Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Another Deployment, Another Year of Fun

On 26 April another deployment to Afghanistan began. We were supposed to leave on 20Apr, but due to weather, and over things out of our control, we played the game of showing up every morning thinking we were about to leave, until the day arrived that we finally did leave.

Before that wonderful trip to Manas to start the trip, I had to enjoy life to the fullest. A few weeks before departing, I took some leave to lay my grandmother to rest in Akron, OH. She had been sick for quite some time, and it was a matter of time. I went to OH to say my goodbyes in December and then again in Apr for the final goodbye.

After spending my time in OH with family, some that I had not seen in years, I decided I needed a real vacation, something I had not had in several years. Sonya, my roommate, invited me to Destin, FL with her family for a week, and I took her up on the offer. Being my first trip to Destin, I was very impressed and a great time, not to mention that I met Russell from the current and last season of Survivor at a local bar. The beaches were beautiful along with the water being clear. We had some rough seas to begin with, but the last few days it calmed down and was great. It has to the best trip I have ever had to a beach. I cannot wait to do it again. Oh and of course I went deep sea fishing where we caught some Amber Jack. Talk about some good eating fish!! I also hunted sea shells for two, trying to some to impress Courtney, and boy did I!!

Speaking of Courtney, my last week that I was home, I got to spend it with Courtney. I did have to work a little while she was there, but it was still great to spend so much time with her before leaving for so long. After talking to her teacher, it seems that going to the parks on post were the highlight for her and the most fun. That over the zoo and going horse back riding. It was great getting to see so many smiles on her face for a week. I was also blessed with mom, dad, and Jeremy and his new fiancé, Leslie coming for a visit. Courtney was glad to have them there as well. She rode back home with Jeremy and Leslie and I was told that she was a perfect angel. Well, its hard to be bad when you are sleeping the whole way. That week was over way to fast and there were so many more things to do. Hopefully when I get home I will be able to make up some of that time, granted that Christina grows a heart and is willing to let me see her.

Well, on to the trip here. We left Fort Campbell, and of course there were going to be stops on the way. The first stop was in Shannon, Ireland, where we were delayed for 6 hours. That was a lot of fun. Sitting around with nothing to do. We had the terminal to roam around in, but there was still not that much to do. After we finally left there, the next stop was in Romania. That was good place to stop. I have never seen so many gorgeous women in one place. That country is blessed with beauty. Of course we were delayed again. We sat in a very small terminal for about 5 hours this time. After that, we were finally on our way again to Mana, Kyrgyzstan.

We arrived in Manas on 27Apr. The stay in Manas was better than my previous two times. Mainly because we were not stuck in the huge tents and put in small ones, but we will pay for that later.

After a few days of Manas, were on our way to Bagram, Afghanistan. Once we arrived in Bagram, we got the payback for having nice accommodations in Manas and stuck in a huge overflow tent. The rest of unit left within a few days, I was there for over a week until I got a B hut last night and finally moved into my current room. Now I just have to get it set up like I want it.

I have been very busy since I got here receiving soldiers from my battalion and sending them on to their final locations. There have been several 24 hour days so far and many more to come. Last night was one and I was lucky that I got about 3 hours of sleep this morning. Now I have to get settled in and start working out and getting back in shape.

I know that this all short and sweet, but I had a lot to cover. I don’t want to bore everyone to death yet with details. Mom mentioned that I really needed to get on posting and she is right. Hopefully I will find out in a week or so if I staying here or if I am moving on to another FOB. When I know, I will pass it on.

Thanks to everyone for the support!!

SGT John Strader


Anonymous said...

your daughter is lucky to have you as her dad. fighting for her freedom and spending what time you can with her and making it special. stay safe and keep us posted.
God Speed

Anonymous said...

Good to hear from you again!

A Reader from Indonesia

Anonymous said...

Sending my sympathy on the loss of your Grandma.

It was so good to read your latest update. Have missed reading about you two. Will look forward to Jeremy's next post.

Thank you for your service to our country.

God be with you and keep you safe!

Vivi said...

Great to hear from you again!

Vivi said...

Good to hear from you again!

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the Job John.... Maybe in the future when ya Retire you can write a book about the life of a Soldier and your travels as you have a lot to see and say.

It's good that ya have a great family and we back in Tenn are proud of ya bro.

Stay safe and your kiddo will respect what job you have when she is Grown ..... Trust me.

Regards, Halli

Anonymous said...

Thank you for your service. My husband is stationed in Bagram at the moment and idk, it's kind of cool that it's the same place that you are in.

Anyway, good to hear that you are doing well. May you come home safely.