Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Where's My Daddy?

Hello to all of those who continue to show your support to my brother and I! I greatly appreciate it! WE greatly appreciate it.

Before I get to the main part of the post...I'll fill you in on what's been up in my life lately....God has been showing himself to me more and more lately. It's been really wonderful! I've been dating an incredible woman! We're doing really well. She's amazing! Work is going ok. OK at best I guess. I'm getting geared up and getting ready for hunting season. I got a muzzleloader so I could hunt a little earlier and hopefully get a jump on a big buck. Overall, life's going pretty well, better now that I've got Leslie, my girlfriend. Enough about that...I'm kinda drawing a blank here...I thought I was gonna fill you in on some cool stuff... but, I guess that's all I got.

Now, I don't normally warn or say this before a post that I think might upset someone...however...I'm gonna do my best to put some good thought into the next part of this post. I'm going to do my best to make you cry. Point blank. SO, if you're not in the mood, not by yourself, not in a spot that you can get a little emotional... come back when you are. Come back when it's a better time....

Where's my daddy?

This was dropped into me today as I was getting ready for work. I'm not sure why, well maybe I do know why. I got to thinking about children who don't have a father in thier life. Children that by no choice of thier own, wonder each day, where's my daddy? But then there's some that don't see daddy because daddy doesn't choose to see them...Why? Why would you leave your little girl asking "where's my daddy?" Why would you choose to do something selfish instead of being there for your little girl? She'll only be little once. She'll only be 5 one time. She'll only be 6 one time. Picture her sitting in the car on the way home when someone else picks her up, and that's when it starts...where's my daddy? Later as she gets to the house...where's my daddy? It's been two weeks since I've seen him last...where's my daddy? My time with daddy is usually really short and I miss him...where's my daddy? Daddy? Don't you miss me? Don't you wanna look into my beautiful eyes and tell me you missed me too? I just can't wait to tell you I love you and give you a big hug. Why aren't you here? Did I do something wrong? Where's my daddy? I miss you daddy. Did I not give you enough hugs last time I saw you to make you want to rush back to me? How come you're not here? Daddy it's Halloween and I got this little cowgirl outfit to wear and get candy... where's my daddy? Who's gonna hold my hand when we go trick-or-treating? I'm only gonna be little for a short while longer...and the cute outfits will turn into prom dresses and formals...so don't you wanna see me in my cowgirl outfit before it's too late and outgrow it? Where's my daddy? And when we get home tonight, who am I gonna sleep with? I need you close daddy so the boogy man won't get me...afterall, it is Halloween. I need you here to keep me safe daddy. I am so excited to get to spend a couple days with you...what's happening that you couldn't come see me? What's more important than me daddy? Tell your mean ol boss that you've got a beautiful princess to see and his work can wait till Monday... where's my daddy? Daddy, you do wanna see me right? I miss you. I love you daddy. Where's my daddy? Oh and daddy my last soccer game is tommorrow. I'm gonna run so fast and play so hard just so you will be proud of me and watch me win. I'm so excited that you'll be there! Just having you there, I know I'll play good! You are coming right daddy? Maybe one day when I'm older you can show me pictures of when I was little and I played soccer and I did good, and you'll think back on how precious I was and how much fun we had together. I hope I score a goal just for you daddy! I'm gonna do my best just for you! Where's my daddy? Daddy, you are coming right? After the soccer game, maybe we can go back to grandma's house and carve pumpkins! Ya! That sounds like so much fun! But I'll need you there to make sure I don't get hurt with the sharp knife. I just know that's gonna be fun! I love you daddy! And then, after that we can go see the fishes at the store with all the animals. Remember when I used to feed the little deer at the campsite there, that was so much fun. Wow daddy, I'm growing so fast! There's so much I wanna do with you daddy, but we never seem to have enough time to play bunches. It's ok though, at least I get to see you for a little while. I like it when you comb my hair all pretty. Daddy I miss you. Can you ask mommy if I can come see you sooner next time? And oh ya! can we finish making those apple pies with grandma? Last time we ran out of time too...but it was still ok, I got to see you daddy! I bet you just can't wait to come see me. I just know that you won't let anything or anyone keep you away from your only little girl daddy. Daddy, what if something happens and I don't see you anymore? What if I grow up wondering what was so important that kept you away....I know for a while you were in the mountains fighting the bad guys, but you're back now...I can't wait to see you daddy! I love you daddy. I miss you daddy. I can't wait to see you....grandma, where's my daddy? Pa, where's my daddy? I love you daddy! I'm sorry daddy, I shouldn't worry like this, I know you're coming, I just know it.

