Thursday, June 29, 2006

Final Night in Arkansas

Only one of the Sergeant Majors showed up. He looked tired and beat. The airline lost his luggage. He wanted to go to APPLEBEES of all places! OK, ok I *like* Applebees, but I go to Applebees at home. Know what I mean?? So we were all standing in the "common area" of the barracks and I say "Um, do you mind if I take a rain check?? I had made plans to go to Gauchos with a bunch of friends....." chirp chirp chirp (sounds of crickets in the background) SFC Restivo comes to my rescue and says "Oh sure, that's fine..."

So. We are sitting in Gauchos. I am sitting next to a guy who is sitting directly across from Lisa, my friend from Arizona. We are all chatting, drinking our drinks and waiting for our food. I hear the guy next to me ask Lisa if she had ever had any cosmetic surgery. Without missing a beat she tells him she had implants. It is very apparent that Lisa has implants. Any idiot can tell. She is a very vibrant sexy woman and doesn't mind showing off what she has. She is not a sleaze. However, it is no secret she is well endowed. So I wasn't surprised at her answer but was taken aback at his question. It was obvious what he was driving at. My eyes got big, my mouth fell open and the took my hand to raise my chin and close my mouth in a very apparent gesture to show her my consternation! She took it all in stride and veered the conversation in another direction. Some mother's children.

Later at Gauchos, the Georgia contingent arrives, sans Sergeant Major. I thanked Restivo. He said no problem, the SGM was VERY tired and called it an early evening. We finished up and got ready to leave. Then a really weird thing happened.

Now I am not going to pretend that I haven't been hit on... and I am not going to pretend I am the prettiest thing around either. However...(shakes head) sometimes you get hit on in a very unusual way and it is just kinda weird. We were all standing around waiting to pay our respective bills (after I prequalified the waiter for enlistment into the Guard, and he is interested) This boy...ok I know he is a man, but good grief...I could be his MOM. Anyway this kid stands there, gets this dreamy look, reaches out and touches my hair. I was so startled I just kinda froze. He says "I just had to touch your hair. I see you everyday and your hair is perfect. It's so shiny and straight. It never looks frizzed. You have beautiful hair." Blink blink blink. I mumbled something about having great hair. I got the good hair gene from my dad and the Colombian side of the family. I excused myself and went to the bathroom. To admire my hair. LOL just kidding.

I know it was harmless, but it was a wierd moment. I was discussing it with Lisa and the two guys we rode with. Lisa got why it was a weird moment. The guys didn't. They thought I was being too sensitive. I said "Ok Jonesey, what if a girl you had NEVER noticed comes up to you and says 'oh, I just have to tell you... you have great legs ..' or whatever??" I didn't say hair because he is bald as a cue ball. He laughed and said he would love it. Ha! so much for men. I can't explain it except to say that it was weird in a worship kinda way. Like a guy who has a foot fetish and he is in love with a particular girl's feet so he steals one of her shoes! LOL!

Well it is late and I am NOT tired. Very excited about going home. Next time I write it will be from GEORGIA!

Week Five cont.

I passed the final tests. I am ready to graduate tomorrow! Can I tell you how relieved I am??

So what else is new? A fellow Georgia soldier got sent home the other day. He had downloaded some stuff on his computer and when he hooked his computer up to the net at the school, it automatically took him to a banned site. A very bad banned site. The net is monitored so soon after he had logged on and the stealth software began running the IT guy had everyone leave the room and found the laptop. My fellow soldier was soon sent home. Sad, but true.

Two of our Sergeant Majors will be here for graduation. Those of us from Georgia will be going to supper with them (on their dime). I am going to request that we go to Gauchos! Mmmm such good food and great atmosphere. I am actually glad I will have a chance to meet them and have some time to rub elbows. Can't hurt right? Besides, I am just SO brain dead any chance to relax and not have to think is MOST welcomed.

Graduation is scheduled for 0900 and is scheduled to be done by 1000. Whoo hoo! I am packed and ready to go. I have almost everything in my car, but an overnight bag and my Class A uniform. Georgia, here I come.

