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    More Pages on Rockhounding in an Iraqi Combat Zone »  1 2 3 4 5

    Rockhounding in an Iraqi Combat Zone

    (Rockhounding at its Extreme)

    By Sergeant Yonis Lone Eagle

    Sgt Yonis Lone Eagle, Mosul, Iraq, Jul 2005

    PART 5 of 5 - Final Report

    December 2005

    Howdy fellow Rockhounds and Happy Rockhound Holidays. I hope everyone had a very happy and pleasant Halloween and Thanksgiving. I’m now reporting to yall from the Good Ol USA and Texas soil. Yes, my year long deployment in Iraq is over and I’m finally back home with my wife and son.

    Our replacement unit, the 47th Combat Support Hospital out of Fort Lewis, Washington, finally showed up and replaced our unit, the 228th in November. After the transition ceremony, it sure was strange having so much time off. When your use to working 10 to 12 hours a day, six days a week and some on Sundays, and then to have all your time off… We got a chance to mail all our extra stuff home and I got to ship only 2/3rds of my rocks back to the U.S. Some of my larger ones I had to leave behind. Sixty-six pounds for $300 bucks, expensive, but it was the only way I could get them back.

    After we mailed and shipped out all our stuff, we sure did watch a lot of movies while we were waiting for our flight down to Kuwait… Lots of time to de-stress. We arrived in Kuwait the day before Thanksgiving for some R&R and then flew out very early Sunday morning and after a brief stop-over in Shannon Ireland, arrived back in San Antonio Sunday afternoon. It was such a wondrous site to see my lovely wife and son again, and knowing that I would not have to leave them again for a very long time.

    It’s been a little strange readjusting to a peacetime atmosphere. It feels great to breath in fresh and clean hill country air again instead of dirty, dusty, polluted desert air; to walk bare foot in cool green grass instead of dirt, rocks and sand in combat boots; to hear the voices and laughter of children instead of noisy generators, gun fire, explosions, and helicopters & planes constantly flying over.

    It’s probably hard to imagine that what we take for granted here in the states is lost in a combat zone. You don’t realize what you have until you have left the peacefulness behind and entered a world of day-to-day life and death. While in Iraq, I missed my wife and son the most. And they are the reason I went to Iraq, to help make life safer for them and their future…

    The men and women of our Armed Forces have sacrificed so much for our freedom and way of life, and it’s so ironic that so many people here in the states take their freedom for granted now-a-days. The extreme sacrifices that our military forces have gone through under some of the worse conditions imaginable. While over 2100 US Troops have died since the start of the war, over 32,000 Iraqis have died, most of them innocent women and children. The bottom line is that if we were not over in Iraq fighting Terrorism, those terrorist would be over here in the US. And instead of the thousands of Iraqis dying, thousands of Americans would be dying. Captured terrorist have told us this.

    Even though I could not answer everyone, I want to thank everyone for their support and e-mails while I was deployed over in Iraq. I just hope everyone will continue supporting all the other troops until all of them finally come home once and for all.

    As for as all those rocks and fossils I brought back… I will be putting a case together and if everything works out with my new job, I’ll be bringing them to the 2006 RMFMS show for everyone to see. I’ll be looking forward to seeing everyone at the local meeting in the coming year.

    Until then… This is Sgt. Yonis “Rock Pockets” Lone Eagle signing off. I wish everyone a very Happy and Safe Merry Christmas and New Year.

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