Soldier's Diary: Capt. Dan's Last Entry From Iraq

Editor's note: U.S. Army Capt. Dan Sukman is serving a one-year deployment to Iraq. For previous entries and his bio, see the Soldier's Diary archives.

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17 September

This will be my last entry from Baghdad.

I am writing this one from our MWR center, as the Internet has been shut down, and of course, I no longer have an office. We are scheduled to fly to Kuwait shortly, go through some redeployment briefings, customs inspections and other such formalities before we hop on a flight to Fort Campbell. I will try to document the trip back much like I did when I returned to Iraq from leave.

Everything has been turned over to our replacements. There are no more missions for my soldiers, no more meetings to attend, and thankfully, no more briefings to prepare. We are literally just waiting out until it is our turn to fly. The feeling is a bit awkward, to say the least. We are spending our time trading books with one another, getting a couple of games of spades in, and watching the same DVDs over and over again. The gym has been packed with soldiers trying to pass the time. I once had an eight-hour layover in Baltimore on my way to New York; the feeling here can be compared to a long, long, long layover. Personally, I don't mind. I am more than happy to pull a George Costanza for the last couple of days, short of draping myself in velvet.

We still check on the soldiers a couple of times a day — formations to ensure no one has disappeared or lost a weapon. Anyone who has served knows the importance of checking on sensitive items. The longer we are just waiting around, the greater the chance that a weapon will be left in a port-a-john or in the mess hall.

To sum it up, there is nothing exciting to note at the moment. We don't leave here in a blaze of glory, rather, we leave quietly out the back door. I don't think we would want it any other way.

See you on the other side of the ocean.

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