Thanks everyone! I appreciate the kind thoughts. It was The Trip From Heck, lemmetellya. First parts ran well, but our last stop was JFK before heading on here to Little Rock AFB. At JFK our aircraft had to have a tire and brake changed. This took them over 3 hours to accomplish! Our maintenance guys - who've never changed a tire on a Boeing 757! - coulda done it in maybe an hour if they had the tech data in front of them.
Anyhow, home now. Suffering from jet lag.
Haven't even opened the box yet, Sam! Will definitely start in on them by this weekend, tho. 'Preciate ya again, dude!
We left out of Al Udeid AB, Qatar, what would have been Tuesday afternoon at approximately Noon-ish, here in the Central Time Zone. We were on a chartered civilian airliner - a Boeing 757 - that was flying us directly in to Little Rock AFB, which was really nice. We had to go thru the ordeal of US Navy Customs before we left Balad AB, Iraq, tho, then sit in the PAX Terminal for about six hours. Spent just a bit over 30 hours in Qatar. We traveled thru Leipzig, Germany; Shannon, Ireland (always a favorite of mine!); JFK Int'l airport, where we did Customs again (thankfully, it was as simple as turning in a Customs Form to some Customs Agents - no bag dragging and inspection of same!); and then on home.
Got in tonight (Wednesday night) at approximately 6:30pm, Central, but as w/all the usual hoopla concerning the return of troops, we didn't get home 'til 8pm. It was mostly an issue w/getting all the bags downloaded from the aircraft to a K-loader (big-ole-honkin' vehicle that loads/offloads 463L standardized DoD pallets from aircraft designed to carry said pallets) then getting them off the K-Loader and then turning in weapons. It always turns out a lot more difficult than it should, tho it's always sort of fun when you shame Officers in to chipping in to help get everyone's bags off the trucks/K-Loaders - theirs included.
Jackie & The Kids met me on the ramp next to the commercial aircraft we flew in on. We were doing quite well where time is concerned, but had a snag at JFK (New York int'l airport) when they had a flat tire and brake problem w/our aircraft. Up to that point we were almost two hours ahead of schedule! However, those guys took a while to get the tire and brake changed, so we ended up being delayed by almost 3 hours!
So, I walked on to the ramp and started looking about, but before I could take that first step I heard, then saw, Alison and Daniel calling my name. So, I saw 'em, called out, then waved at them to make sure they followed me down the "Receiving Line". LOTS of "full-bird" Colonels, our squadron commander and a couple of Chief Master Sergeants were on-hand to welcome us back. Soon as I was at the end of their line I skirted behind and grabbed Al & Dan and carried them to Jackie. Gave everyone big ole honkin' hugs and kissed wife repeatedly - then beat feet to the Jimmy instead of taking the bus up to the building where our bags and weapons were to be taken. Once all the above was done, we headed home.
First thing I did after getting home was to start takin' off my uniform - which I'd been wearing for the better part of 36 hours - then get a drink of water, pop the top on a beer and call Mom & Dad. Then I handed out gifts that I'd purchased for Wife & The Kids while enroute. Maybe fifteen minutes later I was stepping out of my shower after taking the first shower in 136 days that lasted longer than 3 minutes - and I didn't have to turn the water off after getting wet, lathering up w/shampoo and soap, then rinsing off. It's also VERY nice not having to walk 80 yards or so just to pee, let alone take a shower or do Number Three.
Checked email for a short bit after the shower, had a little dinner (a second beer and some pork rinds :-D) and then opened up some of the boxes of model related stuff that I'd ordered. Lots of goodies for me to fondle. Finally started feeling tired a bit after 11pm, so crawled in to bed next to Jackie. Got woke up when Alison turned the hallway light on and came in to inform us that Daniel had "Thrown up all over the place!" Ryan woke up 'cause of the activity and I tried to re-bond w/him a bit by laying down w/him in our bed, but he was wired for sound and wanting Jackie more than me.
Eventually, the mess was cleaned up, sheets put in the was and both Big Kids put in to Alison's bed as Daniel's was still damp from Jackie cleaning it up then spraying Fabreze on it. Lights were turned out and kids lulled back to sleep.
'Course, now I'm dealing with insomnia.
Just wanted to let y'all know I was alive and well at The House now. Gotta go in to The Job for a couple hours tomorrow for in-processing insanity. Hoping to knock it all out in about two hours this morning. I'll be one tired puppy, but am looking forward to finally being able to start my Reconstitution Time.
Wow! Barely home and you're sleepwalking 80 yards and urinating in your sleep then crawling back into bed to sleep in a puddle of vomit. I reckon it's going to take you a while to get adjusted, eh? (Okay, maybe I skimmed a little too fast through that part of your post. :freak: )