Tuesday, 17 October 2006

Last Post

Folks, this is a short lived Blog, because:

I've already been talked to once about my content and had to "edit" it. Today we had a briefing on Blogs "do's and don't" for the Army. It appears to be very subjective as to what is and isn't allowed, so to keep from violating some Army reg, policy, or wish of the commander, I will have this as my last post.

Any questions as to the restrictions placed upon us, please refer to:

I'll post when I get back and am back on "civilian" status. You will still be able to e-mail me from this site though and I'll answer when I can.

Take care and I'll do the same.


Monday, 16 October 2006

Fort Bragg

Well, I guess its time for an update:

My unit is at Ft Bragg now doing our train-up for the deployment. We spend our days in briefings, classes, out at different ranges firing a multitude of weapons.... firing weapons is always my favorite! The training is typical "Army," but we are making the best of it and keeping motivated. We all can't wait to get in-theater and start doing our jobs so we can get home.

Fort Bragg is very large, a pretty post with a lot of troops. The base shuttle goes everywhere but takes forever to get there, so I take a taxi most places I go off-duty. It costs a lot, but saves on the time, and our "personal time" is very limited so it is worth it.

We stay in a big open bay with bunkbeds and we all live together... oh how much fun that is. I really like the guys I'm with, but I wish we didn't stay in the WWII barracks, and yes they date back that far. Anyhow... I"ll have pics up soon of our plush living conditions and other events we've had going on.

During our time off, which is averaging one day off every nine days, I rent a hotel and get out of here... recharge my batteries so to speak. I lay on a king size bed, watch my history channel, news, whatever I want (we don't have a TV in the barracks), and turn the heat up (its been getting very cold here at night) and I just enjoy the break from "Army life."

We have had some fun times here too... a unit did a BBQ and invited my unit, that was fun, and I've gotten to the "Sports Bar" here on post a few times at night, so don't think its all training and no fun... we try very hard to enjoy ourselves... that is normal for soldiers.

Any who.... this is getting kinda long, but rest assured, we are training hard, getting prepared for the fight, so that we all can make a difference in theater and come home safe and sound.

I'll end this with the new Army motto:

"Army Strong," I know, don't laugh... we understand that as much as we understood the last one, "Army of one." L8R

Friday, 1 September 2006

Team 2's motto: "Fuss and Feathers"

Do you know where that comes from?
Hint: Look into the CA history

The Fateful Promise

I guess a little background might be helpful....

As most of you know, I was in the active duty Army from 1981 until 1993.... that fateful event on Ft Irwin of doing what I was asked turned me from a career soldier loving the Army to someone that couldn't wait to get out just that quick. I won't go back that far in my military career, but understand, when the Army did what they did, I lost a part of me that will never return and I still can't believe that I ever came back in the US military.

So then, why did I and how did I end up on a battle roster heading to the sandbox? It was a fateful promise, serious! Ever since Lisa and I have been a couple, she has inquired as to why never retired from the military or why I didn't go reserve or NG. I have tried most my life (after 1993) to try to forget what the Army did, very negative feelings. A couple years after we were married, sometime in late 2003, she asked why I wouldn't go into the reserve to finish my retirement... trying to figure a way out of this, I promised her I would join the reserve when 1) they would let me join the Air Force Reserve & 2) they would let the reserve members into the PX & commissary unrestricted. Since I KNEW the AF didn't like prior service Army folks, and they are never hurting for recruits I felt fairly secure that this would never happen. Also, since the active duty folks seemed hell bent on not allowing the "weekend warriors" into there private shopping arena's unless they were on official orders, and it had been this way for more years than I have been alive I felt pretty secure that my two part promise would never happen. Well, in 2003 the active duty allowed the reserve unrestricted access to there shopping malls... ouch, they almost had me. My wife called the AF Reserve recruiter who assured her that it was certainly accepting former Army guys: TRAPPED! My wife had me, now I had to return to serving, but at least it was NOT in the Army. Well, I joined the AFR in Apr 2004, assigned to the 512th Airlift Wing (Dover AFB, De) as a public affairs specialist (GREAT job!!). I enjoyed my time with the 512th, but Lisa got a posting to Key West, Fl, in 2005, so we moved. I went to the closest AFR unit, Homestead Air Reserve Base (HARB), where they had a PA shop, but no slots. I did a couple "visiting drills" with them and the PAO really seemed to like me (an old Army officer, we got along well). The 512th rightfully said that I needed to find a unit to transfer to or go IRR (since my "visiting drills" come from there money). Well, I only have just under 7 years left until I'll have 20... going IRR (inactive reserve) means that I would stop accumulating points towards retirement... so that wasn't an option.

Here is where the Army comes in: Lisa works for the Gov't and there can be a lot of travel opportunities that we hope to take advantage of.. If I stay AFR, the problem of transferring will always be a reoccurring issue; if I go Army Reserve, it shouldn't be a problem, the Army is everywhere. So, I went to see the dreaded Army recruiter to ask to transfer... when he tried to tell me public affairs was the same as civil affairs I should have ran, but I didn't, instead I just excused their lack of knowledge for just "being Army." Well, they promised me the world (I have scores above the 3rd grade level), and so far have delivered on nothing... THOUGH, I do admit it is what I expected. I learned in 1993 not to trust the Army, so I really haven't been let down, just shown that things really aren't much different. Let me clarify something here... (on a serious note) most of my Army career I was fortunate to be led, and mentored, by some OUTSTANDING officers, NCOs, and friends... when the drawdown (1990-95) got pretty intense, at least at Ft Irwin, it became pretty back stabbing, dog-eat-dog... and I was a dog that was eaten up and spit out like the trusting person I was... anyhow (seriousness turned off, sarcasim on)... I am now in the Army Reserve, I was assigned to the 478th Civil Affairs Bn (I say was, because I have been transferred to the unit that I am going to deploy with, until I get back, then I go back to the 478th).

Well, that is how I made a promise that seems to have come back to bite me, sort of... in 6 years and some odd months, I will be able to retire, at age 60, I will have a government check for the rest of my life... so I guess it is worth it.

I learned from experience in 1993 not to trust, but to CYA in all that I do. With that in mind, I hope to be successful in the reserve and be like those officers, NCOs and friends that made such a dramatic impression on me when I was young. I hope when I retire, that at least one soldier will always remember me for who I was, an outstanding soldier, a mentor, a leader, someone who cared enough to make a difference.

For now though, I prepare for my mobilization and my travels.........
'nuff for now~ L8R, Dave

Key West PT Boat (Conch Navy)

Our Kids: Stinky Pooh (l), and Buddy Badger (r)