Tag Archives: military

Comings and Goings

We start packing out in 12 days; that’s less than 2 weeks.  Yesterday we loaded up our Sequoia because my husband needed to go back down to Florida to do the final walk-through inspection on our new house.  Water and electricity should be up and running before the weekend is over.  He’s also put in an application for a job, so he wanted to be there in person to check on that.  There are things the moving company will not pack and things we don’t want them to pack – too many broken or missing items in previous moves – so he took some of that down with him. 

So, another week alone with the kids.  They are not out of school til next Thursday, so I still have my days to myself to get ready for the move.  I’m also trying to keep a regular routine going with working out, blogging, etc., but I know that some of that will have to be put on a back burner for a couple of weeks while we are packing, cleaning, travelling, and unpacking.

The kids keep going back and forth on their feelings about moving.  In general, they are excited.  We are going to be closer to lots of family.  We aren’t going to move again (well, except down the street when our final house is built).  We’ll be in Florida, where they were all 3 born and my husband and I were raised.  They can go watch the UF Gators sports teams live just about anytime they want to. 

Last night, however, our oldest son started to back-track and say he isn’t looking forward to the move as much.  I think some of that has to do with his girl friend of a year and a half.  She is the first person he’s ever gone out with, and they’ve had each other’s friendship for the past 2 school years.  I can understand his feelings.  Our daughter and youngest son have made a few good friends but no best friends.  They are used to leaving friends behind and stay in touch with several through e-mail and Facebook now.  As with all of our moves, we try to make it as easy a transition as we can.  I know as they are getting older, that it is getting harder, though.  I am glad that this will be our last military move.  We really have been lucky to have been stationed in so many great places.  The things we’ve seen and experienced most people wish for.  But now it’s our time to pass the torch.  My husband officially retired Monday morning at 12:01 am.  We just happened to be up watching the women’s college softball world series, so I was able to congratulate him and give him a little retirement gift. 

I wasn’t there when he joined the military 27 years ago yesterday.  He served in the Army Reserves for 7 1/2 years during high school and college.  After graduating, he decided he wanted to fly for the military, and the Navy recruited him.  Lucky for me, the Army didn’t have any slots for commissioned aviator officers at the time, and he went to Pensacola for Navy flight school.  We met about a month after he arrived, and here we are today, 19 years later, with 3 wonderful children.  I am so proud of my husband;  of his 44 years, 27 1/2 have been serving his country.  He was also an Army brat his first 12, so most of his life all he’s known is the military.  Here’s to his (and our family’s) smooth adjustment to civilian life – or maybe I should be saying, “Watch out everyone; here we come!”

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Space-A’ing From Guam

Continued from my earlier post Welcome Home:  Guam 2002 (part 6).  Space-A means “Space Avaiable” for flights that military planes take between bases.  They are free to military, families, and retirees when there is space available after military personnel and gear are on a plane.  Sometimes the space is jump seats in a C-130.  These were the best for my kids when they were young because the noise  from the plane drowned out any noise my kids made, and the crew loved taking  kids around showing them the cockpit, etc.  Things you sometimes have to have for these flights are a lot of time and patience.

“6/12/03:  Well, we have had a day of it here in the Pacific.  We are still on our little island of Guam.  The flight that we wanted to get on ended up being for duty personnel only – after we sat in the terminal for 2 hours.  Oh well.  I think there is another flight we will try to get on in the morning.  They couldn’t tell me this afternoon how many, if any, seats there will be on that one.  So, we shall see.  I started the day at 6:30 when my alarm went off.  A pilot from the squadron was going to stop by the house on his way to work to pick up something and ended up not coming because he got called in at 3:30 a.m. for a search and rescue flight.  Anyway, I woke up to the sound of “drip, drip, drip” also.  I thought a faucet was left on.  I got up and my feet went “squish, squish, squish.”  The toilet in the hall bathroom got backed up last night sometime, and the flap did not lay back down like it should, so our hallway and about  2 feet into each of our bedrooms was in about an inch of water.  I went to the BX on base here to get a shop vac and they were out.  I was running around getting things from outside inside (getting ready for our trip) and then also had to go to KMart to get a wet/dry vac – at least they had one – and a cool one at that.  It has a neat blower that disconnects from the top also.  Anyway, we barely made it to the terminal to check in, but then we ended up not going.  So, we are on our way to bed and hopefully will be on our way out tomorrow.  Love ya, SR, Jay, Lulu, and Mr DL”

“6/13/03:  Travel Diary, June 13 (Friday, the 13th!)  G8r, I just got off the phone with your mom and told her we are trying for another flight this afternoon going to McChord AFB (Tacoma), Washington.  There are 10 seats…  I think there are a few more flights this weekend going a variety of other places, Wicita, KS, Trenton, NJ, Yuma, AZ, and Travis (San Fran).  Hopefully the next e-mail will be from Florida! ~SR”

