I'm getting ready to get on the plane out of this place, but before I go, I just wanted to thank a few people for making the past six months easier.
First, my crew: Rick, Paco, Halligan, Diaz, Steven, Steve, G, Aaron, Pretzel, and Joel. You guys were the ones that did the real work, and made my job easy. You faced innumerable problems came up with solutions I never would have imagined. I did my best to take care of you guys, and I hope you look back on this deployment fondly. Or at least not negatively.
Next, MSgt Marquis: you are the epitome of leadership. You came into a broken situation and steered the whole team in the right direction without losing any of us. You handle things calmly and logically, and people always know what's expected of them and where they stand with you. You led by example and taught me volumes.
Also, Mom and Pop: I know you enjoyed our Skype chats as much as I did, ("It's like talking to Curt on the TV!"), but you have no idea how much it kept me going. Everything from Dad telling me about motorcycles to Mom reporting the local gossip, it made me feel like I wasn't in the middle of the desert. Can't wait to see you guys in December.
And finally, Cheyenne, Chelsea, Jess, and Danielle: No one has ever been so faithful in writing letters and sending packages, especially ones made with so much effort and creativity. It made my heart smile as though a thousand puppies were licking my face. Plus, I know my house and truck were in good hands in my absence. Italy is never going to be the same after you leave.
An added "thank you" to everyone out there who sent up prayers for my safety and sanity. They were obviously heard as I haven't stuck my head in the oven. At six months, this is my second-longest deployment ever, and it was far from my easiest; but it's definitely been a learning experience, and I hope I can use everything I've learned in the future. Not just at work, but in my daily interactions and relationships. Thanks again, and I guarantee my next post will not be written in Qatar.