Saturday, July 3, 2010

Greetings from The Mediterranean

Hey bud! Even though we are only an hour apart timewise I haven't been able to catch you on the computer this week. Hope all is well with you. I know you have seen some of my posts 'cuz I've seen your comments.

This vacation has been wonderful. The week in Spain prior to getting on the ship was terrific. Seeing such historical places as The Prado was almost surreal. Madrid and Barcelona are great cities mixing very old with very new and doing it very well.

Wish I could write more, but it is bed time. We are getting off the ship in the AM so I will have to get up early to pack. We'll chat when I get home.

Love you lots. Be safe and KYHD.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Iraq During the Summer

So, just to give everyone a glimpse of what we have been having for heat, I pulled up Weatherbug's forecast for my area, and here is what it says:

Wednesday
6/16/2010
Hi: 122° Lo: 99°
There is a 0% chance of precipitation. Partly cloudy. Extremely hot, Muggy. Temperature of 122°F. Winds WNW 15mph. Humidity will be 26% with a dew point of 77° and feels-like temperature of 145°F.


So basically we are seeing our first break in almost 4 days (it had been hitting 150 with the heat index.) And it will be around 145ish till like sunday, and then monday and tuesday will be in the low trips so that will be much welcomed.

Monday, June 14, 2010

"Three minutes is like doing 200 push-ups"

Except for the fact that my abdominal machine is running for 40 minutes twice a day. What I am referring to is the Flex belt. Now I only just got it so I cannot show results just yet, but I have taken a before picture and will take pictures after one week, three weeks and so forth to show my progress. My goal is to incorporate this into my work-out so that i can get a taste for what its like having 6-pack abs for the first time in my life. The Flex Belt has 7 different toning settings with 99 intensity levels. Due to my on-going PT routine, I was able to start out at level 35 (currently pushing 50 as I type this). My goal is to be able to consistently do level 99 for 40 minutes twice a day every day. Right now its definitely working my abs to the extreme, but its not uncomfortable nor can anyone tell that i am wearing it till they see my abs constrict. I am definitely optimistic about this investment.

Update: So upon further reading of the manual, I found the program I liked the most. Its # 6 and is by far the strongest in terms of contraction intensity (but it varies in itself between long pauses, strong bursts and short but powerful bursts).

Jess-
Yup, you can find it @ http://www.theflexbelt.com

Lately i have been using Program 6, which has the strongest muscle contractions out of them all (its called Ab-Power). And I am feeling the workout now. And I dont know any one personally that has used it, but of all the EMS devices out there, this one has the highest reviews/positive comments. The only negative I saw was the person said they wanted to just lose weight and not get a 6-pack look. lol (whatever dude)

Saturday, June 12, 2010

So...

Upon thinking up a title to describe this blog, the only thing I got was either "Why am I not surprised", "Didn't see that one coming," and "I told you so just doesn't express it well enough." Basically, the BRIGADE personnel are now starting to also see the issue that our missions are not being flown as long as they should be. Now granted today was a HOT one. There was nothing cool about today. By 1030AM, it was already 122 Fahrenheit. But even my Shift NCOIC noted what I had already said, in not so many words, that there birds could be flying longer. Even if it was -2 outside, these birds would not be staying up for the full mission time. So lo and behold, people are asking questions and whaddya know, people are asking around NOW what can be done.

Like I said, I told you so just doesnt seem to cover it enough. But in other news, my infinite source of knowledge and the desire to learn more about my system landed me front and center with working our FOB Commanders vehicle so that he has a means of picking up our video. Basically, I was told that whatever or whoever I needed to get the job done, the FOB would provide. My only request for getting the job done: More light (they tried having me re-wire a system in pitch black with only flashlights. ) So tomorrow I will get to work in PTs (Our Physical Fitness Uniform) to get my task accomplished. So yea, right now I, of all people, am in the COL's good graces.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Dear Iron Brigade

I sincerely apologize for trying to fully support our current mission with pushing to get the aircraft to fly in its dedicated time-slot and not RTB(return to base aka land) early. I don't know what I was thinking when I made the suggestion for our civilian maintainer and army maintainers to tweak the engine to get it to burn less fuel and stay airborne longer. I know we promised You (Brigade) that we could support 16.5 hours of aerial coverage, but 13 seems sufficient. So again I apologize for trying to fulfill our promise and obligation. And I apologize to the civilian maintainer for recognizing him not doing his job and indirectly calling him out on it. How inconsiderate of me to want to do my job. This kind of thinking is only reserved for the brightest NCOs who are doing their job. I hope this matter can be resolved and we only half-ass support you for the rest of the deployment.

