Tag Archives: USAF

Back on the wagon

So it’s technically morning here in the first state and I am too heavily caffeinated for my body to allow me to sleep. Until recently, I was so proud of myself for keeping this blog up to date. After C graduated Tech School he finally returned to Florida, we married less than a week later and a week after our wedding we moved a thousand miles away from home, well 998 to be exact. If that’s not an excuse to abandon blogging for a few weeks, I don’t know what is.
Fortunately, too much has happened since my last post for me to squeeze everything into one tiny blog. In time, I’ll be sure to keep you posted on our journey. It’s definitely been a trip I never want to forget.
As of today, C & I have officially been in Delaware for one month & I haven’t blogged in exactly two months. So far we love it here, but I’ll fill you in on that sometime throughout the week. I wouldn’t want to warrant any spoiler alerts. Oh, and just as a fair warning, you’ll be seeing a lot of me this week. Good luck!

xS

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One down, one to go : Halfway there!

Well, I have been home from San Antonio a few days now and I still haven’t managed to adjust from vacation-mode. Texas was absolutely amazing.

There was obviously something wrong with the plane we had taken from Florida to North Carolina. The flight crew was extremely grouchy and the plane sounded like it hadn’t had received proper maintenance in twenty years. As we left from North Carolina to San Antonio we had gotten word that there was a bomb threat at SAT, lovely. Don’t get me started on the turbulence we experienced on both flights! Our trip had quite a bumpy start, literally.

Once we arrived in San Antonio we found that the locals were more than pleasant. Apparently in order to live in Texas you must maintain a smile and proper manners at all times. We got barely any sleep on Wednesday night, which actually made it easy to wake up at the crack of dawn on Thursday morning. Our hotel was only a mile away from Lackland, which made it virtually effortless to make it on base. As we entered the gates our stomachs quickly tightened, it was the first time we were near C. in months. Finally it was time for the Airman’s Run. All of the graduating Airman ran past us in unison, singing their jodies. The Airman’s Run was followed by the Coin Ceremony and Base Liberty.

During Base Liberty we stayed at the Skylark Bowling Alley in order to beat the heat and get a bite to eat. Although it took a few minutes for C. to shake off his professional persona, he managed recover his sense of humor and talk for eight hours straight. It was great to finally hear his voice and hear about everything he had experienced during his time at Basic Training.

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Friday had consisted of the Graduation Parade and C’s first town pass. It was the first time he had been off base since the beginning of June! San Antonio is a beautiful city. River Walk is without a doubt the most gorgeous place I have ever been. I adore the eclectic Western/Mexican style sprawled throughout Texas. I love Texas so much, it didn’t even bother me that it was 106 degrees outside, I just bought a cowboy hat (or four) and covered my expanding afro. That speaks volume.

We spent the next two days enjoying our time together as tourists. We managed to accomplish quite a bit in the short amount of time that we had. We toured the Alamo, Ripleys Believe it or Not, The Wax Museum, The 4D Theater, The Tower of the Americas and the entire perimeter of both River Walk and Lackland. I would say we managed to walk at least fifteen miles during the few days we were in Texas.

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Since C. hadn’t had any sweets, listened to music, or went out on the town in months, he wanted to spend the entire trip eating ice cream, listening to music and walking all over town. I will never forget the first time he heard “Whistle” by Flo Rida, he started smiling his boyish grin and began whistling right along. He continued whistling for the reminder of the weekend…

Thankfully C. was an Honor Grad, so we were lucky enough to have an additional town pass on Sunday rather than Base Liberty. C. actually allowed us to take Sunday off from our Energizer Bunny-like schedule. We ordered in for lunch and spent the day relaxing and enjoying the last few hours we had together.

The courteous hotel staff allowed us to check out at 2pm instead of 10 am, which was wonderful. At 2 we left for the BX to get  all of the supplies he would need for Tech School. As we began to check out my eyes began filling with tears. I knew our time together was limited. We made our way to the car and headed back to the bowling alley where we had to drop him off. As we got out of the car and said our goodbyes, his mom and I were both overwhelmed with with sadness. C.looked back at us as he was walking away and turned around for another hug, which naturally turned my little sobs into a full on a sniffly, sobbing, nose running tear fest. Attractive, right? Our overbearing emotions also caused us to get lost on the way to the airport (multiple times) and nearly miss our flight. Not to mention , his moms diamond straps on her shirt and her belly button ring set off the lovely new full body scanners at the airport so she was quickly whisked away for a private full body pat-down. That was interesting.

