Sunday, August 31, 2008

What do I miss?

Well, it is time to see what I can bore you to death with this week. Mom asked us what we have to eat, what we miss, and other things about in this part of the world. Well, I am not sure where to begin. I can really go on forever with the list of things I miss, have, and don't have. But first.....

First of all you will see a list on left side down the side bar. There are few links to sites that a direct link to our page here. We are returning the courtesy to them by linking to their pages. I encourage you to please take at them as well as ours.

It is getting to the time of the deployment where there are several people going on leave and that is leaving gaps in our schedule in my section guessed it, I am changing shifts again. One of the Specialists is leaving on Tuesday to head home on R&R to get that well deserved rest, we have a our new Yeoman (Navy personnel that are in administrative like I am) is in and the old one is out. I am not going to elaborate on that, but those of you that know, know it is...well...uh...we are glad to see a new face. When one leaves that means are closer to home. So we are happy to see them go. Back to the schedule...I am going to work 1300-0100 (1pm-1am), which is 430am-430pm est. I am pretty excited because it will be easier to talk to Tessa (aka Freedom), Courtney and family. Plus I can do physical training on my own more and make more improvements. Speaking of which...

I am still trying to loose that last little bit of weight. I am going to gym everyday religiously on top of morning PT. I am using my lunch time to go to the gym and I use my entire hour to work myself as hard as I can. To help with my eating, I am going to the Dining Facility (DFAC, remember this for later) and getting enough stuff to make 3-4 turkey sandwiches and that is all I eat all day. I was doing GREAT on net eating sweets and junk until I ASKED for Vault, which I got of from Tessa and my parents; and until I asked for pecan pinwheels and got more than I could ever imagined. I am trying to get eaten and gone so I get back to not eating sweets and maybe look that much better for Tessa and everyone when I get home in Oct. Plus I have to look good for the ten year reunion. I am not going to miraculous changes in less than a month, but I know I make a little difference in my appearance. I am pretty excited and plan on continuing this after I get back here and after I am home next year...

That brings up another point to make. I found out that the CJTF-101 RIP/TOA (Relief in Place/ and I do not know what TOA stands for) with the 82nd Airborne is going to be a lot sooner that we were originally told. That means I might actually make it home for Courtney's 5th birthday. I am pretty excited about that. SSG Cundiff went to a briefing this past week and found out the flight dates and how many per flight. They are wanting names for the flights by the first of Oct if I remember correctly. That means I might know in Oct when I am scheduled to come home for good. We all know the army changes things a thousand times before it is actually done, but atleast it will be close to the date. Tessa is pretty excited, as am I and others will be when they read this.

I have been helping with awards for Iraq here recently. Jeremy has called with several questions about awards because I am easier to call and get answers from. I love the fact that I am helping another unit that is not even here. It really brings a smile to my face and makes me happy. Hopefully I am helping Jeremy get the Free Beer Badge, aka Combat Action Badge, and other higher awards for the great things he is doing over there. I am even doing some proofreading for him and giving him ideas on how to write some up. I am glad that I learned something that I can help him with. I used to call him all the time with medical questions, and now he is calling me for help. It really feels good to be there for him. I ramble about Tessa now or later...or do I just remind everyone how happy I am and excited about the future. Most know that I am proposing Oct and now possibly getting married and then having a big ceremony when I get home. I talked to Christina the other day and found out she is doing really good and is really happy, although she would not tell me why, I am happy for her and hope it all works out for her as great as it is for me. That was long runon sentence. Hope no English teachers read that one. I hope that Christina finds someone that can put up with her and actually make her happy. I know I could not and I tried pretty hard. know what...I am making someone VERY happy and she is making me VERY happy. She is willing to go anywhere the Army sends me and will support me and be there any time I am deployed in the future. Not sure if I mentioned it before, but I think I am reenlisting to stay at Fort Campbell. I am very seriously thinking about asking to transfer to one of the Aviation Brigades at Fort Campbell. For one, the deployments will be a little shorter and I like the leadership there. I work closely with quite a few of them, and hopefully it will open more windows to a reclass so I can stop being a desk clerk. I am over the administrative work and look forward to learning something new soon. I have also been thinking trying to see other parts of the world too, but I do not want to be far away from Courtney after all the effort and money I have spent recently trying to get more time with her. And I know that Tessa wants to stay somewhere for a while before we move. I have been thinking that if I wait until Courtney is older that she will understand more why I am so far away and do what I do.

OK...back to the original plan of this blog. Mom asked what fast food we have. Like Jeremy, we have the typical Burger King that is not very good and you get to choose from a Whopper, Double Whopper and Chicken Royale. I know that is a lot to choose from. It is hard to decide at times. It just depends on how bad you want your stomach to hurt as to what you choose. We also have Popeyes chicken. I had never heard of this place until I was in Germany several years back. The only place I have seen them was on Army post until I moved to Fort Campbell. We also have a Green Beans which is a sorry excuse for a Starbucks and Pizza Hut. The Pizza Hut is the typical nasty Pizza Hut pizza. We also have a Dairy Queen on this end that only serves ice cream, blizzards, and Julius'. On the other end we have a sorry excuse for a Subway that never has vegetables and if they do, they are not very good. The selection is very basic and limited. The Dairy Queen on the other end also serves hamburger, chicken and other hot food. I rarely go down there and I have never ate a burger from down there, but here is it better than Burger King. On the other end we also have the BBQ DFAC that I have talked about in the past. It is a real treat to go down there, but you cannot stand it very often. It is great food, but I eat until I am sick and can barely walk the mile back to my room after I eat there. All the meat is GRILLED: hamburgers, hotdogs, saugages, ribs, and riblets. The BBQ sauce is about the best I have ever had and if you catch it on the right day, you get black eyes peas, which I really love. I usually get a BOWL of them and eat them first to make sure I have room to eat them all. The regular DFAC is not that bad, but it is the same food all the time. We have Italian night, Mexican night and Surf and Turf on Fridays. Like I said before, I never eat there except to get turkey sandwiches. In the last month or so I have only ate there twice that I can remember, and twice at the BBQ DEFAC. I told you I am trying hard to loose some weight and look good.

