Tag Archives: Guam

Cleaning House

I wrapped up our Experiences in Guam posts yesterday and have them all posted to that page now.  Soon I will start on our Experiences in Paris.  Since I don’t have copies of e-mails from that tour, I will have to wrack my brain before I can post anything.  Thankfully, it was our most recent move, so hopefully my brain won’t let me down too much.  I’m thinking about posting some pictures from our many adventures as well when I get the chance. 

My husband went to Florida yesterday to get our (temporary) new house ready for when we move in June…31 days ’til pack-out…  He’ll be gone for 2 weeks; he’s also got a military conference in Jacksonville he’s got to attend and a couple of job interviews.  While he’s working down there, I am planning a total clean-up and purging of our house here.  It is amazing how much stuff can accumulate in less than 2 years!  If the computer or I get buried in the process of cleaning and I can’t update my blog anytime soon, click on the tabs above if you missed reading about our first 2 overseas adventures in Japan and Guam.  When you’re done with that, click here for my other blog www.sorose.blogspot.com.  After that, I guess you’re on your own.  Have a great weekend!

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Orders From Guam

Continued from my previous post Welcome to Guam:  2002 (part 13).

“9/20/04: PARIS  !  !  !  YAHOO  !  !  !  (from G8r)”

” 9/20/04  (e-mail sent to G8r less than an hour prior from the person who coordinated his next orders):  RE:  French Foreign Service College  G8r, You are a “GO” for French War College February 2006.  DLI (Defense Language Institute – the military’s foreign language school in Monterey, CA) commences June/July 2005.  Need to absolutely confirm with you that these dates work with your situation/command?  Please confirm.  Thanks…Helo Shore Detailer”

These were the last copies of e-mails that I have in our notebook of Guam memories.  My husband returned from Iraq in January 2005, and we all left Guam in May to begin yet another adventure…on the other side of the globe.

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More on Storms, Sports, and School in Guam

Continued from my previous post Welcome to Guam:2002 (part 12).

“8/21/04 (e-mails from me to family back home in the US):  We’ve got a typhoon headed our way.  We have everything brought inside, shutters closed, and we’re hunkered down, yet once again.  The kids are all excited, but I am just dreading it.  I keep hoping that it will go north, but we’re gonna get something.  We’re enjoying the Olympics, when it comes on.  We get some live and some replays.  I’ve got laundry to do before electricity and water go out.  Love, SR”

8/24/04:  We were prleasantly surprised to be without power less than 24 hours this time.  The kids were happy to miss a day of school and reluctantly went back today with wind and rain.  Hopefully that will be gone soon.  Our yard is a mess, but nothing is broken so far.  Some of the island is still without power and water.  G8r is really busy working 14 hours a day, doing “cool” stuff.  He also moves around a lot.  Last week he was in a tent, this week he says he got lucky and is in a trailer with a bed.  He said the cots in the tents are hard on his shoulder (where he broke his collar bone…about 6 months earlier he had broken his collar bone and punctured his lung in a bike racing accident).  But next week he moves yet again to another tent.  He’s been there (Iraq) a month now, so 5 more to go.  Love you all, SR”

“9/15/04  Subject: Ivan (this was written during the time period when the 4 hurricanes – Charley, Frances, Ivan and Jeanne – hit Florida ) Well, it looks like we escaped this one.  Unfortunately it is going to make landfall (if it turns more to the north – which is what the forecasters expect it to do) in about 36 hours at Pensacola.  It still has a nw path, and we are hoping that it goes on to Texas.  It has gotten weaker but is still a category 3, and that may change again also.  It can go up or down.  After it is all over if we need to go to Pensacola and check on your house, we can.  Everyone from Key West up on the west coast of Florida was very concerned, but Ivan kept on a nw course.  Really tore up Jamaica.  New Orleans is bracing, and if it makes landfall there they expect flooding up to about 20 feet.  That will put the entire city under water.  It has been quite a summer.  More later and love to all, Milly, Mama, Grandma”

“9/15/04:  RE:  Ivan  We’ve been watching on tv here; they seem to have much more coverage on your storms than on ours.  Thankfully we don’t have any right now.   The kids are all having fun playing flag football.  Mr DL’s position is quarterback mainly, and he loves it when his passes are caught; when they aren’t he gets frustrated.  Jay is playing several positions, qb, receiver, and seems to like them all.  Lulu is playing center; she gets to hike the ball.  I think she likes it, but I think she would also like to receive some too.  They’ve only played a couple games each, so there’s still more season to play.  They are all 3 in scouts again – liking it very much.  I got Jay pushed up to pre-algebra at school as I found out a few other 7th graders had been this year.  He is making an A+ so far this year, so I requested he be pushed ahead also.  He started that class today; I may need to help catch him up; we’ll see how it goes.  I am also campaigning for him to be in the gifted program.  If I had not actually gone up to the school several times so far this year to talk to the counselor, he wouldn’t even be considered.  I just don’t get it.  He was 1 of only 2 straight A students last year, and he was voted by all his teachers to be the male student of the year.  Now if that doesn’t say a lot there, why do I need to go up there and beg for him to be tested?  I’ve got chores to do, so better be off.  Love, SR”

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From Guam to Baghdad

Continued from my earlier post Welcome to Guam:  2002 (part 11).  While we were stationed in Guam, my husband got a free ticket to Iraq.  This was one of his first e-mails after arriving telling about the first of  the many places he lived and worked while there.

