Sunday, December 21, 2008

Our Soldier

226 lbs. of gear ~ without flack jacket and helmet

God Bless The USA!

That's Our Soldier!


Saturday, December 6, 2008

Welcome Home Slide Show

Two nights I'll never forget

Thursday night was wonderful! David Andrew made it home safely and I still get chills when I think back to the ceremony.

Since then, we've spent a lot of time together. We enjoyed a very late dinner at Applebees Thursday night, where several staff members stopped by our table to thank David. One of the waitresses, Michela, said her husband returns on Wednesday night. We're praying for a safe and uneventful return so they can enjoy the same wonderful homecoming we did!

Yesterday we grabbed some breakfast at Cracker Barrel and then did some shopping. David's lost weight and much of his clothes don't fit anymore.

He hasn't worn civilian clothes since Feb 17th, 2008 (when he was in the states for my grandmothers funeral). Each day in Iraq, he wore his uniform. He also was required to wear his vest and helmet and carry his gun. In fact, in order to get into DFAC (the dining facility), the soldiers are required to show their weapon, a magazine of ammo, and their ID.

At the PX (the shop on base here in Georgia), we picked up some shirts and sweaters for him, but he still needs pants that fit. He's tall (6'2") and now he's very skinny (30" waist) so finding pants that fit him well has been a challenge.

While at the PX, I picked up a new Vera Bradley Weekender travel bag. It's bigger than a purse, but smaller than a suitcase. Things are less expensive on base because they sell items for less than suggested retail and there's no tax. I love my new bag.

Last night, after a failed attempt at a Pizza Hut dinner (as we were being seated, the waitress informed us the wait for dinner was running about an hour and 20 which we immediately responded, "peace out!") we then started on our merry way to a local German restaurant. Prior to DA deploying last October, Jennie, mom and I came down here to visit him and we ate at this restaurant. Turns out the gal that owns the restaurant, her husband is in David's platoon. We had a really good time talking with her and the food was fantastic. So, after the failed Pizza Hut attempt, we headed towards the German place.

Unfortunately, due to the Hinesville Christmas Parade, many of the streets were blocked off and we physically couldn't get to the restaurant. Who in the heck has a Parade in the dark? Seriously! You couldn't see the people on the floats!

We pulled over and Chelsey came out of her car over to us and we decided to try the Japanese Steak house in town.

FANTASTIC idea! We had a ball! The Japanese chef was awesome. He must have been a comedian in another life because he had us rolling (my mom nearly fell out of her chair when, while packing the rice prior to serving, he was slapping the rice pack with the spatula and yelling, "oh Jessica! Oh, Jessica!"). He and Shennie enjoyed sparing back and forth all night (Sher was wearing a Boston Red Sox shirt). It was a really good time.

After dinner, we went out to the rental car (Cadillac CTS) and I turned the key and as the car started, the windshield wipers came on and the washer fluid cleaned the windshield. I thought, "OK, maybe I accidentally pushed the button." I started adjusting the mirrors, turned on the seat warmer, and the wipers started up again, as did the washer fluid. I'm thinking, "What the heck? I KNOW i didn't push anything."

OK- this windshield wiping routine continued for the next 10 minutes! I'm driving down the street and the wipers turned on randomly! It was hysterical! Finally, it stopped and we figured that b/c it was so cold outside, the caddy must have some programming that sends heated lighter fluid to the windshield to help defrost it.

The rest of the drive home was uneventful, except for the CONTINUED Christmas Parade! It was just wrapping up as we finished dinner and headed back to the hotel.

We called it a night about 9:30pm. DA is still adjusting to the time change and the 5 day trip from Kalsu to Georgia.

Today, Shennie left to head back to Massachusetts. Later, we're heading up to Savannah to get some pantelones for the Soldier.

We're so thankful he's home and we're enjoying every minute together!

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Look at all that gear

"232 lbs of gear"


He looks good!

