Thursday, June 14, 2007

Whirlwind Trip

Well, I'm back in The Land of the Rising Sun. It has certainly been a whirlwind trip. All of that traveling for a two day conference...what a pain in the ass. The above pictures are from The National Museum of the Marine Corps. The flag pictured is the actual flag that was raised on Mount Suribachi on Iwo Jima during WWII. I didn't take any pictures of the other "exhibits" inside the museum, as it was very dark in there, and flash photography was a big no-no. Many of the exhibits are not things that would translate well into photographs anyway; you simply have to be there to really take them in.

I found a photograph there of a good friend of mine that I fought alongside in Iraq. I believe it's a picture of him on his second tour there. You can certainly see the emotion and burden that he bears in it. Very moving for me.

The conference was productive, albeit short, and the trip back was uneventful. I was fortunate enough to sit next to considerate people on every flight. The trip back was a little over 24 hours, start to finish. I got in very late last night, and I slept like a baby. I guess that I wasn't gone long enough to adjust to the time zone in D.C., evidenced by the fact that I didn't sleep worth a damn the whole time that I was there. I felt like a zombie the whole time...odd. I've been in situations before where I've had to deal with sleep deprivation, but I've never felt as "off kilter" as I did on this trip.

On Monday, I get to do my travel claim, type up my after action report, and all of that fun administrative stuff that invariably follows a Marine Corps business trip. It should be business as usual after that. Here's to hoping that I don't have to burn up a ton of taxpayer money for a two day conference again in the near future. I think that 16 hours of teleconference expense would have been a wiser choice.

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