Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Leaving on a jet plane

Well probably not a jet plane, and not quite yet... but soon!

Since I signed up for this deployment (AUG 2008): I went through over 60 days of training (TDYs and training on base), Traveled to multiple different locations, made it known that I needed to deploy early to help the comm guys and now Ive been here and Im heading home soon! I have gotten coins from two different 2-Star Generals, a 1-Star General, and a Command Chief. Things that I have said and done have made their way up to the Pentagon and back. Procedures that I figured out and worked out have become the standard. I have been looked at and respected as an NCO even though Im not one (I'll test when I get home). It has been tough, I have had rank flexed on me more than once... and that is when I remembered that Im NOT and NCO. I got frustrated and wanted to quit at times, but I don't really get that option. My leadership has praised me for the work I have done and I think that I have learned a lot from being out here.

I have missed many events back home: I missed my 3rd wedding anniversary (that is 2 of 3 that I have missed for those of you counting). I missed too many birthdays to list them all, but the most important ones that I missed were Mary and Maddox's birthdays (that is 1 of 2 missed for those keeping track). I missed a trip to go see my brother, 2 weddings (one of which I was supposed to be in). AND I missed moving into the new house.

However, Im in the military. I knew what I was signing up for, and I volunteered for this deployment! I don't think that there is anything I would change about all of this. I have the love and support of 2 beautiful ladies back home and I cant wait to see them again!

Monday, October 5, 2009


Today is Monday it was my first day back at work since I traveled. I traveled to a couple of different bases:

Day 0 of travel: Woke up at about noon or so, picked-up laundry and thought about buying another pair of sunglasses, I had a slight crack in mine, but figured that they would last through the trip. showered and got ready for work. I got home from work about midnight:30 so that moves us to day 1.

Day 1 of Travel: Got off of work (as previously mentioned). I packed and talked to Mary for a short time. I slept for about 2 or 3 hours and then showered and grabbed all of my gear to head out. We, I traveled with my LT, got to our first destination. Before leaving the terminal we got coffee (Quad White Chocolate Mocha Frappaccino, yeah that is 4 shots of espresso) from Green Beans. We went and got rooms for the night and then went to work. After being at the office for a few hours and finishing my frapp and 2 black coffees, I had to take someone over to the terminal to get him signed up to leave with us (we were leaving the next day). Since we were back at the terminal, we got more coffee (I only got a double this time). At this point I had been up for over 24 hours and had about 3 hours of sleep, coffee was needed! We got back to the office and did what we needed, I think I only had one more cup of coffee that night. After dinner we went the PX, I didn't need anything but the people that I was with did. On the car ride back to the office, I broke my sunglasses, I wasn't happy. I went to bed around 1am or so, I didn't have any trouble falling asleep since I had been up for so long. The linens I was given were all different colors:

this is my bed after I made it with the different colored sheets

I don't know why, but I took a picture of my bag and body armor

Day 2: I woke up showered, and LT and I walked over to the terminal, we met up with the other guy, Sacco, after checking in, Sacco and LT went to get Coffee, LT brought me a Frapp, it was awesome! Im not a froo froo coffee drinker, but these things are magical!! My LT is probably about 5 feet tall and weighs about as much as my left leg. needless to say she is small. Her flack vest is probably small enough for Maddox to wear, so I thought it would be funny to try it on. It was:

right after this picture the velcro gave out

We got our ride to the next base, checked in and found out that were we were staying they didn't have any linens. We decided that we could deal with it for one night. We went and talked to a few people then went back to our rooms. It got really cold and my towel wasn't enough to keep me warm, so I didn't sleep too well.

Day 3: We got up ate breakfast then went to the office to start meeting with people. We singed up to try and leave that evening, but the weather wasn't looking too good. Since we didn't have a very good room, we decided to just sleep in the terminal hoping for a flight out. When it came time to leave, the people that were showing us around the base said that if we got on a certain bus, it would take us to the terminal. We got on this certain bus and rode around for an hour to end up back at our original starting point... We asked someone else and they said to get on a different bus. So that was what we did! We got to the terminal checked-in and they told us to hang out and relax. I sat down and read the paper, as I finished the paper a movie came on the TV that was in the terminal. The movie was horrible, I don't remember the name and it didn't have a plot, please trust me when I say that it was a horrible movie!

Day 4: I think the first movie was still on, I dont remember. LT found out where the MWR was, so we were going to go check our e-mail. Sacco stayed and watched our bags and body armor. When we got back it was probably around 4am or so. I watched football on TV and Sacco and LT slept. around 6 I went and brushed my teeth and put on deodorant. At this point I had been in my uniform for 24 hours, it was time for some more DO! Sacco and LT went to go get food around 630 or 7, I stayed to watch the bags, I ended up sleeping, like a baby, it was wonderful. They came back, we ate, and I slept a little bit more. We finally got out of that base and back to Sacco's base around 3 or 4 in the afternoon. We hung out for a bit, we met with some more people and did a little bit more work. Around 11pm that night we were going to the terminal to leave again. We got there and there were a ton of people, the place was packed, all the seats were full and people were sitting/laying on the floor on their bags. We were concerned that we weren't going to get out.

Day 5: We left and got into the camp that we are based out of and back to our rooms around 5am. I showered (I had been in my uniform for 47 hours). I talked to Mary for a bit and then slept, I didnt wake up for about 5 solid hours and then I woke up thinking I overslept.

When I got back to work, I was greeted by a couple of people outside of work and they all welcomed LT and me back and told me that I had A LOT of mail waiting for me. I didn't have time to pick it up, but shortly after I sat down at my desk someone brought my stack of letters over, I had 15 cards from people! It was great! I guess Mary saw a bunch of people, or sent a bunch of e-mails out asking people to write to me, I got cards, letters, jokes, comics, even a picture colored by a 19-month old. I appreciate and thank everyone for their prayers. I never expected to get so much mail from people saying that they were proud of me and thanking me for what I do, some of the people I haven't even met before, but they are friends of Mary's parents.

all of the fun cards and letter I got

Well time to relax and go to bed. I love all of you and hope that this blog finds you all happy and healthy.

A few more random pictures:
Frog hanging out, ready to travel
old picture during a mild dust storm