Thursday, May 12, 2005

Welcome Home party

Well the first drill weekend is upon me.  This is supposed to be our welcome home drill weekend.  Strangely though no one has been notified until Wednesday of this week, and only the wives were notified by the ombudsman…hmm…should I wear desert or woodland uniform this weekend?  Oh well it doesn’t really matter I’m still going to get paid. 

I’ve been at work now for about 2 weeks which is great.  My wife likes the fact that I am back doing something now other than messing up her house :)  I love spending time with Shanon and Lauren when I come home from work.  I love sleeping on the train on the way home and not having to worry about abdar and his band of murderous thugs  trying to make me die an infidel’s death.  I love being able to walk downtown chicago and see the sights.  It troubles me that very few people have a concept of how big the world is, or just really how big a sacrafice a reservist makes.  People are clueless.

They had a nice reception here for me at the office and decorated my new cube, which was very thoughtful.  All in all I enjoy being back to normal life…Good Luck CHARLIE

Friday, March 25, 2005

Honey....... I'm home!!!

Hello Everyone,

I know it has been a few days since the last posting. That's because I have been in transit to my home of record :). We departed from Kuwait and arrived in Norfolk VA, on March 20th you can read about it here. I spent a few days in Norfolk demobilizing and processing out and then boarded a United Airlines 2hr and 34min flight home where my wife and daughter awaited me. I have been taking it easy at home and spending quality time with Shanon and Lauren.

That's all for now, I will post a couple more times to wrap some things up and then unveil my new blog.

Take care

Saturday, March 19, 2005

Coming soon...

Hey everyone, in anticipation of going home I wanted to mention that
Phone Home will become inactive. A lasting memory of a moment in time
for my life for however Blogger chooses to allow it to stay dormant.
I will however continue to blog at a new undisclosed secure location
:) soon, and will post a link to it here when I officially sign off
this one. Thanks for reading with me while I was away...stay tuned
for more information


Thursday, March 17, 2005


Remember how you felt on Christmas Eve when you went to bed, on the
day before the last day of school? How you couldn't wait for
tomorrow. One would think that we'd be having feelings like that
here, but you don't. The only feeling is ... the absence of feeling.
I feel kind of numb. I took a break last night early in the morning
like 1 - 2 am and just sat outside for a few minutes in Cookie's
Chair... and just thought about where I am. With the constant
communication to home it seems that I haven't been that far away, but
I really am. I am so ready to go home I don't know what to do with
myself. I walk around the base, and look at things and think about
how long I have been here. It seems like home but it isn't. I don't
have that antsy feeling like I thought I would. I miss my wife and
daughter tremendously and would rather be with them than here, but
it's just something that I'm going through I guess.

I wish that all of Bravo were standing down at the same time, that way
we could all hang out together, that would make this time more
memorable in my opinion, but that's the problem you have when you are
not getting a relief, rather just packing up and leaving. No one to
turn over too, which means they can keep you working until they choose
to say you are done. It is really a shame because it is rubs people
on the 2nd wave the wrong way. I am busy packing my bags and getting
my final package to mail out tomorrow, checking in my sleeping bag and
all that good stuff :) One final trip to the laundry trailer to wash
everything before I pack it up. I've got some disposable cameras that
I am going to burn up since I don't have a digital camera any more :(
... I'm just glad that we didn't have to move into the CMU buildings.
The F.A.N. smell in there is horrible I'm told :) at least they got
something right :)


Tuesday, March 15, 2005 - For Troops, Home Can Be Too Close

Here is an interesting story about instantaneous access to loved ones via, email, blogs, cell phones in the current war. I think it is pretty accurate, I've been able to talk to my wife almost every single day that I've been here. I rarely miss out on things at home. Although not in Iraq, things can become stressful when the communications are down, which happens quite often.


For Troops, Home Can Be Too Close

Saturday, March 12, 2005


We've begun standing down. Many of us can taste the stale bag lunch
sandwich we'll be handed for our flight out of here :) that'll be the
only meal I am looking forward. We had a briefing yesterday and when
the words "your demobilization orders are being printed as we speak"
were said there was a slight eruption of elation in the crowd. There
are those who choose not to celebrate until we're wheels up. I think
it is a pretty sad state where a person has to be in a constant state
of waiting for the other shoe to drop, and its not that we are
untrusting its just that we've been given no reason to believe that
anything is what it seems to be until it has happened. Unfortunately
that is the state a lot of people are in. I find myself looking back
and feeling bad that I didn't take more pictures, that I'm not in more
pictures, that I didn't buy more memorabilia, well maybe not more
memorabilia. The first class association for FWD Bravo has done an
excellent job on these "Life in Kuwait" videos, and there are 4
volumes of them. I didn't get any of those, but I think I will ask
for the final slide show that CS1 has put together for our farewell

