Excerpt of "My Afghanistan Campaign Diary: Views of a Military Spouse"

Chapter Eight

30 May 2012

And the hum-drum of everyday life got me back today. But what if I don’t want IT back? Do I get a say in the matter? It certainly doesn’t seem that way! The reality that I won’t see Ken for a very long time is slowly setting in and it fills me with sadness. Even just writing out this thought makes my eyes well up with tears.

While I sat here sobbing, Ken boarded a plane at 8:00 pm that took him even further away from me; from Baltimore to  Ramstein Air Base in Germany, on to Turkey and then to Manas AB, Kyrgyzstan. I am having a hard time keeping myself from crying every time I think about my husband. It’s going to be a very long year…I guess I better invest in some waterproof make-up!

As usual, one of our electronic devices stopped working; in this case our sitting room TV. I couldn’t believe it! I had only been gone for five days and when I pushed the power button on the remote, the TV would not power up. I tried to push the power button several times, exchanged the batteries and checked the cable connections, but nothing was amiss. The TV just wouldn’t work and I feared that I would have to buy a new one. I was already beginning to wonder what else will go wrong while my husband is gone. To make a long story short, I was finally able to get the TV to power up by replacing the TV’s power cable. Apparently the old one was no longer conducting electricity, for some unknown reason. I am kind of proud of myself for figuring this one out on my own.

Since my husband had the entire morning and afternoon to himself he decided to go exploring the immediate neighbourhood of his hotel and discovered this museum…the National Electronics Museum of all places. Apparently he felt the need to satisfy his inner geek again!

31 May 2012

This morning I woke up to the sound of a chime from my mobile phone, alerting me to a text message. Happily I realized that it was from my husband. His plane had just landed in Turkey. We chatted for about half an hour, and then his messages abruptly stopped. He probably had to get back on the plane to fly to Kyrgyzstan. I’m very glad that we got to chat for a few minutes, even though he woke me up after a rather restless night.

I finally got around to buying a new light bulb for my car’s driver’s side headlight. Remember? It had burned out when I had to jump start my car, after I had returned from my visit to MC-12 country. A friend of ours promised to come by and install it for me. If that doesn’t happen then I’ll just take my car to the auto parts store; they offered to install it for me as well.

After today I think I need to change my last name to “Murphy”, because Murphy’s Law certainly applied to me today! When I returned home from my errands, all I wanted to do is switch cars in order to get the earlier mentioned light bulb installed. Instead I had our smoke/carbon monoxide detector system go off, scaring the “bejesus” out of Lana, Darren and I.

First it gave alarm for the presence of CO2, then for smoke, then both and no matter how often I pushed the reset button, the system just wouldn’t shut up! After I had exhausted all troubleshooting measures I had determined that the downstairs detector was faulty, setting off the rest of the system.

Since I am no electrician I called around, and after much online research, I went to the builder’s supply store across the street from us and asked them for advice. They were wonderful! They found a replacement detector for me and one of the contractors shopping there decided he would be a Good Samaritan and installed it for me on the spot…and free of charge! There are still some people in this world that actually try to help others! I just hope that this detector was indeed the culprit. I have no desire to be woken again by an alarm going off in the middle of the night!

Ken arrived in Manas, Kyrgyzstan safe and sound. We sent each other several text messages, before we tried out Google Voice...and would you believe it...it actually worked! I was so happy to be able to hear his voice!

He told me that he won't find out when exactly he's flying to Kandahar until 10 o’clock tonight local time. For all he knows he'll be stuck in Kyrgyzstan for the next couple of days. I hope he was able to get some sleep, even though it was the middle of the day when we spoke; the time difference between Kyrgyzstan and Alaska is 14 hours.

My husband has been traveling non-stop since I dropped him off at the gate in Sacramento and after his arrival at Manas AB he's been running around base gathering more required equipment. It was definitely time for a nap!