I'm not sure if you've read any of my past blogs and right now I'm not sure how much I've shared on here about what I have and don't have. I have a lot of "stuff". I have a lot of "toys". I have a lot of "nice things". I have a "nice house". I have a lot of material "things". Material things. The one thing I don't have is the one thing I have wanted the most for so long. You can't buy it. You can't put it on a credit card. You won't find it at Wal-Mart. However, the one thing I long for so badly, so many have...yet they choose to put it to the side like it's not important. Some take it for granted like it will be here forever....like we'll be here forever. The one thing that should be, and could be the most amazing thing each one of us will ever experience. But, some choose. Choose. Choose to put it aside like it doesn't matter. They choose to place other things first. They choose to do things of the world and selfeshly replace the most amazing thing with a quick fix of "happiness". Which, in the end, in my opinion, you miss out and only find yourself wishing you had done things a little differently. The one thing I don't have, the love of a child. Small, innocent eyes looking to me like I'm superman and I can take on anything. A small hand to reach out to me as we walk across the parking lot into the grocery store. The innocents of a child's love. The heart warming, heart breaking, amazing, unexplainable love of a miracle sent from God making me the happiest man on this place we call earth. Beautiful eyes that look to me for answers, safety, shelter, and security from the big world around them. There's a lot of things in this world that you do, have, buy, and possess that will still in the end leave you empty and wanting more. But love. Love. And in this case specifically the love of a child. Someone calling me daddy. A man should need no more. I just can't imagine the feeling a father must have when their child looks up and says, "I love you daddy." And yet, some...some CHOOSE not to be a part of this. I honestly do not think I'll ever understand it.

Till next time,
SGT Wormy

Monday, October 26, 2009

Terrible Three

Well, what a weekend. Of course you know I went hunting, so here is the story of that and how bad things come in threes and you have to laugh at it all to keep smiling. Don't let anything bring you down, no matter what.

Like usual, I went to bed VERY early on Friday night and got up at 430am thinking it was plenty early enough to get the spot that I wanted. I got to the hunting area and NINE guys beat me to where I wanted to be. So, I drove to the other side of the area and took that spot. Of course on the way there were deer everywhere on the side of the road and I knew that was good sign. I got in the stand a little later than I wanted, but no one's fault but my own. It was right at day break I started hearing the cracks of shotguns and muzzleloaders, some very close to me. That meant I must be in a decent area, but will any of them get past the other hunters to me? Well, it was several hours later, about 430pm, and I turned around and could see two does just waiting on me to put a shot in them. One was considerably larger than the other and I had my eyes on her. I let them closer, closer and then it looked at though they might go out of site and move on so that meant it was time to take a shot.

My heart racing. Adrenaline flowing. Heart pounding out of my chest (a feeling every hunter knows and loves it) like a cartoon!! I lined up a shot. POW!!!! The smoke cleared and they both were still standing. They never moved!! They turned and looked the oposite direction of my location then went back to eating. I flattened against the tree and as quietly as possible, I reloaded. They never saw me or heard me for that matter. I turned around and lined up another shot. This time aiming a little lower and a little faster because they were starting move on out of site. POW!!! This time they took off running. I got out of the tree as fast possible. I looked for blood and NOTHING!!! How did I miss?? I never miss!!! I tracked them for a while and never a sign of them again or any blood. How could this be? Did my scope get off somehow?

I gathered my stuff in extreme frustration, ran to the truck and drove as fast as I could to the rifle range on post to check my rifle. Guess what!!! I was right on the money. Perfect shot. Not off at all. So what happened? Who knows, but I will not miss again!!!

