Friday, December 30, 2005

Baby Noor Update

Liitle Baby Noor is on her way to Georgia!! I wish I could be at the airport to greet her. She has been deemed fit to travel and could be here as soon as January 1st. What a way to start the New Year! The entire update can be found here.

Staff Sgt. Darryl Clark, 40, picked up the tiny girl, Noor al-Zahra, and put the small plastic bottle filled with baby formula into her mouth, gently rocking her frail body in his arms. Within minutes, the baby had fallen sleep.

“That’s just good stuff,” said Clark, a soldier in the Georgia Army National Guard’s 48th Brigade Combat Team. “It just makes you feel good inside knowing you’re doing something for a sick child of that age.

  • Hooah, SGT Clark, thats just good stuff!

SGT Hook does it again

This is an excerpt of a story posted on SGT Hook's website and on Blog Cuba. Go read this most EXCELLENT story!

Pedro Martin

Private First Class Peter Martin lay on his cot made of an aluminum frame and green nylon, dressed only in his desert camouflage trousers and a brown t-shirt and tan suede combat boots. His blouse hung on a hook fashioned out of 550 cord and an expended 7.62 shell casing tied to a section of the tent’s metal frame. He lay on his back, with his hands behind his head, staring at the canvas ceiling, tiny rays of sunlight piercing the many holes in the tent, waiting. He’s been there waiting for three days now while his platoon was on patrol in the village to the east of their forward operating base. The tent flapped violently in the wind and dust settled on everything. Pete Martin tired of waiting and tired of the heartache he felt within.

If You Have Five Minutes to Spare....

And even if you don't.... I HIGHLY recommend you take the time to go see the Army's "The Year in Photos 2005". Be prepared to feel proud, very proud. I am not sure if it is the Army's new slogan or not but the cover picture says:
"Call To Duty: 230 Years Of Service To Our Nation"

The presentation scrolls through the pictures while listening to Bob Seger's "Like A Rock". It is a GREAT presentation. And the Soldiers Creed is displayed to the right of the video. Moved me to tears but I am a sap at heart. :-)

Teen wants to volunteer to go to Iraq

I read this story today on MSNBC. A Florida Teen of Iraqi descent (Farris Hassan) flies to the Middle East unbeknowst to his parents. He had decided to use his Christmas break from school to practice "Immersion Journalism". He travels Kuwait, Jordan and Iraq. He is finally taken by the 101st Airborne to the U.S. Embassy where he is happily returned home safe and sound. Here is a condensed version of his observations:

His father, Redha Hassan, a doctor, said his son is an idealist, principled and moral. Aside from the research he wanted to accomplish, he also wrote in an essay saying he wanted to volunteer in Iraq.

He said he wrote half the essay while in the United States, half in Kuwait, and e-mailed it to his teachers Dec. 15 while in the Kuwait City airport.

"There is a struggle in Iraq between good and evil, between those striving for freedom and liberty and those striving for death and destruction," he wrote.

"Those terrorists are not human but pure evil. For their goals to be thwarted, decent individuals must answer justice's call for help. Unfortunately altruism is always in short supply. Not enough are willing to set aside the material ambitions of this transient world, put morality first, and risk their lives for the cause of humanity. So I will."

Very true, Farris, the Terroists are nothing but pure evil. The article makes scant mention of the Army's work there but the gist is if the American and Allied forces were NOT there, Iraq would be a very bad place. Hooah, Farris, for going out on a limb to find out the TRUTH. Perhaps he may want to volunteer with the Army?

Farris' essay is printed here. This is a quote from his essay:
If I know what is needed and what is right, but do not act on my moral conscience, I would be a hypocrite. I must do what I say decent individuals should do. I want to live my days so that my nights are not full of regrets. Therefore, I must go.
Couldn't say it better myself.

Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Georgia Army National Guard to the rescue

This story on CNN is about the Georgia Army National Guard reaching out to a family whose baby girl is in desperate need of expert medical care. The Soldiers were searching the home when:

As the young parents of an infant girl nervously watched the soldiers search their modest home, the baby's unflinching grandmother thrust the little girl at the Americans, showing them the purple pouch protruding from her back.

