Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Safe in Kuwait

Hey everyone, well I'm here in Kuwait, man what a flight!! We left from Wa in the middle of the night. We flew east over the U.S. then to Shannon Ireland we were only there for a few minutes so I didn't get any pictures. It was cool that I can say I was kinda there, then from there we went straight to Kuwait. Total time was about 13 hours not to bad. We got here early in the morning, and ate breakfast at the first base we went to, from there we traveled another hour to the base that we stay on for now. The weather has been tolerable, not to hot, not to cold. The tents we stay in have a heater in them so at night when it's really cold we just turn the heat on. We sleep in sleeping bags, on cots. It's ok, I'm safe so that's whats important. I've heard that everything at Lindsey's baby shower went well, thanks to her Aunt Pam, I was able to see some pictures from the shower. I can't tell you guys when I'm leaving Kuwait, and were I'm going because of OPSEC. Once I get there I will let you guys know how everything is and what I can tell you. For those of you that don't have my mailing address you will have to get ahold of Lindsey, or my mom. Well thanks for checking on the blog, talk to you soon.

stay tuned

where we live

Saturday, December 1, 2007

My Squad "Mongoose" after training in Yakima

Hey everyone, well training is pretty much done with. I'm sure you all know that I got to go home for the holiday! It was great lots of time with Lindsey, Christian, and Cheech!! It's crazy you don't realize you miss something so much until you get back to it. I mean don't get me wrong I missed them all everyday, but with training and everything you don't have the time to think about much more than the task at hand. It was great to be home I wish of course that it could have lasted longer, and I could have gotten more done. We did get a few MAJOR things taken care of. I found out that I missed the exam by only 10 points, maybe next time. We got Christian into pre-school. I got to see a sonogram of our new baby that we also found out was a BOY!! Lindsey had a Hawaiian baby shower...which will be followed by the one that she's having with her family and Washington friends. We also got ourselves a new place. Yes that's right we're moving again! With the addition to the family we are allowed to get a 3 bedroom now!

We went into the housing office, and didn't think they would give us a place on site. We went in there trying to just get on the waiting list, and that would have been fine. Lindsey would have had a little more time to get stuff packed and all...the downfall of course would be that Lindsey would also have a 3 month old to add along with in the chaos of moving. Well we went in and didn't have an appointment, but someone didn't show, so they got our paperwork done very quickly, and moved us over to get put on the wait list. Well the girls there must have liked our family because they found us a place were we wanted, and got us a move in date with in 15 min of being there!!!!! Man they were really good. So now Jan 10 2008 Lindsey will be moving to our new place. It's not far from where we're at now, but it's sooo much bigger...right now we have aprox. 949 sq ft. well the new places upstairs is aprox. 946 sq ft....for a total of 1762 sq ft. It's not really allot but with as much stuff as we have it will be better.

With all good news comes bad news as well. I still am going to leave for Iraq. There was talk about some people not going and just finishing the training and coming home. Now I know I'm not one of those people, and I don't think anyone from our battalion is. It looks like it will only be for 9 mos. in country, which in comparison to Army, and Marine Corps isn't bad (they do 15-18mos)!!! I guess I can't complain about that...however I've been in the service long enough to know that nothing is ever set in stone, things seem to get longer before they get shorter, if you catch my drift.

Well I'm going to go, I will attempt to get back on here at least before I leave for Iraq, or maybe sooner. They haven't said anything about if we're done with training yet, and or when we're leaving. I'll do my best, thanks for sticking by the will get better...stay tuned

Lindsey & Christian @ the Aquarium in Waikiki

Saturday, November 3, 2007

Training at Ft. Lewis

7.62 M240B rounds

Hey guys, well it's been some time since I have posted. I would like to start by saying sorry about that, but due to the poor Internet connection we have in our barracks it's hard to keep a connection. Also our schedule doesn't really permit us a lot of down time. Well to state the obvious I've been pretty busy during my time here in Washington. When we first got here the weather was defiantly Northwesty lots of wind and rain. Now it has just been cold...really cold. I guess I'm just use to that nice warm Hawaii weather. I can only say so much about the training do to the fact that if gives out details about my mission in Iraq which is classified as "Secret".

