Skip to main content

Family Weekend Gets Complicated

Jacari, Nigel (first two, front row) and I drove to Richmond Saturday to see Lauren.
Kiersten joined the boys and I Saturday morning at Waffle House.
Annalisa went to see Iolanthe Sunday.
Lisa is in Minnesota--I talked to her on the phone.

This weekend was as a lot of fun, and I even got to catch up on sleep on Sunday, but it was definitely not a weekend to relax.

I had been planning for a few weeks to visit Lauren this weekend in Richmond.  The original plan was for my wife to drive the boys to Fort Meade Friday evening, then I would drive with them to Richmond Saturday morning and return after Lauren's season-opening football game on Sunday at 1 p.m.

Then I was put on the duty roster on Friday evening from 8:30 p.m. till 30 past midnight (Zero dark 30).  And my wife had a math meeting at 7:30 a.m. Saturday!  I thought I might try to drive home at Zero Dark 30, but that morning we got up at 3:45 a.m. for a ruck march.  By the time I got off duty I had trouble driving the one-mile trip back to my bunk.

In the morning I drove north to PA.  While the boys cleaned the house, I did the laundry.  Around 3:30pm we drove back to Fort Meade where the boys ate in the DFAC (Chow Hall).  They ate burgers, fries, cake, Coke--they were very happy.  Then we drove to Richmond.

Lauren had couches and beds for us.  The boys played video games.  I went to sleep.

The next day the boys and Lauren and Pete got up at 6:15 and played with the dog.  I slept till 9. 
We had brunch at Lauren's, walked to the River, then went to Lauren's football game.  The start was delayed by an hour so we only saw the first half, but Lauren, Pete and Pete's brother John all played well.

At 230pm we drove back Silver Spring MD where my wife picked up the boys.  She had been visting Iolanthe in Frederick VA. 

So we got to see all of the family in VA and PA.  Lisa is in Minnesota, so seeing her is a little more difficult.

Popular posts from this blog

Different Water for Sinks and Toilets--Camp Beuhring, Kuwait, and Amtrak

On the train to Philadelphia recently, the toilets had water, but the sinks did not in the last two cars. I walked three cars away from my seat to wash my hands. On the way back, I let the conductor know about the lack of water.  He said there are different water systems for the sinks and the toilets.  Then smiled and said the water is blue in the toilets.  
I told the conductor about a morning at Camp Beuhring, Kuwait, in April 2009. We were there for training before we went to Camp Adder, Iraq.  During our two-week stay, we slept in 77-man tents.  Outside the tent were several sinks and mirrors just standing in the open on the sand. I wish I had a picture.  
About twenty yards away were Porta-Johns or Shit Ovens, which everyone called the plastic enclosures when the temperature approached 120 degrees.  One morning just after down I went out to the sinks, brushed my teeth, then walked toward the Porta-Johns.  One of the soldiers just stepped out of one and was walking toward me.  

Ten Years Ago Today: Cold War Soldier Starts Re-enlistment Process

The Night Before Basic, Killing Brain and Lung Cells
On January 31, 1972, I flew to Texas to begin basic training. On April 2, 2007, ten years ago today, I called Sgt. 1st Class Kevin Askew, recruiting sergeant for the 28th Combat Aviation Brigade, and began the process of re-enlisting after 23+ years as a civilian.  I was 53 years old at the time, about to turn 54.

In the Spring of 2007, The Surge in Iraq was in full swing and recruitment for the Army was down a lot. The economy was good, Congress would not even consider re-starting the Draft, so in late 2006 Congress raised the maximum first-enlistment age for the Army from 35 to 42 years old.

The program was a failure and was rescinded three years later. But that failed program allowed me to re-enlist.  The maximum enlistment age for soldiers with prior service is the enlistment age plus the years of prior service plus a one-year waiver.  I needed all of that.

I called three recruiters before I called Kevin. He was the first one…

My Last Tanker Nickname: Oddball

Donald Sutherland as Oddball, a tank commander in the movie "Kelly's Heroes"
I got my last tanker nickname more than a decade after I earned the nickname Sgt. Bambi Killer.I got that nickname on a business trip to Sao Paulo, Brazil, in 2000.The company I worked for just bought a company in Brazil and I was part of a team that went to Brazil to introduce ourselves to the people who ran the business.
Sao Paulo has traffic that makes Los Angeles look like Omaha, so the local managers sent a limo for the four of us. This meant we could be more comfortable on the three-hour 20-mile trip from the airport to downtown. 
At the time I had a beard and still had a lot of brown hair.  Among the local staff people who were waiting to meet us was my now long-time friend Ivan Porccino. Ivan speaks five languages and was assigned as our interpreter.  When we got in the car, Ivan introduced us to the driver and said we would be in Sao Paulo for a few days. The driver said, “I love Americ…