Monday, June 26, 2006

Week FIVE!!!

OH MY GOSH. What a stress filled weekend. Friday we let out relatively early and I was glad that I didn't have a headache. A friend in class invited me to go out with her and several buds to celebrate her birthday. I agreed. I was relieved the week was done and needed an excuse to vent.

I went and got my hair trimmed up. It was getting a little long to still be within regulations. If you wear your hair down (and I do) it cannot fall below the bottom edge of the collar. Mine was getting close. I decided to not get a snack as we were all going out to eat. Then the headache started. sigh.

I got back to my room and ate a half a jelly sandwich hoping to edge out the headache. We all met outside, deciding who was riding with whom. I rode with a fellow from Alabama in his big Ford pick-up. I do not know what he has been hauling around in his vehicle but it smelled like paint remover in there. Headache increases in intensity.

We arrive at the Butcher Shop restaurant. If you are ever in Little Rock, GO TO THE BUTCHER SHOP!! Great steaks, food and atmosphere. I ordered a Merlot and sipped it slowly. We all finally arrived (15 of us) and were seated pretty quickly. We ordered our food, drank and had a great time. It was hilarious as we found out more about each other. How many of you can remember where you were when Elvis died?? I thought I was the only one who remembered that since it was 2 days shy of my 18th birthday. Seems a good many people remember that day.

I had to share my claim to fame... My mother dated Elvis and I spoke to him on the phone. I'll have to tell y'all about that sometime.

Well I laughed hard and really had a great time. It felt good to just relax. The nagging headache wasn't that bad after the second glass of wine. But we had finished and time to leave. I gave the birthday girl a big hug and climbed up into the foul smelling truck. Why I did not crack a window I will never know... but by the time we got back to the base my head was throbbing in time to the beat of the tires on the road..thump thump, thump thump, thump thump. I thanked my ride and went straight to my room. Ugh.

Saturday I woke with the same headache. I doped up and finally got rid of the headache by Sunday afternoon. Note to self...go have a CAT scan when you get back to Georgia.

Today dawned bright, crisp, and cool. At 0530 we started our run. It felt good. I ran the whole way, kept up with everyone and even had FUN running!! GASP! It just felt plain good to get out there and sweat in the cool morning air. When I was required to sprint, I just opened it up and pushed as hard as I could. I surprised myself at how fast I could go when pushed! Now comes the discipline part...will I keep this up when I go back home??

We arrived at school and right off the bat I volunteered for three of the four tests we are required to pass over the next three days. I passed all three!! I only need to pass a presentation and the final exam scheduled for Thursday morning. I felt such a wave of relief with the three big tests out of the way. Hmmmm...maybe I was having stress related headaches.

Anyway, I can see the finish line from here. I am pretty confident. I can almost taste the victory of completing this school and earning my Recruiter Badge. I can imagine hugging my kids. I can feel that little baby girl in my arms, smell the baby smell of her and imagine tears of joy flowing down my face. I've been busy making plans for son and me. Movies we will see, things we will do. And of course, late at night..I dream of my love and what he means to me..... Ahhh such sweetness wrapped up in a big bear of a man.

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Week Four

I had a GREAT weekend with husband and the kids. The motel was perfect! We had a blast playing tourist in Memphis even with all the rain. It was so good to see my husband. It was just as good to see the kiddos. Daughter was so excited. She jabbered on and on. I just sat and ate it up. Son just sat very close to me and waiting until I caught my breath. He is growing up so very fast. He is such a handsome sweet guy. I love it. It was painful to say goodbye on Sunday but I had to remember that in just 12 short days I would be home.

I rode tearfully back to the base. I took my time since I had nothing planned but to sit in my room. It made me think about the soldiers in Iraq waiting to come home. They fight so hard and so long, then they come home for a brief two week leave. After that they return to fight some more. I don't know how they do it.

