About to head home, a couple thoughts (Matt Britten)

One hour until we head out and start the long voyage home.  Probably much less until my laptop battery dies however, I managed to remember everything on my checklist for 8 days but somehow still left my international electrical adapter at Camp Basra this morning.  I have a much lighter load going back as we distributed a few hundred custom Marlins t-shirts along with a few thousand bracelets, pins, autograph cards and other items throughout the week.  I am still heading back with an entire duffle bag full of gear that I traded out with various troops, commemorative coins, plaques and certificates that were given to us by several base commanders, and souvenir t-shirts and collectibles.  I am looking forward to showing and displaying ALL of these items to everyone back home, as each one represents a story and a special moment in time on this trip.

As I reflect back on the last 8 days, I am thankful for so many things.  I am thankful for each and every day that we were here, as they all were unique and special in their own way. I am thankful for each and every solider who we encountered and the few minutes that we were able to connect and spend with each.  I am thankful for Fredi Gonzalez, Larry Beinfest, Chris Coghlan, John Baker, Carin, Christina, Steff and Natalie for making the trip – each of the them made the most of this opportunity and we will always have this experience to share with each other.  I am thankful for the USO building at Camp Basra being open 24 hours a day so I could check my e-mail and update this blog each night – Beverly, Travis and Scott are the best!

Thank you to Colonel Ed Shock for organizing this trip on behalf of Armed Forces Entertainment and making this all possible, David Samson and Sean Flynn for allowing me to use one of the 10 available spots on this trip, Jimmy and Emma for everything that you set up for us on the busy daily itineraries and being a part of every experience, Brad and Dave for the constant security and making us feel safe, Markus, Clayton and Will for driving us everywhere and being so accommodating, Ruben for the MRAP rollover, the K-9 Unit at Camp Basra, our Blackhawk pilots, our C-130 pilots, Mercy and the Kuwait Little League, the Navy Seals who took us out to the range and let us use all of their ammo, Jamie with AFE for setting up our flights, Jennifer for helping out with all of the PR efforts prior to and during the trip, Bill Beck for coordinating travel plans on our end (wish you could have made it Boomer!), and to all of the troops that we met over the last 8 days who changed our lives for the better..thank you for spending your time with us this week, you make us proud to be Americans and you will be in my thoughts every day.  We love you, we support you and we hope you come back soon!

I am have so many more things to be thankful for and so many others to mention, but the laptop battery is almost completely gone, so I’ll check in when we get back to the states tomorrow!



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