I got home today, four days after I’d planned on getting home. Funny how that works. I’m still stumbling around a bit. It’s certainly easier to come east to west and follow the sun, but I’m jet-lagged anyway.
The plane ride home from London last night was a six hour sunset. We launched around 4 p.m., and I got to watch the sun descend until we were over northern Quebec. It was a spectacular end to a great trip. My loving wife braved the snow to pick me up at the airport, but on the drive home it overwhelmed us. We pulled over around Portsmouth and got a hotel room.
I’ve talked to a few people today who asked me how it was. What a difficult question to answer. I have so little experience with the military, that alone was eye-opening. Add to that the complexities of the country I was reporting from, and the complications that arise from embedding as opposed to being independent, and it’s a fractious experience to explain. All I can say is it has helped me to better understand the challenges and the complexities soldiers face when they go off to fight for their country. And though my job is to put into words such things, I’m having a hard time doing that right now. It is too big, and that’s just from the little slice I witnessed. How can you get across the immensity of what it means to be away from your family, to be battling for your life at times, in a war (or whatever it is) that’s largely off the maps? I don’t know. But I’m glad I got the opportunity to gain a little better understanding.