Saturday, November 6, 2010

Veteran's Chapter

Being Saturday, I don't really expect to hear anything. I treat it as a reprieve.

I did do one thing productive today. I sent out a questionaire to all my favorite Veterans and asked them to fill it out and also to pass it on to other Vets. I hope to get some interesting feedback. I asked questions like what made you most proud to be a soldier in in the United States military and what made you most disappointed and what was your happiest memory and what was your most fearful memory and lastly to tell me a story. I'm really looking forward to reading these.

It's cold here in Jacksonville today. It's going to be really cold in Afghanistan when I go in December. There will be snow. I remember driving in the snow in Wisconsin. It was never fun, but I would imagine the soldiers in Afghanistan know how to deal with road hazards.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Afghanistan Through My Eyes - preparation

I have not heard, but I'm trying to be more proactive.

I researched flak vests today and have decided I need a level IV with two ceramic inserts. I have mixed feelings about this as yes it will protect my vital organs, but I could still get my legs blown off, my arms blown off and various other tragic wounds that I would not want to live through, but because I have this vest could.

Being my age, 52, I do not want to live with any disabilities. There is no reason I should have to suffer my golden years this way.

BAE is in Jacksonville and they have a body armor division. I approached them asking if they could give me a vest for my 10 day trip. I guess if you break it down, 7 days of actual exposure to combat comes to $142.87. That's quite a bargain for life...substantiating my point that life is cheap.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Afghanistan Through My Eyes - Ernie Pyle

Still waiting.

Today while driving I somehow tweaked my back. I am very out of shape. How quickly it happened I thought because I had just run a 1/2 marathon. Then I realized that was 4 months ago! I need to get in shape quick. As I passed gyms, yoga studios and personal training facilities I couldn't help but think how our bodies age, but our minds don' the sense that we still believe we can climb a tree and hang upside down at 52. I do believe I can do this...

But will I be able to hump 20 to 25 pounds of gear and keep up with a 20 year old. Ernie Pyle felt old at 42. He complained when taking a walk with the Rangers in Oran, North Africa that he couldn't keep up. They were walking and he was running!

I better start getting in shape. I don't want to hold anyone back and I certainly don't want anyone to resort to making fun of me as an old grandma! I believe putting on the uniform has a lot to do with being a soldier.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Veteran's Chapter

I'm still waiting to hear.

Today while I was waiting I finished writing my latest novel. It's a story about love of Romeo and Juliet proportion. Billy and Donna Jo meet on a beach in 1968 and they have the most amazing one day love affair. Billy gets shipped off to Vietnam and Donna Jo goes and finds him. It takes place during the Tet Offensive.

I got the idea from talking to Vets who were in Vietnam. This was a fantasy that most of them had, that their girl would come over and get them. There is also an Urban Legend that a girl does come over and joins the special forces. It was touched on in the book "The Things They Carried," by Tim O'Brien.

My novel is titled: "Words That Go Unspoken", it's a tear jerker. But it got me to think about how in WWII people displayed stars on their doors in honor of their sons in battle. In Vietnam there were no stars. Now we see yellow ribbons. It's as if the Vietnam Vet is somehow responsible for the tragedies that took place and because those battles are their memories its a reflection of them as people.

There is nothing good about War. Warning: do not watch this if you are afraid to see

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Afghanistan Through My Eyes

I still haven't heard and am on the fence.

while waitng I am reading all about the wars and researching the different styles of writing and reporting. It's interesting reading about WWII and the heroic efforts of each soldier. It'almost like reading a novel that talks about the greatness of America.

Reading about Vietnam is totally different. Its like reading about a great and horrible mistake. There are rare mentions of the person in the uniform accept when talking about the heroism of leading the troops into a specific battle or of commenting on the arrogance of their leadership and taking soldiers to their death. I've noticed when taking men into battle, they are troops. The personalization of WWII is gone.

Today I'm including a clip of someone who has become one of my personal hero's. I hope to meet her one day. She gets it. These soldiers are people first. Thank you to Dennis H.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Afghanistan Through My Eyes

I haven't heard anything yet.

I was planning on starting my fitness routine today and making an appointment for my inoculations, but I'm down for the count with a horrible cold. I don't think getting all those bugs injected to me would be a good idea.

I would like to add how greatful I am to my friends, family and others who are reading my blog. I am starting to get some really facinating information. Thank you David S. for this.

For instance did you know how many steps a guard takes over the tomb of the unkown soldier?

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Veteran's Chapter

Tomorrow is November 1st. If all goes well, I'll leave for Afghanistan in one month and 22 days.

I'm starting to question the logistics. When I came up with this idea one afternoon in July, it was just a pipedream so far away. But as it's approached reality my emotions run the gamut.

This weekend and last Veteran's solicit cash on the street corner in a ligitimate effort to help other veteran's who can't beg for themselves. Each time I give money the soldier is so gratful for the few dollars I drop into the bucket. I can't help but think how sad in my great country, the United States, soliders have to beg for money like a homeless person.

I don't believe begging was part of the bargain when enlisting.