March 25, 2004
Hello Wisconsin!!! (Why does my head hurt?)
Well it's official, I'm a light-weight. I'm not sure how many beers I drank and I'm positive that I don't know how I got back to the barracks. Not a good thing but at least it's out of my system, and my head is killing me. Did hangovers always hurt like this?
The weather here is beautiful. Rain without mud is great and the evergreen trees are marvelous. I know that I bashed on Wisconsin a year ago but right now I'm in love with the place. Mostly for the weather, but let's not rule out the lack of camels and filth of Iraq. The very best part for me is looking up at a roof instead of a tent. Beds are good but knowing that the roof isn't going to leak or fall down is the best.
I've been craving super nachos for about 6 months and last night I tore-up a plate and went looking for more... but the beer had me and that was the end of that.
Did you know that the bar in the airport in Shannon, Ireland is open at 5 a.m.? That bartender made a pile of cash in tips and the ride got a little bit easier to boot.
Right now I've just finished pushing paper to get out of here and am headed back to the barracks. I need a nap. And a shower wouldn't hurt either...
I love you all,
Welcome home. I've really enjoyed your blog over the past year.
It's incredibly awesome to know that you are finally stateside again Will. I have been following your journey from the beginning, right from the time you were getting ready to leave, complaining the entire way. I am so happy for you and your loved ones, they must be overjoyed to have you home, safe and sound. Give that nephew of yours a tickle in the ribs for me. How does it feel to be back in the light?!
Welcome to the good ol' USA!! :)
I owe you a beer when you get back to Omaha! ;)
WOOHOO!!!! Your post brought tears to my eyes! I have been following your blog for the past several months. My DH cant be far behind you....I am so happy for you and that you are home safe and sound. God Bless you Will! Your journal helped me understand the realities of life in the sandbox. Thanks again. Enjoy that COLD Brew! Hugs from Massachusetts!
Welcome home! Bright blessings on your arrival, and a job well done. Make sure the rest of your crew know that we welcome them home and that we are really proud of you all.
Welcome Home!! Thank God you and your folks are home safe.
Welcome home Wil!! I have been an avid reader and follower of yours from the very beginning...and it is soooo nice to hear or rather, read your writings of Wisconsin again!! Wish I were there to buy you a beer or seven! If you ever make it out to Seattle...it's on me!!!
Welcome home....your mother can finally breathe again!!!!
I am so happy you are home, Will!
Darn it! I was supposed to be in Sparta (Not that far from you) this weekend and I could've bought you a beer!
Now go see your nephew as soon as you can. :) Everyone misses you!
God bless and Godspeed!
WELCOME HOME ! ! ! ! So very glad you are home. Just let us see that nephew in your arms. After all he belongs too your fans. You are one special fellow to keep us all informed with you blogs. Made it easier on this grandma, while her boy was over their. sometime it brought tears to my eyes & others I laughed so hard I cried. Tell all your boys Thank You. God Bless & Godspeed to all of you.
Welcome home!!!!!!! Hopefully someday relatively soon we can say that to the very last soldier returning home! Don't drink too much...you still have beer-thirty in Atlanta waiting on you if you ever make it southside!! Hope to hear more of your adventures when you get settled in!
Welcome back!!! Glad you hear you finally like WI!!
I'm so happy for you! Welcome home! I'm so excited to hear you're back stateside, and in my home state, no less. I'm practically jumping up and down with glee. You'll have to tell us the nitty gritty details of how long it took them to get you from Iraq back to Wisconsin. I'll bet it's real nice to see green again. Give your nephew a little kiss for me. We're all so happy for you. Over the last year, I've laughed, cried, and I can't tell you how many times I've said to my husband: "Honey, come over here and read this, you're not gonna believe what Will wrote!" Have fun celebrating, but go easy on the booze. You have to ease into it. Hee hee. I just want to thank your mom, too. She's a very nice lady, and there have been a couple of times when her posts reassured all of us who were anxious when we didn't hear from you in awhile. God bless you for your service and sacrifice, and God bless your mom, and the rest of your family, including that tough little nephew of yours. And I just found out that I'm board eligible for Chief Petty Officer. Any Navy people out there will understand what this means. So good news all around. Hang in there and have fun!
Yes, hangovers have always...but who cares?