Mom also asked what we miss. I miss Taco Bell, but most of all, MEXICAN FOOD!! I miss the mom and pop places that are all over. I can eat that stuff 3 meals a day and be very happy. So, you know what I will be eating when I get home. That and REAL biscuits and gravy, a good juicy steak and a REAL beer!! Oh and there will be a night or two of Red Lobster. I will not be able to come back without it. There will also be a special night at one of my favorite places in Knoxville. I cannot tell where, because Tessa does not know and will not know until we get there.

I have been eating a lot of Tuna in the room at night because it is lighter and healthier than going to the DFAC and sucking down some greasy food. Actually, PFC McCollough had a two pound pack of tuna today and we made a huge tub of Tuna salad to eat. He is keeping it in his fridge in his room so it stays good. I ran out of Mayo and will have to get some more packs when I go the DFAC tomorrow so we can make the other bag in a few days. And I have to find some more crackers to eat with it.

Some of you may know that my Sevier County High School ten year reunion is the first weekend I am at home in Oct. I am really excited to see people I have not seen in years. It will be interesting to see how everyone is doing.

I am not sure what else to talk about at this point and my shoulders are starting to hurt from typing so much. It is because of the height of the desk compared to my chair.

Oh...did you think there was not going to be a long paragraph on how great and awesome Tessa is? Well...she is the greatest thing to happen to me outside of Courtney. She has all the perfect answers, I talk about her all the time, I think about her all the time, and just can't shut up about her. I even ordered copies of pictures of her and have them hanging in my room so can see her all the time. As do I with pictures of Courtney. Tessa is truly amazing and says things to me that I thought I would only hear in movies. The best part, she speaks from the heart. We both do all we can to make each other happy although we are so far apart. I want to go nonstop about her right now, but mom tells me to keep it short so I do not get so mushy and boring. For those of you that do not have that someone special in your life that makes you feel like you are on top of the world, you will find them. I though I never would after Christina and I did. All it took was patience. You never know how you will meet that person either. Be open minded. I am not going to elaborate on how we met, but it was not the normal love at first site perfect date. It was far from the perfect first date that you would normally think of. Once again, you never know. Every story is different. We finally did figure out when we met...well narrowed it down to within a few weeks. I guess that is enough of rambling about her. You all should get the point, although I can never get the point across with words. I also feel like I can never say enough.

Other than what I have said, life here is still pretty normal. I am getting irritated easily and look forward to the trip home to see my loved ones. I especially wait to get home and give Courtney a big squeeze and tell her how much I missed her.

Thank you everyone for the support, I love you all and Tessa, you are everything to me and I love you with all my heart and cannot wait to get home and show you how much I love you!!!


748 visits since 3Aug08

Friday, August 29, 2008


Hello! Thank you for all of your support once again! We even got added to someone else's blog! That's pretty cool! I checked it out and it's a blog about other's not too bad. AND WOW we have gone over the 5,000 mark of hits to the blog!! THANK YOU! Let's see John started this in March I think...soo about 8 months and 5,000 hits! WOW! THANK YOU AGAIN!!

Well, my mom asked me the first question: Do we have a McDonald's? OH I WISH WE DID!! I would LOVE a double cheeseburger right now!! Well, maybe not right now right now, but I would definitely love one! I have this thing for McDonald's double cheeseburgers and their sweet tea! Although we do not have a McDonald's, we do have the typical Burger King. I say typical because those of you who know about Army bases....they all have Burger King. I'm not sure what the contract between the two is, but I'm pretty sure there's one there because that's all you see on posts across the states and Germany at least. We have a Burger King like I said. The only down fall with that is it is across the base, across the checkpoint, and on another base. It's about a 15-20 minute ride...remember we only go 25 miles an we don't get burgers from over there too often. We could go every day if we wanted to, but it wouldn't help me maintain my girlish figure now would it....I wish I....well, I don't have a girlish figure but it wouldn't help me anyways. I almost said 'I wish I had a girlish figure'...ooops...that would be a little wierd if I said that...I think you get the picture...I'm still trying to loose that 10-15 lbs...I REALLY need to get my butt in gear! Well, we don't have any other fast food here. In other bases across Iraq they have Subway, KFC, and maybe a starbucks. But here...on my base... nothing but a Burger King on the other side. So that answers that....

We survive on DFAC food and the occasional cookout. The cookouts can be pretty nice! I find myself buying $10 steaks and not minding....something I wouldn't do in the states. The charcoal, the chips, and some near beer, and you've got an ok dinner for about $25.oo A grilled steak is ALWAYS nice! The DFAC food isn't too bad....too bad I said, I didn't say it was anything to write home about. We've gotten used to it. We can almost tell you what food they will have on what day. Sunday's are supposed to be the "surf and turf" night. The steak you get isn't anywhere as good as the one I cook, but the crab legs, crab claws and occasional lobster tails aren't too bad.

Well, that's about all I've got for now. I hope you enjoyed the post and I look forward to answering any other questions you or friends might have.


Somewhere in Iraq
SGT Wormy


Thursday, August 28, 2008

Too close for comfort....

Well hello to all again! Like always, I want to thank everyone for your support to my brother and I and also all the other men and women fighting over here! THANK YOU!

First and most important: please say a special prayer for the Soldiers and their families of those over here. I can't say why, but there are people in special need tonight. Thank you.

We are about to enter a "bad" time of the year. Forgive me if I spell this wrong....but Ramidad is about to start. It's a month long religious fasting period that means a lot to them...Forgive me, I'm a Southern Baptist/Contemporary Christian so I'm not too up on that particular religion. All I know is that it raises issues with the safety of our Soldiers over here. It's pretty dangerous time of the year from what I understand. So please keep us in your prayers.'s one of those days...if I tell you, I'll have to kill you....sorry. Sorry to put you at such suspense like that....I know, you probably don't like it and all, but there are rules to what I can put on here. What I can say is....hmmmm how do I put this.....think about the Fourth of July and you're out in your yard shooting off know the ones that go in the tubes..."mortars fireworks"....well if you're anything like me and my buddies we see how many we can light and drop in the tubes at one time. This requires us to be REALLY close to them and we usually don't get to enjoy the show because we're too busy lighting stuff on fire.... Well, have you ever been in "that front yard" where one of the tubes falls over and one comes blasting your way?? Too close for comfort right? Yeah, too close for comfort, I don't care who you are. Well....let's just say that tonight, I re-lived that whole pucker factor you get when stuff is just too too close for comfort. He bro, it reminded me of shooting stars....two shooting stars....yeah TOO close for comfort. I'll remember this story and it's one that you can ask me about when I get home and I'll easily tell it....ok that's it, I can't say anything more.

