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

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