American soldier going to Iraq or Afghanistan gets 15 days leave in the middle
of a 12 month tour (18 days if it's a 15 month tour). The army provides free
round trip travel from Iraq (Kuwait, actually) to anywhere in the world.
Recently, as troops are in a second or third tour, they realize that they would
relax more if they didn't go home. Now, between ten and twenty percent of those
taking the leave, are going somewhere else. Australia and Europe are favorite
destinations. Sometimes the troops arrange to meet the family, or a girlfriend,
at the alternate destination. The
problem with going home, as many discover, is that the family is often not on
vacation with them, and the "vacation" turns into a grind, as domestic matters
are tended to, and visits to, or from, many kin, eliminate a lot of opportunity
What troops really want to
do on these R&R (rest and recreation) trips is, well, just rest, and maybe
recreate a bit. More are doing just that, as the percentage of those going
somewhere besides home heads for 20 percent, mainly among the half of the
troops that are not married.