last post

46 posts in 15 months – actually, that’s more than i thought i would have to say.  more accurately, it’s more than i thought i would have the attention span to get through.  almost 15 months since i first arrived at ft. riley in kansas for our three-month predeployment training.  i have a hard time believing that it’s almost over.  in about a week, i will be back in the US, and a couple of days after that, back in california, trying to figure out what just happened to me.  

this is good and bad (like everything else in life, i suppose).  good because, quite honestly, there are a lot of people here that i never want to see again.  bad because everyone i deployed with is a reservist, and we’re all heading back to civilian life.  the other two times i deployed, i returned to the active army, and continued working with most of the same people i had been deployed with.  there will be no-one to talk with about the deployment, the good and the awful alike.  all the relationships built over 15 months come to a screeching halt.  i’ll keep in touch with some people, but won’t ever be as close to them.  that’s somewhat sad.

to everyone who has read this blog, and given their support and sarcastic comments, i simply say thank you.  this blog hasn’t been consistent, rarely touched on what could be considered “serious” issues, and was mostly an outlet for me to bring some levity to a scary and dangerous place, but i hope it was amusing.  and i hope it gives folks back home some idea that being deployed is hard and painful, but that if you have good people on your right and left, like i did, you can get through just about anything.

so i will leave you with a final Top Ten list – the Top Ten things i learned in the last 15 months. 

10) the best leadership is sometimes just taking a minute to slap one of your soldiers on the back, and let them know that you know their first name, and something about them. 

9) it’s amazing how many senior officers and NCOs don’t know that.

8) not being able to shoot back sucks.

7) the reward for good work tends to just be more work.

6) the reward for bad work, laziness, and incompetence tends to be less work.  note to self…

5) anything is bearable if you have a good friend to talk to (and who seems to never stop talking to you).  thanks kevin.

4) when there aren’t rockets landing everywhere, baghdad has a couple of things going for it.

3) i believe we are making things better here, but some days i think we should all just leave, and let the chips fall where they may.

2) i couldn’t imagine another 3 months here.  huge respect to those soldiers who have climbed (or are climbing) that 15-month mountain.

and the number one thing i’ve learned in the last 15 months:

1) i have an amazing family, and amazing friends, and they never let me forget it.

so, a few pictures from the archive as i leave baghdad for the second time… 

 

cheers.

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14 Responses to “last post”

  1. K.D. Malone Says:

    EXCELLENT! Cannot wait for Brendan Bash 2008! Safe travels to you.

  2. Take care of yourself and it is truly good to know that you are either back home, or are on your way back to the peaceful western state of California…it’s been real reading your blog Mr. Bourdage!

  3. yippppppppppeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee………i see that you held on to renee’s smiley volleyball…she was very excited when she discovered that!!! Be safe coming home to us please!!!!!!!! You look vewie skinny..I can fatten you up….coooooooooooookkkkkkkiiiiiiiiessssssss……that’s all I need to say…i love you and so incredibly proud of you!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  4. I am glad it only took you 15 months to realize how amazing I am.

  5. The Thunder Run has linked to this post in the blog post From the Front: 04/22/2008 News and Personal dispatches from the front lines.

  6. You mentioned there being some nice areas in Iraq. When I finally get some vacation time, what cities do you recommend I visit? Are you interested in coming along to act as my tour guide/bodyguard? I promise I won’t make you wear fatigues…otherwise you’ll need to come down and visit me in Los Angeles, I need my fix of Bbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbb!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  7. Hey son, I am sooooooooooooooooo looking forward to seeing you again, will cut down on my prayer time at night…..love you very much and am so proud of you and who you are Your blogs could stand the time of Will Rogers

  8. Marc Dee Says:

    Dude, change your clothes! Did you know you’re wearing the same thing in all of those pictures? Whoops! I hate it when that happens.

  9. Brendan,

    Welcome back. Enjoyed your blogs and our occasional interactions.

    And always know that you made a difference.

    Police around the country now have pants. You averted the disaster/freakshow of hundreds of thousands of law enforcement personnel without pants- kind of like Reno 911 on a grand scale.

    Cheers,
    dlt

  10. SecretAsianMan Says:

    Glad you’re finally getting out of there. Stay in touch with Mafia and make sure there is always room in your mom’s basement for visitors.

    gd smooth

  11. Hey Brendan, keep us up to speed on how your reintegration is going – leave out the X-rated parts. :D Things going OK here in Phoenix. Cheers! Al T.

  12. Dude, now that you’re out of the military (again) and presumably going to Disney Land, what is your new contact info?

  13. Hey, found your blog while looking for images of Diet Pepsi. Got stuck reading it. Found your writing style wonderful. You have a gift. Hope now that you are back you won’t stop writing. Maybe there will be just as much unique perspective to write about here at home. Thank you so much.

  14. Bluegirl Says:

    what happened to you? No blog in almost a year!

    Oh, are you for sale?

    thanks

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