Sunday, February 22, 2009

So close and yet so Far away

So it's husband is on his way. It is a weird feeling to think that Jason is going to be about 60 miles from me and yet I probably will never get to see him. I've been anticipating his arrival for it gives me hope that there may be a chance to see him someday.
I've met some married couples here already on Camp Liberty. Most of them get to see each other everyday and even live with each other. I asked one couple what it was like to be here together. They said the don't get to see each other that much, or at least as much as they would like. I said- "so how much is that?" The husband responded in saying that sometimes they can go up to two weeks without seeing each other. HA! I said. I told them they should be lucky and I told them my stories about Jason and I. I told them the story about how since we've been married the longest period at one time that we've been together physically is one month. Then I told them how since I received the phone call about deploying in October, I've been in training and saw my husband two-three weeks of that whole duration. In saying that I would like to say to all that are married to a military member...keep your spirits up!! I sympathize with those who do not get to see their spouse while deployed and the same goes to their other half. It is not easy being away from your loved ones for even a day or two. For those who are married and their spouse is here....enjoy what you have and realize that however long you may be seperated by missions or duty, you have it way better than most here.

There is a book for those who are married to deployed members that I highly suggest reading. It is called Seperated by Duty, United by Love. This book is mainly for the spouse who is left at home. It gives insite on taking over the bills, the kids, the house, pretty much everything to expect once your loved one leaves.

And that's all I have to say about that! ;)

Thursday, February 19, 2009

My first time

Yesterday was my first time...outside the wire that is. It was a trip, really a trip I don't think I'll ever forget. I went out with the Stealth 7 Personal Security Detail. I felt pretty safe since their job was to pull security and all. The group is from the 2nd Brigade of First ID (Infantry Division). Staff Sergeant Ford and I went out with them to cover a story on the re-opening of a fish market in a city that used to be a bad area.

Thoughts of possible scenarios kept popping in my head while we were driving to our destination. We took a pit stop over at the IZ (International Zone) to pick up some people that were going to be going with us. The MRAP (Mine resistant ambush protected) that we were in didn't have a great view from our seats so all I could see was out the drivers window. I decided I was going to catch my first ride on tape...not only for myself but for those who haven't gone out yet so they could see what "the outside" really looks like. People that have been there always try to tell you what it's going to be like, what your reactions are going to be, but I don't think anyone can really describe the feeling you get when you actually see Baghdad for the first time. The buildings, the people, the garbage, the traffic...its almost overwhelming. There were so many questions I wanted to ask the guys we were riding with, but at the same time I wanted them to focus on the road and their job of keeping us safe.

The Feelings- You know when you are driving along somewhere and you find yourself wound up in the "wrong" side of town. That's almost the feeling you get while driving through Baghdad. You get the same unsafe feeling because you never know where the enemy could be or the next IED could be placed. You are on constant look out for trouble. And you know when you go through those bad parts of town and you get to the part where you go to lock your car door, that's like us holding our weapon tight.

The People- They are all over the place! People are walking everywhere. They walk in front of traffic (one guy even got his foot run over), they walk alongside the road, and they are even walking into each other. The fact that these people are constantly around you makes you even farther on edge. Like I mentioned before, you never know your enemy here...the only site of the "enemy uniform" you see is a guilty look, a nervous sweat, or a suspicious converstation.

The Traffic- Apparently the time of day it was when we were driving through was "rush hour". Every street we turned on was packed with cars. The one thing thats cool about riding in a big heavy armored is that people have to move for you. At one point we just drove on the other side of the road to get through.

The Garbage- Here is another topic people try to describe to a new deployee. They say there is tons of trash...well there really is. There are things just lying all over the place. At one point I saw a pile of trash and garbage bags just thrown on the road.

Okay so all the little topics above may not seem all that interesting, so I'll finally get to the meat of the story...
The instant the door opened once we got to the fish market my heart started pounding. Adrenaline kicked into high gear. The streets were packed with people and everyone is staring at us. The fish market was just this little square enclosed by different buildings. There were fish splashing up and down in these tiny little water pools...and then there were some that were just lying dead on the ground and in crates. There was a fire pit to the side were they were smoking the fish. In the middle of the square there was a podium facing a crowd. Media rep's were there from Iraq and the us and then there was me. The ceremony itself wasn't too long...just some of the important people that helped make the re-opening happen spoke. Of course there was a translater telling the Iraqi's what the Americans were saying. Lots of men, only two women. I noticed that there were only little boys there and no girls. Later on I found out that the girls go to school in the morning and the boys in the evening. They cut a ribbon for the re-opening of the market. SSG Ford and I worked our cameras and got our stories.