Well...we'll see what tomorrow brings! Hopefully something exciting but not quiet as exciting as today. Sometimes "you have to be careful of what you ask for"....I know I day I'm bored as a.....hmmm...uh..nothing comes to mind...I was bored...just waiting for something to I'm pulling on the ropes saying "WHOA!" There I go again....sorry. Well, there are a few things coming up in the somewhat near future that I won't tell about yet....I'm looking forward to it, but I'll keep it a secret for now....

I love you all!! Keep the comments coming. We greatly appreciate them so so much! They are the fuel for our thoughts and ideas of what to write on here. You know, that's a good idea. If you write us a comment and have a question that you want to ask, feel free. Anything to what 125 degrees feels like, does it rain here, do we ever get shot at, do we ever leave the base, what's the food like, how does it feel to only be able to drive 25mph for 12 months....whatever you want to know, ask it and if I am allowed to answer I will. And I'm sure John will try to answer anything too.

Somewhere in Iraq
SGT Wormy


Wednesday, August 27, 2008


Hello all...I want to thank everyone for their continued support of what my brother and I are doing! THANK YOU!! I can't say enough how much we appreciate everything.

I'm sorry that it's been a while since I've posted anything on here...I'm sorry. It just seems that lately I've been so bored and I've got nothing interesting to write on here. And sometimes the things I really want to write...I can't. Either they're too personal, or the Army will get really really mad at me. And I don't want that! Not much has been going's been rather quiet around here. Which like I've said again, when I'm bored and I say it's's a good thing. I can't explain how I feel about my job over here....I was talking to a flight medic the other day that agrees that my job is absolutely rediculous. Now, I know, I know..."I have an important job"....yeah, I keep telling myself that. Blah blah blah....I'm not sure why but I keep saying the same stuff over and over...Two posts ago I talked about not liking my job so I won't do it again now.

The pool...AHHHH the pool!! If you're not up on the situation, I ordered a 10ft (circle) X 30 inches deep swimming pool to put out back of our office. The idea was to put it in so we would have somewhere to relax and just chill out after a long day....I ordered the pool, waited...and waited...and it finally got here! Only to find out I bought the wrong one. I needed a pump to filter the water and I didn't buy a package deal. SO I had to go back online, buy the pump, filter, chlorine dispenser, chlorine test strips, and....tarps to cover the pool. WELL, everything FINALLY got here with A LOT of help from my mom and dad. They had to get everything together and box it up and blah blah blah....SO it finally got here about a week to two weeks ago!! I went to put it in and someone said..."did you ask for permission?" Well...I thought I did...but evidently I didn't. SO, then I had to draft a plan on how I was going to maintain the cleanliness of the pool area, the water chemicals, the people using it, the safety measures needed, the electrical situation to run the pump, and about 10 other things.... I did that. Turned it in to the Company that is in charge of the area we are in. Almost a week later, I get a call on the radio to come to the area where I was going to put it. OK, I walk up and here are about 6 different high ranking Soldiers discussing the situation. They decide that where I wanted to put it isn't good enough and they want it around the other corner of the building and this needs to be done, that needs to be done, and blah blah blah.... WOW!!! All that for a stinkin kiddie pool!?!?! Well, problem solved....Mom, I'm sorry....I know you worked really hard and had a lot of patience while I was consistently asking for the pool items...BUT I'll be mailing the pool and everything else back home pretty soon. The individuals that live around here will destroy either the pool or the priviledge to use it within days. I paid about $200 for everything...I'm not about to just set the pool up and 4 days later it me destroyed or I'm getting my butt chewed for someone else acting a fool. SO, either I'll put it at my house, or mom and dad can have it for Courtney. THEN the fact that it's almost September and it's going to get cool it will probably stay in the box and I'll enjoy crown and coke's in it next summer. So that's that.

Ok, next.....will someone PLEASE call Hillary Clinton and tell her, "you lost go home!!!" We are really tired of seeing her on tv over here. It's like a neighbor's cat that sits at your back door and begs for food and attention everyday...annoying! GO AWAY!! Ok, enough about that already. We all really are sick of all the election crap. On the other hand, the Olympics were GREAT! I've never had the time to watch the summer Olympics and I'll say that we got pretty interested in the whole thing....we really think the Chinese cheated in gymnastics...but that's just us. TV is about back to normal. Today we had UFC come on again. We love the UFC! We look forward to all UFC events. That's one morning I don't mind getting up at 0400 just to watch TV! The next event is 6 Sept.

Roommate...I have a new roommate! If you don't know, I bunk with a Navy guy. Well, his time has come and he's on his way to the states pretty soon. So, he moved out and the 'new guy' moved in. He's also Navy. I must say, that I have a new respect for Navy guys. They both are pretty cool...but who's to say that's got anything to do with being in the Navy?? They both haven't surprised me with any "Soldiering Skills"....they're Navy, what can you expect. Overall, they're pretty cool.

Well, not much else to write about...I guess somepeople like to just hear anything just to know we're still kicking and doing ok....I'll try to keep that in mind. I just like to put something interesting on here instead of blah blah blah blah....I hope you understand. OH, John is counting the days until he goes home for R&R. I'm excited for him. FREEDOM is excited too I'm sure. AND I'm excited for the both of them! My R&R is still looking like November...hunting season!! YEAH!! The only tricky thing with that is, I may or may not make it home for the actual season. Who knows when I'll get home..... ALL I do know is that when I come back from R&R I'll only have like 2 months -ish until I get to come back home for GOOD!! I'm excited about that. I'm telling you, we've been here about 5 months now...and it doesn't seem like that long at all. Time is flying by. I've got some cool dates that are coming up and they are springing up QUICK! It seems like yesterday my old roommate and I were talking about him having 4 months left.... now he's getting ready to leave. HM2, if you ever read're awsome! Thanks for everything and I'd have no problem at all sharing a room with you again! Take care and I wish you and your family lots of love! Ok, I'm excited for my bro and his girl getting to spend some time together and all that hoohaaa mushy crap :-) Well, FREEDOM, you better not move away before I get to see you and hang out...we have a few things to talk about. great I think you are, and how excited I am that you and my brother have found happiness! Well, that's about it for now.

