Monday, October 01, 2007

Well...The 29th marked my and Dave's SECOND failed attempt at a visit. I was supposed to hop onto helicopter flight to Ramadi Saturday to go and visit him at his "home." Well, the original flight his air guy tried to arrange was jacked up by the FOB air guys, and they ended up scheduling me on two flights, with an overnight layover God knows where. So, Dave and his air guy cancelled that one and told me to go Space A on a direct flight from Liberty to Ramadi. I went to our helipad in the late afternoon to put myself on the waiting list, and I signed in as standby passenger number 7. I was tickled to discover it would be a Marine air flight, which meant CH-46's. (I was tickled to fly with the Marines, but I am NOT AT ALL fond of the CH-46, since I'd almost ended up in the Pacific Ocean in one of those in my USMC days, and they are older than I am). I was psyched about the prospect of flying with the Marines one last time (I resigned from active duty in 2000, and my resignation from the reserves just became effective July 1, 2007).

Well, alas, my flight with the Marines was not to be. They are very busy with units turning over right now (my brother's unit just redeployed back home to Hawaii...yay!), so they didn't have any room in their helo. They didn't take any standby passengers at all. Dang.

So, for the second time in a row, I had stood in line in the middle of the night, in the dark, waiting to board a helicopter to Ramadi, and for the second time in a row, I stood in vain. I called my buddy Shane, and he picked me up and dropped me off at my hooch, where I unpacked...again. The thing was, I hadn't allowed myself to get my hopes up too much about going to visit Dave, so I didn't really have them dashed. I was disappointed, of course, but I know this stuff just happens, and it always happens for a reason.

The first time I was supposed to go visit, my flight was all messed up. For some reason, I as scheduled as leaving from the wrong base. So, there was a lot of confusion, and the staff sergeant said I could get on the Ramadi flight that was supposed to fly through the Green Zone. So I was going to fly to the IZ, or the Green Zone, from Liberty. Luckily, that flight was cancelled due to weather, or postponed, or something, and I took my name off the list. It's a good thing I did that, because there was no flight to Ramadi from the IZ, and I would have ended up stuck dodging mortars and rockets there all night. See? Everything happens for a reason.

So, it looks like Dave might actually get to come here to visit ME. He has a flight arranged, and I won't get my hopes up, but I have a good feeling about this one. I'll let you know how that goes!


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