When we first got here there were about 108 of us, the numbers have dwindled down to 103 now due to 5 people not passing a psych evaluation. Our group has gotten pretty close we are defiantly turning into a unit now. That's really a good thing, because for awhile I wasn't sure if we would ever come together. We have a lot of people (E6's to be exact) that think they know everything about everything. It's pretty ridiculous! I've gotten use to it, and kinda ignore what they say. As I was saying the training has been fun, we did some computer training for a Army system we will be using in Iraq, we have done some combative training, unarmed self defense, and of course weapons, with a few other ones like land navigation, combat life saver, and comms training. Like I said it's been pretty busy. I got to shoot a lot of cool guns so far:

M240B range with AG M203 see the grenade launcher FN303 paintballs

The best part of the training so far I think besides the weapons would be the detainee training we just recently had at a simulated detainee camp. We got to take the camp under our command and the Army brings in people to act like detainees. It was challenging, due to the fact that the people that they hire are told to harass you, and it's pretty bad! You really have to have thick skin in order to not take what they say to heart. I got to be what is called the Compound Section Leader, which is the person that talks to the head detainee inside a certain compound. Here are some pictures from the training:

vehicle search
Tower watch w/ M16
new detainee

I also got to do some medical training while I was there. More or less it was just a quick 4 day class on how to save people on the battle field with common battle injuries, and how to call for a 9 line medevac. Fun class we got to give each other IV's, and nasopharngeals (a tube that goes down your nose into your throat for a airway). Not the best feeling especially when it has so much ky jelly on it, that it's running down the back of your throat. Still a bunch of fun! Here are some pics of me getting a IV!
All in all everything has been going very well I'm learning a lot from the Army, and from the people here with me, it will defiantly be a huge accomplishment in my career when it is all over. The things that I have done, and will be doing are a huge part on the war on terror. With that said I will let you guys go and thanks for sticking with me while I was "away".

Saturday, September 29, 2007

Off to Washington

Well nothing has been going on these last few days. I know I said I would post but there was really nothing to talk about. I'm all packed up today though, I'm typing this and watching the USC game(go Trojans)!! Well at this time tomorrow I will be in training in WA. They say that we might be starting this training as early as Sun when we get there. I will not have access to the computer like I do here. However I will keep a personal journal of the days events. When I do get to a computer I will be able to recite dates and events so it will be sort of a "catch-up". Well I don' t have a lot to report looking forward to see the other side of my family if time permits, and getting this training over.

stay tuned.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Jet Lagged!!!

Well I want to start by apologizing, I said I would be posting everyday....and yesterday I didn't. I must say I've heard of jet lag and until now had never experienced it. It SUCKS!! So with that said, yesterday really sucked because while being jet lagged, I had to still do my processing. We did a lot of medical stuff...well all medical stuff. It was like boot camp, with the needles, the hearing test, the dental appts. Needless to say it was long drawn out and being that most of my stuff was complete not needed. I did have to get small pox again which I was none to happy about. If anyone doesn't know how the small pox vaccine works. They take this special needle, and they dip it into the vaccinia and prick you with it. For you first vaccination it is only 3 pricks, or if you've had it and it's been more than 10 years you get 15! Well when my mom and I went to Germany some many moons ago, I got it. Well that was more than 10 years ago so I got it 15 times yesterday! Now I get to see if I will react to it, being that in Hawaii I got (the 3 prick type) and nothing happened. Possibly because of a amount of it being stored in my body hence me not having a reaction. So they said that if nothing happens then I would be medically immune and would never have to worry about it again. Lets hope that's the case, because small pox shot sucks, and if it does react my arm is going to be jacked! So later that night, I talked to Lindsey and Christian (they are doing fine). I did some laundry and then I laid down and passed really out! I mean I went to bed at like 720pm and that was all she wrote. I didn't wake up until 815! I was late, didn't go to PT. I wasn't in trouble or anything. My alarm didn't go off, (these BEQ alarms are garbage).