Your selfish Sergeant,
DA

Day Off??

OK - there is NO SUCH THING as a day off!! Yesterday I was not in the office at my paying job but it was certainly NOT a day off. It started bright and early. I had 3 different service technicians coming for 3 different jobs: install a new windshield, replace a leaky/broken kitchen faucet and an annual AC check. Everyone got here when they were supposed to. The windshield got replaced. The kitchen faucet got replaced - it works like a charm and the AC/furnace checked out fine. So what's the problem??

In the course of the plumbing job and AC job - same company but 2 different technicians, they checked our water heater and both agreed it needed to be replaced. In their words, "this is an accident waiting to happen. This thing could go at any time and flood your basement." So, we agreed on a new water heater to be installed at a time to TBD. We also decided to get an electrostatic furnace filter with a lifetime warranty. Well - AC guy did not have said filter on his truck so he said he would bring on back later in the day. All technicians were done and out by 1300 (1PM). We go to lunch and I run errands. DA requested some fans...something about it getting up to ~120 degrees Farenheit. So a trip to Walgreens and Walmart and then to Post Pack n' Ship to get the fans and other goodies out to DA.

I get home ~1600 (4PM) and dad and I are going through our trip/cruise arrangements. Making sure we have everything, etc. AC guy shows up with plumbers to install new water heater...he still does not have new furnace filter! (They had not called or anything, but no problem we were home and had no other plans!) (Dr Dave was off for the afternoon since he had worked the weekend). They get the old water heater emptied and disconnected BEFORE they realize they have brought the WRONG NEW WATER HEATER. They brought a propane HWH instead of a Natural Gas HWH. They are NOT interchangeable. So we now have 2 choices: no hot water until tomorrow (today) OR they can go the Home Depot and buy a new one and install it for the night then come back in the morning with the new 50 gallon one we had agreed on. So we decide we do not want to be without hot water for the night and morning showers, so off to Home Depot they go. They are back in short order and a new 40 gallon HWH is installed for about 14 hours. BTW - all this extra cost is on them - we had agreed on a HWH AND the price to install it, etc.
So the AC guy shows up this morning to help carry the newly delivered 50 gallon HWH down stairs so the plumber that is on his way can install it. Oh - and he has the new electrostatic filter with him!! YEAH!! They are both downstairs now emptying out the NEW 40 gallon HWH so they can install the NEW 50 gallon HWH. Hopefuly the plumber knows what he is doing and can work by himself because the AC guy has been called to go to another job. There are alot of things I learned to do by myself while Dr Dave was active duty, but installing a new HWH was not one of them!!

Moral of this story - don't call your day "away" from your paying job a "day off"...there is NO SUCH THING!!

P.S. At some point yesterday afternoon, Dr Dave notices that the BRAND NEW WINDSHIELD that got installed just hours before is CRACKED!! Luckily, that will be repaired at no extra charge since it is warrantied 100%.

Hope all of you had a good Tuesday!!

Saturday, May 29, 2010

What a Day!

You know, people always get on my case about knowing too much of my system, but today, those voices were silent. We experienced severe turbulence and with my calm, naturally cool attitude, was able to control the situation and save the aircraft (Our system isnt designed to fly in anything above moderate turbulence.)

And just for reference, everyone here has experienced on a commercial airliner what is considered LIGHT turbulence. Severe turbulence essentially is strong enough to cause structural damage to aircrafts. Guess that's why they call me 'Professor' this deployment. And to top it off, I had to correct our Warrant Officer on regulations for signing a risk assessment for a certain condition. But I will praise SPC W. for his finesse in landing the aircraft when it was uncertain what was going to happen. Kudos, dude.

Friday, May 21, 2010

It's Gonna Rain...!