Thanks a million for your service and your servitude. Thank you for bringing my son home safe with you. He says that Irish beer was wonderful.
A soldier's mom
Welcome Home Will! So glad you're back safe and sound!
You head on down to TN and we'll treat to some top notch BBQ and Beer! You deserve it! We've enjoyed your blog and hope you continue writing! Welcome home and thank you!
Welcome home! I have just recently found your site and find your writing delightful. I am so glad to see that you are home safely. God speed to you! ;)
Rest assured we will be working on that hangover thing when you get back. Pretty soon you won't even notice them anymore. Glad you made it to WI ok. Couple of more stops before the River City. I'll be waiting for that page. Still trying to find a bar open at 9 am that serves nachos......
SEE YOU SOON!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Welcome back. Have been following your trail since a co-worker told me about it. Her daughter is with you guys. I know what you mean coming home. I had the same feelings 35 years ago when I got back from SEA.
WELCOME HOME SOLDIER!!!!! I am so glad you are finally home! Do keep us posted on life at home - especially seeing Jake!
Welcome Home!!!!! I am so glad your safe and sound and with a hangover!!!
Well, guess this means you made it "HOME" safe and sound - boy, am I glad to hear that. I hope you will be back in Omaha soon. I'm looking forward to seeing you. I expect you'll catch up with family first, especially your new nephew, Jake. And that's great! Enjoy yourself - you deserve it!! Bert
Hangover or not, it's apparent you're happy, happy, happy to be back in the US. I'm very glad you and your soldiers are finally getting your wish, Will. See? No train this time!
As your other 'fans' mentioned, go see and enjoy Jake ASAP (as if I had to tell you that).
Oh no! I just thought of something....are you stopping your blog just 'cause you're 'home'? Say it isn't true Will! Are you ever going to post a pic of you here? Tell us yes!
Please tell your mom that I, for one, appreciated her posts and good spirits. And just to remind you, the welcome mat is open here if you ever get down to Arizona. My son and I would love to meet you in person. (as if you didn't have enough people clamoring for your visit to their state/city/town)
Also, if you get the chance, tell your fellow returnees welcome home from me, and a big thank you to you and them.
SWEEEEEEEEEEEEEET!!!! I'm so glad you're home!! This makes me wish I was in WI to visit my mom and stepdad, cuz they don't live far from Sparta, least not that I think anyway....LOL This is great!! Now, remember to let us all know when you're gonna be on the Today show so we can tape it!!!!
Welcome Home!!! Our prayers turn to prayers of THANKS as we thank God for your safe return to the USA. My thoughts and prayers will continue to be with you and your fellow soldiers. God bless you all.
Glad to hear that you are back on US soil! Welcome Home.
WELCOME HOME SOLDIER!!!! How exciting to hear that you are safe at home. I have truly enjoyed following you thru this blog over the past year. I realize now what you all give up to make the US safe for the rest of us. Thank you for sharing the past year of your life with us all.
Welcome home! You can never her that enough. Home is a feeling not a place and when you get back on US soil you feel it. Although the past year has been long, frustrating, miserable at times, and you prayed for it to go by fast, you will find that you miss it at times. You will miss the comraderie of your fellow soldiers. You will miss the expectation, the thrill of not knowing what is going to happen next. And you will miss knowing that you are serving a purpose, a valued purpose for yourself, your family, and your countrymen. I hear stories everyday from veterans who, even 40 years later, still remember fondly the misery of their service. Kind of ironic you end up loving what you may have hated. The civilian word may get a little boring after awhile, so take some time and live it up. GO see all those folks who have promised you a beer, good food, and warm hospitality. If you ever make it to Ohio I have about 97 state vet reps who would love to show you a good time! We have loved to live vicariously thorugh you these past may months. Eat, drink, and be merry for you are finally home! Good luck.
Welcome home Will, and thank you for all you did. I know from reading your blog that many times it felt like a waste of time, but we civilians appreciate all of it.
One word of advice: go easy on the beer and nachos for awhile. You need to ease system back into it!
God bless, my friend.
WELCOME HOME!!!! Thank you for your service to our country, we all appreciate what you have done! I have read your blog since you started it...and have never missed one.
Kelley in Iowa
its great your back in the states...yes wisconsin is a great state (my home state) so you better not bash it again!
