I've always liked the word "penultimate". For the uninitiated, it means second-to-last, and this will be my second-to-last post to the Desert Periscope blog; the last one from overseas. Expect silence for about three days and a final post once I'm safely home.
This morning we had a few meetings and we're all done except for a very long process of getting up early, taking a long bus ride, checking through customs, waiting a very long time (overnight in an air terminal), riding a very long flight, and finally arriving at Baltimore sometime Sunday evening. Due to my bad luck with my e-ticket, I'll end up in "Amazing Race" mode visiting the ticket counter and trying to find the first flight home (or anywhere nearby) and if I have enough time, getting a hotel room for a quick catnap before an early Monday flight. No doubt I'll be exhausted, but happy to be home when it's all over.
Most of the idle speculation among us is how long it will take before we're sent back here. Most of the younger officers see their return as inevitable. I am fortunate enough to be close to my retirement, and I'm sure the timing will work in my favor to prevent a return. It's not bad duty, really, except for the long separation from the family. That is something I really don't want to do again.
Off to finish packing and fly home!