Wednesday, December 29, 2004

Doc and Tragic are an item

Alright Ciggy and Brian H, Pictures here. Had a great Christmas and now getting ready to head off to see my other relitives on the far side of the world. Hopefully I'll have a chance to post from over there. Have a happy holiday everyone.

Monday, December 27, 2004

I'm not in Thailand yet

If you have been in a cave for the entire weekend and haven't noticed the biggest quake in 40 years that hit off the coast of Indonesia, last count 23 thousand people dead. This makes whatever else including the war in Iraq look like small beans. I still haven't heard from my cousin that's on vacation out there or the rest of my family. I pray they're alright...

Update 29 Dec 04

My cousen on vacation in Thailand is just fine, latest numbers are 77 thousand, likely to clear 100 thousand soon, Sailom has an excellent list of info if you want to help. Thanks for the prayers, I felt a great deal of relief when I got word that my cousen was safe. I can imagine how most of the world is feeling. Take care everyone.

Saturday, December 25, 2004

Merry Christmas!

Finished my Arizona tour with my son Thursday, the little rat made out like a bandit! Grandma bought him a computer and I got him a DVD player (considering how much he drives with me, it's a good deal) I called to wish my sister a Merry Christmas this morning and we were both saying "wish we got that kind of stuff when we were kids". She reminded me of how we used to get fruit and nuts in our stockings, I hadn't even thought about that in years. We were pretty poor growing up, it's almost eerie everybody in our family having money.

Scroll back a little on our life; there were 3 kids and my mom who didn't speak very good English. I remember most of my childhood staying at babysitter's houses while my mom worked two jobs. There was never extra money sitting around by the time I was 10 she had paid off her first house and sold it when I was 11 and we all moved up to Prescott Valley where she bought another house and another, and another; Eventually she sold all the property in PV to buy her restaurant. Now she's doing the buying thing in Paulden AZ and I'm pitching in money too.

Hey if it worked for an immigrant that could hardly speak English.

This time of year, remember those less fortunate and those that are far from their loved ones. Merry Christmas everyone!

Thursday, December 23, 2004

Mosul Milblogger

Chaplin Lewis tell's a firsthand account of what happened at Mosul, send a few prayers that way if you get the chance, hat tip to BlackFive.

Sunday, December 19, 2004

Free for a month

I'm home in Seligman Arizona with my son Collin, just got done with my mom's annual Christmas party which went well, who turns down free food? As usual the women got tipsy on wine, the men told war stories and I added a few words of my own. Some good fellowship, it's a small town with some great people. They've always shown great support to the sons and daughters that they're sending out to the military. Couple of weeks ago I received 50 or so Christmas cards from people that live around here!

Thanks everyone, it made my day.

So at the party we're all sitting around eating, I'm deep in the middle of some war story when I hear from behind me my son saying to my mom, "Grandma, do you know that dad's new girlfriend has pink hair?"

Huh? My head turns around,

My mom looks over at me with a question mark look in her eyes and I say "Her name is ****** and she does have pink hair and she's great."

Then the little rat pulls out a picture and passes it over!

She smiled and said, "I'm sure I'll get along with her great too."

Whew. Went over much smoother then I had planned it.

To my family that could be reading this, don't worry! I'll beat him where it doesn't show up in the pictures (just kidding! I don't hit kids, specially my own, plus this is just another sign that he must be my son, stop grinning you evil boy!!! hah). And yes the above is true and she's wonderful, expect to hear about her more.

*The wording above has been edited for length and to protect the innocent, since it's only my moms opinion that I was worried about that's the only one I'm writing about. My project is to get them used to the idea of her before I bring her home, yes it will happen!

Also need to add a word of thanks to Won, she said some great words of support about my now not so secret girlfriend and but the real thanks goes for paving the tolerance to these folk from the sticks. With an odd ball like her doing that, it's helped the locals see the world through a new set of eyes and be accepting of my new girlfriend.

As you can tell, I'm not much for judging a book by it's cover.

Taking Collin to his other grandmother's house tomorrow and planning on spending the day just visiting friends around town. This will be the last time I'll be up here before April so I might as well make the best of it.

Is it really less then one week?

Monday, December 13, 2004

Hire me and other holiday wishes!

I'm about to change jobs and in case that doesn't work out I've posted my Resume online, I'd hire me!

This is my last week up in the Mojave Desert, sometime before Christmas I'll be looking back at it in my rearview mirror. Whew! Spending some time with my family for the holidays and starting a new chapter in my life. Said my final good by to Doc today, he has a long drive back to Ohio sometime in the near future. Thanks for all the hard work, great medical training and cool techo geek knowledge that you shared. Still think you should go into the writing business! Good luck sir!

I'm taking my first real vacation in years, going to Thailand and visiting the rest of the family on my mom's side. Don't worry there is sure to be some pictures posted here and there. Get back from there and check in at Mira Mar and shipped off to the same place I was before with a new unit and new skipper, don't know how the blogging is going to be till I get there though.