Spending the weekend with C. was magical. This experience has been by far the longest we have gone without seeing/talking to each other in the five years that we have been together. Seeing him in his uniform is a surefire way to melt my heart. Viewing his newfound manners and confidence causes a goofy smile to stretch wildly across the width of my face. Upon my arrival, I was weary of the “No PDA/No hugs longer than 3 seconds” rules while in uniform, but having C’s arms around me assured me that I was right where I needed to be. You know the old saying, “the longer the wait, the sweeter the kiss?” Oddly enough the same applies for hugs. I never knew how much a simple hug could mean to me until the first time C. hugged me after the Coin Ceremony. As we walked down the streets of San Antonio, many people’s heads turned to him and smiled as he passed them. Others stopped him to thank him for his service and shook his hand, no matter what their actions were, everyone looked at C. with a sense of pride. I do not think there is anything more rewarding than walking beside the man you love while he’s in uniform.

Thankfully BMT is now just a mere memory.

The days I spent in San Antonio were without a doubt some of the most memorable days in my life. Watching the one you love accomplish great things is the most thrilling feeling in the world. There are no words to describe the amount of excitement, honor and love I was able to experience this past week. Texas will forever hold a special place in my heart. I am truly blessed.

Now to begin counting down until the days he gets home from Tech School!

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Life

Well, today was somewhat eventful. I woke up and booked all reservations for our trip to San Antonio in August. Only 27 more days until we finally get to see C. graduate! This trip will be the farthest West I have ever traveled. My excitement level is through the roof. I have been truly blessed to have such an amazing support system throughout this entire process. Some days feel much longer than others, but luckily we are finally over half way through!
Today I finally got to meet up with my best friend in Orlando to watch Magic Mike. Apparently gawking at Channing Tatums butt displayed across a 40 foot screen for two hours is one of my favorite pastimes.
Usually C. calls on Saturdays, but I haven’t spoke with him since June, June 28th to be exact. I have not been more than two feet away from my phone in the past 24 hours. I am patiently crossing my fingers and hoping that he will be able to call tomorrow.

27 days, 27 days, 27 days!
(That’s less than one month!)

To live is the rarest thing in the world. Most people exist, that is all.
-Oscar Wilde

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Updates!

Oh boy, oh boy. So much has happened over the past week! I apologize in advance for the lengthiness of this post, however the purpose of this blog is to document this phase of my life and I really do not want to miss a thing.

Let’s rewind back to last week – shall we?

Thursday In order to remain working at my current job, I asked to be moved to an office that was closer to my house (my bank account could no longer handle filling up my gas tank twice a week) and I requested every other Friday off. With that being said, last Thursday was my Friday. I decided to celebrate by taking the kids to see Brave. We are extremely proud of our Irish/Scottish heritage, so I believe it is needless to say – we really enjoyed the movie(and spoke with fake Scottish accents for the next three days.) But wait, it gets better! On the way into the theatre I heard the couple in front of my tell one another to silence their phones. Thankful for their reminder I fished into my purse to dig out my phone. Two missed calls and a voicemail. Airman Smith? Of course. Any other time I keep my phone within arms reach at all times in order to ensure that I never miss another one of his calls. Who would have thought he would be calling on a Thursday? In a panic, I hurried to call him back. Once he answered he told me all about his week. He is excited to receive his Blues and his name tape this week. He also informed me that he passed his second inspection. As always, the pride in his voice was evident. Its funny how the sound of someones voice can cause such an uproar of emotions from within. Luckily, I got to speak with him for about fifteen minutes before he had to go (and I didn’t even have to watch any previews before the movie) It was great!

Friday I decided it was time to begin working on my bucket-list. Since I already had a hair appointment scheduled I decided to take full advantage of it and complete one of the most drastic tasks on my list. “Try something new with my hair. Yikes! In just a few hours I managed to go from years upon years of bleach blonde hair to the absolute darkest shade of brown. This is the first time I have been brunette since high school! Wow, that makes me sound old.

Anyway, here’s a before & after picture of my first completed assignment on my bucket-list!