Wrap up

Sorry for no updates....

The ceremony lasted about 3 minutes.

Then everyone stormed the field to grab their soldier.

I got great video though.

Our soldier

He's home safe.

Thank You God!!

He's home!

And the music starts...

They just announced the busses are 30 mins out!

And, the 3rd ID band is starting to play.

The atmosphere is very fun....lots of little kids holding signs welcoming daddy home. A couple kids are very young. I'm sure for one or two families, a daddy will meet his baby for the first time.

Still waiting though!

40 mins!

The officer on the loud speaker just announced they've left Hunter Air Field (about 30 mins from here) on Army busses and they're on their way here!

Only about 40 mins until they arrive!

We're ready!!

Aunt Sher flew in from MA to surprise David!!

D.A. Phone Home

David phoned me tonight from U.S. soil!

In processing

Well, he turned in his gun and is "in processing." If you're not familiar with the military, that means he's signing in to let Uncle Sam know he's HOME!

The welcome home ceremony is still scheduled for 920 pm EST.

Pictures will be coming soon!


David has landed on US soil!!

Getting closer

He just texted and is about to land!

We saw the busses!

OK, so we're in savannah driving to dinner and we just saw the busses David is coming back to base on!! We almost followed them :)

They're picking up the soldiers at Hunter and driving them down to Fort Stewart.

Only a few more hours!

PS White Zinfandel is buy one get one free at Outback!!

This is the start of a very good evening!

Delayed ceremony

Tonights welcome home ceremony has been pushed back from 720 to 920pm. Two more hours doesn't seem like a long time, BUT IT IS!!

David should probably land around 6pm, then they have to load up their gear into trucks and head down here for the 920 ceremony.

We can't wait!
Hey everyone, just wanted to let everyone know that I have landed in Germany and we will be departing shortly. Flight wasnt too bad, though I took some Tylenol PM and another sleep aid and it didnt seem to help much at all. So hopefully I will be able to take something a little stronger for my flight home (and yes, I am using a EUR keyboard, so if I were to type normally it would like something like this: So zea, logging onto mzspace is a pain in the rozal Q$$. Cool stuff actually. Anywho, I am going to try to get a phone call in here a moment or two so I can officiallz call peeps and let them know Freedom One has landed. Take care and cannot wait to see everzone back home.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008


He has landed. He's supposed to leave at 7:20, which is...I'm assuming in the evening. That gives him...a day and 8 hours to get from Kuwait to Stewart for the ceremony. The flight to New York should be about 13, and then he has to get to maybe he leaves at 7:20 in the morning of the 4th and then has 20 hours to do the trip. I don't remember, but maybe that makes more sense. I don't know what kind of layover they're expecting in New York. Wow! He's almost home tomorrow!

Monday, December 1, 2008

In the Air

Less than 4 days!!! According to David he should be on a plane to Kuwait now or soon. He said I could expect a call sometime after 3 AM, so hopefully he'll be able to get to a phone relatively quickly after arriving and I'll post on here when he's safely in Kuwait. Then from there he's on a flight directly to New York, from which he'll fly to Hunter Army Air Field in Savannah, and then they'll take buses to Fort Stewart. As of last night everything is still on track for him to arrive on time on the 4th. Weather is going to be in the 50s and 60s with potential rain, so not too incredibly bad, maybe having the ceremony outside won't be as painful as I thought it would be, but I think I'm still rooting for it being inside.

It occurred to me as I was driving home from Jennie's that in about a day and a half I'll be in the car on my way to Georgia, and then once I get there it'll be less than a day until David is physically in my presence. That's really the way I want it, because once I'm there I'm going to be in excruciating anticipation. Better to have as little time as possible sitting in a hotel room with Mom and Jessie twiddling my thumbs wishing it was time to leave. Heaven forbid they show up late, I think I'd eat someone.

Well that's the update, I'll let everyone know when I've heard from him!