Monday, September 13, 2010

Guess sleep is for losers.

Well my ability to not sleep is back... awesome. I apparently have a lot on my mind. Most of which is hinging on my job interview in the morning. I think that I really want the job, which would open up a lot of opportunities for me. I would be able to buy the house I am looking at. I wouldn't have to do contracting anymore, which would mean I don't deploy unless the guard takes me and I think that it would be a fun job. So all of that combined to lead me to my sleeplessness. All in all I have had a pretty decent weekend. Went to the Husky game we beat Syracuse. Granted it wasn't pretty, the Seahawks pulled out a good win and I have won in both my fantasy leagues... So I am hoping that I havent' used up all my good luck just yet. On a sad not my sister is pretty upset. Her dog Marley was hit by a car this evening, I feel awful for her. I know how that feels. Luckily there are no broken bones and worse case scenario is that she will have some nerve damage. Hopefully she will make a full recovery. Well I guess I have vented enough for now guess I will try and get some sleep.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Never Forget

9 Years.... Has it really been 9 years? It blows my mind how fast time goes by. I can totally remember where I was and what I was doing at the time of one of the most turmoltuous times in american history, but then again so can any other american that was of an age to be remembering such attrocities.
I was driving back to my house tonight as I watched the clock change to midnight and I saw the date change from 9/10/10 to 9/11/10 and I almost instantly had tears in my eyes. Becuase of that day my life was changed forever. Whether I realized it or not I had no idea what life had in store for me and still to this day really don't. I like most people have known someone, be it a loved one, family, friend, aquaintence or really just anyone in your life that has been affected by that day. I know I am not alone. Now while I didn't know anyone in the towers or pentagon or on any of the planes. I have lost friends, mentors, schoolmates etc. to the war that ensued becuase of that day. And it enfuriates me to see these people that protest and that take for granted the liberties that I gave up in order for them to do what they do. They have such a closed outlook on life that they really don't know what it is that they are protesting against. I know a lot of the people will say " I support the troops not the war" well its the troops that are in the war. Regardless of who you are for or against its these men and women who are out there everyday putting their life on the line. It was these men and women who had enough will power to step up and say "yes take me". The only thing that upsets me more than the everyday protesters is my fellow soldiers that refuse to fight.... especially the ones who have signed the line after 9-11... they knew full on what they were getting in to. It kills me to see these troops that think its the right idea only to back out last minute. To me that is worse than not sigining up at all... But enough of that... this day is to remember the thousands of united states citizens that have been lost in the past nine years. This day is to remember that no matter what those who have fallen were someones Mother, Father, Brother, Sister, Son, Daughter...... they meant something to someone somewhere. And while I personally have know a few people lost to this war, there are far to many that I never got a chance to meet. I hope that regardless of your views on the world today that we can all take a moment to reflect on those true heros that are no longer with us.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

