February 28, 2005

SIGH

When I first started this blog, I flew off the handle a lot. I used to get so fired up and would write about every article I read. I've noticed that the world doesn't shock me like it used to. I'm getting very ho-hum about the 'sphere. I figure if I've seen it on four blogs, you've seen it too. LGF doesn't shock me anymore. I'm used to jihad, war, and terrorism. It's a strange feeling, and it makes my blog suck.

I just haven't been feeling very screedy lately. I hope it's not permanent.

I start subbing tomorrow; I'll be teaching 7th grade math for a friend who is on maternity leave. Fractions. Lord help us all.

And the husband still isn't in Kuwait.

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February 27, 2005

NEW EUROPE

A warm welcome for President Bush in Slovakia.

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1989

I'm too young to have seen some beautiful things. Thing #1 I missed out on was the space race; I'd give anything to have seen a man go to the moon. Thing #2 was 1989; I was just a dumb kid who had no idea of the significance.

1989: A Pivot of History

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February 26, 2005

MEDALS

I finally got that foot locker open, with the help of the bolt cutters Red 6 borrowed from the unit. Inside was everything my husband sent home from Iraq: 15 books, a couple of presents I had sent, a Gortex jacket and some TA-50, an Iraqi flag, a John Wayne DVD, and the medal my husband was awarded. Thrown in the bottom of the foot locker like an aftersight.

Red 6 wondered the other day why everyone keeps mentioning the s-word whenever they meet him. I've seen him deflect praise several times already, heaping it upon his crew and his men. He doesn't want to talk about his award, because to him it's not that big of a deal. Same as my husband's.

I told him that to civilians, medals and ribbons are very exciting. We will never understand what goes on in Iraq and Afghanistan, but we can understand that "getting a medal means you did something brave." And we're in awe of bravery, because we've never been asked to do anything with our lives that merits medals.

Remember in Karate Kid II when Daniel makes that beautiful display for Mr. Miyagi's Medal of Honor? (I'm telling you, I can relate anything to the Karate Kid...)

Daniel: I made this for you, it's rosewood. I thought it'd be nice to show them off.
Miyagi: Ah, Daniel-san. Thank you for gift. But why show off?
Daniel: Well, you know, it says something about you, winning the Medal of Honor and all that. It says you're brave. I thought it'd be neat.
Miyagi: (Pats Daniel's chest) This say you brave. (Pats medal) This say you lucky.

That's a pretty accurate portrayal of us dumb civilians. Obviously anyone who thinks medals should be shown off has never been awarded one. I fall squarely into that category, and I just tried to explain to Red 6 that he should keep doing what he's been doing: thanking people for noticing and sharing the glory with his men. When someone mentions the s-word, it's just because they're proud of him. We civilians have a lot of pride we want to share with the troops, it's just sometimes we don't know how.

I also mentioned Den Beste's post on heroism to Red 6; I hope he finds time to read it:

Real heroes know that decorations are only given to those who were lucky enough to be heroic while someone important was watching. Real heroes will have seen many other heroic acts which were never acknowledged by anyone, except by the other members of the team. And ultimately that is the only acknowledgement they truly value, for only their teammates really understand what they went through.

A man who brags about his heroism is no hero.

That's what his wife is for! Medals or no, my husband and Red 6 are my heroes.

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WONDER

I guess I'm just at a loss for words today. What can you say when a Marine's remains finally come home from Vietnam?

You know, sometimes I wonder what my life would be like if we hadn't ended up in the military. I'm sure in many ways it would be easier emotionally. I probably wouldn't weep when I read about remains in Vietnam. I probably wouldn't have the vivid dreams I've been having lately, dreams that haunt me all day long. And I most likely wouldn't be living apart from my husband for the 377th day.

But I really wouldn't trade it for anything. I love this life.

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1%

I can't think of anything to add to Joe Galloway's words:

Sgt. First Class David J. Salie of Columbus, Ga., went to serve in Iraq because he believed the cost was worth it, even if part of the payment was his own life. He was 34 years old and had spent almost half his life in the Army. He was part of that tiny, tiny minority of less than 1 percent of Americans who wear the uniform and take the risks to protect and defend the rest of us. He had everything to live for, but gave it all up for his country and another country and people 7,000 miles away.

(Thanks, Bunker.)

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February 25, 2005

SWEET

Life. Is. Good.

