We just hit our 3-month mark of coming home from Afghanistan.
First there was the honeymoon phase and joy of being back in America.
Then there was the long block leave period and the slow yearning to be back in a rhythm.
Then the madness of a unit reset into the gradual resumption of business as usual.
Now, I’m starting to see, hear, and feel the beginnings of post-deployment nostalgia. Guys are starting to talk about being “back on deployment” with a tinge of longing. Four or five months ago, we cursed the very ground we walked on. But now, it exists in our memories as a vacation from the drudgery of garrison life.
Soldiers stand around in groups and tell stories, words going back and forth between them, weaving a bond through every telling and re-telling.
“Fuck this place” is slowly becoming “Remember that time when…”