I often feel “lost” in a place that I have always called home but now is so foreign to me. I always hear the cry of battle calling me back and it tugs at my soul. It’s like that’s where I belong, not here.

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    1. Couldn’t agree more – especially after being in Asscrackistan on two tours in less than 5 years. And oh yes those stupid ROE/ROF we had to deal with…thanks for the write-up. Lots of great memories from “over there” for sure.

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  3. I feel you completely bro.

    “Look at everything as if it’s trying to kill you. Make yourself a hard target”

    These were my thoughts everyday on both my deployments. Now it’s what I struggle with as a civilian

    I hate, missing war.
    3/7 NO SHIT

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  4. I never served the armed forces, however I did do a tour of duty in Afghanistan as a DoD Employee making sure the soldiers where well taken care of and protected with whatever devices we could provide them for their vehicles. I was stationed at Bagram and FOB hopped to shank and other places. From -30 degrees to 120 Degrees, rolled ankles, dysentery, IDF Impacts etc. I think I can safely say I relate to the poster quite well. A place you never would consider a home away from home has indeed become just that.

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  5. I am a veteran. I didn’t serve over there but I understand this. My nephew came back from over there and is so changed by this. He feels so lost. I wish I knew how to help him. He is so depressed and feels so isolated. If any one has any thoughts on how to help him please let me know. I appreciate and respect the service our men and women give. It takes its toll on our loved ones. Thank you is all I can say.

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    1. I really appreciate the kind words. I hope your nephew talks to someone about how he is feeling. There are many organizations he can reach out to if he needs someone who will understand him. I pray for the best. take care.

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  6. Feel the same way, hit the nail on the head. My platoon and I helped build FOB Arian back when the Polish first had it. Life was so much easier over there, been a stuggle ever since we came home. OEF 2011-12

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