A Marine’s Life: Deployment Photos

I’m home sick from work today.  I’m not throwing up or anything, but my voice is worn out and I’ve developed chest congestion overnight.  Today I can barely talk and being in a customer service line of work, there are numerous tasks I cannot effectively accomplish without speaking to people, either the VA, students, my peers, or my supervisors.  Days like today are difficult for me because I very much feel my voice is a significant part of who I am.  I’m not a brooding person in the corner who quietly learns and rarely speaks up to ask questions or provide insight for others.  I engage others at all different levels to speak on matters that interest me, to teach our work study students, to walk students through the benefits process, and as a general part of socialization.

To say I love talking is an understatement.  I remember learning the word ‘locqacious’ in the 5th or 6th grade and feeling empowered by this word.  My dad had joked before about me being a Chatty Cathy, but I feel like I can’t help myself.  Talking, for me, is a great way to know my presence is importance and I receive as much satisfaction listening to others, in most circumstances.  There are people I truly love to talk to; we talk about numerous issues we find socially relevant and even our day-to-day analysis of our goals, progress, and achievements is rewarding for me.

And as I’m desperately trying not to talk today to give my barely there voice a rest, I felt compelled to write.  Writing is but another way to talk and so my voice is still shared with others.

On March 1st, my 31st birthday by the way, I will be “celebrating” my ten year anniversary of returning home from my first Iraq deployment.  The cruel irony is that fighting continues to be a problem in that area and the news is reporting unconfirmed information that 45 individuals in Iraq were burned to death. The nearby base, Al Asad, is where I deployed on my second tour.  More information is coming out today that this new wave of violence might involve organ harvesting.

While I wasn’t meaning to delve into the recent horrors, I know it’s important to state the new wave of violence that has taken root in areas like Iraq, Libya, and other nations.  It is this spread of violence that makes me miss my military service.      Particularly, as Marines, we are taught to go out and fight battles.  We are honest in our assessments of hating garrison life and deployments that mimic that existence.  We like being war fighters.  We don’t expect others to understand that mentality.

Anyways, I did promise deployment photos per the subject heading of this blog entry.  It’s not that I’ve intentionally ignored sharing this part of my life, but thinking, when is the best time to invite you into that world.

An acquaintance and I flying to or either back from Qatar, December 2004.
An acquaintance and I flying to or either back from Qatar, December 2004.
I promise I'm not the only Marine who enjoyed getting their photo taken in front of huge piles of Iraq money.
I promise I’m not the only Marine who enjoyed getting their photo taken in front of huge piles of Iraq money.
Getting ready to convoy over to Camp Ramadi.
Getting ready to convoy over to Camp Ramadi.
This photo was taken during my day trip to Camp Ramadi for our Humvee driving test.
This photo was taken during my day trip to Camp Ramadi for our Humvee driving test.
Myself and the rest of the day crew shift.
Myself and the rest of the day crew shift.
Myself and two Marine acquaintances I knew back then; this photo was taken in Qatar.
Myself and two Marine acquaintances I knew back then; this photo was taken in Qatar.

cheryl_night02

As I look back, there are a lot more smiling photos of me from this time period despite the fact this deployment was more dangerous than the second.
As I look back, there are a lot more smiling photos of me from this time period despite the fact this deployment was more dangerous than the second.
Nathan and myself
Nathan and myself
Myself at the mall in Qatar (December 2004)
Myself at the mall in Qatar (December 2004)

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