“6/13/03:  (To G8r) SR just called.  They are scheduled to leave Guam in about 1.5 hours and fly to McChord AFB.  They should arrive there late tonight.  She will probably come here via Southwest Airlines.  We are looking for them to be here sometime late on the 14th.  Mama”

“6/13/03:  I am sure the kids will be happy to get back to Florida.  It gives me a sense of ease to know that they are back there.  It will be good for the kids to be around you and Daddy.  Sometimes they drive SR nuts.  Growing up with two sisters, she still isn’t used to the dumb things boys do.  Just tell her some of the dumb stuff R (my husband G8r’s brother) and I did.  It was neat to talk to you from the beach in Fujarah.  Give the kids a hug for me.  Love, G8r”

Another thing about space-a flights, they may not take you to your final destination.  We were trying to get to Florida from Guam, but we only got as far as Washington state.  So once we arrived, I was on the phone making reservations with a commercial airline to get us the rest of the way there.

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Deploying From Guam

Continued from my earlier post Welcome Home:  Guam 2002 (part 3).  My mil helped us a lot when we lived overseas with things back in the States.  One thing was the houses that we own and rent out in Florida. 

“4/5/03:  I told the mason that the house belonged to you all and that I was taking care of the repairs because G8r was in the Navy and stationed in Guam.  When I called to get an address to mail the check to, he told me just to send $50 instead of the original $75 because he was a veteran and it was the least he could do for someone serving.  ~Milly”

“4/15/06:  You can tell him that I am going to the Persian Gulf in a few weeks.  It looks like I will be gone for 6 months.  It is not what I had hoped for when I came here.  I had hoped for a whole bunch of 1 to 2 month out and ins.  Don’t worry about me being anywhere near the hostilities.  You saw Mr. Roberts.  We just move supplies although we might get to fly into Kuwait.  The kids are excited about coming home to visit this summer. ~G8r”

We have been blessed with so much kindness, especially when others find out that my husband is in the military.  I am so proud of him and for the sacrifices he and others like him have made for our country.  I am also very thankful that his time is almost up and that he can spend more time with his family now.

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Journey Around the World

When I started this blog 8 months ago it was the first day of school for my kids.  At the time I wished I had started blogging sooner.  You see, our family has been travelling around the world for the past 17 years.  I met my husband 19 years ago this month.  He was on his first liberty from Aviation Officer Candidate School in Pensacola, Florida.  I was working my way through college at the time.  Twenty months later, we were married and he was wrapping up his flight training there. 

Since then we have lived on each coast of the US and on 3 different continents and have travelled to over 20 countries.  In 1 month, he retires from the Navy after serving 7 1/2 years in the Army Reserves and 19+ in the Navy.  My kids know nothing else, and we are excited and nervous at the same time to leave the military life.  We are moving to a city with a population of just over 500.  A lot of my husband’s family lives there.  He moved back to the town when he was 12 (the same age as our youngest son).  His father was in the Army as well, so he has been connected to the military most of his life.  We have visited there many times for holidays and summer vacations, so the kids and I have gotten to know the area pretty well.

I have enjoyed our journeys around our world.  Tomorrow I will continue my reminiscing by sharing our experiences in Guam.

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The Little Things in Life…in Japan

Continued from my earlier post Our First Overseas Adventure:  Japan 2000 (part 9).

“4/1/01  Hello, Home, I hope all is well with you guys.  Things here are great…mostly because we pull in tomorrow.  A friend of mine, Aki (who grew up in Japan and speaks perfect Japanese and English) and I took my fencing gear and crept out onto the flight deck early this morning.  It was cool and breezy and the sun was just coming up.  Although we were right in front of the bridge, no one on the bridge could see us put our gear on because we were seven levels below behind the bukhead.  After we were all set ,we walked right out onto the bow.  Not a soul was out on the flight deck except for one lone jogger.  It was fun.  Aki (which means Autumn in Japanese) took fencing in high school so we looked like we knew what we were doing.  We battled back and forth for about 30 minutes before we walked off.  I can now say that I have swashbuckled on the bow of a US Navy warship in the Pacific on April Fool’s Day.  I guess it’s the little things in life that make it fun.  G8r”

“4/5/01  Milly, G8r got home Monday.  It is so great with him home; the kids are all over him.  But it will go by so quickly, and he’ll be gone again the 23rd until mid June.  The kids have spring break starting today, and we are going to take a road trip up to Hiroshima next week for a couple of days.  There is a Marine Air Station close by we are going to stay at.  I was talking to the kids last night about a book I am reading.  It’s about a single mom and her high school son who is doing very well, plays sports, has good grades, and wants to go to college on a scholarship.  I was telling them that he wants to be an engineer.  Jay started asking questions about what an engineer is and as I told him, I said that Granddad is an engineer.  So, to come to the point, I told him when we visit you next to ask Granddad if he would take him to work one day.  So if that happens, I just wanted to let you know what prompted it.  I was thinking that Granddad would love it if Jay asked him to do that.  SR”

Jay still wants to be an engineer, chemical is what he’s saying now.  I see lots of math and science in our future.

