Thornhill in Iraq–XI

Hello all,

I know it has been a while since I sent an update – probably a month.  Sorry about that.  Fortunately for me, time seems to be moving fairly quickly.  I have less than 3 months to go but am trying not to start the countdown yet.  A couple of weeks ago I heard rumblings that I may get extended for a couple months – that has been cleared up and I am still on track to return home by the middle of May.  I also found out that the Navy Reserve is going to involuntarily recall some lawyers for this next rotation.  Finally, to further ratify my decision to volunteer when I did, my replacement will have to serve 220 days in Iraq – I am only here for 179 days!

Unfortunately I cannot tell you much about the cases/work that I am doing for security reasons.  Outside of that, you’ve already heard pretty much what an average day is like for me.  Feels a little like groundhogs day – sort of the same thing day after day.  To say that I am enjoying this experience would be an overstatement, but I am certainly proud to be doing it and I definitely don’t regret volunteering or hate being here.  Of course, I miss my family and friends a lot.  Dee, my mother-in-law, sent me some photos of the boys from Christmas.  They have each changed so much in the short time I’ve been gone.  It is great talking to them on the phone and, Internet permitting, we’ve even video-called via the webcam a few times.  However, it’s still not the same as being there and I so look forward to spending time with them when I get home.  I also miss driving, television (we have limited access & I did watch the Super Bowl live…starting at 2:00 a.m.), and walking on smooth surfaces!  I could also go for a Tomasos pizza and a beer.

Believe it or not, I also miss the snow.  The best (or worse) winter in Iowa for snow in a long time and I don’t get to enjoy any of it.  Paula has had more than enough with the scooping and the kids staying home from school.  I just talked to them a little while ago and was informed Cedar Rapids received another 4 inches.  I told the boys about it being 70 degrees and sunny here today – they said they wanted to come.  I assured them that they really didn’t!

Attached is another photo – this is from last Friday when we went to the range and did some shooting.  I know, it’s scary to see a lawyer with a gun!  We were practicing shooting around barricades.  That’s a really good idea if you think about it!

I may have some exciting work-related stuff to report in a couple weeks.  If you don’t hear from me though, don’t be surprised.  The pace of life and the pace of the court system here is much more casual than back home.  It gets really frustrating sometimes, but I try to remind myself that we are here to help rebuild THEIR justice system, not make it like ours.

Well, it looks like it’s about dinner time for me so I’m gonna go.  Thank you all for your cards and e-mails and keep them coming!

Ian

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