Thursday, November 30, 2006

"I like Marines"

This is a great speech by RADM J. Stark, USN, President of the Naval War College. He presented this in Newport, RI on 10 Nov 1995.
(Could have been my Thursday Thirteen, but that's below...)

The first reason I like Marines: They set high standards for themselves and those around them, and will accept nothing less.

I like the way Marines march.

I like the way Marines do their basic training whether it's Quantico, Parris Island, or San Diego.

I like the idea that Marines cultivate an ethos conductive of producing hard people in a soft age.

I like the fact that Marines stay in shape.

I like the fact that the Marines only have one boss - the Commandant. And I like the directness of the Commandant.

I like the fact that Marines are stubborn.

I like the way Marines obey orders.

I like the way Marines make the most of the press.

I like the wholehearted professionalism of the Marines.

It occurred to me that the services could be characterized by different breeds of dogs.

The Air Force reminded me of a French Poodle. The poodle always looks perfect...sometimes a bit pampered and always travels first class. But don't ever forget that the poodle was bred as a hunting dog and in a fight it's very dangerous.

The Army is kind of like a St. Bernard. It's big and heavy and sometimes seems a bit clumsy. But it's very powerful and has lots of stamina. So you want it for the long haul.

The Navy, God bless us, is a Golden Retriever. They're good natured and great around the house. The kids love' em. Sometimes their hair is a bit long...they go wandering off for long periods of time, and they love water.

Marines I see as two breeds, Rottweilers or Dobermans, because Marines come in two varieties, big and mean or skinny and mean. They're aggressive on the attack and tenacious on defense. They've got really short hair and they always go for the throat. That sound like a Marine to me!

So what I really like about Marines is that first to fight isn't just a motto, it's a way of life. From the day they were formed at Tun Tavern 221 years ago, Marines have distinguished themselves on battlefields around the world. From the fighting tops of the Bonhomme Richard, to the sands of Barbary coast, from the swamps of New Orleans to the halls of Montezuma, from Belleau Wood, to the Argoone Forest, to Guadalcanal, and Iwo Jima, and Okinawa and Inchon, And Chosin Reservoir and Hue City and Quang Tri and Dong Ha, and Beirut, and Grenada, and Panama, and Somalia and Bosnia and a thousand unnamed battlefields in godforsaken corners of the globe. Marines have distinguished themselves by their bravery, and stubbornness and aggressive spirit, and sacrifice, and love of country, and loyalty to on another.

They've done it for you and me, and this country we all love so dearly. They asked for nothing more than honor of being a United States Marine. That's why I like Marines!

Thursday Thirteen #6

13 reasons a deployment is a blessing in disguise

1. I make all the decorating decisions in the apartment. Superficial yes, but fun!
2. I can go without shaving as long as I want...sorry that you know that now :)
3. The Old Man will have gained a TON of positive strengths- teamwork, leadership, decision making...
4. They seem to pull families together all around.
5. My leftovers last me through two more meals now.
6. The Old Man has some free time to read up and learn about a few things he wouldn't normally.
7. It forces us to work towards positive long term goals- as small as a vacation and as big as our first home!
8. We're learning how to live a lot less frivolously and more independently.
9. We know first hand not to take our relationship and others for granted.
10. You'd be surprised how much more open and honest letter writing can make a marriage.
11. I can start JHU (wooo hooo!) in the Spring on a positive note, while having adjusted to my husband being away.
12. I have the time to focus on my career and volunteer for new projects and the Old Man has time to think about and decide his future plans.
13. We'll have a chance to get those 'butterflies' all over again when he gets home!!

For more information on deployments, military life, and little inspirational pick me ups,visit God bless our men and women overseas and their families who support them back home!

Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!

Welcome to Thursday Thirteen! Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others comments. It’s easy, and fun! Be sure to update your Thirteen with links that are left for you, as well! I will link to everyone who participates and leaves a link to their 13 things. Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

'Tis the season!

Ahhh, Christmas... Don't we all love Christmas? The songs, the family time, the Old Man's famous hot chocolate recipe, the snow, the millions of Hancock-Hill-Caldwell-O'Sullivan-Flynn birthdays coming up!

Being a girl from good 'ol Florida, the snow is the best part of Christmas in DC. It's absolutely beautiful up here when it snows. The monuments have pristine, white blankets, the snow covered trees are making pretty, white umbrella's over the sidewalks and best of all, the government closes at the slight hint of a flurry so I get to go sledding on that infamous hill in Tenleytown on many a-days off! It's the best!