I like how the grandmother instinctively knew the American Soldiers would HELP. The whole unit has made the little baby their project. Sen. Saxby Chambliss of Georgia is working to expedite matters and Dr. Roger Hudgins will perform the surgery free of charge. A loud Hooah to Sen. Chambliss and Dr. Hudgins! The story continues but this comment really sealed it for me:

The lieutenant said that while his unit's main mission is to put down the insurgency in Iraq, it is also trying to help the country's citizens.

"We are also here to win the hearts and minds of the Iraqi people. To show them that we are a just people, not only by helping them establish a constitution but helping them with their problems that they cannot handle," Morgan explained. "This little girl epitomizes the efforts of us to do that."

I am a proud Georgian and Army National Guardsman today. :-) You can read the rest of the story here.

Monday, December 26, 2005

True Patriots

There are some slime balls that like to protest the war by protesting the funerals of fallen Soldiers and Marines. I won't waste your time by directing you to their name or website (yes they have one). But I will direct you here to a group called Patriot Guard Riders. They are a nation wide group of riders (or bikers) who are dedicated to ...well here are their own words:
Patriot Guard Riders Mission Statement

The Patriot Guard Riders is a diverse amalgamation of riders from across the nation. We have one thing in common besides motorcycles. We have an unwavering respect for those who risk their very lives for America’s freedom and security. If you share this respect, please join us.

We don’t care what you ride, what your political views are, or whether you’re a "hawk" or a "dove". It is not a requirement that you be a veteran. It doesn't matter where you’re from or what your income is. You don’t even have to ride. The only prerequisite is Respect.

Our main mission is to attend the funeral services of fallen American heroes as invited guests of the family. Each mission we undertake has two basic objectives.

1. Show our sincere respect for our fallen heroes, their families, and their communities.

2. Shield the mourning family and friends from interruptions created by any protestor or group of protestors.

We accomplish the latter through strictly legal and non-violent means.

Simply awesome. I highly recommend going to their website and reading some of the stories. I am so impressed and greatful. I am adding them as a quick link to the right on my blog. God Bless you Patriot Guard!

Friday, December 23, 2005

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas to all the troops in Iraq, Afghanistan and everywhere.

Thank you for making this a safe
and happy Holiday for everyone.
Thank you for giving up the comforts of home for the rigors of being in the field.
Thank you for leaving the warmth of the arms of your loved ones for the cold reality of war.
Thank you for truely believing that Freedom isn't free and Liberty comes at a price.Thank you for giving everything so that others, like me, can enjoy all that we have.
Thank you for the sacrifice of your family, of your friends and extended family in supporting you even when it feels like it will never end.
Thank you for not griping about the heat, the cold, the sand
and other inconveniences to make sure that your country is safe.

and finally;
Thank you for the ultimate sacrfice.

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

What a Quandry

I went to my "Board" on Monday. Someone made a change in the process and it was to be a "paper board" meaning; no one need show up, only our applications and packets would be reveiwed. However "someone" didn't notify the secretary who made our appointments and several of us showed up anyway. So I drove all that way in traffic, with a migraine (nerves) only to be told "sorry!" LOL. Some things never change!

Well with my board over, and waiting to hear what decisions have been made I have been thinking more about my Army National Guard career.

When I was in the Navy I pretty much worked hard, kept a low profile and tried not to attract too much attention. I made rank in the average amount of time for the Navy. I reenlisted at my 4 year mark for another 4 years, spending 8 years total in the Navy. I enjoyed my time but I knew at my 8 year mark I needed to make a decision. Either stay in and make a career out of the Service or get out. If I stayed in, I knew I would have to make some changes in how I conducted myself. I would have to start looking at my service as a career and not just a job. I would have to be more proactive about making rank, etc. I'd have to grow up.

I spent the last 15 years as a civilian. I have changed a lot in those 15 years. I now have children and if that doesn't change your perspective, nothing will. I reenlisted in the Guard with the vision to make this a career. I regretted not finishing up in the Navy and always wanted a second chance to do it right.

Well now I have my second chance.

This time I am taking it more seriously. Where do I want to be in 10 years? Where do I want this career to take me? How can I better serve my country this time? How can I better serve those people assigned under me as their leader? I have been doing a lot of reflecting.

As a recruiter I know I can do a good job and make rank pretty quickly if I make mission. But....but. There is this little nagging doubt hanging there. But.

I think about where I want to be in 10 years. I want to be a SGM ( Sergeant Major), at least a 1SG (1st Sergeant), possibly a CSM (Command Sgt Major). Aim high right?? I can see acheiving 1SG but, CSM? I don't see it happening unless I deploy. Period.

