This is my last night as the official WGM for my detachment. I’ll still be here, but I’ll be training the new one. This might mean I’ll stay just as busy, but we’ll see. I might lose my area/computer/etc due to the transition, so I’m writing this tonight.

First, I would like to thank Tina, my wife. While I’ve been gone she has: paid all the bills, sent me packages with stuff I wanted, flew back to North Carolina alone to sign for our house and do everything that includes getting a new house. The house is on base, so she doesn’t have to worry about utilities or anything along those lines, but she is currently living in a house with a inflatable mattress… and that’s it. TMO (the people who move stuff) said they won’t do it until the end of the month, so she’ll be living in an empty house for half the month. I almost want to tell her to cancel TMO and we’ll do it but when I get home I don’t want to have to deal with all that stuff. I would rather just focus on being home. (The sad thing is, I already have the classes I want to take when I get home, but I’ll talk about that later.) Yes, we have had our share of arguments since I’ve been gone, and most have just been over stupid things (on both our parts)… but it’s a learning experience. She’s expressed concerns about if we’ll make it through another deployment, and I really don’t know. I talked with people at my base and they say that the next time I’ll probably go is next spring. I wonder if I can get my commission in that time…

Second, I would like to thank those friends who have stood by me while I’ve been out here. Clint sent me messages whenever he could. He was able to get me smiling when I was feeling down and he was able to make the days go by a little faster. I’m glad to see that he’s doing great. I hope his wife and son are doing just as well. I can’t wait to see him again. I can’t wait to hang out like we used to… (well, not like we used to… our wives would kill us. They already told us so. We’re also not allowed to talk about our experiences with our children… something about encouraging them… whatever that mean… 😉 And I miss the DBS. Also to Nagi, who wasn’t always there but was still tried to cheer me up. It was nice to have someone to speak Japanese with as well. Kevin White who is actually out here for being a great friend and letting me slay army newbs in Solder of Fortune. He made this deployment suck a little less by being someone to hang out with, watch movies, and game. Going to the chow hall became less lonely as well. Takahashi for being a good friend and for trusting me enough to get into serious conversations. Stu for his letters and encouragement. He was the only one from topgamers to send me stuff! Oz for being Oz. Shaun for helping me with perl and the good words. The rest of Topgamers remembering who I am when I login. To Shippo for his technical gibberish and for making me realize that even good people can like Macs. (I said good, not necessarily sane! 😉 Oh yea, and that @$$hole from the Network Operations Security Center for being a dick and giving me a good story. (If you read this, you’re not really a dick… you didn’t turn me in. I love you! I promise… </kissing up to stay out of trouble>)

I can’t forget about my family. They sent me stuff and talked with me when they could. I’m sure with their busy schedules they can’t always get around to it. It’s nice to know they’re at home thinking about me and praying for me. Eric is teaching English in China and Daniel is catching bullets with the rest of the marines in Fallujah. (In all seriousness, I’m really proud of them both and I pray that they both stay safe.) My little sister broke up with her husband (Which is a really good thing, I promise you) and has taught her son to sign. He can’t speak yet, but he can sign. (Anyone watch Meet the Fockers yet?) It’s pretty tight. My Dad for going back to school. Always working hard to better himself. And my mom for always caring and making sure I’m looked after. (And my wifes family. Her Mom is always nice to me and her step-sister and brother are awesome. I’ll never forget the letters Katie (Half-Sister-in-Law) for her letter stating that me and her are really the couple and not even Tina knows it. *grins*)

To Durrem for providing me (and the Air Force in general, but only I matter, right?) loads of anime enjoyment. I think this is one of the greatest reasons why I haven’t lost my sanity out here. There’s not much to do, and I’m a recluse… I know it… if it wasn’t for my anime to turn to, I probably would have sat here staring at a blank wall just waiting for something to happen to end the boredom. In case you missed the whole ordeal, he was just someone who read a message I posted on AnimeSuki asking if anyone had spare time to send out a couple CD’s. I was expecting maybe one or two series on cd’s. 5 CD’s at the max. He sent me 36+ DVD’s of anime. (He sent me 36 to begin with and then sent more later on to fix some corrupt eps and add new stuff.) I never did write down everything he sent me, and maybe I’ll get to it later… if I have time. Either way, I can’t say how cool this is and I’m glad to have met another friend. (Since they didn’t add any remarks showing who put the anime up or anything like nobody has sent me any messages stating that they enjoyed it too, but I’m positive that I’m not the only one to benefit from Durrem’s generosity.) I’m going to make a certificate and send it to him. It’s hardly anything, but it’s probably the best I can do. Thanks man!

And to all of you guys. Many of you don’t realize this but there have been many times that I was able to relax by just going to my friends list and reading. It was nice to hear about friends back home going about normal day to day activities. You gave me laughs, quizes, and kept me updated on current events. I appreciate that. I’ve made a lot of new friends since I’ve been out here as well. I will always cherish that. They say friends are what get you through life, and thanks to the internet and Livejournal, I’ve had friends there to support me. I’m sure I’ve been one of the luckiest people stuck fighting in Iraq due to that. I would say names but since there are so many of you, I know I would forget some. Goto my user info page and anyone on my friends list belongs in this group.

So, Thank you everyone! I still have a couple weeks out here but then I’ll be back home and back to complaining that my job sucks there *grins* but that’s life, ne?

… You know, I’ve always felt I’ve been fairly good with words. I’ve felt it’s been one of my gifts in fact. That said, I have never felt I have been able to capture true emotion in my words. What I mean is that what I feel in my chest… what I feel deep inside my soul is so great that I don’t think there is any possible way for me to express it in a way others would understand. In the end, I’ve accepted that all I can do is write, so that’s what I do. My thanks is as sincere as anything could be. My gratitude is boundless. You may not understand, but I do… and in the end that’s really why I write.

So, thanks again. I know I probably missed people and I’m sure I’ll feel awful about it later, but it’s 3am and I need to get some sleep. The training starts when I wake. We’ll see how it goes.
Take care.

About Matthew Jones

Writer, Programmer, Astronomer, Dreamer, Wisher, Fighter. Always striving to be better than I was.
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