Outbound legs on the C17:
7+5+4=16hrs flying time
Inbound legs on the C17: 4+5+3+2+8=22hrs flying time
38hrs flying time total!
It was a haul to get home, that's for sure, but it was a pretty excellent trip back none the less. Highlights include a day in the southwestern Germany town of Trier. Trier with its Roman ruins, bible writing robot, German beer and Struedel; The Kuwaiti desert was sand-blown and overcast but I always enjoy a good, bleak vista; The aircrew were really great as well, letting me sit in the cockpit for one of the legs and chatting about one of mine and the captain's favourite books, "Wind, Sand and Stars."
More importantly though, they took me in a big way, offering me their company for dinner and drink in Germany as well as generally looking out for my welfare when I was just sort of dumped on them without (once again) the proper procedure or documentation.
So a big thanks to CanForce 4082 for getting me home and making the cavernous cargo hold (of which I was the only passenger) feel like a home of sorts.
A small and heartfelt thanks to the service member working the AMU check-in desk at Trenton for offering me a cot to sleep on. Otherwise it would have been an 80$ room for 4 hours of sleep, or the lesser option of crashing outside the Via booth in Trenton Crossing.
Thanks once more to everyone along the way: Canadian, Afghan, Coalition and otherwise who put me up, put up with me and gave me some pretty open access in theatre. The (hopefully) strong project to come from this should make tangible and entry point for those who raise a furrowed brow of mystery at the notion of soldiering.