I also don't see anyone taking me seriously until I do deploy. If I was a junior enlisted under a SGT who had never deployed.... or under a SGT that had deployed... well.. I don't know.

So while I am waiting to hear the decision on my RRNCO application... I am toying with the idea of voluntering for deployment. I have already told my husband that if I get passed over for the Recruiter postion I will be joining a unit close to here, that just so happens to be getting ready to deploy.

I guess this should be an easy decision but it just isn't. If I was single; no kids? I would be on a plane to Iraq tomorrow. But I am not single and I have two children. Even then... I feel that if I don't go ahead now...I will "miss the party". Yet I have everyone asking me "What will Grace do if you have to deploy? How will Joshua handle it?"

I feel like a fake, a sham. Soldier, who me? Not.

My cousin joined the Guard right after me. He is assigned to a MP unit. He is joining another unit that is headed to Iraq. His wife is cheering him on. No soul searching for him, just "It's my duty". But the first thing out of everyone's mouth when they hear that I have enlisted is "you're not deploying are you??" Why this double standard for women?

Well this much is clear to me. IF I don't get picked up for Recruiter...I AM going to VOLUNTEER to go to IRAQ. Period. I joined to be a soldier. I joined to help DEFEND my country. I joined because it is the right thing to do. I joined because I don't ever want to look at footage of the World Trade Center attack on September 11th again and feel helpless. I want my children to look back and say they are proud of a mom who was a small part of the War on Terror.

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

The Rest of the Story

Friday, December 16, 2005

Moving Pictures

the emotionally moving kind. This Life Magazine Photo Essay features pictures taken of a Marine whose duty is to inform loved ones of a fallen Marine. The pictures speak for themselves but I have added some comments.

Loading the plane with the coffin of Lt Cathey (24).

Lt. Cathey's wife as she sees his coffin for the first time.

His wife hugging his coffin.

Marine stands silent vigil over the coffin and the wife as she sleeps on a pallet by the coffin.

Lt Cathey's father as he cries at the funeral.

You can see the entire photo essay here.

The Iraqi Vote

I am so proud of what we have done in the Middle East. Yes, the Middle East not just Iraq. I think this idea of Democracy and Freedom is going to spread like wildfire. I think that once the peoples of neighboring countries see how Iraq has been transformed they are going to make the moves toward a free state.

I am so proud of the Iraqi people going out and voting, making a new government, working hard towards their new life.

Thursday, December 15, 2005

Go Read...

Blackfive has an awesome "Letter from a Battlefield Hospital". LTC Scott Barnes writes
So the Sergeant Major asks how can we go without sleep and how can we operate for hours at a time. After seeing the heart of his soldiers, how can we not?
Go read the rest of the letter.

Wednesday, December 14, 2005


I feel this is a very important message to send to the Amercian people. Time Magazine has their "Picture of the Week" and then at the end of the year they have the pick for the year. Michael Yon's shot of Major Bieger and Farah took the Time's "Picture of the Week" in May 2005:You can read the story of Farah here. (Get some tissue first)
You can go vote for Michael's pic here.
Scroll through all the pictures, then vote for your favorite. Michael is the ONLY amateur photoprapher. What a message that would send to the MSM; a amateur who takes pictures of the War gets Time's best photo of the year!

Christmas Fun

Here are some Christmas jokes my mother-in-law passed onto me:

Here is a cool site where you can make your own snowman. Have fun!

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

I've been "Tagged"!

Sounds like something my husband would do to a cow....

but Sgt Hook has tagged me. I am supposed to list five strange habits of mine.

1. I grind my own wheat and bake all of our bread. Just like the Giant in Jack and the Bean Stalk "I'LL GRIND YOUR BONES TO MAKE MY BREAD!"

2. I don't use drugs. None. Zip, zero, nada. Not even over-the-counter drugs. I prefer to let my body do the healing. Also a nice massage from the highly talented Dr. Fields helps! LOL.

3. I make and drink my own Silver.

4. I don't like to shop. A very strange trait for a woman!

5. And finally; I am scared of the dark. Yes, very weird for a grown woman but... I do NOT like being alone or walking outside in the dark. Gives me the heebie jeebies.

So there. Now I need to tag a few people:

Mauser Girl
Army Girl
and Patrick who is soon to be in Boot Camp!

