Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Another Long Exciting Weekend

Well it started with getting out of work and meeting up with Jeremy for some brotherly fun. We went to check out where I would hunt on Saturday morning and then onto main post to head to the PX for a little shopping.

We went home and got ready and headed out to Old Chicago for some dinner. I have never been there and heard it was awesome and it was. More beer than I have ever seen in one place. Wish I could remember the names of the ones that I had because they were awesome. The pizza was some of the best I ever had.

After that we headed to my hang out and introduced Jeremy to some of my friends at Rebounds. We had a great time, but got a little late for me to get up at 3am to get ready to go hunting. After about 3 hours of sleep I was up at it. I got in the tree stand was fighting to stay awake until sunrise. I managed to stay up all day and never fell asleep. I little before sunset I have about eight turkeys walk under me so I know that I was doing something right. I just wish that it had been a nice deer. Never saw one all day. Got home that night about 8 and passed out pretty fast.

The next morning I was up again at 3am and ready to go. Once again I was in the tree before sunrise and waiting on that big buck to come walking by after a night of eating. He never did. At about 1030 I gave up because I was so tired I did not know what was going on. I headed home and took a nice 4 hour nap.

That was another two days of hunting and seeing no deer. I am not giving up yet. I went again on Mon afternoon and saw nothing, but that will not deter me. I am going again tomorrow night after work. Only thing is, I need to go find a jacket to wear because the temperatures are dropping and that is good. Hopefully the rut will start soon and I will start seeing something. I am ready for that first deer and ready to buy a freezer to keep it all in this year. I just hope I do not get caught up in the deployment my unit if facing in May. I would like to be home for a couple years although I need the money to pay some bills.

This weekend I am headed home to see family. I was not going to, but I have huge surprise my family this weekend. I cannot even hint at it hear because they will figure it out too easy. Some things fell into place last night so I can really surprise them. I will head home and see them and of course see Courtney and finally get to watch her play soccer. I will be headed home on Saturday so I can hunt on Sunday morning. I am really excited about the surprise. Oh, and I am loading up the truck with the tree that fell in my yard during the ice storm in Feb for my dad. I know that he plenty of wood for the winter, but a little more will not hurt.

I hope that everyone is having a good time in their lives. I know that everything might not go the way that you want it, but keep your head high and remember that God would not put something in front of you that you cannot handle. I am a great place in my life even if I have to deal with some demons from my past.

On a good note, my neighbor, Jay is headed home. He boarded a plane today and will be home soon from Afghanistan. I am glad that we worked out the issues and differences of opinions we were having about some of his personal issues. We are good friends to each other and glad we both realized we are lucky to have good friends like each other.

Jeremy has caused me to think about my faith and realize that if he can give up something for 40 days, I should be able to do it too. I need to figure out what I am going to do.

Well, there is not much else to share right now. I just wanted to share my deer hunting with you from this weekend. When I finally get that first deer, you can bet the story and pictures will be here. Oh, and I can get up to nine deer this year between Tennessee, Fort Campbell, and West Virginia. Hopefully I get at least half of that.

To everyone that is following this blog, thank you for the support.

Almost forgot. I took a tour of the Fisher House on post the other day and I encourage you to please check into seeing what you can do to support one. You can even donate your frequent flier miles to help. They use the miles to fly family members of injured soldiers to where they are for free. I donated what little I had a few years back. I encourage you to please look into this ( Also look into organizations that help with wounded warriors. Soldiers Angels ( is another good one. I met several of the volunteers from this organization while I was in Germany and they are great people with huge hearts. Please find a way to support your military.

With the job I have, I am able to take groups on tours of post and let them learn things they had no idea about. If you are close to a military post, contact the public affairs office on post and see if you can set up a tour of post for a group. If you need help contacting one, please let me know and I will assist you. The anniversary of Pearl Harbor and Veterans Day is coming up soon. Take the time to see what you can do to help support them. I know that we have more requests for parades and events than you can imagine. And it is not just in this area. It is all over the US.

Once again, thank you for all the support you show not just my brother and me, but all the service members!!

SGT John Strader
Fort Campbell, KY

Monday, September 21, 2009

What a Weekend

The start it off I went home and got to see family and of course got my little angel Courtney. I was so happy to see her and had fun with her.

I did have some personal drama going on over the weekend, but I was able to brush it aside and still have a great weekend.

Now on the fun in sun, oh wait, make that fun in the rain.

