The Transition Home

Let’s Get ‘er Done

The time finally came. The much anticipated moment for which I have been waiting the past five years. I had my bags packed, uniform ready to go, and a platoon of energetic Americans dressed for adventure. We’re headed to Afghanistan!

Despite all the excitement, the moment remains largely anti-climactic. No tears in my family. No major problems with the soldiers and their spouses or kids. The initial separations appear to be going smoothly. I’m not sure if the calmness of both the soldiers their famlies is due to good mental preparation for the moment, or just loyalty to remain strong so the other doesn’t have to see the pain on the other side.

The path to combat is not quick and painless by means. On the contrary, by the time our actual patroling mission begins, we will spend several days just getting the whole unit in country, then another half a dozen days for unpacking and inventories alongside a cirriculum of classes to update the leaders on events in theater. It will be a long and painful prepatory period before we can actually do the mission we’ve been training so long and hard to perform. No worries though, we’re all so hyped up on adrenaline that I think the time will go by a lot quicker than we expect.

My parents flew all the way out to Seattle from Boston to see me off. It was one of the dozens of acts of love and friendship that many of my close friends and relatives have given me before this deployment. I had a lot of my closest friends come out to bid me farewell or call me to wish me good luck. On one hand, I’m sad to say goodbye for at least a year to the people who mean the most to me. On the other, those who know me best know that I’m smiling from ear to ear. I love big challenges and making big changes in the world…at this point in my life, I can’t imagine doing anything else! This is going to be a fantastic experience…mark my optimism now for comparison when I’m absolutely ready to come home 🙂

For now, I’ve got some other things to focus on. Hopefully I’ll have the chance to write more later on about my soldiers and the 110 degree heat in Kandahar. Until then, talk to you soon!



9 responses

  1. Shafi

    Good luck bro, stay safe, i enjoy your blog, will be keeping up.

    18 July 09 at 23:06

  2. Stu

    Good luck my friend. Stay safe and make us proud.

    18 July 09 at 23:20

  3. Looking forward to reading about all your experiences. We’ll be prayin’ for you.

    19 July 09 at 03:02

  4. Navnit

    Good luck to you. Stay well and safe. You have made us proude as Indians.

    19 July 09 at 18:15

  5. Brian


    God bless you and yoru fellow soldiers. No doubt they will have a tremendous leadership.

    Missed you in NY. I had a few things I really needed to tend to including a funeral in Ireland.

    I enjoy this site. Kepp it up so all of us who care about you and your troopers know how you are doing.

    Lead with confidence Rajiv. As I know you will.


    20 July 09 at 13:59

  6. Meredith

    You’re a born leader Rajiv and I know you and your soldiers will accomplish great things in the year ahead. I hope that your first couple weeks of acclimation go quickly, and I look forward to reading your initial impressions. And of course it has to be said that we miss you already.

    20 July 09 at 14:25

  7. Rajiv,
    We are all so proud of you and your soldiers! Your Coca-Cola family will be praying for ya’ll. Be sure to keep in touch.

    Carolyn (and Mark, Patti, Jane, Ryan, Ericia and Lauren)
    Coca-Cola Scholars Foundation

    20 July 09 at 17:44

  8. Shankar S

    Your family just didn’t want you to see tears. Believe me, they flow. We aren’t as strong as you are.
    We’re praying for your safety, and that of your men as well. Do what you gotta do, and do it better than anyone else. That’s what you’re capable of.

    Keep smilin,

    21 July 09 at 15:18

  9. Tilly

    PROUD OF YOU! you look so happy in your FB picture. I sincerely hope that all is well, and that you are enjoying life. I’ll be checking this often, so keep up the good work. Take care of yourself, Eagle Scout. – TK

    23 July 09 at 04:00

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