I havent wrote in a while. I have been super busy with this deployment. We still take rockets several times a week, and it still is dangerous here. However, I really dont mind since I am getting short in my time here. (this is good, because about the time you start to get numb to rockets and mortars, its time to get away from this environment) Other than the rocket attacks it has been a quiet deployment. I havent been in direct combat this round, and I am ok with this. I've seen enough in my life that I really dont want to see any more of it. I have close to 20 years of service, and its about time I let someone else do this.

I'm just not going to be as hard a charger as I once was. I mean I've gave almost 20 years of service with the Kentucky National Guard. Most of the time has been good, and some bad. But the good out weighs the bad. So, I will phase the military aspect of my life out. I've done enough I feel. The process of coming home is stressful. You wouldn't think it would be, and make no mistake I really want to come home. It's just you have been "keyed up" for months on end and its time to start becoming a civilian again.

I know I change every time I deploy, and it makes it tough on my family and friends who have really no idea what its like to be deployed. I just ask that everyone be patient with me while I decompress after a long hard ride. Unless you have been deployed this will not make any sense to you at all. People ask what did you do, and I am going to have to reply with, "Even if I told you, you would not believe me or understand. I'd rather not talk about it." But I am excited to be coming home by the end of the year. It may be early typing this out, but I need something to keep me motivated on the final prize which is coming home, safe and sound. Get back to doing simple stuff with family like going out to eat, get groceries, attend church, and spending time with my family and close friends. Get back to doing what matters in life. Spending time with the people I cherish and care about most of all.

Some things I have noticed, that people we love and care about get "busy" when back at home. If you know of anyone deployed, take some time out of your "busy" day just to say, "I'm thinking of you, thank-you for what you are doing." It goes a long way. Keeps us motivated that someone took the time to care and say something that is more valuable than any care package. Just saying I'm thinking of you. All to often we get caught up in day to day life back in the United States and forget those of us deployed, away from our families and loved ones. So have some compassion today reading this. And do the right thing. Just say hello to us.

Well, I am going to bounce for a little bit, ride this out a few more weeks then start the process of coming home, and returning to "normal."

God Bless you, and take care!

Rock-n-Roll Soldier aka: "Tripod Troy Matthews"