Board Date

Well I have been informed that I have a date set to go before the RRNCO Board. Well, rather my application packet has a date. It is to be a "Paper Board" and I guess I will be notified if they need to see me past that. Hmmm. I don't know if that is good or bad.


The RR HRC called to notify me that I am to report before the Board on the 19th after all. I got my choice of time since I was the first one they had gotten ahold of by phone. It pays to put your cell phone number on applications. I chose 9am. That way they have seen the first one, had their coffee and will not be thinking about lunch as I give my Power Point Presentation.

Friday, December 09, 2005

Support Our Troops

It has been brought to my attention that there is a great way to support our Troops online. You can go to, click on Support Troops and a new window opens to give a multitude of options for supporting our Troops. Leave a message for "Any Soldier", support by writing, give donations etc. There are also a lot of resources for the Soldiers' and their families'.

Thanks to Mauser Girl for bringing this to my attention. Once again; Hooah, Mauser Girl!

This just in...

I verified this on Snopes Urban Legend site:
Mother Sheehan's Book Signing

Sometimes several pictures are worth several thousand words:

Anti-war activist Cindy Sheehan waits for people to show up at her book signing near President Bush's ranch on Saturday, Nov. 26, 2005 in Crawford, Texas.

Photographs © The Associated Press

With all due respect to her loss, I think it is heinous how she has exploited her son's death to promote her anti-war stance. She was anti-military before he even joined. Clearly he did not share in his mother's choice of politics. Now she is using his death to grind her axe.

Thursday, December 08, 2005

Your attention is needed, please...

This just in from One Marine's View:
Many people leave comments (thank you very much by the way) and send emails about what they can send us, what do we need. What do we need? Really? Its more armor right…..nope. Its more troops right?..........nope. Its gotta be the stooper idea of pulling us out of here, right?..........mention that again and someone’s getting hurt, NO.

We simply need your support. Think back during past holidays. How many American flags have you seen flying? Cmon think!!!! Oh I know you see the usual holiday decorations and flags at the post office and bank but how about your work place, neighbor’s house or even your house? Im not trying to drive up my stock in American flags but the fact that they arnt that expensive and cost about as much as a lunch at McDonalds why don’t you have one flying??? Well???

Go here to read the whole post from Capt B in Iraq. Hooah Capt B! I will be replacing my worn faded flag this week.

Tears in my eyes

Michael Yon has a new article on his website. It is written about the birds he shot pictures of while in Iraq. During his interesting tale of birds and cameras he weaves another tale of soldiers and war. Here is a small quote:
The girlfriends and wives: I have since heard many stories of their stresses and travails at home with the kids and the bills and the medical problems and the incredible duress they must face alone—and the damn news: four troops were killed when . . . —and finally there is the knock on the door and she holds her breath and it's only someone delivering a package. Next week there is a knock and she holds her breath but it's only a rip-off artist trying to replace the roof. Next week there is a knock but she breathes easier because she has learned to deal with it, and she opens the door and her husband has no legs. Or he is horribly burned. Or he is dead.

This article is a great read. I found myself weeping. Weeping for a country that has lost sight of what freedom costs and how fragile it really is. Weeping for the courage of our soldiers and their families. And finally weeping for people who keep trying in the face of horrible adversity. Courage is rare but beautiful.

Truth or Dare

Mauser Girl has a GREAT summation of a report done by Bill Carr on the Army:
Carr bristles when he hears unfounded charges that the men and women entering the military are less educated, less affluent or less likely than other 18- to 24-year-olds to have alternatives to military service. Rather, a combination of volunteerism and commitment to service is prompting young people to enlist, Carr said, noting that a measure of shrewdness plays into their decision.

Mauser Girl goes on to bust the myths people have on the condition this girl's Army. It is a great post. Hooah Mauser Girl!

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Zo you vant to get bak into shep?

I live in a rural part of Georgia. I can look out my front door onto a 150 acre cow pasture. I can look out my back door on a 150 acre forest. To the right of us is a "subdivision". It used to be a 200 acre cattle farm but was bought by a developer and houses are being built. They are nice homes and the roads for the subdivision are already paved in. I was using that as my "track". Increasingly as the dark comes sooner in the day I was feeling unsafe. Also factor in winter weather and my motivation for running was slowly slipping away. I decided to look into a gym membership.