So, apparently I am a better weather guy then the ones that we use here in Iraq. While they are forecasting weather, I am predicting weather and I have been right on more occassions than they have. (I swear they have the best job... They can be wrong and still keep their job. The weather simply changed.) I had both SWOs (Staff Weather Officer) tell me that they use a magic 8-ball half the time anyways. And I tell them that my 8-ball told me on the days when it was going to rain(And it did!) They now want my 8-ball. lol

Anywho, we are finishing up the inventories before our current commander hands over our company to the new incoming Commander. Now mind you we have actually been working with this new commander since we got in country, and at first we werent too keen on his ability to lead a unit with a UAS platoon in it. But it seems that since he has been transitioning over to being our commander, his whole attitude has changed and is a pretty approachable guy. Hopefully it sticks that way.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

The Chocolate Milk Diet

And no, this is NOT a joke.
From Yahoo News:
Imagine if everything you needed to know about weight loss, you learned in kindergarten. Well, if your teacher gave you chocolate milk as a lunchtime treat, she was (unknowingly) giving you one of the most powerful weight-loss tools in the nutritional universe. Turns out this childhood staple may be the ideal vehicle for your body’s most neglected nutritional needs. Each bottle delivers a package of micro- and macronutrients that can help you shake off body flab and replace it with firm muscle. And when you served it ice-cold, the creamy sweetness flows across your tongue with all the pleasure of a milk shake. Yum.

That’s the crux of what I'm calling "The Chocolate Milk Diet," which isn’t a diet at all. It’s essentially three eight-ounce servings of chocolate milk consumed at key points throughout your day: one when you wake up, a second before you exercise, and a third directly after your workout. Or, if it's your day off, just pattern them for morning, afternoon, and night. Sounds good, right? It is, and that’s why it’s so easy. But is this a free ticket to eat as much fried chicken as you want throughout the rest of the day? Unfortunately not, but alongside a healthy diet, it can help you drop lots of belly fat fast. Here are the four reasons why:

Secret #1: The Calcium Effect

Researchers have known for years about the role that calcium plays in building strong bones, but a more recent development deals with they way it affects your belly. A series of studies have shown that calcium can actually impede your body’s ability to absorb fat, and when researchers in Nebraska analyzed five of these studies, they were able to estimate that consuming 1,000 mg more calcium can translate to losing nearly 18 pounds of flab. What’s more, other studies have shown that dairy foods offer the most readily absorbable calcium you can find. Knock back three servings of brown cow and you’ll reach that crucial 1,000 mg threshold. At that point, any other calcium that you eat or drink is a bonus.

Bonus Tip: Everything is not as it seems in the world of fat and calories. Click here to see the 30 “Healthy” Foods that Aren’t. You'll be shocked by the pounds of fat you may unwittingly gain while thinking that you're eating healthy.


Secret #2: The Vitamin D Factor

All the calcium in the world isn’t going to help you if you don’t get a good dose of vitamin D to go with it. That’s because vitamin D is responsible for moving calcium from your food to your body, which means if you’re running low on D, you’re probably also missing the calcium you need to stay slim. Other symptoms of the D deficiency are weak muscles, easily breakable bones, and depression—not a great combo for success. Now here’s why this is significant: Most experts agree that the average American isn’t getting enough D. Some estimate that only half the population is meeting the requirement and one study published in the journal Pediatrics found that 70 percent of American children had low levels of D in their diet. The thing is, your body makes vitamin D naturally when you expose your skin to sunlight, but most people spend too much time indoors to benefit. And intentionally spending more time in the sun could put you at risk for skin cancer. The solution? Drink up. Chocolate milk, like most milk, is fortified with vitamin D.

One caveat here: Drink 1% chocolate milk. Vitamin D won't work without a little fat to help break it down. You want to skip the whole milk, too, as it has too many calories to make it a regular habit. The best option is 1%, or low-fat chocolate milk. It has the fat you need to absorb crucial vitamins, yet at three cups a day, it will save you 120 calories over whole milk.

Bonus Tip: Everything you need to know about cereal is right here: America's Best and Worst Cereals. Keep the sugar down and the fiber up for a perfect start to your day.


Secret #3: The Endurance Boost

If you want to lose the gut, you’ve got to exercise—no surprise there. But here’s a fact that’s not so obvious: Drinking chocolate milk can improve your gains. In a study published in The International Journal of Sport Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism, subjects given chocolate milk before hopping on the stationary bikes were able to ride 49 percent longer than subjects given a generic carbohydrate-replacement beverage. And on top of that, they pedaled even harder. Total work performed by the chocolate-milk group was greater than the work performed by subjects drinking carbohydrate-replacement drinks or electrolyte-fortified sports drinks. The reason? Milk has naturally occurring electrolytes that keep you hydrated—more hydrated then water, in fact, which I revealed recently on my Twitter account—and its natural sweetness helps push more energy into your muscles. Another study from 2009 found similar results, but it went one step further by asking participants which beverage they thought tasted better. Not surprisingly, 100% chose chocolate milk.