That was the first of three bads for the weekend. On to Saturday morning. I get up 30 minutes early and get ready to take off for hunting. This time I am the first out and I get the spot I wanted the day prior. I pull over and park, and then my truck tells me I have low tire pressure. Could not wonder why, but I get out and look. PPPPPSSSSSSSSSS!!!!! CRAP!!! I have a serious leak in my tire!! I grab the flashlight and start looking, and sure enough there is a ROCK in my tire. Not on the side, but straight through the tread. What the heck can go wrong now? Then I remember bad things come in threes. That was not going to bring me down at all. I move the truck, change the tire and park again where I was. A very nice guy about my age showed up about that time and we discussed where we would hunt and decided to hunt close to each other, but not as close as we ended up.

Well, about 9am it hit me. Get the heck out of the tree or crap my pants. Yes I am telling a story about pooping my pants. I tried to get my tree stand and the bottom was stuck on a branch and no matter how I tried, I could not get it down. I was running out of time and decided it was time to jump. I unhooked the safety harness and swung out of the stand and fell a few feet to the ground. Grabbed the TP and made for a tree. Just as I finished I look up and see the guy that I was talking to early. He was VERY close and laughing at me. He watched the whole ordeal of me trying to get out of the tree. He could there was a problem and once he discovered what it was, he could not stop laughing. Neither could I. Afterall, find humor in everything!!

We stood there and talked for a second and decided to scope out the area. We walked down the firebreak and saw another hunter in the distance and we all gave the "where the hell are they" arms up in the air at the same time. We kept walking and found some very fresh tracks on the edge of a field and I decided I was setting up shop on the trail. I go back and get my stuff, set up and wait. And wait. And wait. Then, I hear something close, but there is no way it is a deer because I would be able to see it at that distance. I figured a squirrel, but it didn't sound right. Then it let out a noise and I knew it was no squirrel. A big coon come walking by. He walked up close to my bag, smelled around and must have caught whiff of my pee and left. I didn't pee on my bag before you think that. I forgot my pee bottle and was having to just pee right out of the stand.

I set a time that I was done hunting, because if you remember I had a tire to fix and a house to clean. Plus I have only eaten one meal in two days and it was taking its toll on me. No fat jokes. I know I need to lose a few. So, I stand up and look around, listen very carefully. Look some more and as quietly as possible, I start down the tree. I get down and head down the trail to where I could not see that well and low and behold, right out of sight from my stand a deer took a big steamy crap. And I mean it was still steaming!! What the crap? Well, that is how it goes. Plus at that distance, I would not have taken the shot anyway. You might think that was the third in the threes. Never. That is part of hunting. I don't consider that a bad one. Just bad luck.

Now, you wonder what the third is? Well, on my way home after another day of hunting, I get pulled over on post for speeding. I was not paying attention to my speed and just going. I got a nice speeding ticket. When he brought me the ticket to sign, I started laughing. He was shocked and wondering what was so funny, so I explained my weekend, a lot shorter than here. He asked how in the world could I be laughing. That was simple. I spent two wonderful days in the woods in lovely weather. I had my health, and life is good. I told him to find humor and everything and laugh at and it will be all good. Never let anything bring you down.

To continue that on, I had a friend call me last night and wanted to know if she could stop by after work and of course I told her after she said she was having a horrible day. I was thinking, OK, I had some bad luck this weekend and it will be easy to cheer some one up. She comes over and tell me she thinks her boyfriend in Afghan is going to dump her and she is tore because they were fighting yesterday. After a little while, I had her laughing and understanding that it is easy to let things bring you down, IF you let them. By the end of the night she was doing a lot better. And guess what, I get a text first thing this morning telling me thank you for cheering up and she wanted to know how I stay so positive. I told her it is easy. I also told her that she, along with everyone, should read a book called, "You are What You Think" by David Stoop. You can get this on Amazon for $0.01. It is worth it. I plan buying a few copies and giving them to people who I think will benefit from them. It is a great Christian book and VERY easy to read.

You might wonder the outcome of the tire. Well, it can't be fixed and I have to buy another tire. Wal-Mart and the dealer both cannot fix it. Oh well. Chalk it up to the costs of hunting.

I am headed home this week to visit and do the mediation thing. I have mediation on Wed morning this week and hopefully Christina will finally think about Courtney and not only herself. Courtney always to stay longer and her mom never lets her. Imagine that. Pray that this goes well and we finally work something out and do not end up in court to have a judge make the decision for us.

