Monday, November 26, 2007

Finally Home!!

Well folks, this is my last post for this blog. I thank you for following me during my travels and Iraq experiences. My trip home was much longer than when I came home during during R&R. I got home after midnight on the 20th.

For Thanksgiving, I am thankful that I am home safe with my family and I was able to share a delicious Thanksgiving meal with my family. Unfortunately many of my brothers in arms are still in Iraq fighting the good fight. Please keep them in your thoughts and prayers.

Tomorrow it's back to work in a Navy uniform on a Navy ship. I would take leave, but we are planning a Hawaiian Vacation in March, so I need to save my leave.

Thanks again for everything!

Picture: Poster that my youngest drew & colored of my three girls for my welcome home (L: C [youngest daughter]; C: K [wife]; R: J [oldest daughter])

Monday, November 19, 2007

Customs & Milk

Today we had our Customs inspection on EVERYTHING we own.  Nothing like carefully packing your bags then have a customs representative empty out all your stuff onto a table and then touch, feel and inspect everything with a fine tooth comb.  That was just for our checked baggage.....Tonight we get to do it again for our carry-on items. 
Camp Arifjan, Kuwait, is much nicer than the other two Camps I've previously visited.  The facilities here are first rate including the Gym and Pool.  My Warrior Trasition Program is complete and now it's time to travel for over 40+ hours on various planes, through various airports in order to get home.
Milk: One thing that I'm not sure if I mentioned was the fact that in Iraq they only have Ultra-High Temp (UHT) milk....YUK!!!  I can't stand the stuff and I WILL NOT DRINK IT.  If I eat cereal, I usually have Yogurt on top instead of UHT milk.  In Kuwait they have FRESH MILK!....I've enjoyed it with every meal since I have been here.  Sometimes it's the little things that count.
I may have a few more blogs before I close this one out and start another.  Before I forget, I'd like to thank all of my loyal readers and supporters out there.  I have enjoyed writing about my experiences in Iraq and receiving emails, care packages, letters, and blog comments from my supporters.  Your support helped to make this deployment go by a bit quicker. THANK YOU!! 
While I was not excited about being away from my family for so long, I do know that the job I did in Iraq mattered and I personally saved lives and helped my Army Battalion to capture a mess load of bad guys.  We lost a few soldiers along the way so please keep those families in your prayers.  We have recently turned the corner on violence in Iraq and life for all Iraqis is getting better by the day.  Keep all of our forward deployed soldiers, sailors, marines and airmen in your hearts and prayers.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

One Step Closer...

Well Folks,
     I'm in Kuwait (out of harm's way) attending the Warrior Transition Program.  Flew to Kuwait on a crowded C-130 and then we were bussed over to another base.

Day 1 was weapons turn in.  We showed up and cleaned our weapons for turn in.  They were meticulous during the inspection so most of us had to "re-clean" our weapons.  Once the weapons were turned in, we had the rest of the day to relax.  I went to the pool, hung out at the MWR tent playing Halo3.  The rest of the day was spent Geocaching.  The decompression time is definately needed.

Day 2 was gear turn in.  The process is very quick and smooth.  We were done in less than an hour.  The rest of the day will be spent doing much of what I did on day 1...decompressing and relaxing.

Day 3 will be death by briefs (PowerPoint).  Oh, joy!

Be home soon.  I love you K, J & C!! See you soon.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Bird, Bats & Boats...

1: An Iraqi bird I see every time I run around the Lake.
2: Bat house on Camp Victory.
3: Boats in a boat house on Al Faw Lake.
My time continues to count down.....until my next post!
Happy Birthday C!!  I love you K, J & C...see you soon!

Sunday, November 11, 2007