Thursday, February 09, 2006

On Flying

Pam loves to fly.

She hates the chaos of airports with the parking, security, rude people, long lines, and waiting, but she loves to fly, and the take-off is her favorite part. She could be running late through heavy traffic to DIA, not be able to find a parking spot within the same county as the terminal, be in line through security behind the guy that has to strip down through his first 3 layers of skin to get through the metal detectors, and be seated in the center seat in the middle a section reserved for insomniac toddlers, but when the plane turns onto the end of the runway, the pilot opens the throttles, and she is pushed back in her seat, hardly able to contain herself, she never fails to turn to me with a beaming smile normally seen on children taking their first carnival ride.

I know exactly how she feels.

Last night, our C-17 turned onto the end of the Bagram runway, the cabin lights went dark, and then with brakes holding us fast, the massive engines roared up to full throttle. Suddenly the brakes were released and I was jolted back in my seat as the mammoth aircraft lurched down the runway. A moment later we rotated into I am sure was a space shuttle like trajectory, and at 14:45 Dublin Pub Time I left Afghanistan soil for the last time.

I know I'll be in Kyrygzstan (sp?) for a few days, and I know it will still seem like an eternity before I see Pam or German beer yet, but at 14:45 DPT last night, I was thankful for the darkened cabin so no one could see me with the smile of a child on his first carnival ride and tears in my eyes.

5 comments:

Homefront Six said...

Absolutely wonderful.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for everything you've done!

Mark said...

You have taken us all deep into the heart of Afghanistan and the United States' role in restoring that country to its place in the world community. You have given us that vision without an agenda or distortion. You have fulfilled the role of a journalist through this blog better than those who call themselves journalists.

Thank you

Anonymous said...

I've enjoyed reading your adventures. Blog when you can.

Erin said...

My cousin just recently landed in Germany as well. It's such a relief to know he is in a safer place, as well as you. However with every one person arriving home that means someone else is leaving. As we speak, a close friend of mine is enlisting. He was recently accepted to PC with a full ROTC scholarship, a long dream of his, but has chosen to Serve our country first. As sad as I will be to see him go I can't explain how proud I am. You inspire me with every blog you write and I am happy to say my friend will be as much a hero as you are too all of us. As soon as he graduates he will be starting boot camp and is requesting to be deployed to Iraq. You both are exactly what our Country looks up too. Thank you for allowing us into the accomplishments, grief, joy, and incomparable experience. Good Luck in all you encounter.