The Deployment Diary

Thursday, December 29, 2005

A Very Merry Christmas

Last year's Christmas had a rather large dark cloud hanging over it. Just a few weeks before, we found out his unit was already slotted to head back to Iraq even though they'd just returned from a year tour four months prior. I felt like we'd barely gotten him home when worrying about the upcoming deployment began.

I was so thankful to have him home for the holidays, but the Christmas without him the year before still felt so fresh. Knowing he'd be gone for the next Christmas made even the tiniest detail bittersweet.

God truly blessed us this year, though. He wasn't deployed and we were able to spend Christmas together. The only rule? NO extended family were invited ;). It was just the four of us and it was absolutely the best Christmas we've had since leaving Alaska. We were able to enjoy a stress-free, no extended family drama, Christmas. It could not have been any more perfect.

He didn't take leave this year. He wanted to save it in case he does decide to retire. With the half-day schedule and four day long weekends, we've been able to spend so much time together, which has been the best gift I've ever received.

Christmas morning was magical. Being together to see our two little ones' faces light up when they saw Santa had been here. Daughter showing little guy the empty plate of cookies, the empty glass of milk and then reading the thank you note from Santa to him...life just doesn't get any better than that.

Santa brought little guy a battery powered four-wheeler and daughter a keyboard. They received lots of other gifts from Santa, but those were the big ones. Daughter and little guy have had the best time riding that four-wheeler. Husband and I have had just as great a time watching the fearless duo. The keyboard has seen some action as well, but its appeal wears off quickly for Mom who must listen to the artists' budding creativity ;). It could be worse though. Santa could have brought drums lol!

As I sit here tonight with our children safely tucked in bed upstairs, husband sleeping in his new cushy recliner next to me, our big dog sleeping on her dog pillow in front of the TV, fluffy cat sleeping soundly on the couch, the wild cat sleeping with our little guy upstairs and the Christmas tree still sparkling for a few more nights, I cannot help but to pause once again and thank God. Thank Him for not only allowing us to spend this Christmas season together as a family, but also for blessing me with a happy, loving and special marriage to a wonderful man, two beautiful, smart and loving children and our four legged family members. We have such a happy, loving home - and it is everything and more than I dreamed and wished for as a child.

I hope you all had a Merry Christmas. May your New Year be filled with love, laughter and much happiness.

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Friday, December 16, 2005

A Heartbreaking Job

Just the thought of seeing two soldiers in Class A's or dress blues standing on my front porch frightens me enough to make my heart race. While my husband was deployed, the doorbell ringing unexpectedly would scare me so badly. After talking with whoever was there, I'd often cry just from the sheer relief that it wasn't a casualty notification team.

Due to the fear as the wife of a soldier, I've never really considered those who are tasked with informing the families of our fallen heroes. After stopping by Sgt Lori's blog and following the link from this entry though, that's all changed. I now feel that some of the unsung heroes of the War on Terrorism are those who inform families when their loved ones have been killed.

Time Magazine's photo essay, "Honor After the Fall" gives us a glance into the emotions of the families and the officer who must inform them.

Rocky Mountain News special report, Final Salute, takes readers behind the scenes and shares an in-depth view of what families go through and what one casualty notification officer, MAJ Beck, endures. In one telling example, MAJ Beck sits outside of a family's home just a little longer. He knows that once he knocks on their door, that family's lives will never be the same.

Final Salute is a long series with twelve pages in all, but it is well worth the time it takes to read it. An emotional account of both sides of a heartbreaking experience - the person who must notify the family and the families who must face a future without someone they love.

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Cindy Sheehan in Vanity Fair

Truthfully, had I not seen the Vanity Fair photo of Sheehan laying on her son's grave, I would not have believed it. It is one of the sickest things I've ever seen.

Sweetness & Light has the photo and quite a few comments that are worth reading through. Two in particular struck me. One, the fact that her son is in an unmarked grave. I cannot believe there is not a headstone on this hero's grave. Two, that she met with a spokesperson for Muqtada al-Sadr - the leader of the VERY group of insurgents who killed her son and seven other soldiers on April 4th, 2004.

She is a not just a nutcase, she's a disgusting individual.

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Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Tookie Williams Vigil...

I ran across this coverage of the idiots holding a vigil outside San Quentin for the murdering gang founder sentenced to death.

It sure takes all kinds - even a group singing an orgasm song of all things. Proof positive most protesters are fruitcakes who are a few bricks short of a load.

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Saturday, December 10, 2005

Idiots on Cell Phones...

