Rambling on Fourth of July in Iraq


[author’s note: From our time on deployment.]

July 4, 2010

One of the things I miss most is being in the US for the 4th of July. It is a great celebration with the rejoicing over our country’s freedom and prosperity. It’s a good time to be with friends and family and to reflect on God’s goodness to us. Now that I’m here in Iraq the celebration is subdued. There are enough fireworks going off here, but not the pretty kind. In the US we think of the “rockets’ red glare” and it brings to mind the National Anthem. In Iraq we think of rockets and we start looking for the nearest bomb shelter. There are ups and downs to everything, so let me give you some examples of the pros and cons of life on Joint Base Balad.

Your laundry is done for you, that’s right, no more worrying about finding a wash machine and detergent. The down side? Nothing you have that’s white will be white ever again. Count on all your white things being permanently gray. A good thing: flush toilets; a not so good thing: they’re a block away. Pro: Great food; Con: the toilets are still a block away. Down side: temperatures up to 120 degrees; Upside: still better than the 130 plus degrees in Kuwait. Con: 12 hour shifts for work; Pro: that’s still better than my Cathedral schedule. Good thing: being with people you can count on here; Bad thing: not being with family, friends and parishioners at home.

A Happy and Blessed Fourth of July to the folks at home, and a safe return of all our deployed service members to the Land of the Free!

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