Sunday, February 24, 2008

Home Sweet Home

I am going home! After being in Afghanistan for just shy of seven months, it is time for me to leave. I will admit, my departure is bitter sweet. Although I am eager for my life to return to normal and to reunite with loved ones, there is a part of me that will miss Afghanistan. Over the past seven months I have met many incredible individuals who come together to do their part to make this world a better place. There is something to be said for working alongside such dedicated and admirable individuals. I have formed friendships that will no doubt last well beyond my departure and will allow me share our common experiences together for many years to come.

But aside from those coalition forces present in theatre, I have also formed strong relationships with some of the Afghans that I have had the pleasure to work with. It is incredible to think that although we do not even speak the same language, we were still able to express our personalities and find some common ground necessary to form a friendship. It is my hope that these ties can continue to thrive after my time is complete.

After seven months it is difficult to simply walk away and revert back to who you were without taking a piece of this experience home with you. I have experienced a nation that is in need of assistance. In Canada, it is easy to hear of such things on the evening news and quickly dismiss all thoughts on the matter once the story ends. But, when you live it for such an extended period of time, it is not so easy to dismiss. I have witnessed the struggle. I have seen firsthand the results of 30 years of war and the damage and destruction caused by years of fighting. I have seen the effects that this has had on the Afghan people and the conditions in which they now live. But most of all, I have seen their desire to survive. I have seen them continue to fight against the odds and persevere. Although the fight continues, I can see that there is hope.

As this will be my last post, I want to take the opportunity to thank you for visiting my site. Over the past seven months I have posted a weekly blog on a number of different topics. It was a chance for me to simply get some thoughts out and share those with anyone who was willing to stop by and read. It was my wish to provide some insight into the life of a deployed soldier but also to provide some information on our role in Afghanistan. I have received lots of feedback and I hope that I have fulfilled my promise.

So with that, thank you for your support and for your wishes for a safe return. I wish you all the best and I will sign off, until the next time when I am asked to dawn my uniform once again in order to help those who are unable to do so on their own.


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