Bonus Tip: Discover more loveable liquids by browsing through our Best Beers slideshow. Or, if you’d rather avoid the calories altogether, then you’ll want to read The Worst Beverages in the Supermarket. Again, the point is to make weight-loss easy and fun, without ever worrying about going on a diet again.


Secret #4: The Protein-Body-Weight Connection

Want to know the secret to staying thin? You need more muscle. That’s because muscle burns more calories than fat, so for every new muscle fiber you create, your resting metabolism receives another surge of fat-torching energy. And chocolate milk can help you do that. Researchers have determined that the ideal protein load for building muscle is 10 to 20 grams, half before and half after your workout. How much protein will you find in low-fat chocolate milk? Eight grams per cup. (That means one serving before your workout and one serving after will give you a total of 16 grams of highly effective whey protein—a perfect serving.) Add that to the extra cup you drank first thing in the morning and you’re looking at a turbocharged metabolism that keeps you burning calories all day long.

And don’t forget, you can still melt those 18 pounds of belly fat without giving up your favorite foods. You just need to make smart swaps, and we’ve got 10 new ones right here. You'll lose weight faster than ever—again, with ever dieting again.



Side-note: I will say that my intake of Chocolate Milk most likely exceeds the 3x8oz servings for this diet. But it might explain why I was staying at 165lbs for like...Ever...But I will say that I have slowly started to gain muscle mass as per the P90X program (and hopefully with the addition of the FlexBelt Ab workout device), I will be able to get to a nice healthy, lean/toned physique.)

Monday, May 17, 2010

Its Beginning to Look a lot like Christmas...


In Campo, Colorado.... Certainly not here with a High of 109 today(RealFeel of 122), 111 tomorrow (with a RealFeel of 127), and 115 (RealFeel of 133) on wednesday... Umm, did someone forget to tell Iraq that its STILL springtime... HELLO!?!?!?!? Even the winds feel like someone turned on an industrial-strength blow dryer (much like the one from the movie "SpaceBalls.") Even the shade is in the mid 110s. But there is good news. We can now enjoy refreshing meals inside our new DFAC which recently opened and can seat 230 people at a time. Also some good news, the current FOB Commander has directed that snail mail arrive more frequently (even if in small quantities.) The reasoning may be personal, but it will mean that mail could arrive as quickly as just a few days. They have also changed up our flight times due to the heat so I will have a break in between the first and second flight of the day. (about 3 hour break). Which is nice cuz that means I will be in my nice, a/c cooled tent when its a million degress outside.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Another Saturday

Greetings from home. The day started with thunder, lightning and rain. It is now 1445 and the thunder and lightning have stopped, but it is still sprinkling. Eveything that is supposed to be is GREEN!!. I don't think I have seen plants, bushes, trees, etc. this green in the 17 1/2 yrs we have lived here. BTW - the pool water is about the same color of green. Why?? Because several years ago we had a bad ice storm in Dec. During that ice storm, a couple of large branches broke off one of the big trees close to the pool. When they fell, they were caught by lower branches and hung out there for these last few years. Well, this last spring we had some VERY windy days and the broken branches found their way to the ground by way of the pump and filter for the pool. SO...some parts have to be replaced/fixed. Consequently, although they came out on Mother's Day to "open" the pool, nothing is working yet. I am hopeful that all will get fixed this week so we can swim by Memorial Day.

Does anyone else think it strange that I "chat" with DA more when he is half way around the world then when he is "home"? That is certainly the case. We chat almost every afternoon for a little while. Don't get me wrong! It's not that I don't enjoy it because I do! It just seems weird that it happens this way.

Hope all is well where you are and that the haboob has moved on.

Love you lots. Be safe and KYHD!

mom

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Blast from the Past

So I was going through some old emails trying somehow to clean up and organize my inbox when I stumbled across a particular photograph. So, if ANYONE has ever doubted how much the Army has done for me physically, I will show you how I used to look... Its kind of scary knowing that I personally was that big. And I will show how I looked the DAY of my graduation from Basic Training.

