The trip started at 0700, Mary Jayne and the boys took me to breakfast at The Egg and I (one of our favorite breakfast restaurants) before they dropped me at the airport. It was like any other restaurant visit: order food, small talk, but no anxiety from the kids over me leaving. I was still wondering if I had forgotten anything (which I will cover later in a post discussing things to bring and things not to bring on this trip for future Djibouti deployers) and appeased my concerns by settling on the fact that it was too late to worry about it and I can always buy it when I get there. I had military orders, a plane ticket, and a couple of uniforms, so that would be all I needed to get started at my new location.
To add some fun for the kids while I am away, we are going to play a game called where’s Perry. I brought a stuffed Perry dol with me and I will put him in pictures while I am traveling. Sometimes it will be obvious and others it will be hard to see him. He is somewhere in the pictures below.
My first flight took me from Colorado Springs to Norfolk, VA via Houston. It was an uneventful trip and I arrived safely at my destination where I ran into a group of soldiers from Fort Carson, Colorado that were also going to Djibouti. From the Norfolk airport we took a taxi over to the base. The soldiers got off at one location called Ely Hall and the taxi took me over to a beautiful Navy Lodge called Maury Hall. It was really nice. I think they had me confused for a Navy Captain who would be a Colonel equivalent in the Air Force. I was exhausted so I went to the room and watched TV and went to sleep.
The next day I reported to the terminal where we checked in. We had to be there 4 hours early. It was uneventful, but very crowded and a slow process. The plane left around
20:00 for the long trip to Rota,Spain. It was an 7 hour flight over night. After a couple of hours there we were on our way to Italy with a 2 hour lay over. It was then off to Bahrain and finally Djibouti at 0400. Somewhere in the trip 12 September happened, but it just came and went as we continued flying east and the sun moved west. Each stop we made the temperatures got hotter and the humidity got higher. It was 95 degree F in Djibouti. We still had to go through customs and a 2-hour welcome brief, pick up our bags, and find our rooms. It was recommended that we not go to sleep right away or it will make it harder to adjust. My plan was to not sleep until 20:00. I unpacked, wandered around, ate, got internet, and took care of some in processing. I was out like a light at 19:00.
At the end of the trip we had flown for 17 hours, 6 hours of layovers, and touched 4 continents.