I went to bed at an early 9pm anticipating the morning hunt Sun morning. Well, be so excited, I did not sleep at all. The alarm was set for 345am, but of course I was wide eyed at 3am, so I got up and got ready. I double checked all my gear. Paced the floor waiting to leave. Checked my gear again, paced a little more and realized I better put my phone, license, and paperwork in ziplock bags. Then I remembered toilet paper. Got all that ready and hopped in the truck and off I went. I was the only car on the road in the hunting area. I wanted to get there early and get the spot I wanted and I got it. At 506am I started for the woods. Of course the first tree I wanted in was too big for my stand so I trekked on. I found another tree pretty quick and was up in it in no time. Of course I was anticipating the sun to come up and waiting on that first deer to come walking by. And I waited...then the sun came up...but no deer. So I started on the calls and scents. Then I heard a shot in the distance. Then another and another and several more. I thought for sure that I would see one any second. Then the rain drops started. OK, a little rain never hurt anyone. Then a little more rain and more shots. Man, this sucks. Where are the deer in this area. Now comes the down pour and I am soaked to the bone. A little later the sun comes out and I am drying out. I decide it is time for a potty break. Actually, my stomach did not give me a choice. Remember how I said that I put all those things in bags, well not the toilet paper. You know that means. Soaked toilet paper is hard enough to get out of trees when your yard gets rolled, let alone usable in a situation where it is needed. Well, I managed and back up in the tree. The rain started again and I was getting frustrated. At 230 I decided it was time to go. I get to the truck and decide it is my first day hunting, and will have to wait another week to hunt again and I am not quitting early. I moved down the road and found another spot where I saw a trail, tracks and a bedding area. I thought for sure I would see something here. Well, I after about an hour and a half, I saw nothing and storm came again. This time I was done and it was only 30 minutes until the hunt was over. The creek bed I that was dry when I went in was full. By the time I was out, my boots were full of water. Full to the point that when I got home I was pouring water out of them.

That was my first day of hunting this year. I did not see one deer. All and all was well worth it. I got be outside all day and enjoy the woods. I have been waiting on this day for a long time. I am now waiting on Sat and Sun this week to do it again, rain or shine. I will get me a few deer this year one way or the other. West Virgina hunt is coming up soon too. Speaking of which, hunting when it is 80 degrees outside is a lot different than when it is 10 degrees. At 10 degrees, there are no mosquitos or other bugs to drive you crazy. I will get used to it and it will not slow me down.

I wrote this blog several times while sitting the trees yesterday and here it is. I hope that everyone had a great weekend as well.

SGT John Strader

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Life in the States

I cannot title this life after war, buy Jeremy had a great idea. I am not sure my idea of it is the same as his, but I am going to share some changes with you and hopefully he will share how it changed his life.

My life after the "war" has gotten back to somewhat normal after all the drama I had in life the first few months home. As he has said, I too have only dated one person since my return. I've has a few dates, but nothing that amounted to anything until Sonya. Well, there are things going on with that and the changes to who I am are affecting it.

Most of you know that I came home to an unfaithful wife and was soon divorced. I still live in my house alone. I recently decided it was time for some "Spring Cleaning". That meant I sold my weight bench, extra table and as much as it hurt, I sold my motorcycle and extra truck. The truck I bought new in 1998 right before I met Christina. It has about 200,000 miles on it and I still got a good price out of it. So now I have paid some debt and making life a little easier on me. I used some of the money to prepare for deer season this year. I am hoping that I can get three deer this year and put it in the freezer and save some money during the year on meat. That means I have to stop eating fast food though.

A few of the changes that have changed are how I look at life. I know that I did not see people hurt or killed, but I had to deal with the reports and send them up higher when it did happen. Each time I was thinking about the families and it was not easy at times. Especially when you see the aftermath of the vehicles they were in or read more details than you ever wanted to know.

I talked about this when it happened, but we had a land mine go off sort of close to us. That was the closest to action that I experienced. As small of a thing as that is, I jump every time there is a loud noise. It makes people laugh, but for some reason, it is something that I cannot control yet. I know it will pass and it is pretty minor compared to what others experienced.

After what I went through in the beginning of the year, I do not get all worked up when something does not go right in the dating world. I try to brush it off and move on. I have been successful up to this point and hope that I continue to be strong.

I have gained weight since I got home, and I mean a lot of weight. I am working hard now to get rid of it. I am not going and buying new clothes because I got fat again. I never realized how addicting fast food is and how big of a part in my life that it plays. I am fighting those demons each day and hope to conquer them soon.