So I woke up this morning to the wonderful sound of my husband getting online, which incidentally is the Futurama theme song. (Now any time I hear it, I have this Pavlovian response where my heart goes "Husband?". But I digress.) My husband woke me up, which is cool.

But no, he's not in Kuwait.

Anyway, then he called later too, which was excellent. He's so bored, since his transfer of authority was like a week ago. So twice in one day, awesome.

Some things today were not so awesome though, like the fact that we live on an Army post where you can't buy green thread. Nope. None. What on earth? How am I supposed to change his insignia to Black Diamond if I can't buy green thread? Shouldn't that be the most obvious color for Clothing and Sales to offer? Nothing in the military is black or white, but those are the colors they sell. Sheesh.

By the way, Black Diamond is really fun to say, in a super-dramatic voice.

So I went to get the mail this evening, and the yarn I've been waiting for for like, oh, say, two and a half months just arrived. And then I stopped by the Shopette to rent a movie, and there was nothing good to rent, so I was wandering around aimlessly and managed to run smack dab into a display of South Park Season 5. Wha? When I called yesterday, they didn't have any. But now they do...

Yarn? Check. South Park Season 5? Check. Illness subsiding? Check.

And then, as I sat down to write this post, the husband got online again. Thrice in one day.

I'm walkin' on sunshine, woa-oh-oh!

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FEMALES

Awww, man. Protein Wisdom linked to like every girl in the blogosphere except me...

Why don't more women blog? Who cares? Just read the stuff and laugh or learn or whatever, and stop worrying about whether the author is wearing pajamas or a nightgown. Stop getting so worked up over trivial crap. Geez.

Now excuse me while I go put on makeup and water my houseplants...

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HA

Lileks always makes me smile -- and boy what a treat it was to hear his voice for the first time -- but I can't think of the last time I've laughed as hard as I did when I read this...

My tie today wasn't Ogg Vorbis friendly either, but it looked hella good with my shirt.

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February 24, 2005

STUPID

I have this stupid personality trait where I hate taking medicine. I don't know why I hate it so much, but I end up like I am today: it's my fourth day of being sick and I couldn't figure out why I felt so crappy, and then I remembered that I haven't taken any medicine. My mom and I are constantly having this dumb conversation where I say I feel bad and then she says, "Well, did you take any medicine?" and I irritably answer, "No." And then I wonder why I feel bad. I don't know why I do that, it's so dumb, but I do it all the time. It's probably because I don't really think it works. Last night I took NyQuil and two Tylenol PM and I was still awake.

But now, you know, fourteen hours later, I can barely hold my head up straight. Maybe the stuff is finally kicking in. Anyways, I just took some DayQuil and opened a Coke, so maybe that will jolt my eyelids open. Or at least help me stop breathing out of my mouth. I can't even concentrate on knitting today, so you know I must be on death's doorstep.

So the SITREP is still the same as yesterday: I'm still sick and the husband still isn't in Kuwait.

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February 23, 2005

ON GOING

It's easy to get caught up in OIF and to forget about OEF. CaliValleyGirl's soldier just left for Afghanistan, so her year is just beginning as ours ends. We must never forget that the war doesn't end when our own soldiers come home.

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FIRST CWB

Kudos to this military wife for recognizing proper casualty notification and military uniform regulations. Although I'm sure she almost had a heart attack, she was able to recognize this as a hoax because she knows her way around the Army. Let's put her in for a CWB!

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WIFEING

Wifeing: showering one's husband with attention and doing the little things that wives do for husbands (e.g. feed, clothe, clean, and take care of)

The thing that's been hardest these last two months is not wifeing. I love wifeing. At least while my husband was gone I could send letters and treats and tokens of affection. When the mail stopped, I stopped being able to properly wife. It kills me that I can't do anything for my husband right now. I can't even open his foot locker! I have all of this wifeing building up inside of me that I won't get to use for another three weeks.

I have to keep reminding myself not to smother Red 6. I'm not his wife. If he'd let me, I'd be washing all of his laundry, sewing his uniforms, and being glued to his hip. At least he lets me cook for him, but only when I beg him.

I just want my husband home so I can wife him.

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WEIRD

My sickness is moving backwards. Have you ever heard of starting with deep coughs and filled lungs and then moving to a runny nose and sore throat? Isn't that backwards? I can't figure this out.