I get migraines. I never had one until I was pregnant with my son. I remember growing up, that my mother got them. Hers were really acute type migraines. First she would lose her sight...literally. She would lose sight for about 15 to 30 seconds, but at that point she knew she had about 15 to 20 minutes before the migraine would hit. If she was driving she would head immediately home. Sometimes the migraine was mild and other times it was quite severe lasting several days. She was hospitalized with one particularly acute migraine. She would isolate herself in a dark room with no noise and pray the pain and vomitting would stop.

Mine are very mild in comparison. I usually get an excruciatingly painful headache on one side of my head. The eye on that side gets very sensitive to light and I get nauseous. It feels as if one side of my body is in sheer torture, while the other side is fine. The first time I got one I didn't know what was wrong with me. It scared me to be in such pain with no obvious cause.

Monday afternoon I began to get a migraine. I went back to my room, took some meds and went to sleep. Tuesday I woke feeling pretty good, but was wary of the migraine coming back. It did. I took some meds and studied as best as I could since we had three pretty important tests scheduled for today. I woke this morning (Wednesday) and ran 2.6 miles with the platoon. I did pretty well. I am still bringing up the rear but I never stop and never give up. Slow but steady wins the race, hooah. I took some tylenol after the run hoping to stave off another migraine to no avail. I gave my presentation with half my head feeling as if hacking it off with an axe would make it feel better. I did really well even so. Whew, I passed the other two tests so a heavy load is off my shoulders. The migraine has abated a bit...but it is still there. Stress; what a lovely thing!

Well, this week is winding up quickly and soon I'll only have a few days left here. Thank you God! I miss my family so much.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Week Three

We had another exam today and I passed. That finished up our section on regulations and administrative portion of the course. Now for the meat! We started communication skills today. I think this will be very interesting.

I knew it was coming. The Platoon Sergeant is looking for "volunteers" to do close order drill and call cadence. I have NEVER ever had to march soldiers. So I decided to "volunteer" and that way be somewhat prepared. I said I would do it next Wednesday. Wish me luck!!!

They broke the class up into smaller groups and we are getting to know each other better. We have people here from all over the country. We have people from all walks of life. A guy from Georgia was sharing that when he first joined the Army, he was a loser. He came from the wrong side of the tracks, had a bad attitude and was on his way out of the Army via a bad conduct discharge. However a very wise senior NCO saw something in him and began to mentor him. He said the NCO took the time to show he cared, advise him, and take him under his wing. A life was turned around, a bad ending rewritten and a now he is doing the same for others.

We began to share how the military changed our lives, how a certain NCO made a difference. This one was on the one way road of drugs, that one was drifting from one thing to another without direction or purpose, still another came from a bad family and was looking a grim future in the face. Each shared about how an NCO had taken the time and made a difference.

I have worked a lot of civilian jobs, but I have never heard what I heard today outside of the military. Person after person shared about lives changed, futures shaped. It is a pretty incredible thing. When someone opts to join the military they are commited to serve their country for a predetermined amount of time. Those around them help them to be a better person. You don't just get fired for screwing up. Those around you who are great leaders make sure that you have every opportunity to change, to grow and to mature. Sounds sappy, but its' a beautiful thing.

I am trying to lose weight but I am NOT! I am getting nice and firm but now I look very muscular instead of svelt. Sigh.

I FINALLY got paid. whew. I was getting worried, but I checked my bank online and the money is there. Peanut Butter and Jelly sandwiches for lunch was getting old.

Son called my cell phone FIVE TIMES this afternoon. He misses me. He had some questions, called, asked his questions and then hung up. Then he remembered something else and called back. Then he called to just tell me he loves me and misses me. Then he called to say that he was tired of me being gone and didn't want to just come for the weekend but wanted this whole silly business to be over and for me to come home. Finally he called to say he wasn't sure if it was ok to call my cell phone so many times and to say he was sorry if it was too much. I had a good bitter-sweet laugh. What a crazy kid. What a sweetheart. I called him back and told him he can call my cell phone whenever he wants, and it might take me awhile to get back to him but I would return his calls. He was very happy to hear that.

