Damien Timms - End of the trip
Looking at the end of the trip, it was interesting in itself because we had to clean the vehicles and we had APCs in country. They've actually been brought back and they sit in a museum now or something, the actual APCs, down at Pucka. They didn't have any way because it's a land locked country. They had to get them outside the country and then onto a ship somewhere and then so on. So when we're leaving and we were the last ones there, there was a handful of us that had to escort their carriers on the back of trucks to be loaded onto other trucks and then moved onto some other country where they'd be able to ship back to Australia.
We had to wear actually civilian clothing and drive and follow them and drive these civilian cars back and then get to the airport. Everyone else was waiting there. It felt like you're some covert operation. But it was just so that every time we drove around the Presidential Guard or something like that, they would harass the Australian or UN troops. So here we were basically driving around with weapons in these civilian cars and going from there to the airport to get on a plane to go.
But personally I didn't feel this form of elation or a form of "Hey the mission is only half done". I say in retrospect, because I did have that feeling when I left Afghanistan that "Hey, mission half done." But I did definitely feel some elation like I'm out of this place.