|Combat Infantry Badge|
|Church service in Iraq|
Upon my return home religion was one of the last things on my mind. My first impression was how different things seemed to be. The US seemed so surreal; as if I had entered The Matrix. America was full of bright lights and advertisements for a myriad of things. America was all about money.
After going through the formalities my unit was eventually dismissed from active duty and we returned home. Obviously we were happy to be back but there was a sense of sadness as well. My comrades and I became close by a trial by fire and we had a new sense of the world that was unique to us. Our old families could never fully grasp this.
|My old Sunday School class|
|Our second group's welcome rally|
Sometime after my return, I went to church in my desert uniform. I walked in there fully expecting a hero's welcome. There was no such fanfare. I was utterly shocked. I kept telling myself that I was fighting for these people and received no such ovation when I actually was among them. I may have gotten an introduction but I think that it was due to me standing out in my uniform.
I came back to the US saddened by what I had seen. It takes trips like going to Haiti to appreciate what you have and to re-evaluate one's perspective on things.
A few days later I was on a plane to London, England. I was on my way to a tour of Europe. That was another life-changing event. I saw great and wondrous things. I met people from different backgrounds. My American arrogance and bias was exposed. I saw other people living a different kind of life that did not center around money. Religion did not really come up except when we visited the Vatican.
|View from my aunt's house in Port-au-Prince, Haiti|
|Bus station in Jacmel, Haiti|
|Map of my European tour|
|Me in Rome, Italy|
|The wealth of the Vatican can be described in one word: Grotesque|