Today wasn't so bad, just some last few medical things, I have to get one more thing done and I should be ready to go. I have some last minute things to try and pick up, but other than that I'm done. I'm hoping to see Brian and Carmen this weekend. We are expected to fly on a military flight from Norfolk to Ft. Lewis on Sunday sometime. So I get to experience more freakin flying, and it's the crappy kind, because I have to be in uniform the whole flight! At least it will be a straight flight, with no lay-0vers...=) Well that's it I'm off to Washington soon hopefully get to see some friends and family when I'm there.
till tomorrow...for real this time

stay tuned

Monday, September 24, 2007

Catching up

Well let me catch everyone up to speed. Friday before i left I had a little party a few good people came over which was cool. My friend Chris BBQ'd I must say he did a pretty good job...he's no me but it was good. So Sat came around and it was all the last goodbye's and spending some time with Lindsey. So we drove to the airport, and Christian I guess sensed what was happening and didn't like it one bit, he screemed and cried, just was really broken up! It really sucked. I left them there and they watched me leave. When I got inside to check-in, I realized that I had forgot my headphones, so I had to call Lindsey and have her come back to bring them to me. I also talked to Mike, Elena, Tyler, Jacob, Mark, and I think Joe was there. They all said there good bye's.

So we get on the plane, and we do the boarding thing, and all. Well what I thought was everyone got on the plane, and I thought we would start Taxing. No not even we waited for at least an hour and a half for two people who I'm only assuming must have never flown after 9/11 untill now. What made it worse was that they just strolled on like we should have waited for them. Absoulty ridiculis! Well because of all that my tickets got changed up. I had a 4 hour layover in San Fransisco which I must say is a nice airport. I will say that United's seating is absoulty horrible in the coach section!! I mean I had no leg room, the guy in front of me had the back of his chair in my stomach the entire flight! The flight from San Fransisco to Chicago was way better. The seat I had must have been an upgrade. Being in Chicago was kinda funny I hadn't been there in so long, and the last time I was there was leaving after boot camp. I went to the USO there to get some snacks and use my computer (free wireless). The USO in O'hare had a nice renovation. I know the last time I was there (going to bootcamp) it was kinda ran down, but now it's really nice 60" plasma, nice seating a few computers...really nice. Walking in the hallway was the only thing that gave me that eerie feeling of bootcamp again. I left there on a large leer jet. I mean it was the smallest plane I've ever been on, it was like one of those executive flights or something, (another upgrade I think). All of the seating was executive, lots of leg room, leather seats, nice plane. We got to Norfolk pretty quick I couldn't get a good look at it pulling in, because it was so late (around 11p). I got off the plane on the tarmac I might add, kinda felt like Hugh Hefner or something. I got in the terminal which was completly empty, my baggage which was there waiting so I didn't have to wait for the carasoul. I had to catch a cab in order to get on base, I was kinda shocked that they didn't provide transportation (by them I mean Naval Station Norfolk). I got checked in pretty quick to a room. It took me no time to set-up and take a shower, call home and iron my clothes for the next morrning. That said it was still 2am when I went to sleep.

Monday -
Well this processing thing has MEPS/Bootcamp written all over it. I mean all the hurry up and wait, the medical screening....everything! I must say with 6 years of the Navy behind me, it's a little stupid that I'm treated like this is bootcamp. They also changed our orders. I'm now going to Ft. Lewis in Washington. I'm also going to Balad Air Force base in Iraq. I will be in Wa for 60 days, and I will still be away for the same amount of time. So the only thing that changed was training, and my ultimate duty station. I got a brief description of the job we will be doing. It is special operations for prisnoners. Well that's pretty much everything. I will now be posting check me out when your not busy.

stay tuned

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Not again!

