Tag Archives: Navy

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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Letters from the Middle East to Florida and Guam

Continued from my earlier post Welcome Home:  Guam 2002 (part 5).  More e-mails from my husband to home while deployed.

“5/11/03:  Hello home, On Wednesday I complete my circumnavigation of the Earth.  It is kind of neat to be able to say that, but I think I would rather be home.  Today I received an e-mail from the detailer discussing options for my next tour.  I want to come home to Florida, but some of these options are fantastic.  War College in Paris, Sidney, Toronto, England, or Tokyo.  My DLI scores are such that I can pick where to go.  It is just a matter of whether my timing will work out or not.  After that tour I would have one more before I retire. ~G8r”

“6/10/03:  I enjoyed talking with you from Bahrain.  It wasn’t the greatest port, but I started to enjoy it after a while.  Just like every other place I have traveled, the people are extremely friendly if you know a few words of the language, and the Arabs are just like everybody else.  I researched a little bit about the culture and have studied some of the language and it has paid off.  I started talking to this cab driver there.  He wore a thobe (yes, spelled correctly – long white shirt/dress) and the Arab headgear.  He was just making small talk about where to take us in the cab when I read the prayer card he had hanging from his rear view mirror.  It turns out that I had just reviewed a chapter which discussed that exact prayer and being able to read it in Arabic impressed him.  From there he started to talk about the shiites (he pronounced it ‘Shia’ without the T) and the Sunnis.  He told us about which mosques to go to and who to talk to…who liked Americans and who didn’t.  It was amazing (although we were told not to get into any political or religious discussions with ANYBODY).  He even played some Islamic prayer music for us which was really cool.  We are now back at sea and I am happy to be flying again.  The instructor experience is paying off with some of the younger pilots.  I find that many of the same techniques work when trying to show these guys how to fly VERTREP.  We are trying to set up to fly a mission into one of the local countries where we fly people (locals) into the mountains and drop them off to fix the lights on towers.  If we can make it happen we should get some spectacular flying.  The locals will put us up in a hotel, and when we aren’t working we can check out the town. ~G8r”

My husband (G8r) is a Naval helicopter pilot.  During this cruise, he was in charge of 2 helicopters and a group of officer pilots and enlisted personnel attached to a ship that travelled to the Middle East.   Their helicopter’s mission is to deliver supplies, food, people, etc. (VERTREP = Vertical Replenishment).  When he speaks of “the instructor experience,” he was a helicopter instructor 2 tours before this.  On these cruises, the pilots continue to learn the “”real life” aspects of what they learn in flight training and he, as the Officer In Charge, is their teacher.

One last one…

“6/12/03:  I remember working in Florida during the summer.  Until now, I thought that those termperatures and conditions were amazingly hot and humid.  Don’t get me wrong, they were, but…it is 9:41 a.m. here as we pull into Fujarah, United Arab Emirites.  The temperature is 98 deg. and the humidity is 89%.  I just checked the internet to get this information.  I would send some pictures, but he haze is amazingly thick.  Maybe I will just take a picture of the haze so you can see it.  Unfortunately, we can’t leave the pier here.  What they do is make my guys stand Entry Control Point Duty to make them stay near the pier.  My guys don’t know anything about security duty (it wasn’t their job).  What they have here is called beer on the pier.  You walk off the boat, drink a beer, and get back on the boat.  I think I would rather pour the beer on my head to cool off.  What a great way to see the world.  I think we should resupply in a place where the port is a little more friendly.  I am allowed to discuss the port we are in once we pull in, so this is not considered ‘privileged’ information.  I understand SR and the kids may be on a plane right now going back to the States.  I hope they have a good trip.  I am sure that they are going to enjoy seeing you guys. ~G8r”

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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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