Welcome home soldier!
-from (next door) Minnesota!
Welcome home, Will. I've enjoyed reading your blog for almost the entire year. Thank you for your service and I'm glad you're home safely.
Welcome home. Thank you so much for sharing your life for the last year. I really hope that you write a book about your experinces.
If you are ever in Fairbanks Alaska I would love to buy you nachos and beer.
When is your promotion ?
WELCOME HOME WILL!!!
WELCOME HOME WILL!!!
(Here's a virtual hug for you!)
I'm so glad to hear you're back!
Welcome home and thank you!
Welcome Home!! Thank you, thank you, thank you for everything you have done. God Bless!
Welcome back to the states, Will! We welcome you and the other soldiers home with open arms. Please don't stop posting...hope you are back here in Omaha soon. Weather is great here! My son's unit is due back next week.
Welcome Back to the states!! Will be waiting to hear about your book soon! Give your Mom & Jake a big hug from all of us. Thanks Mom for sharing your son!
Take care of yourself. Not to many hangovers! Enjoy life!!
For a guy and a friend who grew up with you and your family, I am finding it hard to hold back the tears of happiness. Dulcie and I are glad you and your crew made it back safely. I hope the rest of our men and women over there do the same soon.
Like most reader's I made it a point to check your Blog in the morning and night. A big thank you goes to your mom and family, for keeping family and friends updated constantly.
Tell your Sister to watch out for you. Being an uncle, as you will soon find out, you get to spoil your nephew. Hopefully they will not make you change any diapers.....or at least not the stinky ones.
Spend quality time with the ones you love and let us know when your ready to meet your fans & friends. Please at the very least, do not quit the blog cold turkey. We are all addicted to your rants and raves and I would think we would all have to check ourselves in rehab if you quit this blog cold turkey.
Nice to have you home, take care and I will hopefully see you in NW Iowa or Omaha.
Thank you for serving your Country and protecting my family as well as all of those that read the Blog.
Jon and Dulcie
I'll be selfish for 5 seconds and say NO MORE POSTS....WWWWAAAAAAAAHHHHHHH
Ok, now back to being me.
I'm so glad you're home safe. Thank you for making us all laugh through these tough times. Good luck in your transition and most of all THANK YOU FOR DEFENDING US.
Hey Will glad to have ya back stateside. Thank you for a year of enlightenment along with humor. I've enjoyed reading your posts and am glad that you are finally safe, sound and home. My Soldier has just begun his time over there and because of your blog I now have a greater understanding of what he'll be going through. Take care of you. Have fun, you've definitely earned it!
Welcome home, and many thanks for your service overseas!
You're getting started on the book now, right? ;^)
Hi Will, Welcome home, and thank you so very much for serving our wonderful country and making it a safer place for us to live. I will always admire and be grateful to the dedicated, brave, and unselfish heroes of the U. S. military. You're all wonderful!!!
Home at last!! I'm so happy for you! Welcome back to Wisconsin....its not exactly the tropics but it has to better than Iraq....mullets, cheeseheads and all....
I'm glad you made it safely out of Iraq...you had lots of people saying prayers on your behalf.
I have to second the 'thank-you's'.....thank you Will for serving our country. It is a debt no one can repay.
Welcome Back! glad you're enjoying yourself ;)
WELCOME HOME!!! I am so glad that you made it home! Enjoy yourself my friend....you deserve it! Keep in touch with us all, it has been a pleasure to have a glimpse into life through the eyes of a soldier. God Bless you!
thank God you made it home!!! But lets keep the others in our prayers so they too can be home soon.I just wanted to say "Thank you Will," from the bottom of my heart for what you have done for our country!!! I hope life for you will be all down hill from here on out!! God Bless, Sherri
Welcome Home Will! Glad to hear you're back stateside and celebrating in proper fashion!
Just a tip, and don't ask how I know this but, salsa really hurts coming out your nose so be careful with those nachos and the alcohol mix... :)
Hi Will and welcome home.
My first visit to your blog and I am adding you to my reads. My reads have grown boring and your site ought to spice my reading up some.