I hope that everyone has a great week!!

SGT John Strader

Friday, October 23, 2009


It was a hard decision to make a post telling my story about what I have been through. Life is not an easy journey. There are wonderful scenes to behold, there are flat tires, and there are interesting people long the way. I have met so many of you and glad I have. I am thankful for the out pouring support I have received in the few hours since the post. It really encourages me to continue on with sharing those private moments in my life.

After I finished the "Confession" and went home, I thought of other things I could have added to that post. One things I did not tell you was that I flatlined three times. That is my understanding from those that were there. I know that it took me almost a week to get my head working again after all I put myself and those around me through. In addition, Tessa never visited me on time to make sure I was OK. The pills that lowered my blood pressure were the ones that almost did me in. There was nothing they could do other than try to push the meds out my system. It was too late to pump my stomach. My body had already absorbed too much of the medications. There are funny stories to go along with my ordeal. I know that you might wonder how in the world can you find something funny about all this. Well, remember I told you in another post about mom sending me an email about attitude and finding the good or funny in everything, well there was something that was funny. As I started gaining consciousness, I had gas. If you know me, that means I let it out. Evidently it was long and loud. I finished the relief with extra relief in my pants. Evidently it took me a few trips to the bathroom to realize I soiled myself. My parents and I still laugh at the fact that I crapped myself in the hospital and took forever to realize it. It might be gross, but you can always find something funny or good in everything, no matter how bad it is. I can't believe I just told the world I crapped myself with a lot of people around to see it.

After all this was over, I decided it was time to make life a little easier seeing that I was maintaining a new house on my own and I sold my bike, truck and junk in my house that I did not need. Life is at a great spot right now and there is no way that anything or anyone is going to bring me down. Everything in life is happening for a reason. Let life happen and do not worry about it.

SGT John Strader

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Confession Time

This might not be the smartest thing in the world that I have posted, but here it goes.

I am worried that some will judge me and will try to use this against, me although those might use it already know. I will tell you first and foremost, I am happier than I have ever been and my life is GREAT!! There is nothing that will bring me down. I also want you to know this is going to be very hard to write. I am telling it so that it might help some one else out there. I want others to know they are not alone.

As most of you know, I was married to Tessa very fast without knowing her very well. I was very happy and thought I finally had the girl of my dreams. I was wrong and almost paid the ultimate price for it. I am not going to point fingers by giving all the details, but I am going to share a lot.

It started with things going downhill with Tessa and me. I was getting depressed and letting a lot things worry me that should not. Eventually, Tessa cried wolf and it got me sent to a mental health facility in Hopkinsville for ten days in late March. I was released from there good to go. I got out and things just keeping getting worse. A week later, Tessa left me. In the end it was for another soldier that she met only two days prior. It can be denied all they want, but everyone is not as stupid as we look. Trying not to rant on that, but you don't just buy a "friend" a new car.

At the news that she was leaving me, I started to loose control of my thoughts. I was having crazy and random thoughts running through my head that if something were to happen to me she would come back. Boy was I wrong. That was the dumbest thing to ever think.

That night, I was taken to the hospital to be checked and make sure I was OK. Of course I was because she was crying wolf again, but in the end she was right.

I was put on suicide watch, although they trusted me that I was OK, they should never trust some one in that situation. I was left with my car keys and all my belongings. Not good. I do not blame those who made those decisions. I thought I was fine and convinced them I was.

The next morning, Tessa finally called and told me how horrible of a person I am and how terrible of a father I was. Not realizing what she was doing, I did not realize how wrong she was. She told me I, along with others, would be better off if I was dead. The short of the very long, I took two bottles of pills (one was sleeping pills, the other to lower blood pressure) in the parking lot on post. I managed to drive home and make it in the house. The next thing I remember I was sitting on my steps smoking a cigarette and there were police everywhere, along with an ambulance. I remember trying to stand and that was it.

I woke up in the hospital a couple days later with IVs and machines all over the place, and my parents by my side. I could not believe what I had done. My mom kept on and on about Courtney how would some one explain to a four year old that her daddy was gone forever. It really touched me and set some things in motion in my life.

