Sunday, March 21, 2010


Well, life is changing for my family as we speak. For the last several months my grandma, mom's mom, has been sick and in and out of the hospital with serious problems. The time came last week for her to enter the hospital one last time. Right now my mom and her siblings are at my grandma's side with her while we wait on God to take her home. It has been a difficult time for all of us. I am about to face a year long deployment to Afghanistan and was afraid this day would come after I left. Now it appears she will be headed "home" any moment now. I am glad that I will be here for this bitter sweet moment. We all wish the suffering she is going through would come to an end so she can be at peace. I said my goodbyes to her in Dec when we thought that was it. I have not been able to get back to see her, but I will be there for the final farewell. My family is in need of your prayers.

As I am preparing for these multiple changes, I welcomes more changes to my life. Sonya, a very good friend, is going to live in my house for me while I am gone and has started moving in. I am glad that I have a friend I can trust and is willing to do this for me.

I am also taking my first real vacation in years. I am going to Destin, FL for the first in my life for a week and looking forward to it. Can't wait to sit on the beach, go deep sea fishing, and finally relax before there is nonstop work in Afghanistan.

We were informed last week we are not going to the safest place in Afghan. They went as far as to tell us that everyone will not come home. It is a sad truth and we all know the reality of it. We know that we will be in a dangerous place, but we all know what we signed up for. I love my job and there is not another job I would be doing. It is never the same thing for long. People thank me all the time. Well the thank yous go to those that support us and the wonderful people out there that realize what we do. I don't do this for attention, I do it for my family and my country.

My brain is all the place right now. So many things that are going on in life right now and so many things to share, but I am focused on my family right now and the situation with my grandma.

You expect to see a lot more posts on here starting in the next couple months. There will be a lot of "I can tell you, but I will have to kill you" stories. Expect a lot good stories though. The reality of the deployment is starting to hit and I am ready to go. My bags are pack, a month early.

Thanks again to all those that follow us on here. God bless you all!!

SGT John Strader

Wednesday, March 10, 2010


Those were the words that I was looking for today in the court room as I was defending my innocence. You see, about a week and a half ago I was getting ready to leave work and I was called back into the office. I go inside and get told to go back outside and wait for my NCO to come out and talk to me. Well, she did. She told me that she was escorted to the sheriff's department to get issued an order of protection. I had no clue as to why or who would do this. Well, once to the sheriff's department I found out. Tessa had issued it. That left me confused, worried and not knowing what to do and a court date for today. So I get on the phone immediately calling family and friends trying to figure it out. After not knowing why she would do it, I called an attorney. After talking to the attorney and not knowing what surprise to expect, I coughed up the money to pay for one day in court.

Skip to today. Dad came up this morning to be there in case I need a witness to the events of last Easter. We go and talk to the attorney again before court and still have no clue what to expect.

Now it is our turn in front of the judge. Tessa takes the stand and pleads her case saying that she is scared. She admits to the judge that I had not threatened her and when asked the last time she saw me.....9Jul09. The look on the judge's face was priceless. The judge had to ask again to ensure she heard right. Then when asked for more proof, Tessa produced a blog entry that the world as able to read that was posted on 13Feb. The judge asked her how I knew she was married and she said that I was stalking her. The judge asked her if she knew that people talked. It was a great time for me. She squirmed and did not have a leg to stand on.

My attorney asked some questions but I will not go into what she said, but it did not help her. Then it was my turn on the stand. My side was not needed it seemed. My attorney asked a few questions to get some things on the record to protect me in the future. Don't want to give it away just yet.

I barely made it to my seat and the judge said there was not enough evidence and it was dismissed. I was pretty stoked over that. I am willing to bet that you can expect this to be the last time that you hear about her on here. I am glad that my freedom of speech was upheld and I can still talk about what has happened to me because of her.

On to some exciting news. Courtney lost her first tooth over the weekend while she was with me. It was very exciting. You should have seen her when woke to realize the Tooth Fairy had been there. Courtney was convinced that the Tooth Fairy was going to make a copy her mommy. Well, I sent her home without the tooth, because the Tooth Fairy had it. Once she got home, her mommy insisted that I send the tooth and I refused. Her daddy deserves one thing that is a first in her life. Well, Christina is so selfish and unwilling to let me have something that she told Courtney I had it and would not give it to her. Christina was able to get Courtney mad at me and now she will not talk to me. I am still in shock and awe over this. If you knew it all and I felt like typing it all, you would be too.

The deployment...well my dates go moved a few days so that gives me a few more days here. I would just assume to go and get it over with. But on a good note, Sonya, my old friend, is going to house sit for a year. She is preparing to move in and I am going to start moving my things around to make room for her stuff. I am glad that i will not have an empty house sitting here for some one to steal all my things. I will really owe her for this.

Well, you can tell there have been some things going on, but I still seem to come out on top thanks to God for answering my prayers.

Once again, thanks for all the support and God bless you all!!

SGT John Strader

Monday, March 1, 2010

On the road again...

Just can't wait to get on the road again...whatever...well, no really wait...I'm having a blast! Oh wait, thank you to all of those that continue to show your support to my brother and I. We really appreciate it. SO where am I now???

