Home Thoughts From Abroad: Some U.S. soldiers have spent so much time in Iraq, it feels like home.

By Lawrence Kaplan

One night earlier this fall, a string of detonations shook the walls of a company-sized U.S. Army outpost south of Baghdad. It was the middle of the night, but outside, behind a nearby palm grove, reports echoed and the horizon glowed. The sound and light showócourtesy, it turned out, of another American unit in the area firing illumination mortar rounds and other ordnanceódidn't stir a single one of the dozens of soldiers sleeping in the back room. They slept as deeply as if they were in their beds at home.

Home, in fact, was where they were. This latest deployment, which has gone on for more than a year now, is the third in Iraq for Bravo Company, 2/14 Infantry. The company, which belongs to the Army's most deployed brigade (the 10th Mountain Division's Second Brigade Combat Team), patrolled Iraq last year, and the year before that, and the year before that, and the year before that. I first encountered the brigade's officers here in 2004. Then in 2005. Then again in 2006. And now in 2007.