Lots of love, and I'll try not to wait so long before I post next...

Somewhere in Iraq
SGT Wormy


Friday, August 22, 2008

Another Trip to Kabul and WHO is FREEDOM

First of all, Freedom is Tessa Freeman. Now you know how I come up Freedom. It was a play on words of her name. There are going to be pictures of her on here. My favorite one of all time is on here. It is the pouty face. I think this wins so far as the best picture on here. Now the rest of you can see who is making me so happy and just how hot she is. If you know her or see her, make sure you tell her I miss her and love her.

On to the Kabul trip.....

I finally go to take another trip to Kabul. I was really excited to go again. It was a last minute trip. I had been trying to find someone to support us so we get down there and get some medals picked up and the guys that I usually ride with came through for me on Wed. We left later in the day than I am used to leaving. It ended up being an easy ride to get there. We took the normal route to get there. Once I was there I made contact with my guy down there to let him know I was there would meet him at the warehouse when it opened to get the medals. That became a problem real quick. It was my third trip down there and you would think I would know where the heck the warehouse is. You would think. Well, I knew the general area, but I could not find it and I was making the guy me a little mad in the process. Come to find out I did not go over one road far enough. We laughed pretty good for a while about it.

Well, my guy finally showed up, but the guys with the truck were in a meeting and I could not reach them to have the bring the truck down to pick up 25 boxes. I convinced the Greek Navy lady to let me use the Polaris Gator. We got it loaded and took it back to the trucks and unloaded it all. That was the eay part. One the way back it got interesting. We, well I did, decided there was an easier way back to the warehouse. Come to find out, it was not. We ended up on a dead end and had to turn around. I am not sure if anyone has ever "tried" to drive a Gator, but they are not worth a crap when it comes to turning. If you have ever seen the "Austin Powers" movies you would know what it looked like when I was trying to turn the stupid thing around in a TIGHT spot. It had to back up and pull forward about 50 times to get out. We were laughing till we had tears in our eyes from how stupid I was. Eventually we got back to the warehouse and gladly gave the Gator back to them.

Once we started back I convinced the guys to take the longer route back so I could see a different part of the country. They were happy to go that way because the guy in charge needed to make a stop. Lets just say we ended up with some grapes from the country side. They are smaller than a marble but twice as good. I was happy to get some and actually put some feet on the ground outside of Bagram. I was pretty excited and nervous about it.

The route we took back was pretty exciting. I got to see a lot more than previously. All the pictures you see here are from that route. You can see in some of the pictures how they built up the side of the hill. I found that pretty interesting. In the picture with the car, look past it and look at the houses in the background. There are a few here that show the houses they have and little villages. There is also one that shows the mountains in the background past some housing. I also like the ones of the sun setting at the edge of the mountain. It was pretty hazy and dusty that day so that is why it looks the way it does.

There are have also been some developments in my relationship with Tessa. She moved into Mom and Dad's house the other day. I love this seeing that mom and dad barely know her and are letting her live there while they are on vacation and even invited her to go with them. She is living in the basement and starting a "new" job. She is returning to her old job. She got tired of the one she had. She reminded me that I told her to follow her heart and do what makes her happy and that is what she is doing. I am just glad that the happiness still includes me. I look at this as another step that will help us be closer and her closer to my family. I just cannot wait to get home and see her and Courtney and my family. I am going to ask Tessa if I can finally say her real name and put a few pictures of her up on here so you know who is making me so happy.

We are now at 36 days until I leave this place for a few weeks. I am ready. I am actually off this weekend. I got three days off for a little rest and recuperation. It is very much needed, although this is day one and I have gotten almost everything done that I wanted to. That means I will be bored stupid by Sun night. Then on Monday I have a KP again. So in the end, I am out of the office for four days straight. I hope that it will help relax a little and get back into things with a fresh clear head. I know that the work is going to pile up for when I get back.

I got some of the best boxes since I got here this past week. I got my two boxes from Tessa, to include a pink fluffy pillow and her and my parents sent me some Vault. That is one craving that was going to drive me crazy. I am limiting myself to one a day. I have almost enough to last me until I leave to come home on leave.

You may have noticed the picture that is on top of the page now. That is one that a friend of mine made and let me have a copy to use on here. If I had something like that for Jeremy, or at least the pictures I needed, I could post up on there too. I will get on him about that as soon as I can. The picture you see has the "seal" for Combined Joint Task Force 101.

I am trying not to talk a lot about Tessa, but it is hard not to when I am so happy. I do want to tell you a few things. She is telling me things that I thought no one would ever say to me or were only said in the movies. She tells me how great I am to her, although I do not know what I am doing. She also tells me that my personality is what drives her crazy in a good way. I am so used to be talked down to that it is hard for me to wrap my mind around feeling like they do about me. I can tell you that the feeling is mutual. She also went out and bought a dress only knowing what that it is for one night. She does not know what else I have up my sleeve. I know she showed it to my mom and my mom really liked it. She is not allowed to tell me anything about it just like I am not allowed to to talk about her ring that I bought. I cannot wait until I get home next year because I will have 30 days to take a vacation. I have a lot of plans for that time. I plan on taking a cruise with Tessa and taking Courtney to Disney World and visiting family in Ohio.

Well, I made notes of all the things I wanted to talk about and I covered them all. I am making a DVD this weekend to mail home to mom and dad, Tessa (they may get one to share) and family in Ohio. It will not be as long, but a lot more work is put into this one. You will have to ask to see it if you are interested, or I can send them you at request. I am also sending one to Jeremy. I wish he would send more pix and videos to me so I can make a better with both of us.