I will be so glad to be home. Just 2 and a half weeks away now.

Monday, June 12, 2006

The Talk....

I had my PT test this morning...I passed. I didn't have any doubt always feels good to have that stamp of approval...finally. My knee is doing better since I gave running a rest over the weekend. This week we will work on sit-ups and push-ups (thank GOD) and hopefully my knee will get a lot better.

My poor husband. I speak to my husband everyday. Some days I call him twice just to say hello and remind him that his crazy wife does love him dearly. He is a secure type of man. He is not the jealous type at all (neither am I) and trusts me implicitly. As he should.

Being apart is taxing on relationships, even good ones like ours. He knows me inside and out. My husband is my best friend and I am his. That isn't some quaint little euphemism we say. It is the truth. My darling *is* my all time best-est friend. I feel comfortable around him, I don't have to put on airs, I can be myself. He is a big bear of a man. Yes, he can be testy at times, but I know how to calm him down. I know he would do anything for me and he knows I would do the same.

Even with that kind of deep down devotion for each other and our relationship...being apart is not easy. He expressed to me concerns he had for me. He is very biased and thinks I am the cutest, sexiest, smartest, most desireable woman in this hemisphere. I let him continue in this delusion, but I know that I am just lucky he is delusional!

So, we had the talk. The reasuring talk that lets your partner know that everything is ok. I am brutally honest at times and like to cut to the chase so I told him that, yes, if this were the late 1980's - early 1990's and I was still in the Navy he would probably have to worry about guys hitting on me constantly. Navy guys, being Navy guys, are conditioned to want to hit on anything that walks. Sorry, but there it is. You stay out to sea for two or three months, hit several ports with hundreds of women just clamoring for your attention and soon you are like Pavlov's dogs, conditioned to think females are for one thing... that was my experience in the Navy. It was predictable and we girls used to talk about it. A guy just out of boot camp was considered "fresh from Mama and still polite..." After one WestPac and they were "horny Sailors".

I reassured my husband that the Guard was different. Very different. Yeah, you have your little hook ups here and there but in general the married people are being faithful. The Guard demands a higher standard for its' NCO's. We are expected to act with professionalism and that is what I have observed. Yes, a few have tried to hit on me...but I quickly squelched any ideas and have been treated with nothing but respect. Add to that I constantly refer to my husband and children, well you get the picture. Most of these NCO's are very professional, the cream of the crop.

I made hotel reservations this evening for this weekend. I arranged for us to stay in a suite with a kitchen, livingroom and bedroom. That way we have some privacy from the kids. (Very big grin). It is a pricier hotel but.... well worth it. We will probably tour Graceland since son is a HUGE Elvis fan. Then we will go to the zoo so darling girl can see the animals. I want to schedule in a trip to Mud Island too but... we really only have Saturday to do touristy stuff.

We have a test scheduled for Wednesday. I should do well on it. Then we start giving presentations to the class and evaluated by the instructors. I attended a shipboard instructor course at Pearl Harbor a long time ago but remember some of the tips they gave us. The only problem I really have is sounding off (speaking up loudly enough). I will have to work on that.

I am having toruble going to sleep at night. I will have to buy some Tylenol PM's. I guess I am just nervous about seeing the kids and my husband on Friday.

Friday, June 09, 2006


We were released early today so that we could have a "Class A" uniform inspection. Here is a picture of the Class A's.

It's a funny thing about donning the Class A's, you stand a little taller, feel a little more proud of being a Soldier. Each of us were admiring each other. Of course the big joke was my uniform and medals, or rather the lack of ribbons or medals. Since I am prior service Navy...I don't have many. The Navy is notorious for not giving out ribbons. Most of these guys have ribbons going almost all the way up to their shoulders. I have TWO!! LOL. In the Army, just coming out of boot camp earns you two ribbons. LOL. I have a Good Conduct Ribbon and a Humanitarian Award. That's it. I will have to work on my unit to help me get squared away in that department.

