Friday, October 08, 2004

army dudes.

so i flew home from TX today.
Austin to Dallas(the worst airport in the world). Dallas to Minnie.
there were about a dozen or so army guys on my plane flying home. i noticed one gal in uniform as well.
i didn't think anything of it except for noticing how happy they all seemed. CNN news was on the TV in our terminall. the headlines were about Kerry Bush campaiging, Bahgdad hotel bombings. and how for the millionth time some comittee or inspector declared Iraq never had WMD's AFTERALL(?!?!?!!!) and thankfully highlights from the the AL playoffs(my Dad got us tix for Saturday!!!).
no one said anything. i wanted to eavesdrop and hear what these guys might be saying. i assumed they were coming from somewhere over there and thought i'd get some sort of inside scoop. instead conversation was no where near any of it. and i guess i wouldn't blame them.
anyway. i ended up sitting next to one of the soldiers. he basically immediately started talking to me how he had spent the last 24 hours or so in various airplanes to get home to Iowa to see his family.
i could kinda tell he wanted me to ask about where he was coming from, what he did, etc.. but i honestly didn't even know where to begin. at this point i was tired and wanted to listen to all the MP3's i downloaded for my flight and read the "Art in America" magazine i took along.(incidentally there is an excellent piece on war imagery in the arts, graffitti, etc.. and how it isolates an experience to make a point, duh!)
so since i could potentially be interested i perked up and without asking too much to alleviate too deep a discussion i let him breath out what he was thinking about.
he told me he was in Kuwait, Afganistan, back to Kuwait, Afganistan, etc.. never Iraq as i could tell. i never asked what he did but it sounded like he was a patrol guy of some sort.
he had a couple scars on his cheek. but it didn't look like anything severe. he was white, blond, probably early to mid 20's. he had a 3 year old boy, 5 year old daughter wife and mom that was picking him up in Sioux Falls.
he hadn't been home since April. he was supposed to have been back a couple weeks ago. he was going to be home for about 2 weeks. then didn't seem to know where he'd be.
the thought blew me away.
in the moment he was the happiest guy in the world. totally exhausted. but absolutely motivated to be able to see his kids again. he kept mentioning his daughter.

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