Saturday, October 24, 2009


I've been gone a week now, and while I'm not missing the O/Cs at all, and I'm very glad to be CONUS (Army-speak for "in the Continental United States), I find myself missing my Soldiers.

A lot.

Yesterday it was just ninety days since I joined my new unit, and began to wear a patch with a horse on it on each shoulder. Before the last part of July, I'd never met any of these guys or gals. In the three months since that time, we've been to three different "Summer Camps" for training, on two continents.

Over this past quarter-year, though I didn't get any break, essentially, between Iraq and this mission, I've come to be able to recognize and know at least a little something about many of the personnel in my new Battalion. It's been quite a ride so far, and I've not even gotten 'down range' yet with them.

The weather here at Fort Schoolhouse has been much warmer (if a bit rainy) than what we'd been having in Europe, and that's been very satisfying. I've been in contact with friends and relatives much more easily than in the recent past, which has been splendid. (For some reason, the Army blocks access to Facebook online, which seems to be the preferred method of keeping in touch for many of my acquaintances these days; it's been great to check that site out every day since I've been back.)

I've rekindled friendships here at Fort Schoolhouse with some of the guys who were in Chaplain School with me a couple of summers ago, and I've been making friends with other Chaplains. There's even a Chaplain on staff here who was my rater for part of my tour Down Range last year.

It's delightful to know that I'll see my parents this weekend, at least for a couple of days. Since my Dad had surgery this past Tuesday, it wasn't clear whether they'd even be able to come visit. And since it could well be that my time at Fort Schoolhouse will be counted as my mid-tour leave (a condition I was informed I'd agreed to, after the letter containing this information had been sent to the folks who had to sign off on my coming here), I'm very grateful indeed to be able to see my parents at all.

But all of this good stuff notwithstanding, I miss my Soldiers.

It will be good to see them again, soon.

Of course, I'll be the last one to arrive on Post over there, and therefore the last to get billeted....

Blessings and peace to one and all,

Fr. Tim, SJ

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