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Last night the phone woke us up just after midnight.

It was My Son the Marine, calling to say his transport plane had just landed at JFK.

What joy. What palpable relief.

It’s been 203 days (and nights) since my son deployed to Iraq. In that time another 604 U.S. troops were sacrificed in this war without provocation or end. Is it no wonder I’ve spent most of the past seven months feeling borderline deranged, fighting off panic attacks at least once or twice a day?

But enough of that for now. My son is back in the States, heading towards his base (if he’s not already there). I’m utterly grateful -- perhaps even a little bit shocked -- that he survived. And I’ll be jumping out of my skin to see him next month.

My heartfelt thanks go out to all Kossacks for their support and empathy during this time. I'd never blogged before my son was deployed. It's opened a whole new universe for me.

Perhaps I’ll have more to say when my head’s cleared.

Certainly I've got loads of thoughts revolving around the return of my son on the same day as the Virginia Tech shootings -- the irony of how he survived a tour in a war zone, for which he volunteered, while kids who wouldn't dream of military service were gunned down anyway in an act of terror at home.

And how after reading endless stories for 203 days about suicide bombings and casualty counts and Bush-Cheney policy bullshit (it's the oil, stupid), the news of the massacre has, sadly, left me numb. Tragic and horrible as it is, 33 dead is just another day in a Baghdad marketplace.

But those are thoughts to be fleshed out on another day. Or perhaps I won't even bother. I'm mentally exhausted, you see.

In fact, I think it’s time for a big fat Greek meltdown. I earned it.

Originally posted to demetroula on Tue Apr 17, 2007 at 03:18 AM PDT.

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