Hello friends, family and followers! (as always, please ask if you would like to forward this email)
I have to apologize for this delayed final email! I arrived safely back to the U.S two weeks ago and since then have been catching up with friends and family and my incredible boyfriend who flew over from the UK to meet me. The travel home was hellish as always, but I have to say that for all the things that could have gone wrong, it was relatively uneventful.
After arriving in Kuwait and sleeping more of the morning I woke around 2 that afternoon, managed to get on the internet, suffer through a workout in the transient gym (which with AC only brought the temperature down to a lovely 100 degrees) and then all three teams, Baghdad, Kuwait and Afghanistan had one last meal together in the DFAC.
Saturday we had a roll call for our flight at 8:15am and then spent the entire day doing paper work, schlepping duffle bags, dumping duffle bags (for customs grrr), in lockdown watching movies and eating out of boredom. We finally took the two hour bus ride to Kuwait City around 5pm, and took off for the 6 hour Germany flight around 8pm. We had a two hour layover in Germany and then a 8 hour flight to Atlanta after which we were loaded onto more buses and taken to Ft Benning. We were made to sit through more briefings and then still with no sleep were taken to the Central Issuance Facility to return our gear. By 12:30pm I had finished everything and was technically finished with Ft Benning although my flight to Chicago was not until the next day, Monday, so all the Red Cross folks had an overnight in the barracks. I arrived home to the happy arms of friends and family Monday afternoon :-)
I can't begin to thank each and everyone of you for the support you have provided to me. Even just taking the time to read my time-consuming emails made me feel less alone, less tired. Your kind and thoughtful words gave me a boost each time I opened your emails and letters. Your encouragement has meant so much. I will never forget it.