Before I begin this rant, I will fully admit that I not only have a cell phone, I never leave home without it. It keeps me in contact with my friends and family no matter where I am (very handy when husband is deployed). Most importantly, I keep it with me in case of an emergency - and it has come in handy during two different emergencies.

The first was three winters ago. It was an extremely cold day and I had the heat in the car on as high as it would go. Son and I dropped off daughter at school, then got on the interstate to head up to the commissary. Half way there, all of a sudden, the passenger window imploded on us. As I mentioned, it was an extremely cold day. I was able to call husband to come trade cars and take mine in to get fixed by the dealer.

The second incident was this past summer. We were heading to a larger town about 35 minutes from us to go shopping. We took the back way to the interstate and ran up on a pickup truck loaded with bales of hay that was on fire. We figure one of the teens were probably smoking, flicked it out the window and it caught the hay in the back on fire. While husband ran up to make sure everyone was out of the truck and ok, I called 911. The fire was so large, it bubbled the pavement. How the truck didn't explode is beyond me.

So, in my opinion, cell phones can be a godsend. However, in the wrong hands, they can be a freaking nightmare. For instance, in a hospital's waiting room as was the case this past Thursday.

Now, I frequent my primary care clinic once a month, so unfortunately, I'm at our military hospital quite often anyway. However, with my new doc, he wants me to make the specialists rounds again to see if there is a chance surgery could be an option for me. So, I'm currently at the hospital even more than usual. Thursday I had an appointment with a GYN.

I arrive 15 minutes prior as requested. I check in and take a seat in the waiting room. There's a lady to my left on a cell phone. No big deal really. She's speaking softly. There are two women sitting across from cell phone lady who are making small talk and also speaking softly.

My name is called and I go back to have my blood pressure and weight taken. When that is done, the nurse asks me to have a seat back in the waiting room and as soon as the doc is ready, she'll call me. No biggie. After walking from the parking lot, then going to the wrong floor and finding my way to the OB/GYN clinic, I'm hurting pretty bad and sitting is just what I need.

I sit back down in the waiting room. Only now, cell phone lady thinks the rest of us are interested in her conversation. She's talking loud enough to wake the dead - not to mention grinding on my last damn nerve. Admittedly, when I'm hurting more than the norm from walking so far, my personality goes straight into bitch no matter how hard I try not to allow it.

Usually, I'm able to keep my bitchiness to myself. Thursday though, the clock in that waiting room starts moving slower and s l o w e r and with each second that ticks by, cell phone lady gets louder and louder and louder. The two ladies sitting across from her and to my right also seem to be annoyed at having to listen to the dramatics.

After what seemed to be an eternity of no escaping the torture of listening to her, cell phone lady increases the volume even more and says, "Weeeeeelllll, I told HIM, he better let me see my kids or I was going to have his wife arrested for assault and battery on my girls!!"

That was it. I'd had enough. Bitchiness exploded and before I could stop myself, I stood, looked at the two ladies who were also suffering and said, "I have to move. It's like sitting next to the fucking Jerry Springer Show. Damn!"

I moved to the other set of chairs at the very back of the clinic and although I can still hear the dumb ass, I'm no longer close enough to feel like her audience. One of the other ladies also moved and sat near me. We had a quiet conversation all the while, cell phone lady kept yakking on and on as if she were on a bull-horn instead of a cell phone.

What is wrong with people? What ever happened to manners and caring about the feelings of those around you?

One, cell phones shouldn't be used in a hospital. THERE ARE SIGNS everywhere stating, "please, no cell phones." If you cannot read, the picture of the cell phone in a circle with a slash over it should help.

Two, it's rude to expose complete strangers to your dysfunctional trailer park-esque personal problems. If we were even remotely interested in you OR your dirty laundry (both your current attire and your conversation), we'd strike up a conversation with you. The fact that people get up and MOVE AWAY from you should be a good indicator that you are as annoying as fingernails on a chalkboard.

Good grief.

Have an ounce of consideration for those around you by hanging up your phone and sparing us. Your conversation is not interesting. We do NOT think you OR your conversation is cute. However, we are quite positive you're a complete and total idiot.

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Friday, December 02, 2005

The TRUTH about Iraq...

I ran across the absolute BEST article this afternoon.

Confessions of a Military Recruiter wrote it and shares with us the truth about what is happening in Iraq including how many lives have been saved by our toppling Saddam Hussein and his brutal regime. If you read anything this weekend, be sure to stop by and read Things You'll Never Hear The Main Stream Media Say. Then, be sure to share the link with other folks too!

Hat tip: The Adventures of Mausergirl

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