The District

Okay so been a month or so since I have posted anything, and if it weren't that I have problems remembering yesterday I would totally catch you all up on what I have been doing. Nothing too crazy. I went on a trip the East Coast to visit with some friends whom I haven't seen in quite some time. I started the week of madness on a golf course in Tacoma, Wa. At 10 am I show up and low and behold alot of my old fraternity brothers are there. We spend time catching up over some drinks and well some more drinks. That finished up after 18 holes of golf and who knows how many drinks. I wasn't able to stay for the dinner becuase, well I had a flight to catch. So I get back home and grab my bags change a shirt and I'm off. I spend the night flying to the other side of the states land in Boston, with a hangover and a mad case of cotton mouth. So first thing I grab a bottle of water and big ole yogurt from starbucks. I go to the departure board to find my flight. I see a flight to Raleigh but it just doesn't look like my flight. I go to the gate and of course no one is there. So I go find another gate and ask the lady to look up the flight I am supposed to be on. She finds it and kindly points me in the right directions... out of the terminal an to the other side of the airport.... I am slowly starting to dislike Boston's airport. I mosey on down to the proper area and as I am coming up on security I remember I still have a huge water and yogurt that I just bought.... so I proceed to wolf down the yogurt and down the bottle of water while I was in line. I get up to security and they have two lines well one line really. One for the body X-ray and one empty line for the metal detector. I walk up with my military ID in hand, the guy asks me what branch, even though it says on it then tells me I can skip the X-ray and go through metal detector. Which was good. I finally get to my gate and just want to veg out.... only the gate area smells like vomit. I was sick from the smell. Well then I get on the flight and land in Raleigh no problem. My friend picked me up and we went back to his place. Spent the next day or two there then myself and two friends and their wives drove up to DC. We get up there and meet up with my other friend that I am crashing with. I haven't seen him in over 5 years. So we stayed up till the wee hours catching up on life drinking a couple beers. Got up the next day and went to the natural history museum and the spy museum. It was fun kind of just walked around DC. That night I called another friend who lives in DC and told him I was in town, he tells me a mutual friend from WA is out staying with him. So all the guys end up going out and getting absolutly trashed, I ended up leaving the bar and going to Virginia in a cab. I woke up in a hotel room not really sure where I was the next day... I figured it out when I went to check out. I got on the subway and made my way back to my friends apartment. Needless to say I was quite hungover. That next day we just kind of bummed around the local area where we were staying. Then we all got ready to go to Georgetown that night. Its a neat little part of the city. Its been quite modernized but it still retains the old historicalness that makes it neat. We didn't get too crazy that night. I think we were still feeling it from the night before. Then the next morning we got up ate and left. I flew out the early morning flight from Raleigh, my friend was kind enough to drive all the way back to Raleigh only just a few hours after he drove all the way back to Fayettville from DC which is about 5 hours. I landed in Seattle at 11 am and found out that my bags stayed in Atlanta. Not to stoked about that. I can understand if my bags had to go to the other side of the airport and that I only had about a 20 min layover... no the plane I got off of and the plane I got on were literally next to each other. The two other people that were on the same flight didn't get their bags either. I don't get it, and I had over an hour layover. Oh well it got delivered that afternoon. Well I need to go to bed seeing as I am nursing a cold... Probably drank away my immune system this past week. Glad I don't do this all the time.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Back Home

Ok, so I am back home to washington and I have never really realized that its pretty humid here. After spending two weeks in the heat in utah and coming back home I have realized that its not really a dry heat here. I think that I have figured that out by the amount of sweat that continues to pour out of me. I don't really have anything exciting to write about now. I am just at home waiting for the next chapter to open up. I will be going to DC over labor day weekend to visit some friends and possibly go to arlington to visit some other friends, although I don't know that I am ready for that just yet. So this one is going to be short and sweet for two reasons, I have to be up early tomorrow and I am pretty tired already. So until next time. Peace out!

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Mormanland the happiest place on earth?

So been a bit since I have wrtitten. I am in Salt Lake City right now. And it is just an interesting town... There are so many young families here, and while I don't know alot about the mormon relgion I do know that the are very family oriented so I guess that makes sense. There is also a ton of fit people here. Its not like seattle where you see big people all over. No its awkwardly skinny here. Although I have gone out the past couple nights and seen more big people at the clubs and bars than I did all day walking around the city. I went in to the mothership for the mormans too... well not all the way in. I don't think I am allowed to go inside but I did go to the Temple square. My friend Ruri and I have come to the conclusion that the reason the mormans were able to get so big out here was that they had a monopoly on the water supply. I have never seen so many fountains and small man made creeks in a desert ever. Also while walking around the temple square all the guides had little flags so they can see what languages each person talks. So really the whole I don't speak english wont cut it here. They will call your bluff. I am down here not to study the mormans but to do communications classes for the army. I did a network + class last week and it was like drinking water through a firehose. I was quite lost most of the week and really didn't expect to pass the test. Which I wasn't too worried about becuase I had another voucher to take the test. But amazingly I passed with the lowest possible score. So I don't need to take the test again. Kinda relieved about that. Next week should be easier I am actually working with radios so that should be easier. I am thinking that I am going to go to Park City today. I have never been before and I have heard good things about it. So we shall see what happens. Well I am going to lunch so enough for now.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Moss.... My new enemy!