I look at my little 8x8 space and see it becoming more spacious every
day...things disappearing, into the trash or being turned in :) or
being packed into my bags. I am going to miss this space, but maybe
its not missing; missing assumes that I will return to it later on
that I will come back. I won't be coming back. So maybe it is just
my saying farewell to 27H. I am proud to serve in the Navy and for
the work we've done. Seeing all the pictures and statistics that were
served up by the officers yesterday made me feel proud of the work
we've done. I've tried to suppress my cynicism when it comes to the
statistical reporting that is done, and just be proud of the numbers.
Having been responsible for reports, numbers are relative to how you
want to display them and what criteria is used for reporting :)

I will not miss Kuwait, or Camp Patriot. I will miss the friends I've
made here, and spending time with them. I will be able to move on
though, we'll see each other on AT's where we'll be able to have fun.
Where we'll look back on this time and that was screwed
up...or remember when... I am ready to see my baby girl, and my wife,
to see Chicago, to see my home :) to feel the lukewarm air of late
March, to smell the grass growing and snow melting and fresh smells of
spring, to return to freedom. There are so many things that I feel so
thankful for, and will not ever take for granted. It cannot be
explained, to try and explain this feeling to someone who has never
experienced separation like this, it cannot be done. My wife
understands, maybe my parents and in-laws, but certainly no one else
except those who have served. Who've had to leave precious loved ones
behind can understand.

There was a video shown yesterday at our all hands award ceremony,
American heroes. It was moving, the song is one by Enya, and I forget
the name of it, but it was just background music, as it allowed the
pictures to speak for themselves rather than overpowering them,
causing you to focus more on the music than the pictures. We're
heroes, everyone of us. Not just NAVESLF FWD Bravo but every veteran
of every conflict, and those who have served but never served in
combat zones. I think of the line in Armageddon just before they take
off in shuttles named Freedom and Independence "You guys are already
heroes just sit back and enjoy the ride", we were heroes before we even
left Chicago.

We came here to do a mission, and we did it better than the group we
relieved, better than any group before them, and probably any group
after us. We jumped right in and tackled the mission with strength,
and safety. We set a precedent and raised the bar to a point that
will be tough to live up to in terms of work completed. We have every
reason to be proud of the work we've done. There have been some
disappointments, and I know that personally I will not forget them
because they were glaring errors and ones that should never be
repeated. These disappointments will probably cost NAVELSF skill sets
that will be hard to replace. Life goes on though.

I know that when I return here, I will have a different focus. I will
be a veteran, someone who's already been there done that. Next time
around it will be a test of can I do it better than before, have I
matured since the last time, a refining time. Lets hope that it
doesn't come too soon.


Friday, March 11, 2005

Picasa 2

I have found a new tool that I like for managing graphics on my computer. I have Micrsoft Office 2003 installed which includes the Office Picture Manager and it is a nice piece of software, however Picasa 2 from Picasa a Google owned company is light years beyond Office Picture Manager. There is also a tool that is like an IM client except it is used to send pictures to contacts. It is called Hello from Picasa, it allows you to IM pictures to those people you setup on a contacts list, it also allows you to post pictures to your blog on I must say I am becoming more and more impressed with Google's online offerings. They are easy to use and powerful. Try them out.


Picasa 2

Afghanistan Campaign Medal

For some time there has been discussion on the creation of separate campaign medals for various operations in the all encompassing Global War on Terrorism. The GWOTEM and GWOTSM medals respectively were supposed to cover all operations now and in the future, but the instruction from DOD would only allow the medals to be issued once with no service stars for subsequent issuances as with a medal such as the National Defense Service Medal. Veterans and current servicemembers felt that this was in adequate and petitioned Congress to push legislation for the creation of separate campaign medals for Afghanistan and Iraq. The fruits of which are seen below. I have not been able to find an instruction guiding the issuance and eligibility criteria, when I do I will link to it here.

Operation Enduring Freedom Campaign medal. For service in Afghanistan. Created by Presidential Executive Order on 29 November 2004. Expect guidance from DOD on issuance and eligibility criteria. Posted by Hello

Iraq Campain Medal

Like the Afghanistan Campaign Medal above. Will post more details once they become available.

Operation Iraqi Freedom Campaign medal. For service in Iraq. Created by Presidential Executive Order on 29 November 2004. Expect guidance from DOD on issuance and eligibility criteria. Posted by Hello