Archive for December, 2009

OH! Merry Christmas!

I hope you all have a wonderful holiday!

Love,

Erin

December 25, 2009 at 7:35 pm Leave a comment

Best surprise ever!!

So… I just spent the last three days traveling from Iraq.  What a pain!!  But it was totally worth it. 

I don’t usually pull off secrets and surprises well… but this time I did!  I didn’t go to Spain for my R&R… instead I surprised my family on Christmas Eve.  It was perfect.  Except, sorry, no video or pics… 

My flight got in at about 3 pm yesterday.  I had rented a car so I didn’t have to worry about anyone picking me up (it’s a nice car, Grand Prix, btw).  My brother-in-law was in on the surprise, so I knew where my family would be, which was just about 30 min from the airport at his house.  He had texted me that they were getting antsy to open presents since the weather was supposed to turn bad, but he was able to hold them off… for the most part.  I showed up around 4 pm… after picking up my bags, the car, and running into some family friends at the airport (they were just as surprised to see me as I was to see them). 

I got the house, and my bro-in-law opened the door… everybody was downstairs around the tree… so we snuck down, he announced that he had one more Christmas present for them and I came around the corner!  My mom (so cute) yells, already crying, “I knew it!”.  It took my Dad a second to comprehend, but all he could say was “Oh my!”.  My oldest niece ran up and grabbed my leg (since my mom had the rest of me) and she wouldn’t let go. 

It was such a nice welcome and worked out just as I had planned.  I was really afraid that weather was going to be an issue, or that I would get stuck in Kuwait or Germany or Atlanta.  But, alas, I made it home. 

Just so you know, I was going to go to Spain. But when no one could go with me because of money or time, and my friends kept wondering why can’t I just come home, I thought it would be nice to see everyone and spend Christmas at home.  I am of a small percentage of soldiers of this year that got to come home for the holidays, by pure luck on my part. 

I will still go to Spain, probably next year some time, and Swanny said she would come with!!  So I’m not really missing out… just changing the order of things. 

Already though, in the less than 24 hours I’ve been home, I’ve driven in a snow storm and cleaned off my (rental) car.  I should have taken pics (again), but I’m still pretty jet-lagged and not thinking straight yet…  I’ll get lots of pics up soon to show you all!

December 25, 2009 at 7:33 pm 3 comments

Back to Tikrit

So I’m back in Tikrit for a few days before I go on leave… it’s nice being back and being around all my stuff, even though I’m packing it all up.

my room looks different... oh it's the giant box on my bed! :P

I was only supposed to go up to Mosul for three weeks… I was there for over two months… and I’ll be going back there for the rest of the deployment when I get back from leave.  It’s a good thing, and a sad thing because I’ll miss everyone here, especially Swan…

And I hate packing… it’s annoying, trying to fit everything into a few boxes.

Too much to pack....

Swan had kept everything pretty neat in our room, she even left me a little present!

Happy little cheese hat! 😛

And speaking of leave… I am very excited!!  There is going to be soo much to do and see.  I’ll make sure I post pics for everyone as soon as I can!!  WOOOHOOO!!

December 20, 2009 at 9:24 pm 2 comments

Truck washer

We’ve been pretty busy lately, but yesterday I finally got a chance to do something I’ve been trying to do for awhile. Our truck has been out-of-service for a few weeks, but yesterday the maintenance guys wanted us to wash it before they did any more work.  So Jess & I took it to the nearby wash rack… we had some issues with the power washer not working at first, but in the end most of the dirt was off the truck and on me!  I wish I had before pics!

I didn't know the bumper was black...

December 12, 2009 at 9:32 am 4 comments

Erin-of-the-Army

Even though I technically only have one job in the Army, I’ve essentially held two (very different) positions during my time in-country.

When I went through training, after learning the various aspects of my job, I never thought I would be a “team” (the tactical teams) person.  I knew I was bit more nerdy than most and felt that I would fit best where I could mostly read & write about stuff.  I knew that it would be less “glorified”, but probably more “dignified”, and, in my own opinion, I’m not much of a tactical soldier. :\

The job of my team down at Tikrit is basically R&D.  And I mostly do research, so definitely a good fit for me… plus, as the junior enlisted person, I get all the other stuff too.  Some is fun, but the other stuff is just that: stuff.  I love the research part.  My civilian job consists of a lot of research and staying up on trends and technology.  In my Army job, I have to stay up on different kinds of trends and put all the pieces together (remember how I really like puzzles).

In Mosul, I still do a lot of research, and a lot of the other stuff, too, but the research is sometimes different.  My team here is the “boots on ground” part of my job.  It’s tactical, and pretty much all the people we work with are “guy’s guys”. But we specialize.  We still follow trends, but the pieces are slightly smaller, and, to be honest, more fun to put together.  The best part… because of who I am (specifically, a girl), I literally enter “no man’s land”.  It’s not easy, and getting good information means asking the right questions (and a good translation), but it’s rewarding.  I immediately see the responses on women’s’ faces; the hope, the questioning, the gratefulness for listening.

I was pretty nervous when I got to Mosul.  I didn’t know what to expect, and I really missed my team down south (still do).  But I’ve really come to like my new team and the new post (though I really miss all my stuff right now :P).  And I’ve learned a lot about my job and myself while I’ve been up here.  It’s hard to take yourself out of what you thought you knew and wanted, but when you find yourself in a better position because of it, despite the hardships, you can rest assured that you are going in the right direction.

December 3, 2009 at 2:33 am 4 comments


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