“8/1/04:  Home, This is a less than good place to live, but it is exciting.  I am getting more comfortable with living in an oven after stumbling around yesterday and the day before.  I tell you, walking around in this uniform in 115 degree heat while jet-lagging is an experience that I hope to never forget and never repeat.  The crazy thing is that the office that I work in is this spectacular Palace in the middle of a lake.  They keep the place so cold that many people have to wear their winter jackets and black knit covers to not freeze to death.  Some people even sleep by their desks in the palace.  Our encampment is not in the green zone as I had previously thought.  I am located at Camp Victory South.  It seemed huge the first day, but that was because I walked in circles to get places.  The dufus at billeting ripped the map off of my packet, so I wound up seeing this place three or four times more than I should have.  I am going to try to call you guys later; the phone center is on the other side of the encampment from the computer center.  Right now I do not have any computer access at the Palace because they are still processing my clearance.  Temperatures are unbelievable and should stay this way through September or October when the rains come in.  Someone told me yesterday that it really pours here, but he has never been to Guam.  I think I can handle it.  The mud may be a bit of a pain, but I look forward to the change of seasons.  Operations run pretty much 24/7 around here, so life moves quickly.  I haven’t officially started yet but should meet with my boss tomorrow to get rolling.  Until them I am getting my living situation set up.  Nine of us live in a tent surrounded by sand bags.  I have tons of room and am busy getting everything in order.  I got some cool red LED lights for creeping around in the morning.  I am all set.  More later, G8r”

Here’s another interesting one:

“8/8/04:  Yesterday I got to go to the Green Zone to brief two Major Generals.  We got all suited up in our Kevlar helmets and flak jackets and stood out in the heat to wait for our rides.  I expected to get HUMVEEs, but two Ford Explorers drove up and we loaded in.  It was weird.  We locked and loaded and drove to the green zone at Mach 5 blowing through local traffic, M-16s sticking out of the windows and our pistols in our laps.  I wonder what that looks like to the locals.  Baghdad is hot and miserable but so completely different that it was neat to see.  When I got to the green zone and Saddam’s big palace, it was truly awesome,  and I was envious of the people there.  We work 7 days a week, 14 hours a day, so to see those guys in the pool, playing music and barbequeing was strange.  I stood there in my flak jacket, drank my water and enjoyed the music while I watched a bunch of overweight tan foreigners walk around in bikini swimsuits and drinking beer.  Surreal…  G8r”

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Sports in Guam

Continued from my earlier post Welcome to Guam:  2002 (part 10).

“8/15/03:  We just got back from flag football skills assessment.  I found out from the director that he got a lot of “complaints” last year about my kids:  that they are TOO big!  Mr DL was probably the youngest player out there last year (he’s in the 5-7 year old group).  But his skill level is 5-7 year old.  So…it was funny to hear that.  I just think all the other kids are too small :).  (my kids were never on the growth charts, height or weight, when they were younger – they were always well over 100%.  Right now, my 16 year old son is 6’3″, my 14 year old daughter is 5’10”, and my 12 year old son is 5″9″, and they are all still growing!)  I went to a spinning class at the gym yesterday for the first time.  It is bike-riding on a stationary bike – with music and some additional aerobic activities put in with it.  My legs are spaghetti today (really sore spaghetti).  I thought since I run that I wouldn’t be this sore, but Oh My!!  The instructor is another wife in the squadron, and she is in sickeningly great shape.  She does the class everyday, but the MWF classes are the only that are during school hours, so I might start going to those.  If I don’t die this weekend first.  SR”

“2/26/04:  Dear Home, Mr DL had his first ever baseball game today, and he was so excited.  It was a blast to watch him play because he was so into it.  He wore his uniform all day  He made the only put-out in the game (scooping up a grounder and throwing the runner out at first and hit three triples which in all reality were home runs that the third base coach stopped).  It was a good time.  Today I was asked to go to Hong Kong with the Guam Rugby Club to another tournament.  I am still hurting from the last three games, but I see this as a once in a lifetime opportunity.  I will be able to say that I played rugby (although not well) at the international level.  Plus it gets me out of the office for a week into a cooler climate.  I am excited but am stocking up on Motrin and buying much needed pads and a helmet.  Hope all is well, G8r”

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Before Heading Back to Guam

Continued from my earlier post Welcome to Guam:  2002 (part 9).