I was then transported to Nashville for recovery and continued care. Come to find out, the anti depressant that Hopkinsville had me was making me worse and making me more suicidal. I was changed meds, sent to therapy for a few months and here I am happier than ever. I realize my mistakes and bad decisions I have made. There is NOTHING in this world that makes it OK or with it to do what I did. I have a family to think about. And I have a God and Country to serve.

I am here at Fort Campbell where the suicide rate is the highest of any US post in the world. The numbers you hear are those that die. You do not hear how many have tried and failed, thankfully. I have met some that got drunk, and drove into buildings and trees to make it look like an accident. Some of those are like me and realize how stupid it was and that there is help out there. No one should look down on some one for admitting they are having problems and need some help. Just last week I knew a friend was having a bad time and I started to talking to them and was seeing some signs that were in me. I got together and talked for hours. Who knows, I might have saved a life that night because I was not judging like their chain of command was. That is a huge problem with suicide at Fort Campbell. Or any where for that matter. People want to judge those that say they need help think they are weak. They are not weak. They are strong for admitting they need and seeking help. Keep that in mind the next time you talk to some one that you know is depressed and feeling down. I was almost was a statistic and will not let some one I know become one.

In my experience, I know that God wanted me here for a reason. I am still seeking that reason and I know that with time, God will show it to me if I let him. I am no angel, but I am good person. I am truly happy, and I have nothing to complain about, and if I do, I can fix it. Nothing is worth the mistakes I made in April.

Like I said, I did my therapy and the doctor decided I did not need it anymore and encouraged me to talk to others about what has happened to me. I am here to tell you, that if you need help, find a friend, find some one and talk to them. My friends come to me on a regular basis seeking help and I give them my time no matter what I am doing. I have even canceled dates among other things to help my friends because I know what it is like.

Pray for our soldiers. Their is not as easy as you think. A friend put it a good way when she said that marriage is no longer an institution, it is a drive thru now. We can walk away from marriage too easily now. The military is hard marriage and lives involved. Pray for them. Pray hard. We all need it.

Once again, thank you to all that have supported us. I hope that this helps one person. If it does, it was worth it. I hope that I am not judged and I am sorry if you feel the need to judge me because of a mistake I have made. We have all made them, some are just greater than others.

SGT John Strader

Family, I am sorry that you did not know and find out this way. Please do not worry. ALL IS GOOD!!!!! See ya deer hunting next month!!!!!

Why Are Titles Hard to Think of??

First of all, thanks for the continued support. It means the word to us.

Jeremy posted an email that he sent to his pastor last week and I just read when I signed on to post on here myself.

First and most importantly, I will talk about what God has done for me, as he did. I get my hair cut here in Clarksville by the same place on a regular basis and never go anywhere else. I always knew there was a reason and it is starting to be clearer. A few weeks ago when I went for my normal cut, I waited on one of two ladies I like that cut hair. Of course there was small talk and the talk turned to church and faith in God. It was difficult talking to her because of the language barrier. Me being a good old southern boy and her being Korean, it was difficult, be managed as always. She was talking that she had been going to church and that she was finding it hard to have faith in her heart and she was waiting on a sign. I was not sure what to say to her or where to take it.

Skip forward to last week, Fri to be exact. I wanted to get a hair cut and look decent for family at home so I went in to get my hair cut again. My buddy's wife was working so I decided to wait on her. The lady from the previous week did not have a customer and sat down behind me and started reading bible aloud in Korean. After listening, not having a clue what she was reading, but feeling the pull and feeling the great feeling you do when you hear the Word, I turned and asked her what she was reading. She was in Romans. Her bible was English and Korean. She told me she could not read English cause her English is not good. She started explaining to me that she believed in her mind, but not her heart yet. She said she was still waiting on a sign. I was still at a loss of words, but started explaining the best I could that when the Holy Spirit comes inside you, you will know. We talked for a little while until it was my turn. While Jin was cutting my hair, all I could think about was "plant the seed and God will take care of the rest" (think I just found my next tattoo). I told her bye and left. I came back to the office and could not get my mind off of it. I got on the internet and started looking for something to print for her and take to her. I printed some things off, and although I was in a hurry to get on the road back home, I stopped and gave her what I printed and told her to please call or talk to me if she has questions. I pray that this has planted a seed in her that will grow and blossom.

