I’m almost at the end, but not almost home yet. I’ve been packing, trying to get all my gear in 2 duffle bags, a rucksack, and a carry on, and I’ve finally got it. I’ve given away a ton of stuff this week, and am ready to go. I’m very excited to have gotten through my year here, and to still have tested negative for Tuberculosis (it was a very real possibility). In about 36 hours, I’ll leave Camp ALAMO for Camp PHOENIX, 5 miles away. There I’ll reunite with the other 150 Navy folks I trained with in Mississippi, and we’ll spend a couple of days ensuring our paperwork’s in order. Then we’ll go to the Kabul Airport and fly to Manas, Kyrgyzstan, where we’ll wait a couple of days for the weekly flight back to the States. I should be back on US soil about a week from now! It’s going to take about 10 days in Norfolk to process us out, and finally, I should be home by Memorial Day weekend. My iPod is loaded with tunes, the last 3 episodes of Lost, and a couple of other TV shows. I’m working on building my patience level back up, because I’m going to need it for the trip. I’m not sure when I’ll have internet access, but I’ll let everyone know when I’ve made it to Norfolk.

The Afghans have been great, and they presented me and several others with certificates of appreciation at last week’s Soldier graduation ceremony. In the first photo, I’m holding up the certificate in front of the 1,600 graduates and saying “Jawand” which in Dari translates roughly to “for life.” The second photo is of my boss and I with the guide-on standard (flag) he made and presented to me. I’ve served as the 41st BCT, TAG S-1, so this is the flag for my group. I’m sure you can appreciate our lovely bullet-pocked office building in the background.

Hope all is well at home, I look forward to being there soon. Let me know if you’re in Norfolk, unfortunately I’ll have some free time as I’m trying to get the Navy to out-process me faster. I’ll keep you posted on the trip.

If you’ve missed updates you’d like to read, surf to www.jonsingleton.com to read them, see the pictures and to post comments. Feel free to forward this to anyone who may be interested. If an email of your’s is kicked back by my SPAM filter, just resend with the word “ADD” in the subject line, and I’ll receive it. Raise a cup of Starbuck’s for me, and I’ll hurry home