Archive for June, 2009

It’s raining… It’s pouring…

One of my favorite things about summer is the thunderstorms.  When they are approaching, the puffy clouds are silhouetted in the sunlight and slowly everything starts turning shades of green and grey and purple.  Tonight I got to witness that, along with the streaks of lightning and the accompanying thunder while riding in a Humvee out to the field.

What I don’t like about thunderstorms is having to run through the downpour with loads of gear.  I don’t like to get soaked having to ground guide a Humvee into the FOB.  And I definitely don’t like hearing the rain hit the top of the tent only inches from my face.

But at the same time, I know the rain will clear the air of the massive humidity we’ve had the last few days.  And I know it will clean the Humvee so I don’t have to.  And I also know that it drowns out the sounds of other soldiers who are a bit too awake late in the night.

So, while the rain is a nuisance, it’s also a blessing.  We’ve been joking tonight that God hates somebody at Ft. Dix because of how close the lightning has been and how incredibly loud the thunder is, but maybe he’s just reminding us that he is here with us…

June 26, 2009 at 10:34 pm Leave a comment

Just 3 weeks!!

I only have about 3 more weeks in US before deployment.  Kinda weird to think about, but exciting too.  I’ve decided that the Army makes the training portion of deployment so horrible, that the actual deployment seems like cake!

We’ve been very busy training the past few weeks, but have had some time off.  It just stinks ’cause we can’t leave post or wear civilian clothes, or really do anything fun for that matter…

The weekend of July 4th, we get a four day pass.  I am soooo excited!  My mom & sister are coming to NJ to spend it with me on the coast.  We have a spa day planned and hope to see some sights and hang out on the beach!  It will be a nice mini-vacay before leaving.

Before that though, we are packed to the max with training and administrative stuff.  We spend five more days in tents working on tactical and job-related skills, and have a couple more ranges to participate in.  We just got done spending some time on ranges; one was a 24-hour operations and we only got about 2 hours of sleep that night on a hard floor.  Luckily, it’s just training!

I am very excited to get out of here though and get on my way to Iraq… we won’t immediately arrive there though.  We should spend a short time in Kuwait doing more training and acclimating to the heat.  Luckily, it is hotter there than where we will be!

June 24, 2009 at 4:10 pm Leave a comment

My new obsession…

There are two weapons we use… an M4 Carbine rifle and a Beretta pistol.  Both are good weapons…  but I really like the pistol.  So much so, that when I get home in a year, I am considering purchasing my own handgun.  Purely for hobby of course.

There are a number of ranges near home that I could become a member of, and it is a good hobby to know for self defense of course.

But right now this is all hypothetical.  I don’t know much about handguns at all, and I might completely change my mind in the next year too! 😛  I am known to do that…

June 15, 2009 at 10:33 pm 3 comments

H1N1 & Ft. Dix…

For some reason, the swine flu loves Ft. Dix, New Jersey.  Back in the ’70s, there was a major outbreak where over 200 soldiers were infected and one died.  More recently there have been multiple cases of the recent H1N1 strain on base.  2 just in the last week.  And one of those is in my building…

So in light of that, we were quarantined to our barracks this afternoon until medical staff could brief us all and possibly test those who were feeling symptoms.  It doesn’t help that when living in this type of situation, if one person gets sick, a lot of other people do too.  (remember freshman year in the dorms…) We will find out in a couple of days if anyone else was infected since tests have to be sent to the CDC.  In the mean while, I just hope everyone is washing their hands, and often!

June 11, 2009 at 9:00 pm Leave a comment

400 days!

Tomorrow we start our 400 days of orders.  We are officially on active duty.  We mobilize.  We belong to the Army in every way, shape, and form!

I’ve already been in training for about a month.  It’s hard to believe it’s been that long already.  Time flies when your busy as hell!  For the next month, we will do a lot of the same training exercises, as well as all the paperwork that needs to be done, and the medical.  I am not looking forward to immunizations for the 3rd time in a year!  But we are still restricted as to what else we can do.  No alcohol, no civilian clothes, curfew is 10 pm, no going off post, and if we miss a training day for whatever reason, we will have to make it up during our four day pass.

I am still on the fence about how I feel about everything.  Like I’ve said in previous posts, I gave up a lot when the Army decided they needed me.  I still miss all of that… and can’t wait to get back home.  I probably think about it too much, but it’s my life!

On the other hand, I’ve met some awesome people in my unit.  I will be doing the part of my job that I love! (Yay for being a nerd!) And there are a lot of added benefits.  I’ve even joked about going to grad school in Ohio when we return, just so I can be in this unit.  (For those that didn’t know, I am not deploying with my actual unit, I am deploying with “sub-group” of my unit based in Ohio.)

We had a really awesome day today, to celebrate the beginning of our deployment!  First we had a 2.5 mile battalion run.  I was able to keep up with everyone, which was amazing since I hate running and I had slight sprained ankle!  I was so proud of myself!  We had some training events.  I got to go see an awesome plane that we use but I can’t talk about. 😛 Other parts of the unit had a competition of sorts.  And then we had a large BBQ outing.  Never mind it rained all day.  Most of us drank quite a bit, and some are still out at this moment!  It was awesome being able to BS with my commander and captain as well as plenty of others tonight!

It’s days like today that make it easier to be here…

Hopefully, I can have 400 more consecutive days after this that give me a similar feeling!

June 5, 2009 at 11:16 pm 1 comment


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