Cigars in the Sand

Commentary, Notes and Pictures from my time in Iraq

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Location: Baghdad, Iraq

Farmer by genetics, Lawyer by training, currently "vacationing" in Iraq and advising the Iraqi government on border security issues. Before moving to Baghdad, I served in the White House as Deputy Counsel for the Homeland Security Council. I can be reached at opusxryanathotmaildotcom.

Saturday, April 02, 2005

Back in Iraq . . . But Not For Long

So . . . I'm safely back in Iraq after a much-needed R&R trip to the States. I had a wonderful break, including stops in DC, Chicago, Las Vegas and the US Coast Guard Academy in New London, CT.

Unfortunately the day after I arrived home my father was diagnosed with advanced lung cancer. I have returned to Iraq for about 3 weeks to wrap things up here and make sure there is a smooth transition with my replacement. I will be returning to the farm just outside Winchester, Virginia to help my Dad's brothers with running the dairy farm, and of course assisting in the care of my father. It is with great sadness that I will be leaving my brothers and sisters here in Iraq. But there has been a time in my life when I've needed to be a lawyer, a time when I've needed to be a "diplomat"- but right now I need to be a son.

As for Cigars in the Sand, I will resume posting again this summer from the farm, commenting on US foreign policy towards the Middle East and US homeland security issues. I also plan on doing some freelance writing. If the right offer comes, I may affiliate with a think tank in DC to further my research into a few additional areas that interest me.

Thank you all for your amazing support and the links. Your emails, care packages and prayers have helped me make it through the tough times. I hope you have found my insight and pictures interesting and/or enlightening.