Well today I told my mother I would go help her out by cleaning off the moss on her roof... if you didn't know her roof is huge! And well living in washington is all good it does happen to rain on occasion.... and that doesn't help with the moss problem. I got home last night and was talking to my roommate Aaron about it, he said I should get a harness and rope and stuff so I don't fall off and kill myself. The proud man in me said Pshhh, like I would fall. I have the reflexes of a cat. Well after thinking it over and remembering that the last time I was up there I fell off I decided to get a harness. Becuase I fell off last time I was 17 and nimble, still in the bouncy stage.... I am 30 now and I don't quite bounce as well even though I am rounder. Anyways I got down there around noon, was a little hungry so I had some cold fried chicken and home-made potatoe salad. After lunch I ventured up on the roof and set in the harness, alot easier than I thought it would be. Although the shingles were a little rotten on the top so I had to set in the anchor in a horizontal fashion. I had told my mom that she needed to get a hard bristled brush to get the moss off easier. Well she did and she got the super go go gadget brush handle. This thing was super long and impossible to work with. So we break out the pressure washer, well it was too strong and was chewing through the shingles. Well then we take off the pressure washer and put on the Nozzle, and that was too soft, so goldilocks tried the third bed and it was just right... oh wait wrong story. So I got down and went into the hardware store looking for new brushes... went to the wrong side first and was very distracted by the wrist rockets.... I almost bought one, but I thought about it and kinda realized I would never have a place to use it so I used what little will power I had and continued my search for the perfect brush.... I ended up doing a lap around the store. If I had just turned right upon going into the store I would have found them no problem... and my mom had acutally told me that, just goes to show I still don't listen to her. I found the brushes, and after looking through them all I have found the perfect brush! It swivels and turns in all different directions, and it has short strong bristles! How can it possibly be wrong? I am pretty sure I heard angles singing when I picked it up too. So I grabbed that brush and just in case I broke out the hose again I wanted a better nozzle. In my travles around the vast hardware store I remembered seeing a hose section so I trecked back to the green rubber wonderland. I found a twofer nozzle set, one was the kind with like a bagillion settings and the other was a trigger type adjustable nozzle, once again the angelic voices on high sang out as I picked up the item. Well I walked toward the counter and strangly made a sharp right hand turn just before the cash register and before I knew it I was staring face to face with the sling shots again. I once again had to tell myself it was a silly purchase and to just keep walking. I finally made it back to the check out. I paid for my items and had to explain to the nice ladies at the check out that my phone was not some strange space age object but a telephone. I get back to the house unwrapped my suprises, kinda sad that the sling shot wasn't a part of it. I then got up on the roof and began to scrape off the moss with the sweet new angelic brush..... after about five or so nice strong pushes with said broom the handle popped off and crushed my hopes and dreams. I put it back on and after about 5 or some more pushes it did it again....now its starting to make me mad. Well my mom was already planning on going and getting a new one becuase she didn't like this one either. So she left and I continued sweep for a few minutes and the brush head popped easier and easier enough to the pint that I just threw it off the roof in hopes of a small explosion or something. Well I had to wait for my mom to get back which took some time. When she finally did I got back up on the roof with the new brush which worked quite well... only by this time I was pretty tired and worn out from the sun. I got about a quarter of the way through and had to stop. I am going to go back in a couple days to finish the job. Well I got quite a sunburn today and I am sure I will be sore tomorrow.

Back to life, back to reality....