Today I am headed back home to see my little, Courtney. I have not seen her in several weeks and I am excited to see her tomorrow. I will finally get to pick her up from school for the first time. Then it is soccer tomorrow night and a soccer game on Saturday morning. I am really excited about that too.

I am still working in the same job with public affairs, although I am not sure how much longer it will last. I found out a few days ago it is our turn in Afghan again in May. I may not have a choice if I go or not and I am torn between wanting to go and get some more debt knocked down and staying home. I can request be to be taken out of this position to make sure I go or can wait and see what my future holds.

I am pretty much like Jeremy on the boat thing. It is something that I have always wanted, but I want a fishing boat. I love to fish. I have been going as much as I can lately. I am waiting on November for when the bass are hitting really good here so I can catch some good fish.

I have everything in life that I want with the exception of a good marriage and a boat. I have a new truck, a house I can call my own, a loving family and friends, and a wonderful daughter. With what I have now, the rest can wait.

I know that I have mentioned Sonya before. As with everything in life, nothing is perfect. All is still good and will continue to be good for us. The distance between us makes a few things hard, but we are making the most of it.

I wish everyone the best of luck and I am glad to see that Jeremy got on here again. I will continue to do what I can to keep you all informed the best I can. You can bet when I get the first deer this year there will be pictures and a story to go with it!!

SGT John Strader

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

I'm still kickin.... always...thank you for your continued support for my brother and I as we...well mostly my bro continues this blog even after we're back from overseas and we're on with our busy lives. Thank you.

I'm still kickin...I'm still here...and there... Well honestly, it's about 230am and I'm not sure how much I'll get written out here before I call it a night. I have a 10am appointment with my surgeon. Yes, as my bro mentioned i had surgery on my shoulder. I tore some stuff years ago, I'm sure of it...but about 2 months ago when we were on the he has mentioned, I bought a buddy was driving and I was on the intertube and my bad shoulder popped out and I fell off the tube, and when i hit the water, I hurt my shoulder pretty bad...well I finally went to the Dr to see what the damage was. This time was different from other times when i hurt it...well i guess I should say when I made it hurt...this time it was popping and hurting pretty much all the time. Much different from other times. SO the assessment was I tore some stuff and I needed surgery. SO a week and half later, I went under the knife. 6 days ago was surgery. So I've had the week off so far. I've meant to get on here and catch everyone up with a short version of my summer.... I'll do that either tomorrow afternoon, or one day next week. I have to work this weekend but I'm taking next week off for "vacation"/recovery. I'm still pretty sore and the worst part is taking a shower and getting ready to go somewhere...I need some help with that stuff...any volunteers? Just kidding.... with that said, I still don't have a woman in my life. I've dated one girl since I've been home. One. I've been home since Feb and I've only let one girl get remotely close to my heart. We started dating in June I think. And honestly, even though we only dated for about 6 weeks...she's still lingering around. We're both trying to decide whether or not we want/should be together. She's a little younger...22, but i'm trying not to hold that against her. Well, I really really don't feel like getting into that whole mess...and yes, it's a mess. ANYWAY...I'm back to working at O'Charley's restaurant again. I did however get transferred to a store in Knoxville. So I no longer work in Pigeon Forge...but in Knoxville. It's a little longer of a drive but I like the store so it's not too bad. So back to the earlier in the summer...I have been pondering about buying a boat for years now...but haven't because of the short time each year you can use it....well, for some stupid reason I decided I finally wanted one. So I shopped around, waited, looked, and shopped some more. So finally I found one on Ebay and I feel like I got a pretty good deal. HOWEVER, what I didn't realize is that a boat is a lot of work. I think I had the boat for about 3 weeks before I got both engines running. And then from there, each week it was something different wrong with the boat. And now, for the past 3 weeks, it's been broken down in my driveway. I have some of the parts, and I know what is wrong, i just haven't had the time to fix it. SO, now that I'm out of commission with my will be a winter project. No big deal though. I must say that while the boat was running great, it was A LOT of fun. everything from tubing, to fishing with my bro till 3am on the lake. I really enjoyed being able to spend time on the lake with my friends and family this summer. It was awesome!

What else is going on...the issue with my brother-in-law...well ex bro in law now... I kicked them all out of my house before I got home from iraq...i can't remember what all I put on here.....anyway, I've taken him to court for the damages to my house. The judge ordered him to pay me $1,800 plus court costs...I was able to get about $350 out of his bank account, but other than that...nothing. We're going back to court in a few weeks to set up a payment plan...he's turned out to not be such a great friend after-all....but we live and we learn.

