Wednesday, January 25, 2012

The End Of Life

Nope, that is not dramatic enough.

THE END OF “THE” Life!!!!!

That does it. The all uppercase and the extra exclamation points really drove it home. Now don’t worry. This is not the end of my life. I am not going all stupid “I am going to kill myself” on you. Come on, you know I am too damn cute for all of that. But it is the end of “The Life”

What the hell am I talking about? Well if you know me well you already know, but for those that don’t know me all that well…

Nope getting way to ahead of myself.

Okay so first some housekeeping of sorts. So how long has it been. Days? Weeks? Months?

Try like over a year. Yeah I think it has been that long. Now tell me, how have you done it? How have you gone on ever day without being able to read about all of my stupid crap. My great ramblings. My long speeches about “The Life”? Oh that’s right we all have Facebook and Plurk and E-mail. Okay you are forgiven for not freaking out.

So what have I been up to? Well a lot. Three trips home, twice to The Park. A trip out to Idaho and a trip to Phoenix. Tons of fun and exciting things and lots of pictures to go along with it all. And that kid. Yeah remember her. Sam I think is her name. Well she has been growing like freaking crazy.

She walks, she talks (kind of), She screams a TON, and she is a lot of fun. But really for now all of that will take a back seat. I promise I will come back to everything we have done at some point. Okay so I really don’t promise that, but I will do my best. Really I think about putting stuff down for you all, all the time, but that kid again. She really takes some time. Who knew that raising a child and trying to do it well would take so much energy?

So back to the topic at hand.

So the end as I was saying. The end I am talking about is “The Life In Tan And Green”. Yep it is all over, or it will be in just over a month. So as of the time that I am typing this, I have been doing this for 14 years, 4 months, and 24 days. That is a long damn time. Really, think about it. What were you doing 14 years ago? Do you even remember 14 years ago. Hell I hardly do. I never thought I would be doing this for so long. I joined the ARMY because I did not know what I wanted to be when I grew up. I had no clue what I even wanted to do for the next month. I had no skills and no prospects for life. So I signed up. I am really glad I did. then 3.5 years later I was looking at getting out. But I still had no clue what the heck I wanted to be when I grew up. So I signed up again, and again, AND AGAIN! And now finally I know what I want to be when I grow up. Well at least I know what I want to do for the next 14 (maybe) years until I make my millions. So that is what I am doing. I am going to get out and go to school. And I am going to learn to be a Motorcycle Mechanic. That will be the next chapter. But again that will come later.

So what have I done over the past 14 + years? Where have I been?

I have lived in 6 States. South Carolina, Georgia, Colorado, Texas, California, and Washington. I have lived in 4 Countries. The USA, South Korea, Kuwait, and Iraq. I have spent short amounts of time in 2 other countries. Greece and Egypt. I have seen so many places and done so many things that I never would have been able to do without the ARMY. I helped fight a forest fire in Colorado. I touched the gates of Babylon, I have helped with flood relief in Crete, Greece. I have swam with dolphins and got stung by a jelly fish in the Suez Canal. I have run a half marathon in a 130 degree desert. I have seen life taken and given. I have seen men fight for people they will never meet, and die for their beliefs. I have seen a simple act turn into the miracle of life which has become the most important thing in the world to me. And none of this would have happened if I had not joined.

So I can say that I am very happy to have served. I am very proud that I have served. And given the opportunity to go back and do it all again, I would.

So here I am a simple Sergeant standing on what to me is the edge of life. Ready to jump. Let’s see how I land.

Back to “The Life”

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

The Welcome Home

Okay first off a little house keeping. I know the first question is “Brian, where have you been?”
And all I can say is I am sorry. I have been home for 4 months now and there has been almost no word from me. What can I say I have been busy. It is weird how much my little bundle of joy takes up all of my time. And every free second is put to rest. But I am still here and still chugging along. I am just getting back in to my running, and working again on the weight. If you check out my Running to Disneyland you will see that the miles are starting to add up. I am almost half way there. Nowhere near as far as I thought I would have gone by now, but the numbers are climbing.
So now on with the show.

We have landed. Finally!!!
Unbuckle, Turn on the cell and send a few texts out. Grab our bags, Walk down the stairs. Salute – Shake hands. Salute – Shake hands. Salute – Shake hands. And then walk off the tarmac into the terminal. And this is where the really hard waiting is. On the plane there was not much we could do to hurry, but here I am just waiting. But that is the ARMY. There is always a little paperwork to do and some in processing to go through. The nice this is that there was a camera crew there that was filming us so that all the families waiting at the Post gym could see us even though we could not see them. And we wait…

Eventually all the paperwork was done. Single soldiers had their room keys. Married soldiers had their “How to get along with your family” pamphlets. And we board the buss that will take us on the 20-minute journey that will take us home. Of course as soon as I am sitting on the bus my only thought was “MOVE THAT BUS”.

Now we are standing in formation outside the gym…
Now we are marching in the gym.

There is music playing.

There are people screaming. There are people crying. It is like we are all rock stars. Yes folks the Beatles have returned.
And I am looking without moving my head of course (we were still in formation) for my Wife. I know she is here. I talked to her on the phone. But I can’t see her.

Now we are standing in formation inside the gym. Some one is talking, but I can barely here them. All I hear is my heart pounding and my brain screaming “JUST SAY FALLOUT”

And then it is said. Everyone starts to move, and I just stand there. My eyes are searching the stands… Nothing
I turn around and start searching the rest of the gym… Nothing.

then there she is. A few short steps and we are in each other’s arms. A little crying, a little kissing, a little hugging, and then it is the time I have been waiting for. It is time to meet Samantha. Her Mom was smart enough to leave her in the stroller until I got a chance to pick her up.
And pick her up I did.

We met. She smiled. I cried. And Maria says, “You have perfect timing. She just spit up all over the place before you guys came in”. I am standing there holding my daughter thinking, “Good I am safe for now”. And then we are both proved wrong. It was like she was saying,

“Welcome home daddy, barffffff”. Like she was marking her territory. “This is my Daddy. There are many like him but this one is mine.

After that I took her around to introduce her to some of my friends that had come home with me. And then it was on to the 2nd new meeting of the day. I get to see my house. Maria moved while I was away so I had no clue where I lived. So we drove home. Threw my bags in the garage. I sat in my lazy boy, and for the first time in 9 months, I was comfortable…
I was home.

Back to the Family.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

The End of The Sand

But first a response to Rae.
I cant wait to see the shirt. I will wear it with pride when I run in my off time. And yes I love being a dad. But that will come later.

See folks, if you write me a comment I will respond. Well maybe… NOW on with the show.

Take off… Ears Pop.
Leg Goes Numb.
Guy 5 seats down gets air sick.
Other leg starts to tingle.
Ears Pop… Landing.

And I am no longer in Iraq. The flight into Kuwait was less than a hour thank god. It is a short little up and down, but in the nasty cramped quarters of the C-130 it feels longer. There were a lot of guys that went to sleep during it, but I did not have the ability. I am not the sleep at anytime soldier. Never had that in my blood. But I am able to stay up for long hours with little problem as long as I am doing something.

So here we are in Kuwait.
We get off the bird and get bussed to our camp. A few welcome to Kuwait briefs and then we are bussed to the tents (really large nice air conditioned tents) that we will be staying in for… well crap. I guess that info will come later. And then we were released with a hard time of 0630 the next day for accountability formation. So I have been up for almost 35 hours. There is a nice hard cot sitting there with my bags on it. This is a great time to go to sleep right. Hell no! The McDonalds on base opens in a hour. It is time for so good ole American Fast food. Okay so it was not as American as I could have wished, but it was GOOOOOOD! We ended up eating there 3 times in our stay in Kuwait. Which by the way ended up being just 3 days. And it was a nice relaxing 3 days. Watching TV at the MWR tent. Eating better food. Taking hot showers in shower stalls that were big enough to actually big enough for me to bend down and wash my feet. A little shopping in the bazaar. I bought my wife her 2nd anniversary gift there. And more relaxation.

After 72 hours and a little bit of work (I was on baggage detail) we were through our customs check and on a plane. I ended up with 3 seats all to myself for the whole flight. Here is a hint ALWAYS volunteer for baggage detail. There were no 1st class seats on the flight this time, but still 3 seats to stretch out on for a 24 hour flight is nothing to shrug at.

The flight for the main part was uneventful. There was a bunch of mechanical problems, that we were never really told much about. We flew back in to Iraq, then off to Ireland for a stop over. Then on to America. We touched down, were welcomed back over the loud speakers, told that we could turn our phones on, and the texting begun. I sent out a big message saying I was home and one to my wife saying that we had landed. I got about 20 messages from the past 9 months of my phone being off. Then we gathered our belongings and carefully stepped from the plane. Then and only then did I take in a deep breath and let it out.
I was home.

Back to the… GREEN!
For now at least.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Hurry Up and Wait… Then wait some more.

Hello there too all of you crazy blog readers. I am sorry that it has been so long since I have last come to you with another exciting adventure. It has been a busy few months for me. Coming home, meeting my daughter and actually being a father, trying to settle in. Whew I am exhausted.
Today I am once again playing Mr. Mom. My wife found a job shortly after I got home and on my days off, I take care of little Samantha (Who is not all that little anymore). But she is asleep in her little swing so I thought I would get a blog done while she slumbers. I have a lot to tell you about, but it will all have to come slowly. Just like when I left to go to Iraq you got small bits in order. That is how it is going to happen again.
So I am going to take you all the way back… Back… Back to when we were getting ready to leave.

The new unit has arrived and we are for the most part done with the TOA (Transfer of Authority). There were a few major bumps in the road to getting the new unit up and going, but it is done. All that is needed now is for a lot of paperwork to be done and then the official transfer day will be upon us. And then there will be nothing but CHUcation. That is the word we have come up with for the “vacation” time that we will have once the hand over is done and we are waiting for our flight to get the hell out of here. Luckily for me I wont have to really worry about all of that. I am on flight one so I will be out of here within a week. I don’t have to wait around for the TOW. I don’t have to worry about being bored to tears during CHUcation. I just have to wait for the flight. And waiting I am.
I have been waiting for 4 days already and boy am I ready to stop waiting. W have already packed up all of our stuff. Our large boxes of toys are gone. And my internet has been disconnected for over a week. Now what to do, what to do? I still have my computer and a ton of movies on my hard drive so that is keeping me somewhat entertained. But I can’t take this all much longer. It is times like now that make me sure of the fact that I would never make it in jail.
On a happy note, we don’t have to move out of the CHU’s and into the nasty hot tents. We were all worried about that, but all the tents are full with Uganda troops. I might later have to talk about them. But for now I will leave them out of this.

Days later…

Well my time here is at an end. I am sitting at the freedom tent. It is the last tent/building that I will be in prior to getting on a plane, and then it is off to Kuwait. Oh boy am I excited. We have all been up for about 30 hours. Some of the guys have gotten little cat naps in, but I have never been very good at sleeping in a chair, and I am not about to lay down on the hard floor. I would rather just stay awake and count every second until that bird lands. Today’s flight will be the same kind that bought me the final leg into Iraq. A wonderful Airforce C-130. Just thinking of it makes me want to break out into cadence. But really I am all too tired for that. Another few hours and I will be on the ground in Kuwait. I here propellers. Maybe that is our bird.

Back To The Sand

Friday, September 10, 2010


Soon I will be in a different country. How exciting.

More as soon as I get home.