One fantastic weekend down in the record books. I cannot thank the Conners enough for their support and love regardless of if they knew they were giving it or not. I am not going to lie, the first night I was there I was doubting that I should be there. I wasn't sure if I was ready for it, but as the weekend progressed the fear and sadness I had turned into amazement and love. This is such a strong family, so resiliant and so caring of others. I had such a good time getting to know them all and finally putting pieces of the puzzle together. Pieces I didn't realize I was even missing. Cyndi asked me today while she was driving me back to the airport why it was that I came out... was I reporting back to anyone when I got back to tell them how they were doing? Did I feel like I had to come out? Was it an obligation I had? And while I didn't have an answer the answer was no. I felt no obligation to come out, I have never felt like I had to, and I certainly don't need to report to anyone how they are doing. I did some thinking on the flight home and really all I know is that almost immidiately after I was blown up and seeing Brad dead the first thing I thought of was his wife and kids. I didn't know them at all. I had met Cyndi briefly once at work and had seen the kids, I don't think I ever talked to them. But my heart was broken for them, I couldnt' make sense of it all. Here I am no wife no kids, yes I have a family, mom dad and sister whom I love very much but why did he have to die? Which to say this out loud is strange.... why am I arguing that i am still alive? What is it that I haven't done in my life yet? These are questions I have had for myself among others over the past 3 years. But back to the story, I was hurt yes, but this family had lost their husband and father. I never really knew Brad on a personal level, but he treated me like a person not like alot of other Seargent Majors who are more worried about the fickle things... He was different. He led from the front, cared about his troops, and would try to help anyone and everyone. So by me getting to know his family over these 3 years has given me some insight as to the whole person not just my boss. He was a man that was compasionate about life and helping others. He loved his family above all, and they adored him in return. I could see that this past weekend how much he meant to them all. I can not even begin to imagine the pain, suffering and self torment that all of them have gone through. Its no where near what I have felt, and yet there is just something that drives me to them. I had to go there, I had to meet them, to know them... scared or not I was determined to do it. And I did, and it turned out to be one of the best decisions I have made in a while. So to answer the question, I think that if I were in the same situation.... as in I was killed, I would really hope that someone would take the time one of my friends or fellow soldiers to make the trip to get to know my family, to help them as much as they help that person. Its the little things that mean so much, the fact that these 3 kids have never met me in person and I have only briefly spoken to them on the internet a couple times, and for them to just accept me in to the family and act like themselves. To want me to be a part of their daily routine was so heartfelt I hardly have words for it. Rachel the youngest asked when i was leaving.... I told her and she said " aw... that stinks, you have only just been here 2 full days and you are awesome, I don't want you to go yet." And while I don't have a lot in common with a 15 year old girl Katie was able to talk to me about stuff and I let her talk. Aaron was the only one who had a couple questions about Brad, but I was more than happy to give him the answers to the best of my knowledge. And Cyndi and I were able to just talk, and unwind. I had a great time hanging out with her, she has done such a good job raising the kids. I am so glad that this weekend happened and I can't wait till it happens again.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

In Bama

So here I am in Mobile Alabama... I have spent a pretty much full day with the family and have had a great time. I woke up this morning and ran PT with the oldest son (Aaron). He is the, I believe Brigade Commander of the greater mobile area fro JROTC. Which is a pretty big deal, he is huge! Tall skinny and a spitting image of his father. I had a great time doing the PT with him. I was sweating pretty badly becuase of the humidity, but it was totally worth it. He and I went to breakfast at the Cracker Barrel and just had some good talk time. It was nice to be able to just talk to him, let him ask any questions he may have had about his father and to just let him talk. It really meant alot to me that he was able to do that and I know his father is very proud of him and everything he has become. Then we got back showered and ended up all of us going to a movie. It was pretty funny though slightly inapropriate for the youngest daughter (Rachel) but funny none the less. After dinner we got back to the house some slept, nappy time, which is great by the way. And the oldest daughter (Katie) and Aaron got ready for a friends party. Myself, Cyndi (widow) and Rachel all went out to a mexican food place for dinner. It was good, we just had a good time. Had a nice frozen margherita and some echiladas. Then we drove over to the grandparents house (Cyndi's parents) and had dessert. Some really good carrot cake and some chocolate chip cookies. We had some good conversation and eventually took off to go home. We were back here and Rachel went and was playing in her room, Cyndi and I had a glass or two of wine and just talked. She showed me some pictures of her and the SGM when they were first married and around the time they first met. So young and so in love, and the amazing similarities of Brad and his son around the same age are scary... I was pretty close to tears seeing that, and Cyndi was as well becuase I don't know that she realized till I said something just how similar they were. I am so glad I came here. All the nervousness and scared feelings are gone, I am full of happiness and appreciation for all the things they have and all the things they have been willing to share with me and to explore. I only hope that they can feel my appreciation and that they know no matter what I am going to do my best to help make their coping with the loss of their loved one easier.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Dreams are wierd.

