Large black plastic boxes fill my room and my office space, slowly being filled with clutter and accumulated trinkets purchased from Amazon or Think Geek. In goes my Pathfinder RPG books and playmat. On top I’ll pile my varied assortment of Arduino parts and Raspberry Pi boards, stuffed next to my portable geology kit. Before the lid is closed, I’ll fold and tuck in my going away present from my office mate, Donald Holt, a Hawaiian shirt in my university’s colors with the words, Sun Devils, printed across the pattern. I’ll save my books and throw out my bath robes. I’ll save my DVD’s, but give away my coffee maker.
I’ll pull off hundreds of TV show episodes and movies down from the Morale Drive and tuck a 4 terabyte enclosure into my pelican case, next to a full size telescope my family sent me for Christmas. My work friends will say their good byes to me and I’ll accept a few more friend requests on Facebook or LinkedIn. One or two people will make plans to come out to Phoenix, and with my Sea bags ill take home a ton of memories and lessons.
I’ll leave my fully automatic rifle in Germany. I’ll leave my expeditionary gear in San Diego, and when I board the flight back to Arizona I will be down to a backpack. I will buy a car. I will register for spring classes. I will repaint my house. I will forget Afghanistan.