Then at the start of July, I get this email titled "Hello from Iraq." Suddenly Captain Ted has been redeployed. I get pictures of the Royal Tombs of Ur, the Ziggurat, a T-55 tank, various bits of Soviet-style light weapons, and even the captain's buddies. They are walking around in flak jackets and helmets in the 120 degree heat, snapping pictures in between disposing of ordnance and so forth. It's amazing to me that we've got troops doing a spot of tourism around the Sumerian ruins, about places I read about in Gilgamesh, the book that made me realize much of Christian mythology was a rehash of what had come before (see also the Mithra cult).
I'm so jealous. I'd love to see the founding centers of agricultural civilization, in Mesopotamia or the Indus valley. Heck, I'd love to see Egypt and China as well. But it doesn't seem likely. Maybe I should join the Air Force.