NEW YORK - Ryan Conklin, the impish, guitar-playing merry prankster of this season's

The Real World: Brooklyn

, was packing his guitar to head to Iraq on Sunday.

The former cast member of the MTV reality show said yesterday, "I want to get this thing started, because the sooner I do it, the sooner it'll be over. I'm kind of just getting antsy with time."

He hopes to serve a rotation of just nine months.

The Gettysburg, Pa., native, now 23, was on the front lines three years ago. He received his deployment notice while living in the Real World house. It was one of the show's poignant moments: His brother called with the news, and Conklin's reaction ran from denial to disbelief to tears.

Conklin, who voiced his opposition to the war and participated in a Veterans Day parade on the show, touched viewers who sympathized with his predicament. "I knew it could happen," he said of being redeployed. "I really wish it never did, but it did."