I snapped some pictures, then discovered that I can't download them to my laptop. sigh. Since this is a government issue laptop, I won't mess with it trying to get it to work. Our inspection passed pretty quickly. I was squared away with no gigs or hits on my uniform. Pretty easy considering I don't have much ON IT! LOL. So I am ready to go for graduation in 3 weeks.

My husband called me last night a few times. Son is spending the weekend with cousins and baby girl is home with daddy and he is lonely after he puts her to bed. I don't blame him, it's lonely here every night.

I went out to eat with my friend and then we went shopping. I bought a cute top and two pairs of shoes. She bought some jeans, a top and shoes. I am normally not a shopping kinda girl. Seriously. I am what I call a power shopper. If I NEED to go shopping for clothes or shoes I go in a store take a quick look. If I don't see what I need, I leave. In and out in as little time as possible. I never try anything on, I just buy it off the rack. If I get it home and it doesn't fit or looks awful I'll return it later. I despise just browsing endlessly through stores. Unless it is a bookstore... :-)

I went shopping once with my MIL and my SIL. My husband warned me beforehand...he said I didn't understand what was involved. He said "You will be gone all day.... you will be in and out of stores allllll daaaaay." I said I could handle it. So from 9:00 am to 10:00PM(!!!) we were shopping. I thought it would never end. We not only went into every store in the mall, we went to several malls! They tried things on, several times...and the kicker? THEY NEVER BOUGHT A THING!!!!!!! How crazy is that? I got home with this glazed look in my eyes. My husband said "I told you so." He grew up having to endure those types of shopping trips. I swore I would never go with them again and I haven't in 5 years.

I am a tom boy. Yeah I am feminine, but.... I like to wear make-up and paint my toe nails and keep pretty nails. I like to dress up and wear jewelry but... I love to camp, rough it, fix things and generally think more like a guy. My baby girl?? I say we are going shopping and she gets this dreamy voice and repeats the word "shopping" drawing it out and with much love! It is hilarious. She is a girly girly. God has a sense of humor.


Major Dad has a commentary on Al-Zarqawi's death. Worth a look.

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Drive on...

The Army has a saying that epitomizes an attitude worth having. Drive on. Translation...keep on truckin, look at the bright side, suck it up, and any other saying that means quit yer griping and deal with it. Whatever "it" is, get over "it", conquer "it", pick yourself up, dust yourself off, pull up your boot straps on.

PT was scheduled for 0600 sharp, so we were in formation at 0520. We formed up, marched to what is known as "the grassy knoll". The grassy knoll is a large field of grass. Not large enough to be a parade field but large enough for 4 classes of 45 pupils each to do warm up exercises. We ran in place for a few minutes, did stretches, and got ready for our Company Run. This time they decided to have us form up in sections according to our running ability. OF COURSE I was in the last section. The bad news? I fell way behind. The good news? I wasn't last to cross the line and I did not stop running, I did the entire 3 miles at a steady clip. Whew.

I was starting to resent this heavy emphasis on physical training but...I am the one who raised my right hand. I knew that I would have to work hard at physcial training. I quit working out a month prior to school. I have no one to blame but myself. Drive on.

I am "stove up" or very stiff. I have worked hard at pushing myself. I was able to do 20 push-ups this morning which is a FIRST! Whoo Hoo. I know that isn't much but it is quite a bit for a female. Now that I have achieved a milestone, I am upping my goal to 30 push-ups.

I have a big test tomorrow. We all met to study for it. I toyed with the idea of snapping a few pics of the cutie pies, Shell, but I chickened out. I may just fess up, tell them the truth and ask. More than likely Estrada will puff up with pride and say sure! LOL. He already has a girlfriend!! Anyway, we all compared notes and I feel pretty confident about the test now.

I will work on my run again tomorrow. Friday morning we have another company run. I am going to push to keep up with the group. I am hoping and praying and WORKING towards moving up to the third running group by the time we leave.

