Wednesday, December 16, 2015

KendallJaye Collard Week 179: Finding Home

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KendallJaye Collard’s Picture Choice: Both

Title: Finding Home

The weather couldn’t have been more perfect.

I mean, I was in Hawaii, for Pete’s sake. It’s always perfect.

Does life get any more ideal than soft, salty breezes in your face as you walk on sand soft as sugar while people back home bundled and shivered? New York City was where I spent my time in between deployments. And while a piece of me missed my overpriced micro-apartment with one dinky window where I would feed the pigeons, New York never truly felt like home. It felt like a temporary stop. It felt constricting. I always looked at the sky, wanting to be back in uniform. Once a pilot, always a pilot.

When my Commanding Officer asked where I was taking Christmas leave, I hadn’t even thought about it. The idea that I could go anywhere over the holiday hadn’t registered. And the beautiful irony of my decision was that I had spent roughly the last nine years with my boots in the sand. But the deserts of Iraq were nothing like this paradise.

I closed my eyes, took another deep breath, and let the sun bake my face. I felt at peace. At home.

Suddenly the air horns sounded from the nearby base. I opened my eyes. A few people on the beach began to stir and whisper amongst themselves. “It’s happening again,” I heard them say. Their fingers pointed skyward.

You could see the jets before you could hear and feel their thunder.

Paradise was about to be torn.


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KendallJaye Collard gets her kicks above the waistline, Sunshine. Wine drinker, Cancer Survivor, and protected by rocksalt. Spread the love with her at @KJCollard.


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