I left my last post with a bit of a cliffhanger. When you guys last heard from me, I was on my way to Baghdad to renew my passport armed with my dream of refreshed proof of American citizenship and 7 puffs of asthma stopping inhalant. With that kind of suspense, I figured I owed it to you all to give you an update on the War Journal as opposed to talking about another website’s cool features via Intelligence Report. Inquiring minds wanna know.
Well, I discovered that the passport process is relatively simple. They process your new passport while you keep the old one. That’s a relief, because I was nail-biting on my lack of citizenship paperwork. I’m brown in Iraq… not too hard to get scared about what would happen if worse come to worse.
Meanwhile, my body got acclimated to life without Advair. It took about a week or so, around the same time I was sending you guys that suspense ridden blog. My dependency of the inhaler diminished greatly while I was in Baghdad, couple of coughs at night, but for the most part I was unaffected. I don’t care what they say, the only way to laugh hearty is to have an open airway.
I spent most of my time away trying to get back to my duty base. First a dust storm of epic proportions hit us. It actually halted oil production in Kuwait. There’s no flying in that. So the next day I jumped on a couple of helicopters. The Black Hawks are fun to ride… big windows give you the God’s eye view of the landscape. Little trucks and little fields and little ant people. It was almost comical; I imagined God as a kid ramming two of the toy trucks below me together. It’s only misery if you’re looking at it on the ground… you can’t help but be distant when everything is Matchbox sized. Maybe it’s morbid… by the time my second helicopter came to pick me up I had been up pretty much all night getting sleep in fifteen minute increments using my Kevlar helmet as a pillow. When you’re beyond tired and the only bed is a portion of the seating area you claimed by squatter’s rights in the air terminal, that helmet gets more comfortable than it sounds.
So what happens now? I wait. Process time is approximately ten days on the passport. Then I get to fly out and do it again! Probably won’t be as suspenseful this next go round. I still don’t have my package, but I’m not totally dependent on Advair either. I’ve grown my desert sand lungs boys and girls!