Ok. So normally I wouldn't write about dreams that I have. But this one was just to real not to. As you may or may not know I was in Iraq in 07, and was hit with a roadside bomb. Of the 4 of us in the truck 3 of us survived. We lost a very good man that day and strong leader, I have had dreams about that day before and I know no matter what I will not forget that day. The dream I had last night was probably due to the fact that I am going to see his widow and 3 kids today. I have not actually met the kids aside from passing before he was killed. I am nervous, excited, and sad all at the same time. I have been in contact with his immediate family eversince I returned home from Iraq. And I cannot thank them enough for all the support they have given me over the past few years. It is an amazing family, very strong, great values and an ability to maintain such a positive outlook on life that it is amazing. The dream I had was basically as follows. I some how woke up and was apparently back in time, before we deployed to iraq. But somehow I already knew this and so I knew what was going to happen. We were at work at Ft. lewis it was evening and I wanted to tell the Sergeant Major about what was going to happen. I wanted to tell him not to go in the convoy that day. Knowing if he wasn't there that I would have more than likely been killed in his place. His sacrifice basically saved my life. I tried to warn him and he got upset at me for talking about his family like I knew them. Being that he was the sergeant major and I was a lower enlisted guy. Plus he never really mixed work and personal life stuff together. He walked away and I woke up.... but it was so real and so vivid that I don't know what it meant. I wish I knew.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

The Eagle has landed.

So the travelling wonder is back to home base. After a couple days of smelling horrible, sleeping on occasion, and eating pre packaged meals I am back home.... Ok it wasn't all bad. But it definatly started out rough. I was supposed to leave my camp early morning on the 29th which would have given me almost a full day in Bagram to mess around and get ready for my flight out. Well I woke up at like 4 in the morning to one of the more torential downpours I have heard since being in afghanistan. Which is bad for me becuase the runway is rock and dirt... big planes don't like to land on that. Well I called the terminal to find out when I would be able to get out. they said the flight line was closed till 9. I called at 9, closed till 11, called at 11 closed till 1500..... I call then they say the next confirmed flight is at 0130 the morning of the 30th. So I get to the terminal at 0130 and turn in my papers for the manifest. They say i am on the plane, super.... Well about 20 min before the plane is schedualed to arrive they come out and say it has been cancelled, but not to worry becuase the next on will be able to accomodate us. So I wait, and wait, the guy comes back out... planes been delayed an hour, hour or so later, still delayed. Finally it lands at 7 am... well it has to off load the cargo it has on it and has to configure the plane in order to hold all the people wanting to get out. Finally get on the plane about a quarter to 8. And we sit there.... finally take off and land in Bagram at 0840. I now have 20 min to go check in for my next leg to dubai. Get to that terminal and they wiegh my bags and I am 21kg over wieght, which means I am going to have to pay 210 dollars, but the lady at the desk said not to worry about it, but then I find out that I need to get off the plane in Kandahar. Apparently the flight was over booked so i wasn't able to do a straight shot. So we get on a bus and head out to the tarmac.... and wait.....seems to be a theme going on here. Finally get off the bus on the plane and take off. When we land in Kandahar, I get off and follow the guy into the new terminal. Well I again had to have my bags weighed. They told me the same thing, but this time they asked if I had paid in Bagram... to which I replied very sure of myself, yes I have.... 210 dollars. The lady then asked me for a reciet, and I played the dumb guy and said that I had forgotten to get it from her. She bought it, score one for me. Well then I had to scan my bags through an Xray, they pulled a knife out of my pocket and said it was illegal becuase it was spring loaded. Like a switchblade, only its not a switchblade. So needless to say after arguing with the guy and not getting anywhere they took my knife. I was not happy at all about that. Then I got to.... you guessed it... wait, in what was very reminiscant of a prison yard. Really high brick walls small crappy windows and no color to speak of. I finally get on the plane and get to Dubai at 8 pm. So a solid 19 hours so far have been spent travelling... I smell awful, and look like hell. I go to the hotel and get to the front desk. The company that flew me out supposedly was also the ones who were going to reserve my room.... epic fail. No room under super badass.... so I had them check Brendan Hay.... still no joy. So I had to get a room which actually worked out better I think it was cheaper. Got in the room and took a super long hot shower.... it was fantastic. Went to the bar and had a beer and a small pizza.... the pizza was not horrible but it wasn't good either. But the beer hit the spot. I went to sleep got up and went to the airport after breakfast and coffee. Flew from Dubai to Heathrow and then on to Seattle. Well i landed around 4 pm today and my bags will land sometime tomorrow night. Oh well. I am home and tired so I am going to sleep now.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Leavin on a jet plane.....