Hey all,

Well the last few days not alot has been going on. My mom, and grandma left on Friday (the 14th). That was really hard for mom made me cry on Thursday night, and Friday morning when they left I was so sad or upset, that I threw up after I watched them leave. It was great to have them here. I don't spend enough time with them. It always seems like I'm so far away. I know my mom understands this because when she was my age (well maybe a couple years younger than I am now). She was in the military too, away from her family. It's good to be away, it really lets me be an independent person, lets me put to use all the things she has taught me. I am very thankful for those things, and for being away, as odd as that sounds. Friday night Lindsey and I hung out at the house. We started this show called "Weeds" it's on Cinemax. I don't know what days it comes on, but I definatly recommed if your reading this you find out when it comes on and watch it!

So Sat Lindsey, Christian and I were supposed to go out to Ewa beach and take part in a little BBQ. We didn't make it which kinda sucked, but things were just not going good that day. We had to go to the bank to start a deployment account for me, then we had to go to the commisary to pick up some stuff for Lindsey to bring to the BBQ. Christian didn't get a nap, and he's sick (poor little guy). Lindsey wasn't feeling that great. Needless to say we didn't go, kinda a bummer since we were invited, and it might have been our last chance to hang out with the Sergio's! Maybe during the week. So we sat around here at the house, watched the USC game ( stomping was more like it). Watched some more "Weeds", and had a great dinner made by Lindsey. Later that night we were getting ready to put Christian to bed, when my car alarm went off! I grabbed my bat, and headed outside to see two punk ass kids walking away. My neighbors, were just pulling in, and the people that live in the circle across from us, came toward me and said that the kids were the ones breaking into my car. With the neighbors in tow, I chased the kids to Salt Lake, where they got into their little Civic, and took off. I thought about throwing the bat, but decided agaist it. I got their licencse plate, Lindsey called the cops. When the cops got to the house they were very helpful, when they ran the plate, it turns out that it doesn't match the car. We all assume that they stole the plate, and put on their car so if it got taken down it wouldn't come back to them. This is the third time my Integra has been broken into! They didn't know but there was nothing to steal since I haven't replaced the stereo from the last time someone broke into it right in our driveway!

Well that's been the weekend, we're all just getting ready for me to leave. This is my last week here, come Sat. I'll be on a plane headed for VA. I hope to see Lindsey's cousin Carmen, and her boyfriend Brian when I get there. They live in Deleware, it's a bit of a drive. Brian says that he will come though.

stay tuned

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Past few days

Well the last few days had a few exciting events in them. I didn't blog them because I wanted to consolidate them for a nice meaty blog. So Monday my mom, grandma, Christian and I headed to breakfast at Koa pancake house =)! Everyone enjoyed it so that made me feel good. I had to go to work in the morning (0730) I didn't stay long just for a quick quarters and it was back home. Lindsey was at work, so we decided to do a little sight seeing. We had talked about going to North Shore but due to Lindsey working, and possibly wanting a nap, decided against it. So instead we went to see Lindsey at work for a bit. She seemed to enjoy the break in the monotony. After that I took them (mom and grandma) on a narrated tour of the two bases (Hickam AFB, and Pearl Harbor Naval Station/Shipyard). The picture above is of Freedom Tower (you might remember it from Pearl Harbor the movie).

After the base tours, we headed to the BX (Air Force NEX). Mom picked up a few little souvenirs, and grandma looked for a BBQ grill cover. We were still on base when Lindsey got off work so we picked her up. We all went to Taco Bell for a late lunch (man I'm going to miss the food...have I said that yet)? Lindsey took a nap, and we hung out in the house. Later that night we went out to California Pizza Kitchen. I love that little place, they have some of the best specialty pizza's ever. It's so not like anything else out there. I definitely recommend it to anyone that hasn't gone yet. That was pretty much it as far as Monday went.

