Evanescent Happiness

July 31, 2011
You are carrying over fifty pounds of gear on your back, trudging through the endless desert. It’s sweltering hot and you are so tired. It’s also Christmas Eve in Iraq, and back at home, your children and wife are opening presents without you. You miss them dearly, and gravely wish you were with them.
After walking for hours, your group finally reaches the base. You’ve been in a glum mood all day, but when you go inside, there is a crowd of USO volunteers with phones! Is this a dream? You think as everyone starts clapping. They have brought all the men and women at the base pre-pay phones to call their loved ones with! Tears start to roll down you face as you are handed a phone.
A few minutes later, you are telling your wife and children you are okay and wishing them “a Merry Christmas”. As you lay still in your cot later that night, you know that you are so grateful to have been able to call home. This was one of your first few happy moments in Iraq.

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