Well, it is time to get moving onto something else. I love you all and miss you all. Thank you for the support. Please make sure you check out the sites I posted on the sidebar. They are some favorites of ours. Once again, I need Jeremy to send some sites to me to add to the list.

Courtney, you are my little angel and I miss you so much.

Tessa, you are truly the love of my life and my soul mate.

Mom and dad, thank you a million times!!!

538 visits since 3August2008

Saturday, August 16, 2008


Jeremy said it right when he said it is boring. I have not had anything worth wild to write about, so I have not written. I could have come here and told you how much I miss Courtney and Freedom and how great they both are, but I have done that. I can tell you Christina found someone that "has potential" and how I am glad but a little hurt inside at the same time, but I know I am happier. OR...I could come on here and tell you about the alert we had the other morning as we started leaving for PT, about how there an indirect fire attack on our base. OR I could not tell about.....and how many.........and how it took to..........and how bad......... OR I could come here and tell you about how someone is saying some things I did not say and now my ass in a sling and it is going to become a he said she said and hopefully result in nothing happening to me. OR I could tell you it is 42 days and a wake up until I get on that big bird to come home on R&R to see my family, propose to Freedom, and spend a lot of money having fun. OR I could tell you how many DVDs I have watched and wished I had more TV series to watch. OR I could give you a new list of items I want from home...OK.....I will do that at the end. OR I could tell how tired I am all the time and had to get sleeping aids because I am not sleeping at night and I am on details all the time. see there is not much to tell about that I am allowed to talk about. I can tell you I thank God every morning and night for the wonderful blessings I have...Freedom....Courtney.....a brother who is health......awesome supportive parents.....awesome supportive friends.....another closer to home. I could also tell you that I am at 95% and 97% in my classes I am taking with one being over. OR I could tell you I am working out really hard, eating a lot better, and running 8 miles in the morning twice a week so I can lose the last 15 pounds before I get home.

Like I said, there is not much going on. The temperatures are cooling off, the days are getting shorter and it is as boring as ever and drama filled as expected.

I am not going to talk about how happy with Freedom and how much we love each and how great it will be. I am not going to talk about how I do miss Christina at times, I did spend almost 10 years with her, and how it does bother me a little she has met someone. I know I have met someone better.

I will give you an update list of things WE want over here:
VAULT soft drink (if you do not know what it is, go in a gas station or store and look where the COKE brands are; this is my favorite and I miss it so much; I DO NOT drink diet although I am trying to lose weight)
Pecan Pinwheel Little Debbie Snacks
Any TV series on DVD (we are getting bored to death and most do not have TVs)
Tuna/chicken salad mixes or premixed cans
sunflower seeds (they are helping us stop smoking and dipping)
Any Little Debbie snack
Crackers (NO club or saltine or Ritz; be creative)
Trail mix - specifically "Mountain Trail" from Wal-mart brand
Ramen Noodles and the like

This is a collective list from most in the office. There are a few other things, but that is it for now. Some of it I told them to get on the internet like I have to do at times. Those are the things that are impossible to get here, or very hard to get. The Vault is something I have been craving and dying to get.

I want to thank everyone for the support that you are providing. You may have noticed the changes on the site. We are going to see how this goes and might delete it if we do not like it. Also, you notice a list of favorite links. Please check them out. We have our MySpace and on there. Check them out. We will add other sites as come across them.

I love you all and God bless you all for being true patriots.

SGT John Strader

Little bit of energy...

Well, hello! Thank you for all your support once again. You may get tired of reading the same entry paragraph when I post on here....but, I feel it's important to thank all of those who check out this site and show their support. So thank you!!

Well, boredom can really REALLY get you down...I think all I needed was to do something. Well, today, I got to do something. It was pretty exciting...kinda. I'm still not sure how I feel about it all...well, that's not completely true, it's a pretty good thing...but some of the other things are rolling around in my, what was he thinking? Well, I'm sorry but that's about all I can say....I can't tell you...if I did, I'd have to kill you. Just's another one of those stories. BUT, if you ask me about 'Fat Bastard' I'll tell you what happened....maybe. :-) Well, I was sitting here a few minutes ago writing in my journal and MUCH to my surprise, I about jumped off my bed. Can you say....BOOOM!! Yeah, it was loud. HOPEFULLY none of our guys were involved. Hopefully no one knocks on my door yelling "let's GO!" But, that's what I'm here for. Hey bro, the other day...shooting star. 1/4 mile away at most. All good. Other than that, not much going on here...we've been pretty slow and did I mention BORED! BUT, my pool stuff should be here pretty soon. I'll probably spend tomorrow getting the area ready so when it does get here, we're good to go. I'm looking forward to that! I said, not much going on here. I wish I had something incredible to put on here, but I don't. This is a true Army story....'hurry up and wait.'

I love you all and thank you again!!

Somewhere in Iraq
SGT Wormy Strader


Thursday, August 14, 2008

I'm sorry...

HELLO ALL!! Thank you for the support you have shown to my brother and I. We greatly appreciate everything each and every one of you are doing. From prayes to care packages, we appreciate it all!

Well, I'm sorry for not posting anything on here in quite some time. I've been in a little slump lately....not much going on, not much thinking going on, and not much to write about. The only going on unit is getting on my last nerve. It's amazing how much the morale can be affected by people who insist on being....well for a lack of better words....I won't say. They're just not being very nice, let's put it that way. I know a lot of people read this from a lot of different backgrounds and in an effort not to offend anyone, I'll keep it "G" rated. It's like that boss that never pats you on the back no matter how good you're doing. It probably makes you want to stay home from work, and just say forget it for a day....well...i kinda don't have that option. I wish I did. I wish I did because unfortunately it's causing me to roll that bad mood off onto my Soldiers. They shouldn't have to suffer because I'm not happy with someone else or some other situation that doesn't involve them. Good, I'm glad we had this little chat. I'll start tomorrow at being nicer to my guys and gals....It just doesn't seem like I've one good day in the last 14. One of the big obstacles over here is not letting things get to you....and not missing all those little things. The little things like what John mentioned a month or so ago. This morining! OH this morning...I actually went 40 mph in a vehicle!! 40!! The speed limit is 15 and 25 mph...shhh don't tell anyone....I don't want to get in trouble. ;-) It'll be our little secret....although, I could justify it by saying it was an "emergency"....I mean, it was...but it wasn't...I was driving an ambulance so I think kinda sorta maybe I could away with it...maybe....BUT I'm SGT Strader, I can get away with that no problem... :-)