On the road again...that's where I am. In the beautiful state of Texas. The state where death row has an express lane. Where everything's bigger...I guess. One thing that is bigger is my hotel room. I've got a sweet/suite place to stay. Like one guy said this morning, I need a taxi to get from the bathroom toilet to the shower. It's cool. Something new. Whatever. So yes. I'm in Texas. The wonderful United States Army has sent me to get educated in the ways of medicine...and I don't mind. It's food for the brain...and hopefully will help me better save someone's life one day. Hopefully. Seriously, I'm looking forward to what this training has to offer. it should be good, really good. If I said anything else...yep, you know...I'd have to kill you. ;-)

So what else is going on in my crazy life??? Well, a LOT. Kinda. It's tough because the things I want to write about, I can't. It's mostly to do with Leslie and how wonderful she is and how much I love her and I how I can't stand being away from her and all the wonderful things coming up in our lives. I will say I was just on the phone with her, and she said the sweetest thing to me. "I miss us praying together." See, about a week ago I started praying with her before we go to sleep at night. With all that's going on in our lives, and this and that...I just felt the desire to pray with her before bed. So we did. And tonight, we did too. It was great. I love being with Leslie, I love holding her, I love talking about the future, and I love this and that, this and that, and I love praying with her. It's something I've never done before and I love it! This woman is my everything. And soon, I'll be able to share all things that are going on in our lives. If you could say a prayer for us, it would be much appreciated. You see, there are a few uncertainties (sp) in our lives right now with the possibility of my going to Afghanistan or back to Iraq. It's tough living in the "I don't know stage". It's hard to plan things when a phone call tomorrow could change all of those plans. And on the same note, if I never get that phone call, it will affect a lot of things between now and then just the same. We're in a time of unknown. Our daily prayers are for God's will to be shown to us so together we can make the decisions he will bless. God's perfect timing and perfect will will be revealed in time...we just pray that we'll be able to see his will when he shows us.

My bro is going through a little bit of a crappy situation. Sorry bro. I think the next woman in your life will be better than the previous two. Well, I say that because I'm not sure how you can possibly get any worse. WOW! Love you bro! :-) Ahh, I just thought of something..but I won't put it on here. Well, whatever. sucks that you're being kicked in the shin right now...but that's about all it really is. A little annoying pain that will go away as quick as it came.

NEXT subject please! Ok, so here pretty soon i'll be able to write about what I'm so excited about. Till then...sorry. Keep checking back to see what's up.

OH yeah!! BTW I'm selling my motorcycle. Yep, selling my baby. My 2005 Ninja 636 is officially up for sale. It's listed on ebay. The item #320495087982 is where you'll find the listing. I love this bike. I really do. But like Leslie said about two weeks ago, "you're almost 30, you don't really need a sport bike" and yeah, I agreed. But don't get it twisted. I'm not selling my baby for her. She's actually asked me several times if I was sure i wanted to sell it. And I am. She's right. I'm getting too old for that thing. Plus everytime I ride it...I just wanna see how far I can ride a wheelie on it. Keeping that thing on two wheels is a challenge for me. Every straight stretch of road is an opportunity for me to "have fun". Plus I have the Honda. And the more I ride the Honda, the more I like it. And she likes is too. I took her on her first bike ride Christmas Day. And she liked it. It's a phase of my life. That bike stood for a lot of crazy times. The Lord watched over me more times than I can count while i was on that thing. From the Autobans in Germany, Switzerland, Belgium, and Italy, to the back roads of east and that bike have shared a lot of great memories. But, it's time to let go. I hope I sell it to someone that will have as much fun with it as I did....well maybe a little less but I hope to sell it none the less.

Well, it's time to go to bed. Another day gone. Another day passed. Something just came to mind. Friday morning before meeting up with Leslie, I met with my Bible study group. Two other guys that I absolutely love to spend time with studying what the God has written for you and me. Jon, our leader, always has the best verse. God has a way of laying on him what we need to know, hear, and study each time we met. This time, it was
Jeremiah 29 - 11-13 ("For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. 12 Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. 13 You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.")

What amazing words of encouragement as Leslie and I have so many questions about our future and what we are to do next. Trust God. Trust Him with everything you have and He will bless you.

That's all for now....way past my bed time. Thank you all again for your support.

Out here,
SGT Wormy

History Repeating Itself

Did not have a good title today so I used what I was thinking about, but unable to talk about it for fear that some one out there might use it against in court to get what they are after, although I am not too sure what it is.

Life has been treating me pretty good. My unit is still a lot of fun and I really like the people that I work with. They finally decided that I am redneck. Evidently they were on the fence whether I am or not. Some one said, you drive a truck, listen to country music, and sound like you are from the south. Some one then said, "I bet you wear RealTree on the weekends." I told them I tried to get some Real Tree sheets at Bass Pro but they were out of them. That was the nail in the coffin they were looking for. Now they know I am redneck and the jokes never end. I am glad they are getting a kick out of it.

Courtney has been doing good too. I got to take her to the first birthday party that she was invited to from school. It was a pool party and she had a blast, as did I. Amazing what you can learn from other parents about her mom. Didn't even have to ask. I would share it here, but I will hold that card for a while. You never know when you might need it.....

I know that Courtney knows that I am leaving again and I worried about her and how she will handle it. I will get to spend my last week here with her and I am glad. It all has to do with finally getting more time with her. Andy Farmer had a big hand in that I really owe him!!!

Now I have to get it together and get in shape and lose some weight for my PT test that is coming up. It is the last one before I take off for Afghan. Speaking of which, I am glad that I am going to have a house sitter while I am gone. I was really worried about it and now I don't have to worry. Between Sonya and Jay, my house will be in good hands while I am gone.

Well, there is not much in life that I can really talk about right now. I cannot talk some soldiering issues or some legal issues that I got pulled into until it is all over. Oh, I am not in trouble, just have to prove my innocence. Once again, lawyers fees that I cannot afford.

Oh, I did get a new tattoo. This time it is a cross made from nails on my forearm opposite of the wall I got a while back. I hope to finish my arm before I leave for Afghan. I already know what I am getting, just have to wait and see happens in the next week or so.

As always, thanks to everyone for your support.

SGT Strader, John