Tuesday, May 6, 2008

"No Air"

Most of you who know me well know I live on and in music. "No Air" is a fairly new song, at least to me, that seems to be getting a lot of airplay down here. Anyway, I said that to say this; it nicely sums up how I feel. I'm sure not many of you know the song, I'm not even sure if most of you know the song so it might not be a good reference. But the chorus is something like without you there is no air. I get the feeling it's going to become a favorite song of mine the next few months in Iraq.

Very Early Wednesday morning I leave for Iraq. So tomorrow is my last real day here in the States. I've had some time to reflect on the past 17 days and I've made an observation. This 18 days has been as a dream come true. The problem is on Wednesday I wake up and have to return to what has been a reality for me for the past 8 or so months. I'm looking forward to about 6 more months before our tour is completed. Certainly there have been rumors and speculations as to whether or not we will do our full 15 months or not, but that is not for me to comment on. If I knew anything for certain one way or the other, that may be different, but I know no more than you do. To comment then would be naive. This I know, be it a 12 month tour or a 15 month one, I am prepared for whatever.

I know that when I come home again I have a wife and family waiting for me. Thanks to that wife I also have a REALLY large TV and nice stereo to come home to. Hey, I love my movies, but movie theaters freak me out. Besides it's nice to be able to invite a good group of friends over and enjoy a good movie, or just cuddle up with my wife and watch a touching movie together. I've met all our new neighbors now, or at least I think I have. The ones I have met I get along with, and they all care about Diana and most have kids that our play well with, so I know they are OK while I'm away.

I pray continually that I will be able to maintain better communications with those of you at home that are praying for me. Things are getting better for me over there. I have a new team leader who is a great guy that I get along very well with and I'm getting used to "the way things are". It's a lot to get used to. Being so far away from normal life. It doesn't help that nothing out there even vaguely resembles home. The entire landscape is flat, no grass, few trees, and except near the northern end of the country, not even many hills to speak of.

I ended up going to bed before finishing this, so Today is now my last day here. I am still planning on making some phone calls. There are a few people I need to talk with that I haven't called yet and a few people I need to talk more with. I've still got some laundry to do and of course pack again for the trip back. I was planning on having that part done ahead of time, but we all know I tend to put things off. Plus denial makes it hard to prepare for something. Even sitting here now it's hard to think that this time tomorrow I will be on a plane.

I know that I have many friends to go back to, and a job that I am very good at, but it's hard to want to go back to a place where it doesn't feel we have a purpose. Certainly making Iraq safer for the Iraqis is a noble cause, I just don't see that it is our cause. Who are we to put an end to thousands of years of fighting? And what makes us think we even can? All I know is this, six months won't see the end of this war, and from what I understand my company already has its orders to go back, which means I'm definitely looking at a second tour before my contract expires, if I allow it to expire.

So before this becomes a whole book, I'll close by saying I'm ready to get this over with. I know no matter what I have time to finish there, and the sooner I get back the sooner I can be getting it over with. I'm just not looking forward to it.

As a final note, I'll be using my military e-mail address from now on in Taji. The internet there doesn't let me check my RoadRunner account, but I can still log into AKO. That address is for anyone who doesn't have it. I don't know how often I will be online, but I'm going to try to make it as often as possible.

As always with love and prayers,

PFC. Pahman, Jesse C.
United States Army
Camp Taji, Iraq


Diana said...

We will be here waiting for you honey, with open arms. I love you with all my heart!

MOM JONES! said...

Nice letter, Jesse. I appreciate you sharing your heart and some of the difficult things you face ahead of you when you return to Iraq ... all of it will be prayed about for you. So glad you've had a wonderful time with Diana and the children. My heart is heavy for all of you today. Much love, Jesse.

Anonymous said...

Hi Jesse: Just read this really important part of your blog. Thanks
for sharing your feelings with us and
giving us more of an idea what it is
like serving in Iraq. I believe we
are in Iraq to stop terrorism from
feeding and using people who know
and have known nothing but war; and
to stop it for them and for the U.S.; and perhaps help them to do all these
things for themselves. We can't wait
for you to come home, and we pray
for you all the time. Love you all ways and always. Thank you for serving for our country.

Anonymous said...

Whoops; the above comment is from me. mom Hand