This Navy wife wants to thank you for your service in the military. My hubby is CO of a ship here in S.CA and I appricate him each day. He is deploying this year for only 6 months. But we are very proud of him and you. Take care.. I hope to be tagging you on a regular basis. JenD
What a blessing it is to have you back here in the good old USA! God is great and answers prayers! Thank you so much for your hilarious rants! Most of all thank you for your service and dedication to our country. Live it up and enjoy the freedom
that you and all of the other brave men and women have fought for! You are awesome! Take care and keep those funny stories coming!
Hi, how are yah. I am sure you're feeling wonderful being home again. I AM QUITE HAPPY FOR YOU, I'll grab a brew to celeb your safe return. Hey, even better I'll grab 2 bottles, one for you and one for me for my upcoming birthday next week. Pls don't ask the lady "how old she's gonna be?" Seriously I'm glad your back. Take care and God bless.
Welcome Home from all of us here in Texas!!!!!!! We have really enjoyed reading your stories, I have printed each and every one. Enjoy your family and friends and take it easy, sit back and relax... Glad your back.
I have tears streaming down my face. I have followed your journey for quite some time now. I am so proud of you and your fellow soldiers, proud and thankful. Thank you for your dedication and courage. I realize that I owe you and others like you the things I take for granted every day. You amaze me, and you are my hero. Welcome home.
Welcome...may God continue to bless you and your fellow soldiers. --Donna
Welcome HOME! Thank you for the amazing job you have done and for the amazing blog!
I caught up to your blog in the early stages but still had to go back and read all about your adventures in Wisconsin. I think I even went back and posted in a few of those.
I am in Madison and if you are still in Wisconsin I would love to drive to Ft McCoy area and buy you a Beer! Hey I could even bring a home made meal to say thank you for a job well done!
Your blog has allowed me to see the life that my boyfriend has been living over there with you. He too should be home not to far behind you and so I just wanted to say thank you again for the amazing job you have done. If your interested in the beer give me an email.
Hopefully you are out of our green state and heading home to that family of yours. Enjoy them and remember to not take forgranted any moment with them. They loved you and so do all your readers.
Army Girlfriend in Wisconsin!
Welcome home!!! I've been reading your posts for quite sometime now, & I'm happy to hear you are home safe. Make sure you give us an update on Jake when you see him!
Welcome Home Will. Just like so many others I have been following your posts since the beginning. I have several friends who have been serving overseas and your posts have given me an appreciation for the experiences. If you're ever in Oklahoma, the bar at my house is open (after all, you're practically family!) and it comes complete with a bottle of Tylenol. Now that' you're stateside -- I hope you're talking to a publisher -- you should write a book!
It's so wonderful to know that you are back safe and sound.
Thank you, Will, for everything you've done. You've made a tremendous sacrifice and it is sincerely appreciated by so many people. Please pass on our gratitude to your fellow soldiers.
I hope you continue to post stateside. I would really miss you, along with about a billion other Will-fanatics!
Don't forget if you get to Arkansas there's homemade wine and homecooked food and a party waiting on you. Just say the word.
Take care, Will. It's great to have you home....
Welcome Home! It is good to hear that you are home and safe. I don't have anyone in Iraq, but my class and I have followed your article (They got the edit version). Glad to have you home.
I had the privilege of welcoming home the first group of South Dakotans to return on Friday (one being a very good friend). The best way to describe what I observed was Awesome and Surreal...Like it was so great, but was it really happpening...Were they all really home? Thank you for inviting so many into your life (more than I think you realize). Seriously, let us know when the book, movie deals, and television spots are happening. You make many proud, Soldier! Sarah
First of all, thank you does not even begin to say it for the service you have performed for us. We all owe you greatly for the life you live to protect us. I am very grateful and my family is as well.
Secondly, welcome back to the great state of WI. For those of us who were born here and are crazy enough to still live here - WELCOME HOME!!! Spring has sprung and we are glad that you are able to be here to enjoy the warmer weather headed our way.
I hope you will be able to see your nephew and be blessed as his GODFATHER the right way. What a joy your family is feeling that you are safely here in the US.
God bless you, your troops, your family & friends. May you enjoy your time home and God Speed your friends home from there as well.
Welcome Home Solider!!! YOU ROCK!!!!
DJ from Racine, WI
The Irish know how to welcome people home. I'm glad your back.