WARNING: THE FOLLOWING DEPICTS IMAGES THAT MIGHT NOT BE APPROPRIATE FOR CHILDREN. VIEWER DISCRETION IS ADVISED... (Now my butt is covered)


Monday, May 10, 2010

Latest from Iraq...

So its been 2 months since we have arrived in theater (pass the popcorn)... So far we have managed to piss off the locals by constantly flying around. We have enjoyed some yummy BBQ at our sister site. I have been promoted to Sergeant (AT EASE!!)... We have been established at the bastard child/shining star of the TOC (Tactical Operational Center)... I have been able to set in stone that I will be home for the birth of our first baby mac. So yea, that's 2 months of deployment in a nutshell.

Oh, and apparently the human body (specifically the human thigh) is no match when put against(thats an understatement) an after-market, up-armored metal HMMWV front bumper...Me Just an hour of colliding with the HMMWV

My "I cannot believe I did this" grin...

Thursday, April 29, 2010

I talked to DA!!

What a wonderful surprise!! First Chelsey called to tell me that DA would be calling and then he called!! We had chatted earlier (on Yahoo! Messenger)so it was even more of a surprise because he didn't tell me that the call center was up and running!! He even had his calling card from his first deployment and it even had minutes on it!! He sounds great. He says he has put on some weight (a good thing!) ( I could tell!! It's a mom thing!!) Also, I now have a little better idea of where he is located. Per COL McCarthy I will not post that info but you can call me if you want to know more!! He is actually talking to Dr Dave right now! This is so awesome!! I am so glad that he can call now. Chatting is great, but hearing his voice is soooooo sweet. He sends his love to all. Right now it takes about 1 month for mail to reach him, but that may change soon. He would love to hear in any way, shape or form from any/all of you so....hint, hint!! If you need his address just let me know.

DA - Call any time!! Love you lots, be safe and KYHD.

mom

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

90X (EXTREME)

So for the past almost 2 weeks now, I have been going to the gym here on the FOB to do 90X which is a full body, muscle confusion workout. Essentially the program is designed to prevent people from plateauing for a muscle group. By mixing it up and alternating muscle groups, the body gets to ripped up and toned (and you can always push yourself beyond your weights. And before each workout, our shift takes an 8oz Na-Xplode energy supplement drink to help pump the heart rate up which forces more blood to the muscles which helps builds them up in less time, and strengthens the muscles which normally would take more repetitions and weights to achieve. I can already feel myself getting stronger and we haven't even hit past the 14th day of this 90-day (90days extreme) craziness. I cannot wait to finish this program. I will be taking a Before and After picture just so people can see the difference. (People know that I have never really been in GREAT shape, just in good shape). I already feel the difference and I am liking it. More to come!

Friday, April 23, 2010

My Promotion

Well after months of waiting, and then weeks of further waiting, I have finally been officially inducted into the Non-commissioned Officer Corps. It was a small ceremony since it was during the duty day, but I was glad my Squad Leader/Shift NCOIC got to be present since he was the one who was pushing for me to go to the board (he is also the one that actually pinned me.) Things really havent changed too much, except having to get used to people walking past me and them saying" Good Afternoon, Sergeant..." but that will come with time. And I've seen a few people from our company here that noticed I got pinned and they congratulated me as well. So its been nice to get the respect, but I still feel like the same old me.
video

TGIF

...or as we have been known to say (and Grandma Carew loved this) it's P.O.E.T.S. Day. (Piss On Everyone Tomorrow's Saturday!) Woo-Hoo.

How are things going over there now that you're a Sargeant? Are you busier than before? What's the weather like there? It's really nice here today. In the 50s and sunny. We're finally getting a spring we can enjoy! Some people are still cleaning up from the floods we had back in March. I was lucky, but some folks had some MAJOR water issues. Things were so bad Rhode Island and eastern Massachusetts got extensions on filing our state and federal taxes until May 11. I finally got all my stuff together this weekend and got it to my accountant. Every year I vow to be more organized. Hopefully this year I'll do it!

The package I've put together for you will either go to the PO later this afternoon or tomorrow morning. Hope it makes it to you relatively quickly.

Not a lot of exciting stuff happening here. OOOOOH! I thought of you yesterday afternoon. On the radio on my way home from work and on the TV news when I got home, everyone was talking about the hail storms down south of here. They had lots of pictures on the TV. I remembered all the photos you posted of your recent hail storm. We didn't have any up my way, but down heading to the Cape really got pelted. It looked to be about the same size as what you had.

