I bought a set of civilian clothes to walk around in during our off time, but it feels funny, doesn't quite sit right. And I'm constantly trying to figure out what I'm forgetting until I realize it's my rifle. The other Marines have this same problem (the rifle one). I expected this after my last deployment but I can't remember how long it took for this feeling to fade.

I spoke with a couple of soldiers in the smoke-pit who will spend their entire deployment here in Kuwait, in relative luxury, and felt a twinge of envy.

But last night, lying on my cot in our tent as it began to rain, I quietly enjoyed the sound of raindrops hitting canvas, flashes of lightning intermittenly illuminating everything, the tent around me swelling and heaving like a living, breathing thing, and I thought: how could I appreciate this tiny, perfect moment if not for my earlier experiences, ones those soldiers will never know? I realized that they don't even know to be envious of me.

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