“7/11/03 (e-mail to G8r from his mother):  Mr DL is so funny.  He has made a tie rack for your daddy for his birthday.  He is so proud of it.  He has it in a box and keeps moving it around the house so your daddy will not find it, and then he asks your daddy if he is going to go in the particular room that he has it hidden in.  He left the box in the family room the other day, and he saw your daddy walk in the room.  He saw the box and sauntered over to it so as not to attract attention to himselft, closed it, and started whistling and looking around the room as he carried it out and into another room.  It was hilarious.  SR and I saw him and tried not to laugh.  He did not know that we saw him.  He is dying to tell your daddy about it.  He may last until Monday!!!!  Love you, Mama”

Mr DL (our youngest) was 6 at this time.

“7/11/03:  That is so funny, but it is Mr DL.  He is such a neat kid.  I wish I were there to see him.  I know that they are having a wonderful time in Florida.  I wish that they could stay longer.  This last month has been challenging but the det as a whole is very strong and I like to think that I have done things right.  It was nice talking to you on the phone today.  Love, G8r”

“7/14/03:  We finally got to go fishing on Saturday.  It started out very nice and cool.  We left the house at 6:30 am and arrived at the marina around 8:00.  We started out at “Spotty Bottom” and caught fish immediately (shark and catfish).  The action was furious then your daddy looked south and saw a (big!) water spout on the horizon.  We could not tell which direction it was moving but later figured that we were about 5 miles north of it and it was moving NNW.  We dashed back to the river and stayed there for about an hour then went to the restaurant for lunch.  After lunch it was clear, so we went back out.   All of the kids got to drive the boat and they really enjoyed that.  We caught more sharks, stingrays, and one sailor’s choice (which we all tasted for lunch the next day).  All in all a very successful day.  Today we are baking a cake for your daddy’s birthday.  Love you, Mama”

“7/16/03:  Well, we just got home from the airport.  Man it is quiet around here!  They took off at 7:45 am and will be in California around 3 pm EDT.  I hope they got to do all the things that they wanted to do.  I know we certainly enjoyed the time they were here.  One last thing we did before they left:  We loaded the dogs in the back of the truck and let Jay drive around to the peanut field.  He was grinning from ear to ear when your daddy handed him the keys.  More later.  Love you, Mama       P.S. He also got to drive a tractor with James riding along.  I know he enjoyed that also.”

Jay had turned 13 just before we arrived in Florida.

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Det from Guam Makes Sea Rescue

Continued from my earlier post Welcome to Guam:  2002 (part 8).  My husband spent a lot of our almost 3 years in Guam deployed.  A lot of what he did was not in the news, but here’s one time when it was international news. 

“6/25/03:  SR, Yesterday we became famous.  I am incredibly happy for the det.  This was the biggest at-sea rescue in the history of HC-5 (his squadron at the time).  I have attached the article.  Love, G8r.

Coalition Saves 27 Mariners in Arabian Sea

Bahrain — Twenty-seven crew members of a sinking Egytian-flagged cargo vessel were saved approximately 350 miles off the coast of Oman June 24 by the U.S. and British navies.  The 24-year-old general cargo ship, Green Glory, reportedly struggled with an engine fire at approximately 5 p.m. the evening of June 23.  Heavy seas in the area caused Green Glory to take on water, and a “mayday” call went out at approximately 5:54 p.m.  The Royal Navy’s auxiliary ship, RFA Sir Tristram, was the closest coalition ship to the stricken vessel and provided assistance throughout the night.  Although Green Glory was able to restart its engines in the middle of the night, the vessel was still dead-in-the-water and continued to flounder.  The U.S. Navy’s 5th Fleet, headquartered here, directed USNS Concord (the ship my husband was on at the time), a U.S. supply ship, and a P-3 Orion maritime reconnaissance patrol aircraft to provide additional assistance in the rescue effort.  By 9 a.m. June 24, an MH-60 utility helicopter (the helicopter my husband flies; it’s like an Army Blackhawk) from Concord deployed two rescuers aboard Green Glory to assist in abandon ship efforts, and help deploy their life boats.  Within an hour, the helicopter began to pluck sailors from the Green Glory’s lifeboats and bring them aboard the RFA Sir Tristram, where they were medically evaluated, fed and clothed.  All of Green Glory’s 27 crewmen were airlifted to the RFA Sir Tristram by approximately 2 p.m.  Green Glory’s decks were awash, and the vessel was taking heavy rolls, as the last of the crew members were rescued.”

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