Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Groundhog Day #73

As I've told many people, everyday here in Iraq seems like Groundhog Day, as the days of long hours and tedious work all seem to melt together. I'm calling today Groundhog Day #73, which counts the days in country. But we have been mobilized 108 days, not including pre-mobilization back in Texas. So a deployment becomes measured in milestones instead of hours, days and months. That is the best way to measure the time passing. If you try to count days and estimate the days left in country, it just seems too daunting. For example, instead of measuring by days, you might mearsure the time in blocks: the last day of mobilization, the first day in Iraq or the beginning of a new season. Significant holidays, like Easter or Mother's Day are also good ways to measure the deployment. Even mundane things can become milestones of time passed. For example, the day I finally removed the bandage from my smallpox vaccine back at Fort Dix, which measured about six weeks passed, was a milestone. I even measure the end of a bar of soap as another month or so passed. Either way, we are starting to mark our time in country, but we have a ways to go. In the picture is a milestone for the 211th MPAD---receiving our combat patches to show we have deployed to a war zone with the 1st Cavalry Division.