I arrived safely at BWI after a VERY long “day” at 2300 on Sunday, 18 July. The day began for most of us at 0400 Saturday morning Kuwait time (2100 Friday night East Coast time). Lots of bus rides, long hours on planes, and waiting to get in line to wait some more. The whole process went quite smoothly.
We arrived in Atlanta about 0800 Sunday morning. In 30 minutes we were in a bus heading toward Ft. Benning. There was a short welcome-home ceremony in Freedom Hall at Lawson Army airfield, a quick lunch, and then off to CIF to turn in weapons an gear. Many of you will remember the old days of CIF in which they played games with you about whether the canteen cup you never used and was still wrapped in plastic was clean enough to turn in. Those days seem to be gone. Clearing CIF was just making sure you had the equipment and it was serviceable.
By 1515 many of us were ready to leave. I shared a shuttle to Atlanta airport with several other guys. I was going to cut it close for my 1900 flight. Fortunately, there is a state law in Georgia that no flights in or out of Atlanta area allowed to be on time. It had rained somewhere in the Western Hemisphere that afternoon so my flight out of Atlanta was delayed almost two hours. That gave me time to change out of my reeky uniform, scrape a piece of metal across my face, and get a salad for dinner.
My bags arrived (hooah!) and came off the belt quickly, so we were on our way within 30 minutes of landing. Candy had a cold Vernor’s ginger ale for me in the car. It is a short ride to APG from BWI, but I still had trouble staying awake. The bed felt great!