As I said we live a fair peice away from town. It is only about a 20 minute drive, but that gets old if you have to drive it each day. Also that 20 minute drive only takes you to the outskirts of "town". Gold's built a gym on my side of the outskirts. I decided Monday to check them out and see what a gym membership would cost.

The facility is sweet; brand new everything. It is a huge sized gym. They have a fully manned nursery available so moms (like me) with small children can bring the kids AND workout! Grace loved it. She and Joshua played happily as I took a short guided tour. I met with the owner who laid out a payment plan for me. I got a Military discount (not much but...) and decided the payments would be worth it. I discussed it with my husband who said it would be fine. So I signed up and made an appointment with the Personal Trainer.

This morning at 11 I arrived back at the gym with my workout togs on. I was introduced to the Gym Nazi. He is HUGE. He shaves his head and knows every peice of equipment by heart. I expected a clipped German accent but got Bronx Italiano. So he's not a Gym Nazi but rather Mafia Muscle. He was very personable but firm with me.

He ran me through a series of evaluation exercises. He told me I was not in "that bad of shape" but that I have a LOOOONG way to go! No surprise to me. He talked to me at great length about what kind of physical shape my body is in. He instructed me about working hard at the gym and making sure I was committed to working through my issues. He started winding down his talk and I thought that we were done; but noooooo. "SO!...Let's get started!" Huh? more exercise? We worked on legs until I was like jello. Then we ( say we but it means ME) made a stab at abdominals. It was laughable. I was huffing and puffing and making little to no progress. Oh well. He was encouraging but realistic. I need honesty and he was brutal.

I am at 30% BF (bodyfat). Even though I "look good" I am nothing but mushy fat. Hey, I knew that! He says it will take a YEAR of hard effort to get to 18% BF. Whaaaat?? A YEAR? Wait, I don't have a year. I don't care about bodyfat! I am taking the APFT on January 7th. He patiently drew diagrams spouted some scientific sounding stuff and convinced me that slow but steady is the way to do this. So we settled on two goals. One long term goal: 18% BF in a year. One short term goal: Passing the PT test January 7th, 2006. Then he lowered the boom.

"Mrs. Fields, you have a serious (short term) goal to make in four short weeks. You need someone to take you to that level in a way that I cannot." He looked and sounded like a physician who was giving his patient some weighty news (no pun intended). He leaned forward on his desk and continued "I could make up a program for you but it would be pure speculation on my part and I don't think you want to waste your time or take any risks." Of course not! My health is at stake! Oh wait, not really. But I want to make recruiter? Do I want to attend Army schools? Army schools EXPECT you to be able to PT and pass an APFT test.

He rested his arms across his massive chest and said "I want you to work with Silas...." SILAS!? Just his name sounded intimidating. "Silas works with the Policemen and the Firefighters to get them ready for their performance tests. He guides them through a pretty intense training cycle, similar to boot camp..." BOOT at 46 years of age?? My jiggly legs began to feel more like jello and quiver. "Silas is our best trainer. He can get you where you want to be by January 7th." I drew in my breath and nodded my head.

So I made a commitment to meet with Silas. Twice a week. At 5 am. Yes, that's not a typo. FIVE O'CLOCK IN THE MORNING. Be AT the gym at five, not get up at five. Boot camp, indeed. I can do this. I CAN do this! I WILL do this!

I collected Grace from the nursery and wobbled my way towards the door. The Mafioso Strongman reminded me "Soak yourself for an hour in the tub tonight Mrs. Fields, you're going to need it."
And I am paying for this!

Monday, December 05, 2005

to Mrs. Soldier

Today I needed to turn in some paperwork to HQ and to go to the uniform shop. I like to take care of official business in uniform. I don't like going in civvies (civilian clothes). Call it an old habit but when I was active duty it was just considered good manners to show up in uniform. I always found I got a better response from PSD or Personnel Support Detachment if I wasn't in civvies. The same has proven true of the Guard. So I wore my new spiffy ACU's when I went to the Post.

After I finished taking care of paperwork, I drove to my son's school to pick him up early. As I waited in the school's office I noticed a very young woman kept stealing glances at me. She finally realized that I had noticed and she looked at me with tear filled eyes. "My husband is in Iraq and he has that same uniform." She fought to control herself and continued "I have tried not looking at you because it reminds me so much of him. Not many people have the new uniform..." I asked gently; when he is coming home? May, was her answer. I said "Not long..." encouragingly. She smiled and said "No, not long. I can hang on until then." I asked if he was Guard and she replied yes.