Well, back to work. Only 2.5 hours until the weekend starts. I'm going to a friend's house for dinner tonight. She's an elderly lady in town (87). She has 24/7 help in her house (she has Parkinson's Disease). She lives in an old rambling house on acres and acres of land. She and her family have donated most of the land to the town so that it will never be developed. Some is farm land and some is Open Land. She also has a pool and a tennis court on her property. She's kept company by a relative of Cooper named Brassie.

On the one hand I have Monday off; on the other hand I have Monday off because I have to go to Lahey. Just for checking some stuff. Nothing exciting. My appt. is at 9:45 a.m. but I'm taking the whole day. That way I don't have to kill myself getting everything done over the weekend.

Well, Sarge, have a great day/weekend. And, remember....KYHD! XXOO

Shennie

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Yeah!!

Well, now I can post again. Thanks Jessica!

DA - it was good to chat with you this morning. Check out his new pictures on Facebook! We are all well here. Dad and I are back after being on the road for 2 weeks. It was a great vacation and we are well rested but it was good to get home. Saw Aunt Nancy and she says hi! Kitty O'Shea sure did miss us. She has not left my side since we have returned and she scratched at our door all Sat night!

Any updated news about your promotion? You haven't mentioned it so I'm guessing not but just thought I'd ask.

We need to get your USPS address. Aunt Sher needs it for the big package drive in May and we all would like to get letters, cards, etc...to you, so.......

Hopefully you can get on the blog now that you are settled in.

Love you lots. Stay safe and KYHD!!

Mom

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Promotion (or lack thereof)

Well, unfortunately as the title suggests, I have yet to be officially promoted; however, on my records it does show my DOR (Date of Rank) as being 20100401 for SGT. So now it falls on the command group to get my orders signed to make it formally recognized. The Promotion Orders have already been cut and mailed to the MAJ that is responsible for in-theater promotions. I am just waiting for him to sign them and get them to my unit. I am all set with my new camera which takes very good video (HD) and after the ceremony, I will make sure to get chelsey a copy of it and the pictures so she can post them/share them with everyone else. Well, thats about it for now, oh and chelsey has my mailing address now for the FOB I am going to (for the meantime).

Friday, April 2, 2010

Hey, Sarge!

How's it going over there?

It has FINALLY stopped raining here in New England. We had almost a foot of rain last month - floods everywhere. I have been lucky. Just a little water in the cellar - no more than usual. The sun was out today and it was 75 deg. when I was driving home from work.

Easter weekend - I guess that means that spring is on its way. There are green shoots popping up all over my gardens.

Keep well. ...and most importantly, KYHD!

Hugs,
Shennie

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Calling Card

David scrounged up his old calling card number, and the number that will show up begins with 199. So if you get a call that begins with 199 you should probably try to answer it. Just giving everyone a heads up. I know it gets annoying when you feel you have to pick up every random number that calls you just in case it's him. While he could still call from a different number, it's looking like this should be consistent for at least a little while.

He's safe and sound at Camp Adder, and is being told that after his promotion he'll be taking over as Squad Leader of 1st Squad. Taking over as in replacing the SGT that is there now (because he's not very good at his job) and the squads are arranged by rank. In theory, the better soldiers are in 1st Squad. Hoo-rah honey!

Saturday, March 27, 2010

I miss David

I miss David. I've been thinking about him quite a bit and just wanted him to know.

Love you bud!

Thursday, March 25, 2010

But Sarge!?

Well, its official. My name is on the Army Promotion By-name list. So now I just have to wait for april 1st to roll around. Course in the meantime, I am thinking about looking at getting a camera for my deployment here and am wondering if I were to post some of the available ones here in kuwait, which ones people would recommend. And of course this px stocks up on plenty of full bird colonel and sergeant major rank, but they have more corporal rank than sergeant rank for pinning on my patrol cap... Ugh. May have to wait till I get in-country to find some pin-on rank (or break off the bottom rocker of Staff Sergeant rank if that will work)

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Latest News

So now that people are starting to get the word, I can say that as noted on my facebook page, I have met all requirements required by the US Army Promotion Branch to be promoted to the Rank of Sergeant. It is not official as of yet, but our company S1 is working the paperwork so that there will not be any delays. Also, both Mom and Chelsey know that I will be going to a nicer, more established FOB (mom noted that it definitely looks better, course it is run by USAF). Also, I spoke with Chelsey and she says that her mid-wife has lined up a company that will be able to setup her at-home pump so hopefully once that is established, she will be able to finally be discharged from the hospital.