So today (Tuesday) we had another relaxing day kinda. Lindsey had the day off work but we had somethings to do, before I left that had to be attended to. We also had an important ultrasound to go to at Trippler. Everything is good so far. Christian went with my mom and grandma to Waikiki to meet up with a friend my mom made here when she was here in May. I guess the lady and her husband were originally from So. Cal, and lived near my mom and dad. They just happened to move here to Oahu! So they all went down to Waikiki, Christian made a couple of friends out there, played in the water with my mom a little. He chased some more birds down, just really had a great time from what I hear. They came back around 4pm. We ate diner at Sam Sneads which is the country club restaurant at the Navy/Marine golf course. Really nice place, with pretty good food (you would really hope so for the prices). Diner was good my mom and I did some reminiscing from when I use to be a little bad ass! haha It's so good to be able to talk about those things with her, we really have a great relationship I'm going to miss that old lady (kidding...but I love you mom)! Lindsey isn't feeling so good right now, she said her throat is sore, lets hope it passes quick and she feels better soon.

That's it guys....stay tuned

Monday, September 10, 2007

Fun in Waikiki

OK so we had breakfast at Denny's I tried again to go to Koa pancake house but no dice, so we will go there for Monday morning's breakfast. Christian was so funny this morning as you can see from the picture on the right. He was so cute eating his jr. Grand Slam. He got introduced to the syrup today, (we never really gave it to him, being that he loved the pancakes without em so we never bothered). It was like a whole new world to him. He intently made sure his pancakes were riped into little pieces and dipped them into his syrup. It was great! My mom and Grandma tried a new drink that they loved, so much in fact that they say we might have to go back just to grab one. Lindsey was at work this morning so she couldn't make it to breakfast. She said she had quite a busy day though. We did miss her though.

So after breakfast we decided to head out and do a little sight seeing. I took everyone to a few of my favourite scenic points that Lindsey and I took her brothers to when they were here for the summer, (I really miss the two boys). We were very lucky that the weather was absolutely beautiful! The water was cobalt blue filled with surfers, and windsurfers, with clear blue skies above! Everyone really liked liked it.

We left so that we could get back on schedule so we headed to the zoo so we could met up with our friend Sherri and her daughters for the hula recital. WOW were we in for a parking fiasco or what...the parking lot at the zoo was packed and we arrived 30 min before the girls were scheduled to be on. After making about a DOZEN circles we got a call from Sherri saying that they asked the girls to go on early. We tried to make it but still no parking. We even had a handicap placard, and still could not get a spot! It was such a let down. We called and left a message for Sherri and told her how sorry we were and that we should still try and met up before my mom and grandma leave.

So what were we to do...improvise of course! That's exactly what we did too, and we had a blast doing it. It really does suck that Lindsey had to miss out on this. So we did a allot of walking! Christian chased some birds around which was fun to watch, then we took a walk along the beach. My mom wanted to take Christian to a finger pier where when she was here in May saw lots of fish. There were a few people out there with bread feeding the fish. They all loved Christian and gave him tons of bread, and we let him throw pieces in the water at the fish. There were lots of fish there, we saw a few Picasso trigger fish (Humu Humu Nuka Nuka a' pa' ou). A medium size school of what a local told us were "bone fish". We also saw a large Unicorn Surgeon fish! Christian really enjoyed feeding the fish which was as much fun to watch!

After that we headed on another little walk to a small aquarium that we saw on the walk to my mom's finger pier. We went there with the intentions of just checking the prices, but saw that it was cheap and my grandma said we should go ahead and go. Well it was GREAT! I am not sure who enjoyed it the most, Christian, my mom or ME!! I am sure most of you know that I have become quite the JR Aquarius. I saw so much, and got to watch Christian enjoy it as well! University of Hawaii did a very good job at putting the aquarium together, they provided lots of static displays, and and interactive listing device so you could learn about each station as you move through it. I really like the jelly fish display (right).

Christian really enjoyed the Trevally, Shark and Jack fish station. He enjoyed it so much in fact that he laid down in front of it for about 15 min. I really wish I would have been thinking, because I would have taken the picture then. Instead I had to re-create it the best I could, but I got it the best I could. (left) He was so cute just in awe at how large the fish in the tank were. It was quite amazing actually. We later moved to the outside station, where Christian was able to hold (underwater of course) a hermit crab. Christian didn't quite grasp the concept of what was in his hand was alive, and not a rock from outside. He tried squeezing the life out of the hermit crabs shell! It was hilarious no marine animals were harmed. We headed back home after that, so we could met up with Lindsey.