Well...I think I'm going to close for thing I like to have before I get on here is an idea...I like to have a thought and a thought line that I want to cover. Well, one just came to mind..... "life after war" . I'll get to that in the days to come. It's been interesting. At least my friends think so...but I don't think they would use the word "interesting"....they would prob use words like...different, changed, help, used to be.......oh well..there's a thought there, but I can't find the words. Anyway, I'll try to make it worth your time if you feel like reading it. So, "life after war" is next.

Again, thank you for your support!!

Till next time,
Out here,

SGT Wormy

What a Great Weekend

This weekend was a great one. Mom and dad got to the house on Friday evening and of course my fridge and cupboards were a little bare and we had to grocery shopping. That night they met Sonya again. They met her years ago, but do not remember. I guess that is what happens when you are getting old. HAHA!! Had to say it mom and dad. You are grandparents after all.

Saturday was just as good. Once Sonya got off work we took mom and dad to Indiana to the casino on the river. It was funny on the way because knew it would be boat and was worried because she gets motion sick. Now she knows it is just a building on the water and you can't even tell you are on water. Sonya and I blew through $30 pretty fast so slowed down and had a few drinks. I finally go the machine I wanted that was a penny machine. I put my last $5 for gambling in and won $60 pretty fast. Mom continued to let it play and got it to $75 and we stopped. It was great night and a good ride home.

Sunday we decided to head to Nashville and see Sonya at work and go shopping at Opry Mills. Of course me and dad spent most of the time in Bass Pro. I got a tree stand and a muzzleloader for deer season this year and I cannot wait.

Mom and dad left yesterday to head to Branson for a much needed vacation. And of course they were on the bikes. They will be back through later this week and will be stopping by for another visit and I am glad.

It was great to spend time with them and to let them meet Sonya. They really seem to like her and now I have to convince Sonya that.

Life has been treating pretty darn good here lately. I am really happy with how things are going with my life. I sold my motorcycle as much as I did not want to, but I need to save the money on the insurance and pay off a few bills. I will now be selling my Ford Ranger. I have had it over 10 years and it is time to let it go. It is a great truck and hate to see it go, but I don't need it. One truck is plenty.

I hope that life is treating everyone great. You all should know that if you ever need anything, I am here. I don't care how big or how small. I am here for anyone.

Oh, I can't forget to update you on Jeremy seeing he is never on here. He had surgery to repair his shoulder last week and is doing good. Wish I was there to help him out with things seeing that he has no use of his shoulder for a long time now.

Courtney is playing soccer now and is in school. Mom and dad have went to some soccer practices and I will finally get to see on next next week and maybe even take her to a game on Saturday. She is really excited. Every time I talk to her she asks about Marley and tells me about her new Barbie bike she got. I just wish she would slow down growing. She is growing too fast.

Well, I better do some work. I hope every has a great day!!

SGT John Strader


I am sad to say that some one has once again posted something that was uncalled for on the blog. I have asked in the past that if you want to leave a comment, to please put your name so we know who to thank for the comments. If you have something negative to say about my brother or me, either keep it to yourself or put your name to it. There is no need in being negative on here. If you want to be negative, you are more than welcome to visit my facebook ( leave your comments there. At least way, more people will be able to see it and we will know who you are. I will continue to delete all comments like the one from the past and the one I deleted today. I will be changing it to where you have to register in order to leave a comment on here if this continues. I don't want to that, but it may come to that.

The comment had to my relationships. I share that on here to let others know that I am happy although I was done so wrong and lied to in the past. I might have moved with my life and found some one that I really like and enjoy spending time with, but there is no need in making the comments that were made. It has been 6 months since Tessa treated me the way she did and did the things that she did. I was not perfect, but I did not do what she did. I was not telling some one that I love them while I was still sharing a bed with my spouse. I did not move across the country the day my divorce was final to be with some one. I did not let some one buy me a new car and lie about it to cover my ass and theirs. I took my time and met several people. Each time, not happy with who or what they stood for. I took my time and was not looking for anything and then some one great fell into my lap. If you are jealous or unhappy with it, that is your problem and you need to move on and forget about it. Once I written out of some one's life, I am done and going to move on with my life. There is no need on dwelling on the past. It is one thing to miss it, and it is another letting it control you and dictate what you do. I am over what has happened to me and moved on with my life. I finally met some one I trust and I am not afraid that I will be hurt again. I never thought that would happen to me in the past, but it did and I tread lightly now as not to get hurt again like I was in the past. Life has a way of teaching you lessons the hard way and in ways that you never imagined.

So, if you have the nerve to leave a comment like that, try putting a name to it.