Free Post: What I didn’t Like About Iraq
April 28, 2009 by Tyler
So 2004 was my year deployed. It was, in fact, the hardest year of my life. Even though I had grown, matured, and gained so much through that year I still felt like I had lost something important. And it wasn’t what happened. It’s what didn’t happen that bothered me so much.
When I had initially gotten to Iraq it was new, exciting, and there was a lot going on. A lot to adjust to and so much more to learn! I wasn’t happy but dear God I wasn’t bored. But that was for the first month or two. After that routine set in. And with routine came boredom. I didn’t grow complacent per se. I was always ready to do my job in the case of an emergency and did my jobs to the best of my ability! But still something was missing. Time off was spent at the gym or doing something on my TV. I had grown accustomed to the poeple around me. No one was really new. Everyone dressed the same and the scenery never changed (much). Letters came and helped bring news from home along with the additional phone call which was refreshing, but just the same I became lonely. Eventually I started listening to the commentary on DVD’s to make it seem like someone else was in the same room with me. I didn’t grow antisocial by any means, but still, I wanted to be in school or back in the States at least. I wanted to be living a life that I wasn’t.
Then came September. It had been seven months since I had been in Iraq. It was time for me to go on leave. I was so excited I was nervous. I was worried I wouldn’t meld abck with anyone or with the American Society I had grown up in. When I got home it was a culture shock. But my friends were excited to see me. So when I went to see them we had a good time. Catching up was the problem there. I soon realized that they were busy with work, school, relationships, etc. They had moved on. From what I didn’t know, but their lives were changing. My life wasn’t. I had been stuck in the desert for seven damn months and had done nothing. They were proud of me and my service, but I couldn’t get the feeling to go away. But when I saw her, it hit worse than anything.
Nicole was her name and she was the person I had most cared about. She used to be my girlfriend some time before that. I thought I could somehow find some solace in her but I was wrong. She had grown up so much. She had moved on in her relationships and had just started her semester at college. She had a job and a career path along with a new car she was paying off. Again, what had I DONE? Nothing that I wanted to do. All those months I had been rotting out there. It ended up being a good time at home the final week there but the impression had been left.
When I went back it was then I decided to do at least something about it. I started to think what I was going to do when I got out of the Army. I started to look at schools. But I still realized I was missing out and that I would just wait to get back the life I wanted.
That was the hardest part of being deployed on me. Missing out. I’ve learned from it all, but I will never be able to forget the feelings that I had over there. That’s why I knew I had to get out and move on with my life when my four years were up. And I did.
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The course utilized a blog both to continue the discussion outside the classroom, and to provide training for the students in blogging, video compression, and video sharing.
Students used the blog to post reflections and ideas, to share and comment on the video assignments, and to respond to each other's posts.