Welcome back to the good ol' USA. What a great birthday present for you -- celebrating this year with family and friends and getting to see Jake for the first time :-) You deserve that kind of birthday! Enjoy!
Hard to believe (at least for me, probably not you) that it has been a year since I started reading your blogs. Thanks a million for allowing us all into your life. I, like many others, can't wait for the book. Hope you keep posting. I can only imagine the stories we will hear about transition back into civilian life.
Again, welcome back. Glad you're safe! Hope you're home with your family soon!
Hugs, Love, and continued prayers to you.
Kimberly in No. VA
Glad to have you back in Wisconsin! I live just down Hwy 16, a few miles the other side of Sparta from you. I'm sure you want to get on home, though, and I hope you can get there soon. But just because your are back doesn't mean you can't blog anymore.
Thank you for your service, and have a wonderful life!
By the way, did you get to hear any of the Ole and Lena jokes while you were here?
Thank you for you service! You are still my hero.
hey Will--didja do the one yet where you throw yourself face down on the lovely lush grass and kiss the ground, so grateful to be back on US soil? or the one where you get out and just take a long walk down main street and soak up the smells and sounds and senses of home? or the one where the silliest, dumbest things , the little things, that used to drive you crazy, suddenly make you cry, outta the blue, because they're so wonderful to have back again, exactly like they used to be?
and having been in a nation that's the size of california, are you blown away to see how vast is this land we call home?
welcome back. a thousand times, welcome back.
i hope you keep blogging. no one writes like you do. you're a rare one.
soak it all up. revel in it. let yourself get lost in the little things, like the evergreens in wisconsin, like snow in nebraska, like the birdsong you haven't heard in a year, like summer not getting any hotter than 95°...
and if you feel it, blog about whatever hits you, touches you, dawns on you, like that, as you arrive back to your home and your life in the free world.
hope to read about it. I'll be checking!
YOU are by far an amazing person keep up that great spirit of yours.
WELCOME HOME MY DEAR SOLDIER
GOD BLESS YOU!
Keep an eye out for those young single soldiers so that they don't get lost in the aftermath.
Hugs, Hugs and more Hugs.
A Hug for Mom also.
yahoooo…finally it‘s the moment to say: ”it’s finished”, well now the beer don’t miss you, but when you’ll read this we hope you haven’t drunk, it don’t will be the beer that you drinking also for us that you have drunk, true? If it’s so leave it a little us. We remember you that we are very happy that you are in USA, do you have finally hug small Jake and your family?
A dear greeting all you.Two devote italian friends,
Milena and Adriana, Ciao
Might as well make it 70 comments. I've been following your course since the first days of the war. I'm glad you made it through unscathed. I really was close to joining the army up here so I could pitch in, but Canada didn't send any soldiers to Iraq anyway. Either way, my heart was with you, I was dreaming of being a soldier with my fellow soldiers, defending the good people of Baghdad and maybe going down to Falluja (sp?) any haveing a chat with the people who killed those US contracters. Anyway, I wish I could have helped out some how. I'm glad you were there doing your bit. Thanks. Canada thanks you too!
Welcome Home Will!!!!!! Thank You for all that you and your fellow soldiers have sacrificed to help those that could not help themselves. We are proud of all of our troops, and ecstatic to have you back in CONUS!!! Be safe, enjoy, and we all hope you will keep us posted on where and what life as planned for you next!!! Hugs, kisses and prayers to Jake.
Well done Soldier!!
Now GO FLY A KITE!!
If you need one...
Please contact me..
Happy to send you anythng you'd like.
Been reading the 'blog for a while....
glad to see you made it safe home...
Hey Will - when do you get back to NE?
I'll be there April 17 and would love to buy you a Budweiser!
It has been a while since I checked your blog. I am so so happy that you are finally home. Now you can spoil your little nephew to pieces. Wohoo!
Thank you so much for your blog, because it gave me so much.
Enjoy your time at home and drink a beer for me will ya!
Many hugs to you.
Glad to have stumbled across your website.
Thank you so much for all that you did.
Welcome bacck to the "World" and THANKS.
Will, where the heck did you disappear to, buddy? We heard more from you when you were halfway around the world! I hope you didn't come down with a serious case of alcohol poisoning. Hope to read more from you soon, just to let us know how you're adjusting to life back in the states.