Far away from home | TheUnion.com

Far away from home

I am from Grass Valley and serve as an infantry team leader in the California National Guard. Prior to the National Guard, I served on active duty with the 25th Infantry Division. During my active duty tour with the 25th, I was sent to Egypt on a Multinational Force Observers Mission for six long, hot months. I got out of active duty service in August and joined the Guard. As soon as I reported to my Guard unit in Auburn, I was told that we were deploying to Southwest Asia for six months. I wasn’t exactly thrilled about going back to the desert. On the other hand, my country has called on me to do a duty which will protect our freedoms, families and community. I accepted the mission with open arms.

I am still in Southwest Asia and anxiously awaiting our redeployment home in June. During my recent experiences with the desert in two different areas of the world, I have encountered serious culture shock. The desert is not a fun place. I do not recommend it for anyone’s honeymoons. I find myself thinking about how good we have it in our small community. I think a lot of people take it for granted, not taking a chance to appreciate the fresh air and trees which surround them. I write to open the eyes of those who might have mistakenly forgotten or overseen the beauty of Nevada County and what it has to offer. Today I walked an ungodly amount of miles through a sandstorm that had winds up to 50 knots. I had all my gear on, which weighs about 100 pounds. During this walk through the desert I started thinking about walking along the North Fork of the Yuba. I find my thoughts reflecting back to home with everything that happens here.

I write this just so people can appreciate how great it is to be Americans and how great it is to live in Nevada County.

Cody Laplaca

Grass Valley

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