We were interrupted as some of the office staff asked me about my son. The young girl had walked a few paces away. I fought to keep my composure as I called out to her and said "Excuse me, I just wanted to say 'thank you'. I know it is a big sacrifice on your part." I had to stop as I saw the tears well up in her eyes again. I am a big sap and had to look away but quickly added, "I appreciate you being strong and being there for your husband." She smiled a huge grin and said that not many people have told her that.

I have an assignment for you, Class. Find a wife or husband of a soldier (deployed or not) and tell them 'thanks'. We need to hear it. It keeps us strong and helps us to KNOW we *are* doing the right thing. Hug 'em and say thank you.

Sunday, December 04, 2005

My First Official Drill

While this past weekend wasn't actially my first drill, it was the first time I got to drill with my unit. I will say it again, the Army (National Guard) is vastly different from the Navy.

I had a blast! I really enjoyed meeting everyone. I enjoyed the lectures and the work. It felt so very good to be a Soldier.

I ran my PT test (Physical Training Test) on Staurday in freezing rain. I was told to remember this phrase "It doesn't rain in the Army, it rains ON the Army!" So we ran our two miles in 20 - 30 degree weather while it was raining on us. It was so cold my ears hurt (forgot to bring a hat). I had my best running time ever.....but I missed making my time by 12 seconds. My 1st Sergeant told me not to worry since this was a make-up APFT (Army Physical Fitness Test) for the regular troops, the APFT in April will be the one that counts for me. However, I WILL be taking a PT test in January and PASSING! I just can't stand not making the grade.

I got my last peice of paper required to go Recruiter and I should know by the 15th of this month the outcome of the board. If I am not picked up by the Recruiting Command, my unit will be sending me to Chemical School. Sounds like win-win to me.

Although it *is* an advantage, it is a bit intimidating. See the secondary schools in the Army are schools that Soldiers just out of Boot Camp attend. Sooo they are not like attending College courses at your local school. Even though I am a middle aged married mother of two, I will be treated like an 18 year old raw recruit with no sense whatsoever. I will not be allowed to drive my car, leave the base, use my cell phone during the day for 11 weeks. I will have to PT EVERYDAY (run 2 or more miles plus sit-ups, push-ups etc.). I will have to march in formation to class. I will have barracks room inspection.

Let me tell you, when I was in the Navy we had it SO easy. After Boot Camp we never marched. NEVER. We never had to learn how to use a weapon! School was party time. We went to class and after class was out; our time was our own. We had our cars, and if we were married and the school was over 3 months we even had an apartment off base. We called it "skating". It was a breeze.

On the one hand I am not looking forward to this. On the other hand... I need to learn how to march, how to handle a weapon, how to be a soldier. So this will be very good for me. I AM totally looking forward to forced PT. LOL. Hey, maybe I will be a svelt little size 6 again!

Friday, December 02, 2005

Hooah! Simar quits homefront to join Iraq war effort

MIDDLETOWN, NY -- John Simar woke up in Kuwait this morning – a 55-year-old soldier – one order away from risking his life on the bloody streets of Baghdad.

Now I don't feel so old!

His journey from civilian to soldier began with a phone call to the Pentagon's personnel office in August. Simar asked if he could do anything to help with the war effort in Iraq.

Read the rest of his story here.

A MUST Read...

Confessions of a Military Recruiter has this most excellent post on the situation in Iraq! Basically a run down of things you won't see posted in the MSM (Main Stream Media). Go read it now!

Just my experience

When you get to be a middle aged mom you hope to have some wisdom under your belt. You hear yourself repeating things your mom told you to your kids.
Don't go out with a wet head, you'll catch cold.
Don't cross your eyes or they'll freeze that way.
Do you think your socks are going to pick themselves up?
Don't put that in your mouth, you don't know where it's been.
Don't sit too close to the television, it'll ruin your eyes.
Eat your vegetables, they're good for you.
What goes around, comes around.
Ugly is as ugly does.
I brought you into this world, and I can take you right back out!

You get to be my age and you have seen a few things.
Really bad people do well and prosper.
Older women with a good education and career sleeping with a 13 year old boy.
People winning the lottery only to be bankrupt a year later.
The couple you never thought would divorce; does.
Children your parents predicted would be worthless succeed in life.
Children your parents predicted would succeed, fail.
Ugly men with beautiful women.
Worse: Beautiful men with ugly women!

