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Jeff's Afghan Diary: Disappointment
January 4, 2007

      Character is proven when we are disappointed.

      We received word two days ago that we would get more time to spend at home before we leave.  Today, that changed - we won’t get that chance.

      I called my wife after I was told we would be able to leave, and bought airline tickets for the trip.  I would have been home for three days, and my wife was excited about being able to see me again another time.  I called her today to tell her that I had to cancel the tickets (to their credit, American Airlines refunded the ticket price, given the circumstances).  She was disappointed, but took it well.  I asked her to tell the kids for me.

      To be honest, I can’t blame the Army - the command was trying to allow us more time with our families, but things didn’t work out.  Sometimes things go that way.

      You can see the disappointment on some of the faces around here - many Soldiers were counting on spending one last visit at home before we left, and now we all have to call airlines and family to explain why we can’t go.

      I realize this isn’t the end of the world, and that worse thing that can happen.  It’s just another small disappointment.  Unfortunately, it hits us where it hurts the most - family time.

      For most people in the military, family is one of the most important things in this world to us, whether it’s our own family or the families of our fellow Soldiers.  It’s what motivates us and keeps us going.

      No one complained or groused, or carried on about the news.  We understand how it is.  We have a war going on, and plans are imperfect at best.  One comes to expect change.

      Apparently, we will be leaving sooner than we had been told.  We are entering the last transition period of our training, and it will become more focused, more arduous, more real.  We will all be concentrating much more on getting ready to go now.

      Home will have to wait until we return.

-- Jeff Courter

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Charles Henderson

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The Rev. Charles P. Henderson is a Presbyterian minister and Executive Director of
He is the author of God and Science (John Knox Press, 1986).  
A revised and expanded version of the book is appearing here.
God and Science (Hypertext Edition, 2005).
He is also editor of a new book, featuring articles by world class scientists and theologians, and illustrating the leading views on the relationship between science and religion:
Faith, Science and the Future (CrossCurrents Press, 2007).

Charles also tracks the boundry between the virtual and the real at his blog: Next World Design, focusing on the mediation of art, science and spirituality in the metaverse.  

For more information about Charles Henderson.