I opened my eyes, scratched at my beard, and rolled out of the rack. Then I threw on some cargo pants and checked my 9mm before I strapped it on. Then did a quick function check of the M4 as I headed for the front door on the way to the head. I passed Karl hovering over the coffee machine.

I offered a “G’morning.” 

I got an “Ugh,” as a reply. We were at 6500 feet, four clicks from the Pakistan border in the tribal areas of Afghanistan (c. 2005). I understood Karl’s need for morning java, you’ve got to have your priorities straight.

I stepped out the from door of the hooch, spread my arms, and took in a deep breath of mountain air. Oh yeah!