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Saturday I spent the day at the beach with my little brother and we watched fireworks on the river that night. The water was without a doubt the clearest it has ever been since I have lived in Florida. The temperature was near perfection and you could even see your feet! Unfortunately, I did not hear from C. on Saturday. It was the first Saturday since he has been gone that I hadn’t spoke with him.

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Fireworks over the water, bucketlist completion #2

Sunday My mom & step father decided to take the kids and I boating on the river. I managed to find a waterproof case to cover my phone and held it close all day. Boat or no boat, I refuse to miss another call. Again, the water and the weather could not have cooperated any better. The dolphins were out in full swing and I thoroughly enjoyed the quality time that I was able to spend with my family. Just as I was cooking dinner, thinking about calling it a night – my phone rang! Again, it was the name I love to see the most. Airman Smith. I hurried to answer the phone, desperate not to miss another call. He filled me in on the rest of the things he did throughout the week and told me about what he would be learning this week. Apparently he is going in a gas chamber this week. I’m not exactly sure how to express my thoughts on this… Either way, I was able to speak to him for another fifteen minutes before he had to go. I was on cloud nine, two calls in one week! I could get used to this.

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It’s funny really, I hadn’t realized how blessed I have been the past five years to be able to pick up the phone and communicate with C. any time I pleased. As I have expressed numerous times to C. in the letters I have written him, after this experience I vow to have a greater understanding of the simple pleasures in life and not to take anything for granted.

If you are still with me, you rock (and you get to read the happy ending!)

Today I went shopping with my mom and decided to buy C’s wedding band. I never thought I would be in a predicament where I would have to plan a wedding without my groom. C’s ring was my first “big girl” purchase. It seems that we are officially one step closer to the beginning of the rest of our lives together. I am beyond excited!

I know first hand that life can be rough, but it helps to take a step back every now and then and cherish just how blessed you truly are. After all, it’s not about having everything you want – it is about wanting everything you have, right? Be thankful for everything in life, especially the little things.

Why not start with being thankful for your freedom!? Happy Independence Day, y’all! I am off to listen to Alanis Morissette until I cannot keep my eyes open any longer.

S.

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Military Wives Strip Down to Raise Awareness of PTSD

courtesy battlingbare.org

Via Yahoo >>>

Ashley Wise’s husband Rob is about as tough as they come. The career soldier spent 8 years in the Marines before joining the Army after 9/11 and serving on two tours of duty in Iraq, but in April this year, he hit a wall. He locked himself in a hotel room with guns and alcohol and told his wife “he might do something stupid.”

Thankfully, he came back home alive. Ashley reached out to the Family Advocacy Service at Fort Campbell, Kentucky, where they are currently stationed, and discovered that, like many other soldiers who are suffering from mental anguish or who might have Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), finding the help he needed without putting his career in jeopardy would be a struggle. When Wise, believing her conversation to be confidential, divulged to a counselor that Rob had once become physical with her, an MP was immediately brought in. Husband and wife were not allowed contact for 72-hours and Rob now faces domestic assault charges (which Wise is trying to have dropped).

Related: Participation Encouraged in Study of Military Families

“The last thing a soldier needs is to be separated from his wife,” Wise tells Yahoo! Shine. “Guys kill themselves because they think they are such a burden to their families.” Wise says soldiers avoid telling anyone they are feeling depressed, angry, or even suicidal for fear of being dishonorably discharged. “Take the number of men who actually report having PTSD and multiply that by 50.”

That evening, Wise told a girlfriend, “I want to streak across the 101st command building, because then maybe the general or someone would listen to what I’m saying.” Instead she grabbed an eyeliner pencil and had her friend write these words on her back:

,

“Broken by battle,

Wounded by war,

I love you forever,

To you this I swore:

I will quiet your silent screams,

Help heal your shattered soul

Until once again, my love, you are whole.”

Wise posted a picture of her naked back onFacebook, invited other military wives to share images of themselves, and the organization Battling Bare was born. “Our initial intent was to take Facebook by storm,” says Wise. She says, at heart, she simply wanted families to be able to enjoy normal things together like “eating at Chuck E. Cheese’s or going to the fireworks.” When she spoke to other women and “realized how big the problem is, we knew we had to do something.”