I went home for the weekend and spent my time with Courtney and had a great time with her. I stayed as I promised my brother and went to church and see why he was asking me so much to stay. I was very glad I did. It was worth missing deer hunting on Sunday.

Now comes this weekend. I cannot afford to drive home every weekend, so I am staying home this weekend and hopefully I will find a church to touch me like The Gathering did. It was an awesome place and somewhere I cannot wait to visit again.

This week it was finally back to deer hunting again. I am headed out the next fives days and I have a really good feeling about it.

I am happy for Jeremy and that he found some one that is making him happy. People ask me when I am going to meet some one. I keep telling them I will after deer season. This time of year it is hard. Plus being in this area, men have a bad reputation, especially military. People do not understand that all people are NOT the same. There are good ones here. And I strongly feel I am one of them. Another thing that really gets me is that people that do not know some one, what they are about, are barely know they exist can tell others and have the opinion that Army guys are bad news and they are all the same. Well, a guy like in this area can say that all women here are the same and it is no more fair to them than it is to us. I was going to vent a little, but I will save it for another time.

My life is going really great. I have my friends, Jay is finally back from Afghan, and my wonderful family. I am very close to more time with my daughter and getting very excited about that.

I am with Jeremy on the whole thing about it is not what you own, but how you use what you have. I love to help others and I will never turn down some one in need or who needs help. I am that guy that will turn around and come back and see if I can help you on the side of the road, no matter what time it is. I know that bad things can happen, but if I don't try, I will regret it. Plus I know what it is like to be stuck on the side of the road needing help.

I am proud of Jeremy for the things that he is doing to help others and the sacrifices he is making.

Thank you for all the love that we are getting from all of you, even those that do not know us, thank from the bottom of our hearts. It means a lot to have people out there that support us. I could be facing another deployment next year, and that means this might get a little exciting.

I am all over the place on this one this time. Wow, I need to gather thoughts before I start writing instead of just letting it flow as I think about it.

Mom sent me an email the other day and I had a friend over and we talking about how people judge just because some one is Army. The email, "Attitude", started out talking about how some one always tries to find the positive in everything. It went on and on and I was reading it to my friend thinking mom had typed something about me, because it was describing me exactly. It wasn't, but made me think how happy and lucky I am just to be alive. I guess that means it is time to share the story on how and why I am still alive......

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Where have I been?

Hello! If you know this blog, you know me...first things first. Thank you to all of those who continue to follow out blog and show your support for my brother and I. You are GREAT!!

Ok, so I'm not sure how long I'll be able sit blab on about this before I paste an email I just wrote to one of our pastors in the church I go to. My life is truly taking a U TURN. And when i say that...I mean it's AWESOME!! I'm really lost for words on how to introduce what is next... Jesus has really REALLY been working in and through me lately. He's blessed me with a new incredible woman, I'm happy again, and the rest....you'll just have to read on. Overall I'm doing pretty great! I finally finished the re-model of my master bathroom. FINALLY. Ummm...I made some cookies the other night. Chocolate chip and no back chocolate oatmeal cookies. Ummm... I had shoulder surgery 5 1/2 weeks ago. I go back to the Doc Wend to see about starting physical therapy. YEAH! Overall it's going pretty good. My shoulder is healing pretty good. WOW...it's late and I REALLY need to get some sleep. 530am is going to come early. John, I love you bro! looking forward to seeing you this weekend!

Now....I post this next part for a couple reasons. One, to give glory to God and show others that He still works Miracles. And two, make you think, and hopefully stir your heart. None of this is for self, but all to Him. Before I put this in, two questions:
1) What is a miracle? and Do you believe they still happen?
2) What do you need?

Matthew 6: 32-33
"Your Heavenly Father already knows all your needs, and he will give you all you need from day to day IF you live for him and make the Kingdom of God your primary concern"

If you don't mind, I'd like to take a few more minutes of your time...

I guess first, my faith is growing. I'm finally walking with Jesus instead of just "talking" once in a while. I've finally stopped fighting the Spirit, and I've started surrendering to Him. For years I've fought and talked myself way away from having the relationship I, as a saved man, should have with God. The past month or two, I've just given up. By that, I mean I've given up the fight against God. And oh how wonderful the last two months have been, and especially the last month. I've started reading more, I'm praying more, I'm trusting God more, and it's amazing how great things have been.

