There was only one empty (middle) seat from what I could tell as I made my way to the back of the plane to use the restroom, and that seat was next to me. I gave thanks to God for leaving it empty. I’d been dreading this trip and this was a small but much appreciated blessing.
One of the first things I heard from the MGuns upon my return from my trip to Lake Constance was how He had “hooked me up.” Meaning he told the boss I needed to go to Quantico on the boss’s behalf…not him. So when the boss told me of my upcoming trip back across the pond, my initial thought was – who was going to take care of Little Man who’d just arrived last Saturday, followed by, how much I hated long flights. I don’t do well sitting straight ahead with feet flat on the floor for very long periods of time; not even in a movie theater. I usually fidget quite a bit because I can’t get or stay comfortable. I do better when I can have my feet up in some way so to have an open seat next to me made for a less painful flight.
It’s 1am back where I started….only 7pm here at JFK where I await my next flight to Reagan National. Flight doesn’t leave until 9:20pm. By the time I pick up my car and drive the Quantico, it’ll probably be past midnight before I’m in bed. Midnight local time – 6am back in Germany. That’s 18 hours of travel time. I’m having Starbucks now and I have a headache. I always end up eating too much when I fly, so I feel nasty. As much as I love traveling, this is dreadful.
When I originally made my travel plans, I planned on flying on Monday since the conference started on Tuesday, but thankfully, the MGuns talked me into flying a day early so I had a day to recover. I’m so grateful he made the recommendation; I honestly have no clue how I would’ve been ready for work at 0800 tomorrow morning.
On Friday, one of the GySgt let me used his computer to finalize my trip and one of the SSgt printed my orders since my computer doesn’t agree with DTS. One of the other GySgt talked me into finally signing up to cash in on frequent flyer miles and it’s another one of the Marines and his wife who are taking care of Little Man while I’m gone on this trip.
So while this trip wasn’t welcomed, many people made it as convenient as possible. It’s not just this trip. The Marines of MARFOEUR/AF G-6 have stolen part of my heart. They reminded me what it means to be part of a “Marine family.” As dysfunctional as the place might be – the G-6 is full of really great Marines of all ranks. Forgot what it was like to be invested in a group of Marines. To care about them, worry about them, to want each of them to reach their greatest potential, to ensure their welfare, and to watch them deliver and shine. They work extremely hard and complain very little. They’re smart and committed. They make me wish I was smarter and better equipped to help them.
I have my role in something that’s bigger than me. All the Marines have their own unique roles and in the everyday madness exist all these moments when I’m grateful they are allowing me to be part of it.