Random thought....when is enough, enough? How bad and how many times do you have to loose before you call it quits? Should you never give up? How long can you try and try before you count your loses?? AT THIS POINT...STOP THINKING....PICK UP A PHONE AND CALL HILLARY CLINTON AND TELL HER THAT "IT'S TIME! JUST GO HOME!!" MAN! enough already!! Ok, so hopefully you got a kick out of that....if not, you must be a democrat...and in that case...I don't know what to say...oh's one..."I'm sorry."

Well, my mom asked me if we're going for a monthly LOW of posts because we haven't been posting on not at all. Like I said, the last 14 days have drained me and it seems like I just can't get the energy back. I'll spring back. Plus, when I put something on here, I usually like it to have meaning and hopefully be something to someone other than just another something to read. What's life like over here? What did I do over here? Boring, and nothing that I trained so hard to do.... it's a fact, I'll either be back over here or in Afghanistan within the next 2 1/2 years. How can I explain that....pretend you went to McDonald's for a double cheese burger and you got a chicken sandwich.....You didn't get what you expected right? How long do you crave that double cheese burger? Do you go back the next day to get one? Well, I basically trained to save lives and be a Soldier....and I'm not getting what I expected. SO, I'll come back to get what I wanted and fulfill my craving. We're doing a good job over here. We're doing a necessary job. BUT,'s not what I wanted.

WOW, that was completely random! NE-WHO....I'm going to go outside and do two things now. ONE, defrost. My room is COLD! IT'S GREAT! But eventually my toes go numb, and I can't feel my ears anymore. I find my self hitting the backspace button more than other keys because I can't tyep because thmy fingers are focold too....get thei idead? TWO: relax. Each day is finished with a cigarette. But it's more than a nasty cigarette. It's just me, God, and the stars. Sitting in a camp chair looking up at the stars in the sky and being at peace. Often wondering if my brother is outside staring at the same moon I am....thinking about his life and Freedom and Courtney, and all the little things he looks forward to that keep him going. Just me, God, and the stars. It's pretty easy to go to sleep after a peaceful 5 minutes like that. So now...I'm headed that way.

I love you all and thank you again for your support!

Somewhere in Iraq


Friday, August 8, 2008


Well, it's been a few days since I've been able to get on seems like I had a few people worried...sorry guys. Thank you for everything that's been done for my brother and I! We can't thank you enough for the support and kindness everyone is showing!!

Well...I didn't get a chance to say this yesterday...shame on me, but I'm sorry dad, SO here it is now, HAPPY BIRTHDAY!! I did however do what I was gonna do for his birthday! AND like John, it's not ready yet so the gifts will be there shortly dad. 52...when I read that I was like "52!! WHAT, REALLY!" Honestly dad, I knew you were getting up there, but're getting up there! :-) Just kidding...LOVE YOU!! :-) John said, the memories of Daddy and all the time growing up...all the things he did for us...the sacrafices, the good times and the bad...WOW! I couldn't ask for a better person to be my Daddy!! Thank you Dad! I remember when I cut you...ooppps! But you were trying to put tape in my hair...and I totally forgot that I had a box cutter in my hand was trying to swat at your hands and ended up cutting you. 9 stitches later...I think it was 9..... Ahhh good times. Yeah, and all the baseball we used to play in the front yard...that was so much fun! I don't think there is anything my Daddy can't do. He's my hero!! When I'm home I do my very best to learn and watch and help him with everything possible. You know...just the other day some guys were pouring some was a ramp...4X7 feet....but the way they were trying to smooth it out just didn't make any sense...SO remembering what I've seen dad do, I got a 2x6 and put it all the way across the ramp, did a little sawing motion, pulled down, and it leveled out the ramp bringing any extra down the ramp to where it was needed. Basically a trick dad showed us. And I was standing there thinking about what dad had done and so I explained to those guys that I didn't know much about pouring concrete but one way to level it out was like this.....and it worked. And after I left they kept doing it.... I miss my daddy! I miss him a lot. And I miss mom too. It's hard sometimes. But, you just have to keep driving on. I just have to remember that they know why I'm here. And they understand why I'm here. Well...I could go on and on about all the wonderful memories with Dad and all the great things about him...kinda like how John goes on and on about..what's her name...oh yeah, Freedom. Just kidding! Seriously, like he talks and talks about her, I do that about my Daddy. My 52 year old Daddy! Happy Birthday Dad! I hope it was a good one and I'm sorry I'm a day late....hopefully we'll have plenty plenty more Birthdays to share together! I look forward to each day between now and then! Everyday is good day with Dad like mine! I LOVE YOU DADDY!!

Well, I don't have much more to report from this side of the 'war on terror'. We had an explosion yesterday that could have woke a sleeping bear...well, maybe that's a little much...we've had bigger..much bigger. Well, I guess that's about all that I can say for now...not too much has happened in the last 5-6 days...and remember, even if it did I couldn't tell you! :-)


Somewhere in Iraq
SGT Jeremy Strader


Thursday, August 7, 2008



52 years ago today, my dad was born. I am not as good Jeremy but there is a lot to be said about my dad. He busted my rear when I needed it, and he loved us always. He played ball with us in the front yard, and he made us work hard in the garden. He taught us respect, he made us laugh and laughed with us. He gave us everything we need, and spoiled us when he could. We could not ask for a better father, now or then. He is showing us so much support and going out of his way to do a lot for us. It is hard for me sit here and not get all teared up thinking about how I miss my dad. I miss him telling us to be good any time we walked out the door, knowing we would not. He never spared our feelings when honesty is what we needed to hear. He could not see us getting hurt, physically or emotionally. He rode my rear about Christina for years but I would not listen. I finally did and look at me now. I can remember Jeremy ACCIDENTALLY cutting my wrist and my dad jumping into action after mom yelling at him and him about broke my wrist on the way to hospital while mom was driving the old station wagon. I did not bleed on drop until we got to the hospital. I remember us running up to the door at the hospital in Monroe, NC and the guard asking if we had an emergency and dad yanking my wrist down and say "what the hell do you think?" I still laugh at that to this day. I was actually looking at the scar and remembering that today while I was missing my dad on his birthday. If only I could compose myself long enough to call him. I guess we have to let it out once a while. I cannot tell you what I got him for his birthday because he does not have it yet. Once he has it, I will tell you what it is.

