After traveling to the Kia airport, I handed off my Sappi hard plates for my body armor. I and my fellow travelers then waited for a few hours, until we suddenly were hustled out over the tarmac to the airplane.
Shuffling along in columns at almost a double time, in the dark and very thankful for my red LED-equipped mini Mag Lite, I thought to myself that this was just like the Army: after waiting for hours, we suddenly have to dash for half a mile! Then we were trampling up the ramp into the welcome light of the C-17 Globemaster's bay. Yay Air Force (incidental: most polite service encountered. Least polite: Marines)!
We were strapped in shortly afterward, happy to be in even cramped seating but outbound. As our wheels broke free at 2112 local, a spontaneous cheer broke from my and fifty other throats. At my front right, I could see Little Nicky's skinny arm raised high, giving Afghanistan the one-finger salute.
I'm in Kuwait now, and it's like living in a heater's blast. Fortunately, all the building have AC. And I'm almost home.