But the most interesting things that happened were: I was waiting for one of my interviewee's when a little boy came up to me and says hello...just about the same time SSG Ford comes over and thinks the boy speaks english. He pulls out his voice recorder and sticks it in the boys face saying "can I get an interview with you?" The boy reaches out for the recorder and takes it and sticks it in his pocket thinking it was a gift. That's what the Iraqi's do sometimes, they think Americans will give them gifts and when you stick something out towards them they assume its for them to keep. It was funny then because SSG Ford says no no nono...fortunatly he got it back. I guess he learned his lesson. The other thing that was weird was after my last interview with two Iraqi women, a family came up to me and tried to tell me about their two boys that cannot see or hear. I didn't know what to do or interpreter came over to tell me what they were saying...pretty much they wanted me to tell their boys stories to the public so they could get funding for surgeries. I felt bad but there was nothing I could do personally...Maj Faulkner came over to my rescue and broke contact for me. Like I said before this mission will be something that I will always remember...from the way the people acted, the smell in the air to the images of what I saw.

I can't wait for the next one!! Bring it Iraq!

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Terms with Reality

Today is reality. You ever have one of those things that you talk about, you prepare for, but it feels like it's all just a dream- like it's not really happening...or at least you try to tell yourself its not happening? Today is when I wake up and realize it's not a dream, my dream is reality and I have to face it straight in the eye. I never knew how I'd feel today when I woke up. It was one of those dreams that you wake up from in the middle of the night/morning and say "I have to write that one down!"

Today is one of those days that you listen to the music that makes you reflect on life. What have I done in this world so far? What do I do everyday to fulfill what I've been made for? What do we do everyday in this world to fulfill what we were made for? Today is one of those days you try to mentally recreate images of family, friends, things that mean the most to you....who knows- your car, your dog, a grungy pair of sweets that you wish you could be wearing...things keep flashing in your mental photo album.

Today is one of those days that would just go by without knowing it was even's one of those days you wish would fly by super fast. In saying that I was told that I had to give a shout out to my family...So Mom- I love you and don't worry about me too much and happy Birthday...Grandma and Grandpa- I love you and can't wait for those care packages- you always know how to make me smile. Linda and Richard keep in touch....Aunt Laura keep me posted on all the gossip...Wish I could be with you all...Love you!!

Today is just one of those days...

Monday, January 5, 2009

4oo days

Today started our 400 day deployment. It was a very sad day in my world and I'm sure I will never forget last night and this morning (my last moments with my husband). I cried, a lot...I mean how do you prepare yourself to say goodbye to the one you love the most. I tried to make the most of my last moments with Jason. I tried to make memories that would stain marks in my head until the next time I see him. I find myself afraid of what could happen to us, to our marriage after being away from each other and in a combat zone. But I try to keep myself as positive as possible and know God will always be there to answer my prayers. I thought a lot about the people with kids this morning while saying goodbye. I couldn't imagine having to goodbye to not only your spouse but to your child too. So for those out there with children who are, have been, will be deployed- you have my sympathy. It was raining today. I say it has something to do with God crying with us.

Well like I said today was the first of the 400 days of our deployment. We spent the day packing up the truck and making the final touches on the office. Tonight we're spending our time in the Hyatt hotel...not for very long though. We have a very long day ahead of us tomorrow, which starts at the crack...wait...way before the crack of dawn. Fort Dix here we come...BRRRR!!!

Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Bringing in the new year

Tonight is that night that everyone my age usually looks forward to. Going out to the bars...getting the new years kiss from some random hot guy, or girl whatever happens...and of course the dreaded next morning. But this year I've decided to take a different approach to celebrating the new year. My husband and I are spending tonight at home eating finger food and sipping on our own home made concoctions. We also have a guest staying with us who arrived yesterday. His name is Josh and he is Jason's childhood best friend. So far our night has consisted of stabbing away at the munchies and playing video games...not really my cup of tea as far as the games go, but it's not killing me...yet. Anywho we plan on watching the ball drop and staying up late. So that's when I say...HAPPY NEW YEARS EVERYONE!!

A random thought...

You ever go to the movies, sit down, and find yourself asking why you ever come to these things? I do every time I go to see a new flick. Why you might ask? It seems as though I always incur some kind of annoyance every time I see a new movie. Here is my biggest peeve...So you get to the movie early so you can get that best spot- lowest row on the higher level, right in the middle so you can put your feet up on the find yourself all comfy cozy in your set with whoever you're sitting with and the rest of the entire place is empty. The next group of people walk in to find every seat open except for the two that my husband and I are sitting in....what do they do next? SIT DIRECTLY NEXT TO US, NO SPACE OR NOTHING! Then the next group of people come in...where do they sit? DIRECTLY NEXT TO US ON THE OTHER SIDE! I mean what is the deal here people?? Don't you know the unwritten rule? It's like the rule about the public bathroom stalls. The rule where if there are three stalls and the one on the right is being used you walk to the one on the left, not the one in the middle...due to the unwritten rule where you're never suppose to choose the stall directly next to a stall that is being used. Well the movie seating thing is simply the same concept. There are other little peeves that get me in a movie theatre, but for another time, another day.