Now, just two months later, Wise is working with seven other military wives to launch a non-profit organization to raise awareness about PTSD and the impact it has on spouses and children. In three years, they aim to have a chapter in every state in place to support military families and hold workshops based on a model developed by Operation Restored Warrior.

While some people are critical of their bold approach–she says she’s had some ugly feedback and got a call from a stranger who called her “an attention grabbing whore”–the military isn’t asking them to take their website or Facebook page down. Wise tells Shine that Battling Bare is “on the Pentagon’s radar,” and when she spoke to Colonel William Gayler, Fort Campbell’s Chief of Staff, he assured her, “I want to fix this.”

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That’s what I love about Sunday

Ahhh. This weekend has been by far, the best weekend I have had since C. left three weeks ago. There is nothing I love more than relaxing and simply spending time with the people that mean the most to me.

This weekend I got to spend quality time with my mother, which is extremely rare. I wish it lasted longer, but I am so very thankful we had a few hours of uninterrupted bonding time at the mall. Actually, I presume “uninterrupted” was not exactly the best word to select. I had the best interruption! As we were walking into the mall, my phone rang. I quickly looked down at the screen to see the name I love the most

Airman Smith

Naturally my heart jumped up to my throat, my stomach dropped to my toes and my grin widened from ear to ear. Again, C. said he is doing very well and he is adjusting fine to his new life away from home. He informed me that this week had been much better than the previous week, it was obvious that the tension had leveled in their FLT since our last call. C. was much more at ease throughout our conversation. When he told me about all of the things that he had learned and that he passed his first inspection, I could almost hear the smile in his voice. Personally, I believe that for the first time in his life, C. is pushing himself to the limit, he is attempting to make something of himself and he is doing so on his own. His modest self pride is evident and I don’t think I could be much more proud of him than I am today (however, he has quite a way of keeping me on my toes.) I knew he did not have much longer on the phone, so I allowed my mom to speak with him for a minute. I believe that decision could have possibly made her entire year. I noticed that she was wearing a goofy smile that closely resembled the one that stretched across my face. It was the first time she had been able to speak with him since he left and it was obvious how proud of him that she is.
After we left the mall, my best friend decided to surprise me by coming into town for the night. It felt great to reminisce and get my mind off of everything.

Knowing that I have such an excellent support group by my side makes this entire process ten times easier. I am so blessed to have such amazing people in my life. Unfortunately the weekend is winding down – back to 9-5 grind bright and early. I am beyond excited to begin my bucket list this week. There are so many great things to look forward to I the near future!

39 days!

Until next time,

SM

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Basic Training Bucket List

It recently dawned on me that I am going to have an immense amount of spare time on my hands over the next 5 1/2 weeks. I have always considered myself to be a very independent person, but now that C. is gone I have become increasingly aware that I spend eighty to ninety percent of my free time with him. Even the smallest tasks, such as going to put air in my tires now seems like a lonesome chore rather than a quick pitstop on the way home from Orlando.

Anyway, there is no reason to sulk over my newfound freedom. I have decided that I am going to make the best of these next few weeks. For all I know, this could be my last summer as a Floridian. After C. returns my life will return to normal, and I will quickly become a married woman. Honestly, there is nothing I look forward to more than being an excellent wife but I want to make sure that I thoroughly enjoy my last few moments as an unmarried, twenty year old college student.

Obviously, there is no better idea than to create a BMT/Summer 2012 Bucket-list to keep me busy while C. is away.

__ Go Hiking
__Memorize scripture
__ Trail Ride
__ Go Rock Climbing
__ Attend a sporting event
__Go to the springs
__Book a cruise for my bachelorette party
__Train to run a half marathon
__Shoot a bow
__Play pool
__Go ice skating
__Get in touch with myself
__Get a manicure
__Preform a good deed for five strangers without expecting anything in return
__Watch the sun rise
__Stargaze
__Fly first class
__Take a road trip
__Call the customer service line to a product I like simply to inform them that I appreciate their service
__Shoot 3 photo sessions and share my pictures online
__Develop some sort of surprise for C. when he gets home
__Try something new with my hair
__Watch fireworks on the beach
__Play soccer
__Go to Fairivilla
__Play frisbee
__Swim laps
__Get organized
__Go to a club on Church Street
__Read the 50 Shades Trilogy, again
__Have a blast during the process!

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