So about three weeks ago I really felt like God was telling me I needed to sell my motorcycle and give the money to someone in need. At the time I was reading The Blessed Life and it made me see how I had filled my life with material things, but true happiness was no where to be found. I'd put so much into material objects in my life and nothing into Jesus and what He wanted. I love nothing more than to give to people who need. Jesus has blessed me so much, although I truly didn't see it, and I have kept so much to myself. There were times when I wouldn't tithe because I would rather find someone who needed something and help them instead of giving at church. I love to help people. Back to the motorcycle. This object has become part of who I am. People know me by this object. In reading The Blessed Life, I felt really convicted to sell this object in order to get rid of this....kind of sin and identity...this is hard to explain...I felt like I needed to sacrafice something I enjoyed so much in order to truly see the blessings God has just waiting for me. I'm not sure this is coming out right or not..... So, for three weeks I let the devil put dought in me, I questioned if this was really Jesus wanting me to do this, or if this was me....and if I did sell it, who would I give the money to? Would I carry a check in my pocket and wait for someone to walk in my life and wait for God's nudge? It's so weird because I even feel like I know how much it's going to sell for. Bobby, I feel closer to God now than I have ever felt before in my life and it's amazing! I tried to explain this to my buddy and he thought I was crazy. Especially when I told him I thought I knew exactly how much it would sell for....this number has been in my mind for three weeks now...I don't know why, or where it came from other than I really feel like God is at work. So, I've taken the step of faith. In one of the worst times to sell a motorcycle...and I almost let the devil talk me out of this because "who wants to buy a bike now? At this time of year?" But I've put my faith in God, I've given it to Him. No matter how much it sells for, if it sells for $500 dollars or $5,000 it's all His. The bike is on Ebay and the auction ends Wend. I've prayed and prayed over it, and I've given it to Him.

So, this morning, when Gene mentioned the woman at Wal-Mart needing a roof on her house....there it was. Instantly, without question...the money from my bike is for her and her new roof.

Since we've started this Miracle series, Jesus has answered so many prayers in my life. I've been praying for a God loving woman to walk into my life. I felt like God was going to bless me with that woman in these 40 days. I think it was 7 short days later, my now girlfriend emailed me completely out of the blue. She doesn't know why, but she did. She got baptized today in her church. She's been saved for some time, but hasn't taken that step. We've had so many wonderful talks and experiences together in the last two weeks. My brother that I've been praying for a spiritual miracle for emailed me the other day and told me he was planning on staying in town for one more day just to go come to church with me next week. Later that day he got the bracelet I mailed him with the pages of my prayer journal I tore out so he could see where I've been praying for him. My aunt told me a little boy in her church has a really bad seizure condition. The little boy was having so many seizures everyday that they were going to have to buy him a special dog that would help him during thoses seizures if no one was around. On my drive to work this morning I had this strong feeling to call her and tell her to tell them not to buy the dog because I was focusing all of my prayers for that little boy. During service this morning when i came to the alter to pray during the offering time, all I could think about was that boy. In my voicemail to her I told her to tell that boy's family that I really believed Jesus was going to work a miracle in his body and they wouldn't need the dog. Later I got a message from her saying they weren't going to buy the dog afterall....the boy was doing much better. Last Monday at work I really felt like God laid this woman (a waitress) on my heart to pray for her. I didn't know why, what her needs were, or if she had a need...I just prayed for her. I've prayed for her all week....i was hoping I would see her fri at work but she was off...Saturday was like Christmas morning...the anticipation to see her and tell her that I'd been praying for her and everything was going to be ok...5pm finally came around and about 30 min later I was finally able to pull her aside. She almost starting crying and said that it's been a rough week. I gave her a hug and told her it would be ok.

It's so amazing, the work God is ready to do if we'll just listen and stop fighting against him. I truly believe that God is not only working miracles in other people's lives, but he's doing one in mine as well. All these years of filling my life with "the world"....and all along the one thing I needed has been right here.

Thanks for your time Bobby. I'll let you know Thursday morning how much I'll be giving for the woman's roof. Please pray this so that it will be used as a blessing in her life.