Car update...

Well the car is in the shop finally...thank God! One less thing I need to be worrying about right now. We got a rental car in the mean time. Ironically it's the same rental car I got last time my car got hit. Chevy Cobalt's seem to be the popular rental these days. They said the car probably wouldn't be done until after I'm gone, but Jason's still here to take care of things. Strange thing though, is that the damage estimate from the insurance company stated it was only going to be $1,500...but I find that hard to believe since the last time my car was hit it was $1,300 and it wasn't anywhere near the damage as this reck. So who knows how much they're going to have to pay in the end. And why should I care seeing I'm not paying anything for this.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Christmas side note

Well I would have to say that this Christmas has been one of the best...of course there was the one when I was like 5 and got one of those big red cars that you petaled at the front of the car and you would steer on both sides with your hands. But here in 2008 I spent my first Christmas married to a wonderful man. Jason and I did our exchanging this morning and we've been playing with our gadgets ever since. We cooked the most amazing meal together consisting of ham, mashed potatoes, salad, and of course biscuits. I still haven't made it to the dessert yet because I am so full from dinner. Peanut butter oreo pie...sounds good huh!! Well I thought I just wanted to let the whole world know what a great Christmas I had spending it with my husband. Hope you all had a comparable time today!!!

Ha what I meant to write in this posting I never got here it I just find it funny when you get excited over a Christmas present that is an army accessory such as a weapon wolf clip or a knife you can attach to your uniform...I just find that funny.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Home Sweet Home

Back home at last. So far it's been pretty laxed here in Killeen...until today. Jason and I went to Wal-mart to get some Christmas dinner items earlier this afternoon. On our return home...barely 2 minutes out of the parking lot we got hit by a truck. The funny and ironic thing is is that I was thinking about someone pulling out in front of me while driving right before it happened. It's almost like I had spidey sense, but didn't move on it. Well thank God neither one of us got hurt. Yes of course a little shaken up, but we are fine. The car on the other hand is not so great. If we would've been driving down that road just a couple seconds later- the truck would of hit my door and not the vacant back seat. Unfortunately Texas is a no-fault state....which means that no matter who's at fault, both vehicles pay for their own damage. What a crappy idea- I think. I mean the whole idea behind driving is being safe and not getting to an accident. And so if you go ahead and cause an accident shouldn't you have to pay for it? I guess in a way when both vehicles have to pay their own its a good thing when you're at fault. And it might be a learning lesson for those without insurance. But overall, coming from a state where you pay if you did it, I believe the one responsible should have to pay at least some of the damage, if not all.

Getting back to what's important...

Besides that....Christmas is just around the...well tomorrow!! Jason and I have been spending time sitting and relaxing at home. We don't have any major plans for today or tomorrow besides making ourselves a divine Christmas dinner. We bought each other a few things that have been rapped and put under the tree...but really this year isn't what I had in mind for our first true Christmas together. Because we're both deploying soon there really was no reason for either us to buy anything big. It would just be put in storage anyway. Mostly our gifts rap around our deployment and the little things we need and want for our trip overseas.

Calls to home...

You know that with the holidays there are those very important phone calls you must make. I'm talking about those that are to your loved ones back home, or wherever they may be. I'm sure most of you talk to your family on a regular basis. But sometimes negative relationships can keep us from talking to those who mean the most to us. It of course is the worst feeling in the world to not be able to talk to someone you love, especially during this time of year. I would encourage everyone to make an attempt to mend those gaps with family or friends. But I would greatly encourage those of us deploying to do this as soon as possible. I made a call home today to someone that I've been very distant with for the last couple of months. Once we talked about the things that mattered we were relieved to know that through all the stupid things that were keeping us apart, we still cared about each other. Isn't that what matters? Being the holiday season, take this time to share how you feel with those you love the most.

7 Pounds

Yesterday Jason and I went to go see the new movie 7 Pounds. I was curious and hesitant about seeing it because I don't even remember seeing a preview for it and didn't know what it was about. A couple people from the 211th were talking about it and they also said that it seemed that there weren't many previews for the movie. From what I heard it almost sounding like Will Smith's character was being kept a secret. Because of that a lot of people were saying that they figured his character would be a bad guy role. Of course I'm not going to ruin the movie for everyone so all I am going to say is- go see may seem quite weird and confusing for most of the movie, but its good. I also will say that I have never seen my husband cry and well this movie did it for him...(don't worry hunny I know you just had some dust in your eye ;) ...) So in saying that you should have a good idea that it really is a good movie. Go see it and find out for yourself.