Before now poetry has taken notice
Of wars, and what are wars but politics
Transformed from chronic to acute and bloody?
from "Build Soil"
Robert Frost

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Back Online

The 321st Engineer Battalion (Combat)(Mech) is finally back home. We landed in Boise, Idaho under a warm sun, greeted by a few hundred friends and family, a National Guard band, members of the VFW and various dignitaries. Between us and the crowd flew six American flags- visual reminders of the ones we lost. In an ironic twist of fate, the 321 task force lost 6 soldiers in Iraq- 3 from Alpha company, 2 from Bravo company, and 1 from Charlie 397 Engineers.

We've traveled a long road to get back home again- along the way the 321st became the most decorated Reserve unit since World War II. We did our job well, and we were an example for the rest of the theater. All that is behind us, though... we're all back home.


  1. Thank you and welcome home.

  2. congratulations on your safe return and thanks for your service (translation: thanks a bunch for risking your life so that i can live free! i appreciate you!)

    smiles, bee

  3. Welcome home my friend, thank you so much for what you did, hooah..

  4. Anonymous28/9/07 22:05

    Welcome home -- and thank you!

  5. Welcome Back, and THANK YOU.

  6. Anonymous29/9/07 09:31

    Welcome home!

  7. Thank you on many levels. Thank you for volunteering. Thank you for sharing your experience. Thank you for posting the significance of your awards. While they sounded great to me I had very little to measure the importance of the numbers. I think your captain is a bit too humble to mention it.

    Great job and welcome home.

  8. I give thanks for your safe return and I too thank you for your service. I hope that you continue to share with us.

  9. Anonymous29/9/07 12:18

    Hip Hip Hooray!! Glad you and the others are back and glad you're writing again! You've been missed!

    Congratulations on all your successes. Tremendous sorrow for your losses.

  10. Anonymous29/9/07 12:53

    Welcome home, soldier! Enjoy a well-deserved, hard-earned rest. Your family must be so happy to have you home, and so proud of what you have done. If you were my son I know I could not stop bragging.

    Thank you for your service and your sacrifice. God bless you.

  11. Anonymous29/9/07 14:48

    Welcome home, we're proud of you! My son should be arriving in Ramadi Sunday or Monday. I'm so thankful to have had your blog over the past months as a window into the world where he is going.

    So, what is next for Teflon Don?

  12. Anonymous29/9/07 14:58

    Welcome home. I just happened upon a posting of yours--"beauty in the desert"--at Slate (Sandbox), and thought it quite reflective and lovely. I hope that one such as yourself, who can see and appreciate the minutiae of life, continues to explore your thoughts in writing.

    I will keep your site marked. Good luck in your readjustment home,


  13. Anonymous29/9/07 21:07

    Glad you are home safe! Getting home is a little strange at first, but wow is it wonderful.

    I've been a long time reader and have enjoyed your commentary very much. Thank you for sharing your experience with all of us, and of course, thank you for serving our great nation.

    Sgt P
    37th BCT

  14. Dittos to all the above comments.
    God bless our military!

  15. YAY! (hugs) welcome home...

  16. Anonymous30/9/07 08:21

    Well done and glad you're back home!

    Get ready for the Jubilee,
    Hurrah! Hurrah!
    We'll give the hero three times three,
    Hurrah! Hurrah!
    The laurel wreath is ready now
    To place upon his loyal brow
    And we'll all feel gay when Johnny comes marching home.

  17. Welcome home, and thank you for your service and for documenting it so well.

  18. To all our Military - Thank You.

    To the families of the 6 who fell. I am sorry for your loss, but I don't believe they died in vain. Thank you.

    TD, I wish I could personally shake you hand and say Thank You. You are appreciated and I salute you.

    Murky Research

  19. Anonymous30/9/07 12:49

    Congratulations on being the most decorated Reserve unit since WWII. That's something else. I think all of us who have read you these months would be honored to shake your hand and give you a big hug. Ok, and we'd buy you a beer. :)

    Your blog is one of the best, from Robert Frost's quote and origination of your blog title, to your personal observations, beautifully, gracefully and sensitively written.

    With gratitude and admiration,
    Aprille, Reston, Virginia
    PS I know you were hoping to go back to Iraq on your own. Good luck! I look forward to your posts.

  20. Anonymous30/9/07 14:32

    I cannot express the gratitude I feel in my heart for the sacrafices y'all have made in service to our country. Welcome home,thank you and hugs from the heart.

  21. Anonymous30/9/07 14:34

    Well done, welcome back, and God bless.

  22. Anonymous1/10/07 16:23

    Nice warm bath, as long as you want it... Eat your all-time favorite meal, clock serious zzzzs.

    God bless you and keep those with boots on the ground still safe... as well as their families.

    Outstanding Job! I love all of you and thanks from the bottom of my heart.