I am finally done. Bags are packed room is cleaned out. Leaving here sometime this afternoon depending on weather. The unfortunate side of my camp is it is a dirt/gravel runway soooo.... when it rains alot like it did all night last night the runway gets a little soft. Needless to say I really hope that the sun dries the place out... what am i talking about of course the sun will dry it out. I never thought I could experience humidity in a place such as this. I was way wrong lol apparently this place being where its at all the water runs into it making it humid at times. I am so ready to be home though. But at the same time we finally started doing some good here. We finally got together with the army unit we were supposed to be supporting the whole time I was here, and helped them find alot of stuff which hopefully saved lives. Well I may or may not have internet before I get totally home so I will leave for now but will try to keep it up when I t return back to the got ol U.S. of A.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Faux Burgers..... bleh

Ok so I know that I am in afghanistan and i know that the food isn't going to be gourmet.... that being said, I really don't like veggie burgers or what ever the hell these things are. Iam pretty sure it used to be beef, or at least a meat based product. Now I just don't know. I eat one and within minutes I have crazy stomach cramps and cant stand the smell of myself. Unfortunatly for me i slept through lunch. We were up really early this morning and were flying through breakfast. So when I got back I was burning some stuff on to a disk and passed out face down on the bed for an hour or so. I woke up and it was well past lunch time, so I took my laundry in to get cleaned and went to what we affectionatly call the "Fat Shack". Which usually has a wide assortment of things not healthy... hence the nickname. I got a bacon cheese burger and fries.... they are seasoned, not like Red Robin Steak fries but they are better than normal fries. Although these had obviously been sitting out for a while. On the way there I saw the internet guru's and seeing as my internet had run out today i asked if they did a pro-rate for just a few days. They said yes.. So lucky me I will have the internet for the next few days for about a dollar a day. It was a nice little suprise. Its saturday afternoon and I leave my camp here in two and a half to three days, depending on flights out. I am ready to come home. Eat a fat steak and drink a beer.... although I think more than all of that I want some normal milk and cheese and some really good pizza. Kind of a dair freak, god forbid I become lactose intolerant. Well I at least feel sorry for everyone else around me becuase i will refuse to stop eating it. Well there really isnt' alot else going on in my life so I will sign off for now. Need to start strategizing with my suitcases as to how I am going to pack the most efficiently.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

She's goin down....

Well been a couple days since I posted anything. We have been busy, which is good. We have finally gotten integrated with the military... only took 3 months to do so. I think alot of that had to do with our military liason not quite doing his job. We had a sit down with him last week and told him how we were feeling as far as him not doing his job and that he should let us do more. Low and behold the next week we are doing stuff that is actually important. Its baby steps but its at least in the right direction. The unit we are working for is stoked to have us and the fact that they can sit up with us and watch our video and see our perspective on things really makes them happy.
On similar note a couple days ago we were flying and had two of our three aircraft flying at the same time. Well just as they were getting ready to land them one of the biggest sandstorms I have been through blew through... they were recording 70+ mph winds and sand all over the place. Amazingly enough both planes landed safely on the runway. Fast forward a few days and I was flying a mission today... beautiful day, hardly any clouds, no big winds, having the "perfect" day.... well until my warning lights started lighting up and heads up display was doing circles and loops, which is basicall a video game like look at what the plane is doing. It dropped about 1000 ft. in a matter of seconds.... destroyed... it was crazy. I really have no idea as to what happend, I did look at the sensor reading when we first started to look crazy and the winds up at altitude were posting 128 kts. Which is crazy fast and strong. If that is what it really was I must have found the worlds smalles tornado becuase the guys that were on the ground said that nothing seemed out of the ordinary... either the winds or one of the pigeons in the area (save that story other time) was getting its revenge on me. Not to mention that myself and this particular aircraft really didn't get along that well... I pretty much hated that plane. And I made sure to let it know all the time. So as much as I didn't like seeing us crash a plane I was really really happy it was that one. It had given us so many problems it was ridiculous, it spent more time on the table getting repaired than it did flying. Well enough for now. I think I am going to try and get a nap in. Been up since before I wanted to and had a fairly adrenaline filled day.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Happy Fathers Day