I was raised an Army Brat and lived all over the world. I went to college for a short while and quit (got kicked out). I spent a few years being worthless, drugged up and drunk. I was nearly homeless and flat broke. I joined the Navy and served 8 years. I got a good education in the Service. I got out and became a Field Service Engineer. I made a good living. I have been around the block a few times and back again.

Once I landed a really good job with an industrial printing company. They paid really well, had great benefits. In my position I was entitled to a company car, with an expense account. I had to work hard, and I traveled a lot but it was a great job! I noticed that the other engineers displayed what I call spoiled brat syndrome. They were so used to the nice job they forgot what it was like to not have a nice job. Yeah, we were called on to work hard difficult tasks, but we were well compensated. We had brand new Dodge vans to drive but they griped because it wasn't a Chevy Blazer. We had every expense paid for when we traveled but some complained because it wasn't first class.

Then I married my wonderful adoring gorgeous husband the Chiropractor. He is a wonderful man. He works very hard. He is in business for himself and we have made huge sacrifices for him to succeed. I have learned that being your own boss is no picnic. It is a 24 an hour a day job. We have no benefits that we don't have to pay for ourselves. We live on a very tight budget as we don't know what his earnings will be next month, much less next week. It has been a long hard struggle.

Since coming back into the service to finish my career I have been observing some things. I am noticing there are a few cry babies. Seems they left mama's breast and need a "sugar tit" now in the service. I hear whining about pay and benefits etc. I am astonished. How much do they think they can earn on the outside? And at what price. When I look at my pay in the service (E-5, over 8. You can go look it up) plus the benefits, plus, bonuses.... it is a good job.

I look at some of these junior enlisted and I wonder what sort of career they left to come into the Army? McDonalds? Oh excuse me, you had a GREAT job at the Video store! Excuse my sarcasm, but I am astonished. The basic pay alone is more than these kids can earn with no education and experience.

Add to that the Military is the only "business" that will take you in, pay you while you train, give you first rate benefits, give you EXTRA money when you marry and add to your family. Not to mention that retirement benefit in the civilian community is all but gone.

My sister has a MBA and a CPA. She works for a great company. She makes $75K a year. With my bonuses, my educational benefits, my FREE benefits along with my housing allowance etc, I make close to what she earns as an E-5!! Once I start making rank that will really close the gap.

You don't think you earn enough? Quit yer whining and make rank. In the mean while suck it up.

In my husband's office we get a lot of "old timers" as patients. Inevitably, the conversation turns to our times in the Service. I joke that I will be 80 years old and saying "I remember when I was in the Service..." To the last one, they each speak fondly of their time serving their country. To the last one, they each speak of their experience in a postive manner. And, always, without exception when I ask "If you had to do it over again..." they finish with "I'd a never got out!" Hindsight is, as they say, 20/20.

Thursday, December 01, 2005

I am SO Embarrassed

Embarrass: To hinder from freedom of thought, speech, or action by something which impedes or confuses mental action; to perplex; to discompose; to disconcert; as, laughter may embarrass an orator.

I prefer this definition: em-bar-ass'ed, the sudden flushing of your face and discomfort when you realize an action makes you look like a bare assed fool.

Monday I went down to the Georgia Army National Guard headquarters just south of Atlanta. The weather was bad and it took me 2 hours to get there. I didn't mind though as I do like to drive.

I went in uniform even though I wasn't on duty. I prefer to take care of Military business in uniform. I got there and was able to clear some stuff up on my record. I also visited the Recruiter's office that is there in that building to get directions to the Recruiting HRC that is in Atlanta. A Master Sergeant overheard me and mentioned that he was on his way there himself, did I want to follow him? Sure! So I met him in the parking lot and followed him to HRC in Atlanta. Once we arrived at HRC the Master Sergeant pointed me in the right direction but not before giving me this odd look.

Well I was online last night reading my favorite blogs. Some of them have pictures of Soldiers in uniform. I suddenly realised that I had been wearing my beret WRONG! I had the flash over my right eyebrow and pulled down over my left ear instead of visa versa. OMG!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! HOW EMBARRASSING! I am just glad I didn't see anyone I will see again. I feel like SUCH a boot camp! UGH! Like this guy: