Sunday, October 30, 2005


We went to church this morning to face the news that one of our teens died early Saturday morning. He was 18 years old, a freshman in college, good looking kid. He was driving drunk and without a seat belt. He was going too fast, lost control of his car and flipped it. He was thrown from the vehicle and died on impact. Sad, sad, sad.

His parents are, of course, devastated. This was a senseless death. His death was totally preventable. Our schools dropped Driver's Ed in recent years saying it was too expensive, and the liability was too much. The laws in Georgia are very lenient towards youthful drivers. At 15 you get a learners, at 16 you can get a full blown driver's license with no limitations. I think it is time for a change.

Sgt Hook has a GREAT article titled "The Rest of the Story" and is well worth going and reading.

While I am on a roll, what is up with Halloween any more? When I was a kid we all dressed up the DAY of Halloween and went trick-or-treating. We scared the crap out of each other and had a good time goofing off. Granted I was a kid a LONG time ago, but why have things changed so much?

Last Sunday my in-laws had a Harvest Festival replete with a scary night time hayride. I have a 10 year old in elementary school. The ENTIRE week prior to Halloween they have dress up days. One day it is wacky tacky day, one day it is camo day (oh to be sure, Joshua was dressed in AUTHENTIC gear! LOL) etc. Then they have a party on the final day. Then Saturday a local church has a Harvest Festival, our church has a Harvest Festival tonight, then Halloween tomorrow night! I am totally burnt out on Halloween now. Even my son is saying "Do we gotta go to the festival tonight??"

Halloween, like most things American, has gone WAY overboard. I think the Yuppie Baby Boomers and Gen X kids are just too into filling up the children's life with entertainment. I heard a TEACHER say that the classroom has to be entertaining now. The prevailing thought is our children are too sophisticated (or spoiled?) to sit and pay attention without being entertained. Luckily there are still teachers like my son's Mrs. Jones who believes "Learning is not an adventure. It is a skill to be acquired through discipline. Once you learn the discipline of learning, LIFE becomes an adventure." Well said.

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

A lot has Happened

I ordered a uniform. I know, I know...the National Guard will provide me all of my uniforms, but I wanted to go ahead and get my Military ID card and did NOT want to show up in civilian clothes. So I ordered a set of ACU's. A little pricey ($230) but WELL WORTH IT! I had my picture taken for a DA photo as well since I will be attempting to go AGR or Active Guard Reserves.

I was walking toward the personnel building and felt pretty darn good in uniform. Just as I reached the outskirts of the building an officer came outside and I snapped a sharp salute. It felt good and strange at the same time! I was grinning from ear to ear. Only after I actually had my ID in my hand did I feel "official".

Today I did my first drill. I won't be in town during my actual drill weekend so my 1SGT is allowing me to drill during the week prior. It was strange. The Army and National Guard is VASTLY different from the Navy. Not to mention I have been out for almost 15 years. I am learning a lot about the inner workings and that is good.

My son (10 years old) had been having problems with his mom being in the Military. I had him long after I got out of the Navy so he has never had to deal with anything but a stay at home mom. He would hardly talk to me and when the topic came up he got silent.

One day we were out shopping and I finally asked him to talk to me. Funny how it is MUCH easier to deal with feelings while driving down the road! You don't have to look at each other and there is a sort of psycological buffer there. So I told him to come clean, lay out his feelings to me. He said "Why can't you just be a mom?"

Well. Indeed, why can't I just be a mom? I thought about that for a moment. What does it mean to be a mom? I patiently explained to him that I loved him and his sister more than anything. They are the apple of my eye, my every reason why. I explained that I had been home for him for 10 years and for Grace, 3 years. I love my children deeply. I want to protect them. I want to nurture tham, I want them to have a future. Part of that is why I chose to return to the military.

I love this country. I have lived overseas as a child and made many trips to Mexico to help a poor family we knew. My father came to the U.S. from Colombia at age 14. I learned early on that we live in a very blessed nation and are very fortunate. I have always realized that our way of life is not normal for other nations. My own great-great granfather was a General in the Colombian Army and became President during a Coup! Things like honest elections, a stable military and police force, security in jobs and life are a liberty and freedom fought for by my ancestors on my mom's side.

Along with their father, I am my children's protector. I am a "mom". That means making sacrifices for them, helping them to grow and mature into adults and not just grown children. I feel I am protecting them in this way. I am insuring their future. I am contributing to society the way I would wish for them to do as well.

I want to serve and provide for my family. I want my son to realize that those things, liberty and freedom, are not free. Do I have to serve? No. I consider it a privelege. How do you explain that to a child? I put it in the simplest terms I could. He understood and actually was proud of me! He began to happily chatter away and later asked if I could order a set of ACU's for him! :-)

It was a good exercise for me to examine my feelings and motives. It clarified some things for me in my mind. It also set my son's mind at peace. It was a good day.

Sunday, October 09, 2005


I woke this morning to log on (we don't have TV) and read that they suspect over 18,000 are dead due to the huge earthquake in Pakistan. EIGHTEEN THOUSAND People dead in one fell swoop. One man's eyewitness account said he thought it was judgment day. Indeed.

I am curious to see if we send in troops to help. I surfed through several blogs, the news, and the Army's page, but didn't see anything posted. Yet. My guess is that our administration will send troops. It will be a good humanitarian thing to do and after Katrina, would be an excellent way to shore up support for Bush.

I know my unit won't/can't deploy so I won't be going, but inside there is this feeling that I should be going. "SEND ME! PICK ME!" My heart goes out to those people. I have read a few accounts and they are heart rending. I cannot imagine losing your entire family only to have your daughter die in your arms just as you reach the hospital.

So as I sit here drinking my cuppa coffee, my family sleeps as the sun is silently rising outside... I am grateful, and thankful, and appreciative of all we have in each other. Life is fleeting. And we are indeed a much blest people.

I think I'll hug my kids a little tighter today.

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Test 1, 2, ...

Just checking this out to see how it goes.

I am a middle aged wife and mother of two beautiful children. I served in the Navy for 8 years over 15 years ago. I decided I wanted to go back into the service when I discovered that I was not too old to serve with the National Guard.

So Saturday, October 1, 2005, I raised my right hand and took an oath to serve my country for the next 6 years. I don't know what that holds for me; where I will be going or not going, but I want to chronicle this time period of my life.

This is me and the crew about a year ago.

This has been all so strange. Having a baby at age 43, working with my husband in his office, then deciding to join the National Guard. It is going to take getting used to going from Petty Officer to mom to Sergeant!

That's it for now. Test out!

SGT Lori