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Life on the Ship (while stationed in Japan)

Continued from my earlier post Our First Overseas Adventure:  Japan 2000 (part 7). 

“10/26/00  (e-mail from G8r to his parents) Hi!  I talk about you as much as I talk about the kids.  People here probably think I am a nut.  I walk around telling them that my mom just soloed (she had just learned how to fly an airplane).  They think it’s awesome.  Right now it is 23:19 and I have been in HDC (Helicopter Direction Center) since 10:00 this morning.  I went to my room for about 45 minutes and slept but we had an emergency medivac and had to go back to flight quarters.  Some poor SEAL fell 20 feet to the deck of one of our ships and is in pretty serious condition.  They are saying that he has a 50% chance to survive.  I coordinated the medivac with a Korean Warrant Officer that is my running partner.  He will be with us until Okinawa (about 2 more weeks).  It’s lucky that we had him on board because he was able to talk to the Pohang Hospital and get this guy a neurosurgeon.  I hope he lives.  Another amazing thing happened tonight.  When I went into my room to snooze for a while, I turned on the TV and the satellite DTS (Data Transfer System) was working.  I turned the volume up and the news was on.  They were doing a segment on fire prevention.  Who do you think I saw on the TV as I sat in my state room off the coast of Korea?  I saw my son – Jay – sitting on a gymnasium floor watching a fireman test a fire alarm.  Then the camera cut to Jay crawling up to a door to check if it was hot or not.  I was so excited.  Well, I’ve go to go.  Good luck flying.  Love, G8r”

“10/29/00  Hello, Home!  It seems like you are really having fun.  Now you know why Daddy and I are always sitting around talking about flying!  (My fil was an Army pilot during the Vietnam War.)  It’s a blast, isn’t it?  Be careful though.  The times when you are having the most fun are the times when you change your routine.  Establish a routine for everything you do and don’t deviate.  Sorry to be so paranoid, but…be careful.  I guess I don’t need to say that though; hopefully Daddy has instilled his sense of safety into your flying.  I talked with SR last night about their baseball tournament this weekend and apparently Jay and the kids had a great time.  Everywhere they go they are like movie stars.  Mr DL and Lulu love playing with the Japanese kids and it sounds like Jay had made a lot of good friends with kids on the other teams.  Hopefully he will get better in baseball but that’s not really that important in the grand scheme of things.  He will have a really neat experience that he can talk about for the rest of his life.  I remember wrestling as one of the highlights of my childhood.  It was very demanding and required a lot of discipline but that just made it that much more special.  I think Jay likes the intensity of the games but practice can be boring.  I am asking SR to take as many pictures as she can.  I hope she will send you and me some nice shots.  Right now now it is 6:00 in the morning and we are at flight quarters.  It is slow right now so I am going to go get some breakfast.  Good luck, and be safe.  Love, G8r”

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Traveling Around Japan

Continued from my earlier post Our First Overseas Adventure:  Japan 2000 (part 5). 

“7/26/00  (to Milly) We are starting to plan our vacation for the first 3 weeks of August.  There is a big festival every year in Sasebo – American Festival – that is the first weekend, so we will be here for that.  Then we are planning to go to Miyazaki on the coast of Kyushu.  It sounds like a big resort area; it was used for part of the G-8 summit meetings.  We are going to the ‘biggest indoor water park’ in the world there called Ocean Dome.  It should be a lot of fun.  SR”

“8/21/00  (To Milly) G8r should be on his way home from Okinawa now.  Did he tell you that we were going to try to meet him there this past weekend?  We flew out of Fukuoka on Thursday to another base north of here (near Tokyo) to get to Okinawa.  We ended up staying there the whole time and couldn’t get a (military space available) flight down to him.  All the flights were always crowded with higher priority people/families.  At least the base was a lot bigger than this one – I got to do a little shopping for things we don’t have here, and I got to eat at Taco Bell!!!!  We got back yesterday, and now we are just sitting around waiting for G8r to arrive.  The kids start school next Monday – this summer just flew by.  I think Lulu is a little more excited than Jay.  He’s saying that his teachers yell at everyone and that’s why he doesn’t want to go back.  He’s gotten past the innocent age, and it kind of saddens me.  I guess just on to bigger and better things though.  SR”

It probably seems ridiculous that I got excited just to go to Taco Bell on that trip to the Tokyo base.  As much as I like Taco Bell, it wasn’t about the restaurant itself.  It was more that it was something that made me feel closer to home in a foreign place.

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