My anxiety level has been building steadily as my departure inches closer. I have gotten to the point where I feel that I am at the peak of a roller coaster, and I am in that momentary pause right before to coaster goes hurdling downward… The anxiety is killer.

I know once I get in country and I settle on my daily routine, and I get into my job and start running missions, I will be good to go, but for now, I am very nervous. I am nervous about leaving, I am nervous wondering if I covered everything I need to at home, I worry about my mother, and most of all I am nervous about Yasmeen. I hope that Yasmeen, Ashley and my mother are all ok while I am gone. I will miss them more than anyone in the world.

At the same time I feel bad because I feel like I am leaving in the middle of so much. Defending the Truth is growing at an amazing rate, and we were about to start our political debate podcast. I also had plans in the works to start another podcast, I have been developing my websites, and I was working on designing a whole online business model for myself. I really felt like I was progressing towards my own future, and now I am off to go fight in the mountains of Afghanistan. It’s a crazy feeling.

I have been officially made the unit photographer / photography expert. I taught a course on digital photography basics to the entire battalion, which received a lot of praise. The colonel seems very pleased with me. He has told me on several occassions that he has been hearing good things about me. Both he and the Sergeant Major have been tasking me with more and more projects, which I think is an excellent sign. It’s good to know that they trust me and see me as being a compitent NCO. The Sergeant Major went so far as to describe me as an outstanding NCO, and has declared me to be the Subject Matter Expert (SME) in several critical areas. I am glad I am being tasked, it helps keep my mind occupied and helps make the time go by faster. Idle hands make trouble.

My development with the unit has been going remarkably well. I have earned the trust and respect of my seniors, my peers and my sub-ordinates alike. It’s a good feeling, and I am confident that when this is all over I will have an award or two to show for my efforts, and that I will get an excellent evaluation from my command. I am now officially a SOF Operator, and I am heading to combat duty in the most dangerous part of Afghanistan, that has got to be worth something…

Well, for now I can’t stop singing that song…

“I’m leaving, on a jet plane,
don’t know when I’ll be back again…”

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