I have now been “In Theater” more than 180 days. Many of the Individual Augmentee tours are only 180 days (after stateside training) and if I had volunteered for one of those I might be on my way home now. Lucky me! Actually, I probably will be lucky and spend something significantly less than the 365 planned. I’m holding off on updating my counter until things are a bit more certain, though.
I also have less time between now and my R&R leave than I will spend on R&R leave. That’s a ratio that we called the “Happiness Factor” at the Naval Academy, and it’s now greater than 1.0, always a good thing. Part of me wants time to fly by so I can start R&R but the other part of me wants this amount of time to actually be “long” since it’s what I’ll get to enjoy back home.
I’m chatting online regularly with my wife, making plans for R&R and even for my eventual return. It’s nice to see the light at the end of the tunnel. Still a ways to go, though, and lots of work between here and there.