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February 22, 2005

MOST ARE HOME

Our battalion is home.
I'm in the photo: top row, fourth from the right, waiting for Red 6.

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DULL PAIN

I've been sick as a dog for the past two days, so no blogging. I was just going to check Blackfive before getting back in bed...

Adam of Kim du Toit's Walter-Adam Fund was killed in Iraq.

I donated money to Kim's fund because, heck, snipers are cool. These boys even made it into my "hot" post. I feel for Kim because I know what it's like to have that feeling in your gut, the one where you think it couldn't possibly have hit that close to home.

From the battalion commander's eulogy:

How do you honor such heroes as Clint Gertson and Adam Plumondore? You honor them by telling the stories of their friendship, camaraderie, and fierce bravery. You honor them by continuing to fight to protect the man on your left and right who would lay down his life so that others might live. You honor them by continuing in this noble endeavor providing freedom to a people we do not know or understand the sacrifices that are made – but that is what makes America the greatest nation on earth.

If I know Kim du Toit, he will never let anyone forget SGT Adam Plumondore.

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February 21, 2005

TODAY

Today is Presidents' Day. I love all of the men who have taken on the burden of leading our country, but today I especially think of the current president, the man who would rather be right than be popular.

Thank you, President Bush. I hope you have a great day.

wontbackdown.jpg

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SNAP OUT OF IT

While I was at Red 6's welcome home ceremony yesterday, my husband left a message on the answering machine. He's now "acting commander" for his entire battalion in Iraq: he's the highest ranking person still in sector. Everyone else is home or already in Kuwait. My biggest sorrow is that those 86 soldiers will be totally forgotten when they arrive here in March. No one will even remember there's a war on.

But when Mrs. Sims leaves a comment on your pity-party post, it's time to cowboy up.
Life could be a lot rougher.

Red 6 and I had a great time catching up. It's wild that the minute he stepped into our house, it was like he never left. How many times have I cooked dinner while he watched Futurama? (Granted, he was always watching with my husband, but still.) It felt like a time warp, like nothing had changed and like it was only last week that I'd seen him on the sofa.

It's good to know that some things never change.


MORE TO GROK:

I still can't get over her comment. She would have been completely justified to start with "Listen here, you whiny bitch...", but she's as polite as can be. She is trying to make me feel better! I will never be able to put into words how amazing I think this woman is.

Red 6 always says that I'm the perfect Army wife. I can only hope to be half the woman that Mrs. Sims is.

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February 20, 2005

BITTERSWEET

Red 6 is home; I can pick him up in three hours.

Operation Iraqi Freedom II is over:
Red 6 is home.
Greyhawk is home.
Sminklemeyer is home.
The Questing Cat is home.
My favorite reservist is home.


I just want it to be my turn already...

I'm trying to maintain the same optimism and cheer that I had all through the deployment, but it's hard. Everyone else has a sign on their door. There are twelve planes full of soldiers this weekend, and mine isn't even in Kuwait yet.

I keep telling myself that today is for the soldiers, that as I stand there in the gym to pick up Red 6, I am celebrating the safe return of the majority of our brigade. I am going to concentrate on the happy faces in camoflauge, not the giddy wives who surround me. I am going to remind myself that one of my best friends is home today, and that my husband will be following in a few weeks.

Today is a day to be happy. Today is a day to be happy.
(If I keep saying it, maybe the tears will stop rolling down my cheeks.)


UPDATE:

It wasn't so bad. In a way, it was quite exciting: all the soldiers running to grab their kids. Red 6 is doing great, but he's frustrated that many of his soldiers are still back in Iraq. I'm glad to see him.

(Oh yeah, and I got to shake SPC Roby's hand, the infamous corn syrup chugger. Heh.)

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SUPPORT

I had been emailing with a blog reader for a couple of months before she found out they would be stationed here on my post in Germany. A Soldier and His Wife arrived this week, and we all went out to dinner last night.

We talked a bit about Anheuser-Busch and how supportive they've been of the troops. They made that Super Bowl commercial, they have offered free passes to Sea World and Busch Gardens, and they donate two free beers to every soldier returning from Iraq. They are the King of Beers. We talked about how there really are people in this world who love soldiers, who want to show their support, and who go the extra mile to show their gratitude to the men and women who protect us.

I thought of that coversation again as I read this story from Russ Vaughn. And I cried like a baby at the dedication this woman showed to thank a soldier.

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