Well first let me say Happy Fathers Day.... while I am not yet a father (to my knowledge), i would like to express my thanks to those men who are. I was able to call my dad and talk to him for a little while which was nice. He was happy that I am coming home soon. I know that its been rough on him and the whole family me being gone all the time. But i am glad that he has been around to see it. I know he is proud of my accomplishments and that I have turned out ok. I know that I was a little difficult growing up and am probably the reason he went grey as early as he did. So in kind of a reflection for dad today I will tell a couple stories that will stick with me for the rest of my life. The first one being I have only seen my dad cry twice.... he is a true mans man. Works in the woods driving a log truck, putting in crazy long days up at 2-3 in the morning and at home by 5-6 at night just to provide for us, I have had a good life growing up. I don't think that I was ever without something that I needed/wanted (within reason). If you didn't know myself and my little sister were adopted, but even though I have known my whole life that I was I have never felt as though i was not loved as part of the biological family. My dad and his brother were adopted as well. Well back to my stories, only seen him cry twice..... even after he had a tree fall on his leg and he was in walking cast for quite a while I never heard/saw him cry. The day I graduated HS, my parents were toward the front row so i could look out and see them all... My mom, dad, sister and grandma. Sister was only 9 so she was doing her thing probably bored out of her skull wanting to go home and watch the Spice Girls Movie for the millionth time. My mom and grandma were both there smiling. And then I looked at my dad.... He was sitting there very stoic.... just watching taking in everything that was going on. He looked at me and I saw him brush his face. I didn't think anything of it at first... then after the ceremony I was saying goodbye to my classmates becuase I was leaving in 2 days unkown when I would see most if any again. And I went up to my dad he gave me a huge hug and he was choked up and .... crying. He said that he wanted me to know how proud he was of me.... I lost it. i was doing good up till that point but I started crying. I tear up now as I sit here typing, becuase it meant so much to hear that. And this was not too long after he was given the clear from the doctor after a bout with Melenoma, so it was really nice to hear that from him. The second story was when I dropped the bombshell that I had joined the army. I was 23 was at home for my birthday dinner over memorial day weekend 2003. I was scared shitless to tell them. Becuase at this point Afghanistan had been going on for almost 2 years and Iraq had just kicked off 2 months prior. We had just finished dinner and we were eating dessert, I said " I have something to tell you guys" I had the paperwork in my back pocket... for proof becuase I knew they wouldn't beleive me. I told them my mom was so upset she left the room and was crying. My sister ran up stairs crying she was 14 now as she ran upstairs she yelled to me "great now you are going to get shot and killed!". My dad sat there at the table mulling it over in his head... he didn't say anything for a few minutes.... he turned to me and said...." son, you know you could die right?" Yes..." you know you might have to kill someone right?" Yes.... well you have my blessing, I don't like it but I am damn proud of you for doing this.... I know it was hard for him and everyone but I have 3 deployments plus this contract under my belt and knock on wood I have made it home each time with a few close calls but I have come home none the less.
So I will end here today, but I have been thinking alot today and i just want you to know dad that I love you and am very thankful to have you as my father.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Found it.....

