A Marine Returns to Duty

What was I thinking? I arrived at the airport an hour and a half early.  Then the flight was delayed, and then canceled, and I was re-booked to a different flight.  It was a long day.  As the plane began its descent into Jacksonville and the flat coastal lowlands came into view, I felt a pang for my family -- my wife and four children, innocent and vulnerable.  I would not be with them -- to teach them, to protect them, or to embrace them -- for nearly a year. As I traveled along the road from the airport and saw the yellow, orange, and pink hues of the Southern sunset silhouetting the tall pines along the road, my thoughts wandered to the past forty years of my life, and I took stock. The year I lived in Pakistan at the age of eight was now a lifetime away.  I was homesick the entire time I was abroad, but I still developed a love for the people and a taste for the spicy, rich food -- the curries, breads, desserts -- that stays with me and comforts me to this...(Read Full Article)