We got home hung out around the house and filled Lindsey in on our parking party, and about Christian's fish full day. We ate at one of Lindsey, my mom, and my favourite places here in Hawaii...the Dixie grill! My mom saw her favourite waitress Katie. My grandma had never been there, she said that she did like it, maybe we have another person that will come back for the Dixie experience. After diner we made a couple of stops here and there, headed home and ate the rest of Lindsey's awesome Tiramisu cheesecake.

It was a little frustrating since our plans went awry, however we did make it work. It was a really good day and the change to schedule kinda made it exciting!

stay tuned

Sunday, September 9, 2007

Goin Out

Well this morning, my mom's back is feeling better so we should have a packed day. So my mom was reading Green Eggs and Ham to Christian this morning when I woke up. Christian actually seemed a little more interested than usual. He didn't pay attention the whole time, but she made him attentive for quite sometime. I think he gets that short attention span from me, because I know I can go from thought to thought with out realizing it sometime! Now on a side note this kid I tell you, he still calls me Brian from time to time. It's semi annoying, but at the same time it's so cute when he says it that I can't really get mad. I mean he calls me daddy, or "da" which is small people talk for "dada". If you ask him, "where is daddy"? He will point at me or come over to me and say, "Brian"! I'm going to miss the little rascal so much. He's getting so big and just turning into a little boy right before my eyes. It's so funny because I still remember him being so small, not running around the house tearing it up, not opening doors throughout the house, with Cheech (our dog) in tow to tear up the rooms! I really will miss it.

So quick summary of the plan, (don't worry I'll give you more detail later). We are going out for breakfast, looks like it will be Denny's although I would have liked to go to Koa pancake house. I think my Grandma is pretty set on it. It's good though, I can always go for some Moons over my Hammy, with a side of pancakes. Have I said how much I'm going to miss eating cooked food, not water activated dehydrated food?! After breakfast I'm not sure whats going on, but I know that we are going to see Sherri's daughter (not my mom Sherri a friend of the family...we went to dinner with them last night). Sherri's daughter is have a hula recital (I don't know if they call them recitals). It's at the zoo this afternoon, and we said we would go as long as my mom's back was better. Christian loves the zoo so it should be fun. Well I will be back with the days events later.

stay tunned

Just the start

Hey all, I have decided that blogging is going to be my best means of communicating with everyone while I'm gone. At this point I'm sure that everyone knows that I'm leaving soon to go to the desert! Although I'm not excited about leaving my newly pregnant wife, and having to leave my son for a whole year. I'm started to cope with the fact that I can't really do anything about it. What was once anger and frustration, has turned into anticipation for the inevitable!

So I'm starting this blog thing now it's a couple of weeks before I leave to Norfolk, VA my first stop. I just got my itinerary, which has me leaving on Sep 22 at 9:15pm (as a side note, I will be doing my best to make sure my time is in a standard method not military time...if I should slip up, well you'll figure out the time)! Anyway...I leave Honolulu at 9:15pm and fly for 5 hours to San Fransisco, then have a one hour layover. From there I go to Ohare airport (Chicago) for another one hour layover, from there I will arrive in Norfolk about two hours later! It will be quite the exhausting day...with lots of blog post I'm sure!

While I'm on this blog's funny to me that I'm doing this. I remember when I first got my Myspace page : I said that I will never blog that's so gay! Ha look at me now...but I think these are different circumstances wouldn't you say?

So my parents got here yesterday: 7 September, they got settled in today, we did a little running around. My mom loves Zippy's so we went there for breakfast, and then to the fabric store. My Grandma didn't get a chance to really get around last time she was here, because of her cruise and all. So we went to the NEX and let her get around and check it out. Later in the evening we drove to Miliani to meet with some family friends for diner at Ruby Tuesday's. The food there is so good. I'm going to miss all the great foods the states have to offer! Damn this is going to be hard, I've been eating good (with the exception of being on the ship) and now I'm going to switch to MRE's!

Well I look forward to posting more so please check my blogs when your on the net, keep my family and I in your thoughts.