I got some news yesterday that I was still not in the "system" to get paid. At first I was absolutely livid. Then I felt helpless. Since this is a training command and not a regular base, there aren't all the departments that I can go to and rectify the situation from here. So I am at the mercy of the finance NCO in Georgia. I spoke to her briefly. She said she would find out what the problem is and notify me today. I checked my messages at lunch (1330 Georgia time) and no word. Sooo I called my supervisor. He told me he would notify my NCOIC (Non Commissioned Officer In Charge) and let me know something soon. The bad news? I wasn't put in the system until yesterday. The good news? I will get paid the 15th! WHEW!! I was so happy to hear the good news.

So the family will be here in a little over a week. I am working hard on bettering my PT scores. I am doing well in the course. AND I will get paid next week. Things are looking up. I can't wait until this is over and I am home.

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

ARRGgggg Kowabunga!

This school has really been a challenge. It is a difficult course. The material is put out at light speed and I get the idea that some of these obscure paragraphs will show up on the final exam weeks after we covered them.

We do some of our work on our laptops. EVERY SINGLE LAPTOP FROM GEORGIA was acting up. hmmmm. They gathered them up for their IT guy to work on them, so I was computer-less for over 24 hours. Yeah, I could do my work and keep up by watching the guys sitting next to me do their work, but I couldn't go to my room at night and study. No problem. Drive on.

I took the APFT and FAILED THE RUN portion by TEN FREAKIN SECONDS!!!!!!!!!!!!!! GRRrrr. Yeah it was *only* a "diagnostic" test. However I have to take the test again on Monday. TOP it ALL OFF, those of us who a counseling statement. In case you don't know. That is not a good thing. ESPECIALLY when it is a negative counseling statement. I have NEVER EVER gotten a negative counseling statement in my entire Military career. NEVER! Sigh. I hate failing. So those of us in Platoon (class) 2 have been assigned a student instructor to help us with remedial training. The guy to help with the run is a tiny little high speed guy that does the two mile run in UNDER thirteen minutes. Geez. He said he helped a lot of guys in his unit when he was deployed to shave time off their run. He gave us some good tips and said he would print up a sheet with instructions on what to eat and what to do (like not run the day before the APFT test) and several tips. Good.

The guy that sits next to me in class is SGT Estrada. He is Puerto Rican/Colombian descent but was born in Venezuela. The guy who sits to my left in class is SGT Fajardo. He is Puerto Rican and will be one of the recruiters there. They are both very young, VERY handsome, hispanic guys. Estrada is prior service Marine Corp Sniper (I am IMPRESSED). He also is a body builder and a personal trainer but now will be a recruiter in NY state. They BOTH LOOOOOVE to give me a hard time. I told them I was first generation Colombian American. So they razz me and say "You not no lying SGT Fields!" Estrada like to pester me ALL day. I ignore him mostly. Also they talk to each other in Spanish... Now, I am not fluent in Spanish however over the years I gleaned enough from my family to catch the gist of conversations. They talk about me sometimes and I pretend to not understand. I think it is hilarious because I am going to wait until they say something REALLY damaging and then I am going to answer them in English. I cannot WAIT because then they won't know what I understood and what I didn't! They like to talk about women, so it will be REALLY funny.

Estrada is also our remedial instructor for the push-ups and sit-ups. I don't need to attend that class however I would like to increase my scores so I attended. He is really good. He had us doing some killer exercises and recorded our levels. He says he can greatly improve our work. He gave us some tips on the test as well. So I am hoping to really do well on our APFT test on Monday. Push-ups are really difficult for women and ANY help I can get, the better.

My husband and the kids will be here to visit me in 10 days, YEAH!!!! They will drive to Memphis and I will meet them there. There are a lot of things to do in Memphis so it will be fun. Joshua has never seen the Mississippi River. We will have to cross so he can say he has been to Arkansas. I miss them ALL so much. My husband has been so encouraging. He has been such a big help to me. I miss him terribly. He is my big handsome man and I cannot wait to see him. I think I will have to get adjoining rooms or a suite when they come up (if you know what I mean).