Thursday, October 8, 2009

The Surprise

I am sorry that I forgot to mention what the surprise was. I was so caught up in the deer I did not think about it.

I got another dog from the same litter as Marley and gave dad Marley. I had a long one typed out here, but the computer messed up and I lost it. I have to get back to work and will write more about it later. Some one asked about it and I thought I would share.

Also, mom told me to tell everyone how many deer I can get this year. I can get 9 total between TN, WV and Fort Campbell. I will go until the freezer is full.

SGT John Strader

Tuesday, October 6, 2009


I finally got the buck I have been looking for. Here is the story. I hope you enjoy it as much as I love to tell it. I have told it so many times already!!

I got out of work at 3pm yesterday and drove as fast as I could to my assigned hunting area. I got to the area and decided I was going to try the field hunting that goes on around here. I got to a field and stripped down and changed clothes right there in the open. Once I got geared up, I noticed that some one field dressed a deer right next to where I parked. I decided that there must be deer in the area and started walking the edge of the field looking for a tree to put my stand. After 45 minutes, I could not find a tree I liked and went back to the truck frustrated and decided to move on. I ran into a guy on the side of the road and he told me he had been walking around all day and seen tracks all around the creek bed in the area. I decided I would go to the creek bed and walk in from there. I parked and geared up again and started walking. I did not realize that I had walked a quarter of a mile from my truck. I followed the creek bed and started seeing tracks and trails. I could not find a good tree. Then I finally found where the creek bed branched and two deer trails converged into one. I found me a nice tree and set up shop. I was in the tree and ready to go at about 445.

The squirrels and woodpeckers were everywhere and driving me crazy. At about 6pm to my right I heard a little rustling in the thick. I thought it was another squirrel and was not too worried about it. THEN...a big buck came walking out. It looked like I was in a hunting show. He was walking straight at me. He was about 25 feet when I saw him. I slowly got ready, pulling the trigger, pulling the hammer back so there was no click, slowly released the trigger and I was ready. He was straight on, which not a good shot. I had to hope he was turn to his left a little and follow the path. I was scoped in and ready. He made that slight turn to the right a short 15 feet from me and I was ready for the shot...God please don't let me miss...BANG!!! He jumped and ran across a firebreak in the woods. I jumped up in the stand trying to see him and lost sight of him. Then...I heard what sounded like him laying down. I reloaded and got down the tree as fast as I could.

I walked over to where I shot looking for blood and there was none. I was worried I missed, but how could I from only 15 feet. I walked across the firebreak and there he was laying the path.

He has a whole in his side, a sucking chest wound. He was blowing air out the whole in his side, but no blood which meant I did not hit a vital organ. I guessed he was die quick and I went and packed up all my gear. When I went back to him, he just looked at me like who the hell are you. I took a few steps back and decided to do the humane thing. Oh, I forgot to tell ya I let out some yells of joy when I first saw him laying there. I pulled the hammer back and was ready to go. I pulled trigger, CLICK!! I forgot to put a new primer in my muzzleloader. I put in a new primer and took a few more steps back in case he jumped up. Pulled the trigger...BANG...and then he jumped up, took 5 steps and fell over. It was over. Now came the task of dragging him down the creek bed to the truck.

I used my safety harness as a drag, which works perfectly if the deer is not so freaking big. I started dragging him, 10 feet at a time. Got him to a clearing and started the field dressing. This only being the second deer I shot, it was not easy and I was not too sure I knew what I was doing.

Got him gutted and started dragging 10 feet at a time at first, then 5, then I was worn out after 100 yards. by now it was 630 and the office to check it in closed at 8. I left him laying and took off for the truck to drop my gear and call it in. I called the office and told them where I was let them know it was going to take me a long time to get in. Little did I know that he would call other hunters in the area and let them know some one needed help. Three hunters showed up to help me and we finally got him to the truck. They were surprised and impressed with the size.

I got him to the checking station and finally got him on the scales. 173.6 pounds. Nine points. I was very excited. Right now he is hanging in the cooler and dad is on his way up here to help get him cut up and in the freezer.

This should be the first of many this year. I can still get 2 on post, 3 in WV and 3 in TN. Trust me when I say that one is not enough.