Friday, November 07, 2003

Well it is down to it. This is the last entry I will make from my home in the sand box! I am with in days of completing my seventh deployment. I have grown spiritually, emotionally, and mentally. I have made, and lost some extremely good friends. There are several guys who have been integral parts of my life for the last six years and more than likely I will never see them again. Jay, Matt, Take care guys. I hope all of your dreams and aspirations come to fruition!

My son will be six months old shortly after I get back. Reid, I have done all of this so hopefully you wont have to. I am very sorry I have missed this first short period of you life and I pray I never have to miss this much of any part of it in the future. I hope you will grow up proud of what we have done here.

Joyce has put up with me being gone for more than half of our marriage, and more than two thirds of my time in the Army. You are an amazing woman! I love you more than you could ever imagine! I can’t wait to see you in the next couple of weeks. I can’t promise that this won’t happen again, but I will do everything I can to not let it. Thank you for being the support I needed, and the love I would be nothing with out.

This war is far from over and I think it will only get worse before it ends. Many more people will die, so I will continue to pray for the safety of our soldiers, and the welfare of our nation and the well being of all mankind.

As this chapter of my life ends I am not sure what will happen to Soldier’s Paradise, but I do know I will write more about my redeployment and how Joyce, Reid and I are doing when we are together again.

Always remember you cannot make any one else happy if you are not happy yourself! Some one I was once very close to always says something like, “Dance like you’ve never danced before, live every day like it’s you last, and love like you want to be loved!” I’m pretty sure I messed it up but you get the gist!

Catch you on the flipped side!

Tuesday, November 04, 2003

Well I think I am down to fingers before I actually get out of here. There have been no set backs so far this time (knock, knock, knock).

Joyce and I have decided to use a moving company. It really isn’t that much more expensive than just renting a truck since the truck is gonna be so much, and it takes all the hassle off of us. Not to mention I won’t have to worry about Joyce, driving our SUV with two cats, an 85 pound Golden Retriever and a five month old little boy. She’ll have to put up with all that and me now…I’ll be driving though.

As I said I want to use my Tuesday post to answer questions I have received. The one I have gotten the most recently is, how can some soldiers be drinking alcohol over here and some aren’t? Well there are several answers to that question. First there are the laws of the land. Alcohol is not illegal in Iraq, but it is in Kuwait. Kuwait is a dry country, and very aggressive in it’s laws to control the populace. No alcohol, no pornography, the even go into clothing laws and what is acceptable and what isn’t. It isn’t as tough as the laws that were imposed on the Afghani’s but along the same lines. Iraq on the other hand ironically is very “Americanized”. Jack Daniels is all over up there from what I have heard, and what ever you want to drink is purchasable at the corner store.

However whether alcohol is legal in the country or not we are all supposed to be under general order number one. I am to this day not exactly sure what that means. Since basic general order number one was, “I will guard everything with in the limits of my post, and quit my post only when properly relieved.”, but now it also means no drinking, no sex, no this, no that, so no one should be drinking, but soldiers are smart even in their stupidity. Soldiers receive alcohol through the mail, they bring it in mouth wash bottles or the like. There are even soldiers out here making it when they can get away with it. I am not a drinker any more so none of that concerns me, and I think it is sad that some soldiers can’t go a couple of months (or a year) with out a drink. I do understand that some people drink to unwind and I know how much that is necessary out here so I guess I understand that.

The bottom line is this: If you want a soldier to do something, tell him not to, and if you don’t want that soldier to do something order him to do exactly that.

Saturday, November 01, 2003

Well I set up a schedule for my blog writing and broke it right off the bat. Sorry about that. We had some scheduled maintenance on the network I didn’t know about that knocked out the internet for us for a while.

Things have been crazy here the last few days. I have another departure date. I am supposed to have less than two weeks left in this wonderful country. I’ll believe it when it happens, but if it does I will be home for Thanksgiving and Christmas for the first time in six years!

Some one unplugged the heater. A couple of nights ago it dropped down to 55 degrees! We were freezing and it hasn’t gotten back up over eighty since. I guess we had about thirty minutes of fall…literally. It has made for some dramatic sunsets however. I love clouds and sunsets so I will try and get some good pictures up in the next post. There have been no clouds until now as the sun burns them off too quickly when it is 150 degrees.

People have gone nuts it seems with the drastic temperature change. My work area is a maze of connected tents and going from one tent to another is enough to send a person into shock. You walk into one and there is no change from the temperature outside, the next has the AC going because they have one of those people who is always hot and the last has the heater going because they have the opposite. I am beginning to know what a woman going through “the change” feels. It’s no better in the sleep tent. Every little cubicle has it’s own AC/Heater and they are all set differently, half on heat and half on AC. It’s amazing.

We are still doing PT in our little Army shorts and T-shirts, but it has been cold in the morning, especially when we are all used to sweating just from the walk to the PT area, but I only have five more days of PT left before I leave this wonderful place and I am hoping to leave with out having to dig out my sweats. Just another thing I will have to keep track of and keep clean (yes I am sometimes that lazy, but it’s only five more days).

I am getting short, and soon I will be re-united with my wife and son, even though that is going to be a pain in the butt, but I will keep you abreast of all of those developments while I go through the re-deployment process.

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