For my promotion ceremony which will likely happen at the beginning of next month, I will have a fellow soldier use his camera to record the pin-on ceremony so that I can then pass it on to chelsey who will be able to then distribute it to the rest of the family. Also, I will pass on to chelsey our mailing address so people can start sending stuff out around the first of the month.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Another Fun Day

Well, got to wake up at 0500 KT *Kuwait Time* to get ready for MET (MRAP Egress Trainer). Basically we get to wear our body armor, kevlar, eye pro, gloves, knee/elbow pads and get put into a MRAP simulator and they roll us as if we are involved in a roll-over accident (or struck by IED). Was pretty cool get spun around (was hanging upside down and chanting,"Look ma, no hands..." After that, we went by Panda Oriental (Kuwait's version of Panda Express and had Mandarin Chicken, Triple Fried Rice, 2 Orange Fantas, and 2 Desert Dews.

It has already started warming up quite a bit here. But it did actually rain last night which was not all that weird considering that we have had a lot of cloud cover since we arrived. Supposed to be in the 80's for the next few days.Got the chance to re-arrange our sleep tent so that people weren't scrunched together to make room for a sister battalion. Still waiting to see when cutoff scores will come out to see if I get picked up this month or not.

I have informed Chelsey about the good but interesting news, so she will pass the info on to family and friends (not something that can be posted on here due to risk of endangering myself and my unit.) I know chelsey is excited about the news. I will say this: I will be in a much better situation...

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Kuwait

Hey everyone. Just re-iterating what Chelsey had said. I did make it to Kuwait. It was like 4am in the morning here (so like 9pm MST). We are not expected to roll out for a little bit. In the meantime we will be doing some classes and some training. And pretty much getting our bodies onto this new time. (basically want to sleep right now since my body is telling me its 0046.) Apparently, the shifts got changed around. Chelsey will be able to relay it once I let her know the specifics. (I think this may make for change number 23??) Anywho, I am needing to get going. Will Talk to chelsey here in a bit. Love you everyone!

~DA

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Arrival in Kuwait

David just called. They've made it to Kuwait. They don't expect to move in-country before the 28th, and he expects to be pretty bored by then. Everything's great so far, and there's nothing very exciting going on. I'm still in the hospital, and honestly can't remember much more about our conversation. I'm nodding off as I write this, actually, so I'll leave it at this, but David wanted everyone to know that he's safe and sound!                                                                                                                                                                    

Friday, March 19, 2010

First Stop

Well, I am Officially in Bangor, Maine. Having to use my phone for internet to my laptop since the airport wi-fi seems to be having problems. (Definitely caught some looks and evil glares from a few people. ) Was also fun explaining to a Master Sergeant on how I had to hack my phone to do it (He looked at my rank and was like damn, I need THAT job (MOS)...)

Commander just stopped by to see if I was the Sleep Guard (A few of the guys in the platoon are resting up)

Next stop is Shannon, Ireland. Going back to the motherland. (Forgive me gramps. lol)

Definitely cold... Well time to go.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Deployment Times

David is supposed to leave in the afternoon. Family time is scheduled from 1300-1400 on the 18th. So please make sure that any phone calls are made in the morning, or the night before.

One week.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Address

David should be getting his deployment address tomorrow, and I will send it to the people I have email addresses for. Please contact either one of us if you want his address. I'm not going to post it here for obvious reasons. Also, bear in mind that they will not be in a position to receive mail until April 5, so don't mail anything until around the 1st.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

More time!

The deployment has been pushed back to the 18th! Three more blessed days!

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Deployment #2

David is officially slated to deploy again to southeast Iraq on March 15th, 2010. Where ever they are going will be lucky to have porta-johns, much less a call center or internet, so hopefully he will only be at that particular base for 3 months before they move them to a more developed one. However, for those first three months letters are going to be our most reliable form of communication, and we will have to keep each other filled in on the news we hear from him. I'll email everyone his address when we receive it. With luck the situation won't be as dire as we think and he'll be able to call, but we won't know till he's there. We'll keep you posted!