Dad, once again HAPPY BIRTHDAY and thank you for everything!!!!


SGT John Strader

Monday, August 4, 2008

A Little Laugh For You, A Little Scary For Me

Well, I told Jeremy I would come up with some stupid/funny/retard pictures of me and I have. I have to give you the background, well not really, but I have to mention Freedom somewhere and she plays a part in this post. I was in a REALLY good mood thanks to her the other day. A lot of you know that I act like an idiot and say and do stupid things when I am in a good mood. I can usually get a laugh out of the most upset/depressed/unhappy person in the room if I am in a really good mood. Well, I had been pressuring Freedom to send me some pictures of her smiling face and she gave me the age old "I look like crap/I don't have make up on/blah blah blah". I told her it does not matter to me, I just want to see a smiling face and decided to show her how easy it is to just snap a picture and send it on, no matter how bad you look at the moment. That is what these pictures are. I named the files on a spur of the moment to add to the stupidity: (that took a while to remember where I put them) Green Rambo, Spoony and Too Cool. I used the webcam on my laptop in my room and just grabbed stuff and started snapping pictures. I sent them to Freedom and got a great laugh out of her and then sent them to mom and she said they got a good laugh at work. I hope it does the same for you. Just remember bro these started as something to make Freedom laugh and turned into something funny for you all.

When you have someone like Freedom (typed her real name and had to delete it TWICE) in your life, it is the little things that will make you smile ear to ear and act out like a fool because you are so happy (Jeremy had something to say to you right here, but had to erase it; you know why because we have talked about it several times). It does not take much for that happen with her. All it takes is hearing her voice and I am good to go for the day and no one nor nothing will bring me down. We do all we can start each others day off the best we can and there is nothing to replace that. I want to go on and on about great she is, but you have heard it all. Well, most of it. She is going to move to Fort Campbell while I am on leave so when I get off the plane she is there and I have somewhere to go home too. I am very excited that she is willing to make that sacrifice to move away and be in a strange place for me to try and make me as happy as possible. We are going to move her up there the last week I am home on leave. I have never met someone that is willing to sacrifice so much and do all they can to make someone happy, let alone that someone being me, especially after what I have been through the last ten years. She has said so many things to me recently that keep pushing her up the perfect/amazing/unbelievable/awesome scale that you cannot even start to imagine. I never thought someone could ever make me this happy and bring so much joy and happiness to my life. This is truly an answered pray and blessing from God. I can only hope I am the same for her. Wow I want to keep going on and on about her. I cannot remember the last time I hand wrote a letter, let alone SIX pages front and back to someone and spent most of it telling them how great they are and how much I love them. I cannot remember the last time I sent flowers THREE times in one week just to show I care and I am thinking about someone. I guess I will stop boring you all with all that.

On to my perfect little angel. I am still getting to talk to Courtney on the phone, but it is different now that I am fighting to get more time with her when I get home. Christina is not telling much or helping the conversations or translating for me. It is hard understand a four year old on the phone at times and I need help but do not get it. Courtney usually talks for a second until she realizes she is not playing or whatever she was doing and then she blows me off. It is OK nd understandable from a four year old. The other day I called to talk to her and she asked me when I was coming home. It was really hard not to get choked up but I asked if her why and she said she misses me and wants me to come home. Hopefully Christina will see this and realize that Courtney needs to spend a lot of time with me no matter what her personal opinion is about me. She also needs to know that being here does not make me or the other 10,000 fathers and mothers bad parents. I really miss Courtney and cannot wait to see my little angel again. She is so precious to me.

OK, now the scary. You want to know scary? How about BOOM? How about close enough to rattle the b hut and cause you to jump a little? How about REALLY scary? How about "AMBER ALERT AMBER ALERT? That is means the base is under attack, but nothing and no one is inside the wire. That will get the blood pumping for a minute. How about I just crapped my pants along with the 8 other people with you? This one deserves a little description. We were doing PT the other morning when this one happened. We put on our IOTV (flak vest/bulletproof vest), PT uniforms and boots to do a 4 mile road march. The gear we had on weighs about 40-50 pounds and it is all on you shoulders. We were strolling along down the road on the outer edges of the base on the inside of the "wire" when
BOOM. I had to make that bigger for emphasis. About 50 FEET from us a landmine went off and scared the living crap out of us. A few of the guys started to dive for cover and the rest started laughing. You see, there were two dogs running around right before the boom, and after there was only one. We thing the dog started digging at something and caused the mine to go off. We were so close that it rattled our ears and caused some to actually hop skip and jump to the other side of the road. We started giving SGT Howard a hard time and asked him what he yellow stuff was running down his leg, although he did not pee himself, we thought we was going to. After we realized it was mine, we started laughing. Of course with me being awards, they all started asking me if we could Combat Action Badges and I told them no we were not "engage by the enemy" although we were close enough if it had been anything else. I told them if they go the hospital for ringing in the ears they MIGHT get a Purple Heart but that was it. We all laughed about it the rest of the day and talked about it for a day or two.

Other than all that, life is still the same here. I finished watching my four seasons of scrubs last week and now I am watching a season of the Simpsons (season 11 before you ask Conway). I am trying to find another show to watch to occupy my little free time between work and school. Oh, I am at over 97% so far in both classes and today I just turned in my final for the class that is only 6 weeks and I should come out with an A in that one, History of Western Culture. I took my midterm last week for my computer class and got 100% on it. Seeing that the history class is now over for me, I start Sociology next week. Hopefully I can keep the trend going with good grades.