Before any of you get sad for me, I made this choice, the question was asked directly to me. Would I be willing to go forward right after I check in? My answer was "Yes sir". I'm not being screwed, there is a place out there where my skills are needed, I'm not much for bitching about something I volunteered for. Don't be sad for me, save it for the people that are unwilling and fight tooth and nail to stay back. Who do you think is going to come out of this more traumatized? Not me. Not that I would want a chickenshit like that covering my 6 anyway. Good riddance I say!

Regular readers have probably noticed that I am a fairly liberal milblogger, not as liberal as some, but being liberal doesn't mean you're a coward or that you skirt your duties. I'm also a supporter of peace yet also a member of the worlds most elite fighting force. Don't attach stereotypes to us. Military members come from all walks of life and we have different outlooks on the world at large. I believe my core values will hold up with the best of them. I'm a complex person, just like the rest of you. I don't always agree with our missions but I signed on the dotted line and once my name was on that piece of paper, when the brass says jump, I say how high. Milblogs has gave me a place to voice my opinion and I don't hide who I am, I'm a true middle of the road gray person, I don't get riled up by many issues but if I do feel strongly about something you'll probably be reading about it here. I don't attack people but I do attack ideas. And I believe that people do need to get along but we can't get to that point till we take the wackjobs out of the equation. Freedom is being able to say and believe in what you want and turn around is fair play, you have to let others believe and say what they want without harassment. That's the major problem today. It all falls back to people just need to get along. Only takes one terrorist worm to screw up the rest of the apples. The quicker we're out of this after establishing a peace, the better we and the rest of the world will be. It's not going to happen without people like me or the rest of the milbloggers that are willing to put their lives on hold for a long time in the face of possible death. So when you're sitting at the dinner table on Christmas day with all of your family is spread around you, it would be nice to send a few prayers our way, we could surely use them.

And also check out some of the support sites in my links section, my last trip over there, they're great organizations that gave me awesome amounts of support.

Wish you all the happiest of Holidays for I know mine is going to be magical!

Friday, December 10, 2004

Homeless vets from Iraq showing up in Shelters

Hat tip to Em, so far according to the UPI Story there have been only 50 Iraq Veterans that have shown up homeless shelters so far. It's the other numbers they quote that worry me, the article states that there are 500 thousand homeless vets at any given time. Over the past ten years I know personally that there have been vast improvements to how we out process our active duty military members when they leave the the service. The issue that this war is bringing up is how are we taking care of our reservists? It's not a clean process like the active duty has; many of them return, demobilize and do not have jobs waiting. Maybe an improved transition to civilian life program? War makes it especially hard for them, they get called up, head over, return, are set free and are called up 6 months later to go back. There are some great companies out there that support the military reservists that work for them but in general our reservist don't have a job to return to. With the OP Tempo right now, hiring a reservist is shaky business and for the reservist what kind of good job can you find for 6 months at a time? Wish there were some easy answers but I can't think of them, maybe it's something that the higher up's should look into?

Wednesday, December 08, 2004

Fast times

Sorry for the lack of posts, my life over the last few weeks has been extremely busy, gone every weekend moving stuff down to San Diego or Arizona, packing at night and working late on medical records so I don't leave replacement dude in a world of hurt. My flight surgeon has been getting the whip out (and he knows it, yeah I know you read this!) and I've been typing physicals like mad way after close of business. Even though time seems to be running out, looks like Doc and I are going to get records to where we want them to be.

In many ways I'm going to miss this place, I've made some great friends and you couldn't ask for a nicer bunch of people. But 380 Marines and one Corpsman? I'm lucky that I'm not being sent to a mental institution, I was going on burn out but recently have gotten my 30th or so wind. Wish I could afford short timers syndrome but the karma from doing that catches up with you later (plus my replacement is a 6'5 gorilla). I'll miss these guys but I am happy to see new sights! Anything is a breather from here, remember when I said going to war was a vacation from this office? I wasn't kidding, Smitty is already looking forward to going to the sandbox.

If any of my guys are reading this, you know where to find me, see ya on the flip side, I think it's going to be a while before you forget me.

Sunday, December 05, 2004

Saturday, December 04, 2004

Fellow Milblogger's convoy hit by an IED

Or as she says, "I got my happy ass blown up", her convoy was hit by an IED a couple of days ago. Sgt Lizzie, who is one of my favorite milbloggers is recovering in the hospital right now and seems to be in somewhat good spirits (maybe a show so people like me don't worry too much). Her mom says all she wants for Christmas is her two front teeth. Go give her some love, she could use it and Lizzie if you read this, get better soon! Sorry I wasn't around to patch you up.

(hat tip to Cin in Sandy Eggo for the update on Liz, I hadn't been by Liz's blog for a couple of days)

Friday, December 03, 2004

another road trip

Heading down to San Diego to start putting stuff in storage so if you're looking for me, try my cell if you know the number. No adventures are planned, have a good weekend everybody.

Thursday, December 02, 2004

Glad I haven't been exposed

Mysterious illnesses are right up my neck of the woods. The New York Daily News ran this story a couple of days ago. Eep? Depleted uranium found in his urine? Pretty sure, that's not good for the body. I wonder if this is going to have an affect on the gulf war cases or was even something we tested for? My guys don't use depleted uranium so it's not something I think about on a daily basis. Thank you Syndi for giving me a new medical paranoia to worry about! At least I already have a cute son in any case:)