All in all things are...ok. I was really depressed yesterday. I wanted to throw in the towel. I kept thinking in class "Why did I do this?? What made me think leaving my family for five weeks was a good idea? Remember when you were a stay at home mom, piddling around on the computer, enjoying your toddler all day? Why did you think that was not a good thing??" At one point I was just spacing out with a deer in the headlights look and Estrada leans forward and with his thick accent quotes a movie and says "I see dead people..." I busted out laughing recognizing the line and realizing that is what I looked like. After class I went back to my room, put away the books, watched some very light TV and rested. I drank lots of water, and rested. I woke this morning feeling better. Not great, but better. Class today was more fun and I just took it easy and quit stressing about it. I will make it through and I will go back and be a great recruiter and do some wonderful things with and for my family.

Saturday, June 03, 2006

Cadence, running and on being young

I know I have written about this before... I LOVE hearing cadence being called. It is REALLY enjoyable when you aren't in formation marching or running to it! LOL That being said I am rapidly realizing that if I intend on staying in the National Guard, and I do, I need to LEARN how to CALL cadence. I intend on retiring from the Guard after 24 years of service, 16 years from now. The Guard is very serious about being battle ready and training their soldiers to be ready to deploy at any time. My guess is, since I have never served in the Regular Army, that the Guard trains more at basic skills than the Army. Sooo, I bought a CD calling "Running to Cadence, U.S. Army Rangers". I can play it in my car and learn the cadences. Fun, huh?

Gonna see the war film "The War Tapes" by 2 New Hamshire National Guardsmen?? I sure am. If you don't know what I am talking about you haven't been watching Fox News.

Well, I failed the run portion of my PT test by 10 seconds. So now I am officially pissed off at myself. For the last month I have been working so hard at my new job that I COMPLETELY let my working out fall to the wayside. Not anymore. I ran/walked three miles this morning already, will do it again tomorrow too. Monday we have a "Company Run" which means running in formation. Eventually, once I learn these cadences by heart, I will volunteer to call cadence. I will run three miles everyday until my retest in 10 days. Then I will run three miles three times a week. On the bright side?? I finished my run. I worked hard and I finished. Didn't pass.....but I didn't fall out and quit. Winners never quit and quitters never win.

After PT (at 0430-0700) we attended class all day and were released for the weekend, but not before we were warned about the local dangers, namely strip bars and booze! What I, and other soldiers, find ironic is that by listing all the places to stay away from....the staff has successfully educated everyone on where the local strip bars are! So prior to the brief the young and ever horny soldiers had NO clue where to go, but now they do! LOL.

I have very nice accomodations here at the Arkansas National Guard HQ. I have my own room and share a bathroom with the girl next door but no problem. My room is situated at the end of the hall near the back door of the building. This is nice because I just go out my room to the door and our formation is just outside each morning. However, last night all the partyers were tromping, hootin/hollerin/laughin right past my room. My neighbor couldn't get her key to work and then began pounding on my door so she could walk through the bathroom to her room. She was talking loudly in the hall to the three or four soldiers with her "I always have problems with this stupid key!" Yeah, well the J.D. bottle they had was an indication of a problem not related to the key! They are all sooooo young. It is actually hilarious to watch the dance of youth from this side of the room.

I was a hellion in my day. The Navy really straightened my *ss out. However I was still a wild child. I had my partying days and my days of raising hell. I am glad those days are past. So it is kinda funny to me to watch these kids. They are SO transparent. They think they are being "slick" but they are so predictable. This is their time, they are making their memories. They are so full of life, full of their hopes, dreams and future. I am glad that the military is helping guide them, to lead them. They are pretty incredible.

My instructor is SFC McDonald. I think I have described him before. He is tall, VERY fair with red hair (what there is to see of it since he keeps it extremely short). He is very squared away and loves to teach. He is good at it too. I really like him because he has a great way of controlling the class. He never lets it get away from him.

I am enjoying the content of the instruction too. The classes on managing time, managing prospects etc, are very encouraging! I was doing a lot of those things for my husband's practice which indicates to me that I have a natural bent for this! I feel strongly that I will be a successful recruiter.