Sleep that is. I finally got some well deserved sleep! I took a nap yesterday afternoon from 3 pm till 10 pm and woke up was awake for a couple hours and got back to sleep around 1 am and slept till after 6. My body had finally just had enough... granted I am still tired though. I can't stop yawning. So I only have 12 days left over here.... I am pretty excited. Very ready to be home. I feel like I have almost no time though when I do get back. I come home to a very busy 4th of July weekend. Seeing as I am just getting home there will be alot of visiting to do. Got a buddies 30th birthday to go to, parents and family to visit. Then I have to jump right in and try and figure out my national guard schedual. A lot of factors are going on there. I may or may not be doing jumps when I get back the second week of July. If I am I have to postpone my trip I want to do a week. If I am not I would like to know so I can do the trip and not feel as rushed..... So we shall see what happens. Also my parents are having their 40th wedding anniversary this year on the 17th of July. I was going to try and do something for them but my mom insisted that it just be low key. Which I suppose is fine, so that factors into it all too, weather or not I stick around for that or if I go down early and take them to dinner. I don't know.... Still trying to figure out if I want to ride the motorcycle accross country or take the truck. I think it will come down to if I find bike bags or not. So I guess I will have something to do tonight. So until next time stay classy... planet earth

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Hello Sleep? Yeah this is Brendan.... please come over

So I am sitting here on my bed... yes on my bed. I would love to be laying in my bed but I am wide awake. This has been my life for the past week or so... I can't seem to sleep longer than two to three hours at a time. Now I don't really know why that is but its really really frustrating. And this really doesn't help my over active mind.... I am sitting here trying to figure out what I want to do when i get home. I have all these grandiose plans but on the same token I don't know what I will be doing for a job when i get home. So I can't just up and spend all the money now can I? I need to find a place to live, I would love to buy a house. I need to fix the truck, I would love to put more stuff on the truck. I want to go out and visit friends on the East Coast, do I fly? I would love to drive, and if I drive would I take the truck at 10 MPG or the bike with less room to carry stuff.... These are just a few of the things floating around in my head at the moment.
On a different note. I am in the National Guard, I joined the guard becuase I really wanted a H.A.L.O slot... I made it halfway there. I am on a Freefall team, but I have not been around enough to get a school slot. I need to get together with my team when I get home. I feel like there is a plan but I just don't know what it is, which is a big reason I got off of active duty in the first place. And my Evil Kenevil stunts on the bike earlier today are really starting tighten up.... And I really have no one to blame but myself for being a dumbass. Well I think I have ranted enough.

Just Like Riding a Bike!!!

Ok so after reading through some friends blogs and finally getting that bored I have decided to start one of my own. I also came to a slight epiphany today... the saying " Just like riding a bike". What happens when you go to ride said bike? Well you crash. I found this out not once but twice today. Apparently what I used to do and what I am capable of doing are two seperate items. I didn't hurt myself too bad, really just my pride and ego that were the most injured. I am sitting here in the beautiful country of Afghanistan and really I am just stuck on this base. Luckily its not super crowded and its not a tiny base so I do have some freedom to move around. Although cabin fever has set in many months ago... ok so I have only been here for 3 months but it set in none the less. I am set to go home in a couple weeks, and looking forward to it. Although I am not really sure what life has in store for me then. So for the mean time I will enjoy what I have and continue to get back on the bike. Although I have been put in time out by my co-workers... their excuse was that they don't want to have to explain to the boss why I am all laid up in the hospital. Its not like I am accident prone or anything... well ok so maybe a little. I am hoping that I can keep up on this blogging thing but who knows.
On a completly different note. I did get the crap scared out of me today. Sitting in the house and hear a noise of what sounds like an incoming rocket.... only this one was super loud. Kinda figured that it was game over, but soon after the first there was another and another and another... it almost sounded like a really low jet flying over our house. Ran out side and it was our side shooting rockets at who knows what but needless to say the heart rate was seriously up on that one. I have also found that I really don't like switching from night shifts to day shifts. I probably went to bed at 0230 and got woken up at 0430 from what I don't know. But I was wide awake. I haven't been back to sleep yet.... I do love sleep too. I am hoping to take a small nap today. But my dumbass drank an energy drink so I am going to have to wait for that to wear off before I try. Well until next time... keep riding that bike.