I said it has been quiet, but that is not completely true. I wish I could tell you about why, but I cannot because it has not been released in the news yet, so I have to wait like Jeremy does. I will tell you it was bad, real bad. If you read or watched the news last month you would have seen there was a guy from the Knoxville area that was killed. I think I told you about this already, but I was processing the paperwork and saw he was from Clinton and it really hit hard. I also know that Knoxville really did a great thing for the family. The day of the funeral it was my day to do News Weather and Sports in the office I was able to use that as my local news from home. The worst part about it all, he was killed on 17Jul and he was so close to home. To tell you how close, he only missed going home by about a month. ONE MONTH! Like Jeremy said, it can all be gone in a blink of an eye...

Well, I guess it is time to start the closing here. Courtney, you are my precious little angel and I miss you more than anything and Daddy will be home soon. Freedom (typed the real name again) I love you and miss you and have a lot of surprises in store for you when I am home.

Mom and dad. Mom and dad. We cannot thank you enough for all that you have done. We love you so much and are the luckiest sons in the world to have parents like you in our lives. The support that you are providing for so many things is a book that still needs to be written. One day it will. You support and help with me trying to get more with Courtney in court is untouchable. Your support for me and Freedom and the things I want to do is just as great. I am happy that you are happy for me with this. You have done more for Jeremy and me in a few months than should be asked for in a lifetime. We owe a lot to you and will make it up to you. Oh and there are some surprised in store for you, it just depends on if I can stop buying flowers and stuff for Freedom, although I have one last thing I have to buy for her and you all know what that is.

Jeremy, you are my hero now. I look up to you, my little brother, for all that you are doing. It is amazing we have people in out military that is willing to VOLUNTEER to serve in a war zone and leave before even seeing your wife. You are truly and American hero and deserve to be recognized for it. I love you bro and the first beer is on me when we get home but you are coming to Fort Campbell to get it!!!

Once again, Mom and Dad I love you and thank you for doing more than you ever should or need to.

Freedom, I love you and there is a great future in store for us.

Courtney, I miss you and cannot wait to squeeze you and spoil you again.

To everyone else, thank you and please keep praying for the troops and about all that you read here.

Oh and 54 days and a wake up and I get on a plane headed home for a 18 days of R&R!!!!

SGT John Strader
Bagram, Afhganistan


Sunday, August 3, 2008

The Family Reunion

HELLO ALL!! I'd like to thank everyone for their support!! I just can't express enough appreciation to the Strader/Posey family for their support this weekend at the reunion!!! THANK YOU!

GOOD JOB MOMMA!! AND THANK YOU DADDY!! Mom for doing such a great job at reading the post and letter. And daddy for working so hard on getting the Certificate printed. Thank you both for everything you've done to pull off something I wanted to do while I was over here. Thank you for being the ones to execute something I dreamed up!! THANK YOU!!

Well, I'm not sure how I want to start this post...I'll go good stuff first. For those who don't know my family reunion was this weekend in WV. I wanted to be there so so bad! BUT, I couldn't. My mom let me know about 2 weeks ago that they didn't have anything to take to the reunion for the family auction. SO, I got busy on an amazing gift set. A flag that would be flown over our base here in Iraq, and be flown in a Medevac Helicopter. The flag would be put in a presentation case. There are two official certificates with it confirm it was properly flown and handled. A DVD of the flag's "adventure" was made, and a teddy bear with "greetings from Iraq" t-shirt. (That's me on the far right in picture) I did the best I could with the little time I had to get it all together, make it happen, and mail it off in time to get there. Unfortunately the box didn't make it. BUT I must say that it was INCREDIBLE to somewhat be there. I called my dad's cell phone around the time I though the auction would start. I also wrote a letter of hello's to be read at the reunion seeing that I couldn't be there. Well, I sat there listening to everything that was happening at the reunion and I listen to my mom as she read the letter. Before she read the letter, she surprised me and read the "Let Us Pray" blog entry. If you're new to reading this, it's in June, check it out. Well, she struggled through the prayer and I did too...they couldn't hear me, but I was choking up too. And the applause they gave when she was done was difficult as well. Then she started reading the letter I wrote to everyone. It had a couple difficult parts to hear as's hard for a man to admit, but I get emotional sometimes too...I just can't explain how bad I wanted to be there and how awsome it was that I was able to sit over here and listen to what was happening over there. When the letter was finished, another was GREAT!! So a little while later I think mom called me and I listened to the auction...WOW!! I just can't express how amazing it was!! Thank you Neil!!! You're awsome!! And I can't forget to express the thanks to those in the family that served our Country before I did! Thank you for your service! I could probably just sit here and write and write and write about how cool, awsome, great, and touching that last night was. As I sat here listening to the different things that were taking place at the reunion, I was almost there...almost there. I could almost smell the home cooked food and the chlorine of the swimming pool...almost there....

I don't know how to put the next part...I almost want to leave this post as a good one...but in order to express the full realm of what happens over have to understand that we do our best to forget the bad things that happened a few hours before and focus on the good things that are going on. Yesterday...lives changed. makes it easier when this happens opposed to when that happens. I can't say what "this" or "that" is...but when 'that' happens, it's sucks...but when 'this' happens, it's somehow not so bad. Or maybe it was just the original shock....and now that a little time has passed, and when I thought about it earlier today, it hurt a little more. Who's to say that one person's life isn't as important as another's? Why do we just assume that? Why don't we take....I can't say anymore. I guess I'll have to give this some time and think about how I can say what's in my head without really saying least for now. Kiss your children goodnight. Kiss your loved one goodnight. Tell them you love them. If there's someone you haven't said "I love you" to in a while...maybe you should now. It can all be gone in a blink of an eye. Gone. Just like that. Take nothing for granted. Be glad you live in the United States. Be proud to be an American.

I love you all and thank you once again!!

OH, and we beat the record for the most posts in one month. I know it's kinda cheating but the "Realities of War" was finished about 1:30 am my time 1 Aug. But my computer is still on US time so I guess it posted US time...or maybe it has to do with the website location...whatever, we still beat the 14 post record.


Somewhere in Iraq