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A soldier’s story
Things I miss (and things I won’t)

Click here to see a complete listing of our soldier's adventures in Iraq.

Editor’s Note: These are the thoughts of a gay soldier — a North Carolina native — who has been deployed to Iraq. Because of the military’s “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy, he must remain anonymous.

By the time you read this article it will be nearly time for me to come home on leave. I’m not sure how this is going to feel — life here and the pace back at home will be dramatically different. I’m looking forward to the time back at home — there are so many things I miss back there — and so many things I won’t miss here.

I’m so tired of the same meals all the freaking time. Ruth’s Chris, Cabo Fish Taco and Ru Sans in Charlotte, here I come! My friend Alex that promised me a gourmet meal with deserts, I’m ready to take you up on that offer — tell Jodi to start making croutons.

There’s another thing here that I still haven’t learned to tolerate: the smell. It’s nasty here. Think of the worst sewer smell of all time and you get the idea.

I want to appreciate the smell of fresh cut grass, flowers, and my house.

I miss booze. I don’t think I’ll have to attend any AA meetings after my visit home, but I plan on making up for lost time — so look out Takeover Friday, Gallery Crawl, Velocity, Dog Bar and whoever else serves ice cold frothy beverages.

If you only knew how much I miss regular clothes. Something trendy and fun — not DCUs or ACUs, under armor brown T-shirts, under armor undies, black socks, brown boots, a belt with 9MM and mags, radio and M-16As. I could go on and on. And I know some of you are turned on by those things... But Jesus give me a break, who can wear all this crap? I can’t wait to wear my Replay jeans or shorts, A&F T-shirts and flip flops while I head to the pool, play the Pirate song and veg.

I have made friends during my time in Iraq — but they’re nothing like my friends back at home: Alex, Todd, Bert, Phil, Jodi, Ann, Hollis, Eric, Cameron, Mellissa and Lee. I can’t wait to see you again.

What have I missed most of all? My boyfriend and our puppies. I will be so glad to see them — happy to be home in our own bed, to play with our dogs (and my boyfriend). Glad to take a bath not alone, to get my hair cut and styled, to have a pedi and mani, a massage and to celebrate our anniversary. We’re also planning a trip for us to go see our son in Florida.

My partner has shown such support of me and our son while I have been gone. Since I left for Iraq I’ve received emails, cards and food (and some stuff I can’t say). I can’t tell you what a rock he has been — keeping our house together, all our friends up to date (sometimes minute by minute on what’s happening over here). He is amazing and so strong, I can’t wait to be with him again — its been nearly eight and a half months. Most couples would find it difficult to make it through such a challenge, I think. This has actually brought us --even closer together and made our relationship stronger.

It’s often felt like this day would never come — I know it’s only temporary — but I finally have the chance to come home. Hope to see you soon.

— Reporting from Iraq,
your friend and soldier from Charlotte.

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