That picture on the side is what it looks like on my side of town in the winter. It's beautiful!

Hope everyone enjoys the holidays to come!

O Christmas tree!

Boy, we're not a couple with luck on our side. Last year, the Old Man was stuck in the airport for Christmas and this year- he's overseas. Third time's a charm, right?

Our Christmas last year was a doosey. :) Last year I found out the Old Man has quite a few Christmas quirks, which made me realize, I guess I do too...

We've well established that my apartment isn't the biggest apartment in town, but last year, I felt that Christmas wouldn't be Christmas if we didn't get a giant tree. Our first debate began on whether or not to even get one at all. We had decided that we were going to our separate hometowns for the holidays and having a tree just to have a tree and not open presents under it didn't quite sit well with the Old Man. I finally convinced him that it was just plain necessary and the madness began!

We headed off to Target to get our tree decorations and little did I know, he had his eyes on the prize...a 5 ft FAKE Christmas tree! Apparently, he came from one of those fake tree know, the one's who would opt to not deal with the sapping tree and pine needles that would continue to be pranced around the floor for months to come. Me on the other hand, I relish in the smell of fresh pine and the sound of the cat playing in the middle of the tree. There's nothing but real trees and happiness in Anna-Land!

So we pick out a few ornaments. Plastic for cat's sake of course. And we argue about his tinsel or my garland. Garland. Then we move to his gold ornaments or my colored ornaments. Colored. We need lights! Lights? His white or my colored. Purple. You can see where this is going. As I'm carting along smiling and excited about our first tree, the Old Man is stewing behind me... Nearly $100 dollars later, we have our handpicked Christmas tree dressings and I'm ready to go. To my surprise, he stops by the rows of fake trees expecting to throw one in the basket and I'm pleading with him for a real one. (I need pine!!!) How ridiculous am I? By this time, we were on Christmas overload and decide to sit on the type of tree for a night. I didn't realize how quirky we both were when creating the perfect, first Christmas tree and by the end of it all, both our bridges were in a ruffle!

The next morning we went over to the nursery behind my apt to price real trees. This time he's the one pleading. He's throwing out every possible reason to get a fake tree and I'm coming back with two more (ridiculous) reasons not to. What about the cat? What about the needles? What about the sap? What about the space? What about me? Everything you can imagine, the Old Man tried to use to convince me.

When it was all said and done, hearing the sound of the tree pines swishing against his snow jacket as he carried the real tree on his shoulder nearly four blocks home and seeing trail of pines that followed- I thought, man does this guy love me! (not to mention the multiple trips to the pet store trying to de-soph-ify the tree with every trick imaginable!)

Well, now that I realized I was the Christmas tyrant, I mailed him his very own- one of a kind, 2 foot fake Christmas tree, with tinsel, gold ornaments, white lights and a I bit my tongue all the way to the shopping line. (nah, just kidding about that last part)

I miss you Old Man! Happy Christmas Tree!!!

Marine Corps Christmas poem

Hopefully this doesn't get outta hand, but I discovered a whole new world of Christmas poems about the Corps! Here's a silly one to start the Christmas season!

Let the madness of the holidays begin! :)

T'was the night before Christmas,
And all through the Corps.
Not a soul had liberty,
And the troops were all sore.

Yes, every Marine,
Every Marine in the lot.
Lay on a rack of nails,
Called a Marine Corps cot.

When out on the Parade Deck,
There arose such a clatter.
I sprang from my cot,
To see what was the matter.

With bayonet in hand,
I moved stealthily to the door.
And waited to see,
If there was something more.

T’was the Commandant of Marines,
Of this there was no doubt.
Because he wore a poncho,
With the green side out.

He quietly moved from rack to rack,
And carefully inspected each rifle and pack.
To a chosen few he left a 96 chit,
But to the majority he gave a ration of sh*t.

And as he pulled away in his gold plated tank,
Pulled by ten captains all bucking for rank.
I heard him say, and he said with a shout,
Merry Christmas Marines, you'll never get out!

A mini-update on the Old Man

The Old Man is back from rotation early. The good news is that they are making him a Squad Leader! Yay! The bad news? He's going back on rotation in about two weeks until well after Christmas...

He will still be getting packages and moto-mail, but if you send him anything within the next few weeks, make sure it's nothing too big. If he can't carry it back from rotation in January, he'll have to leave it. Use your discretion on that...

Other than that, he's doing well!

A letter to the families from the Commanding Officer

Dear Friends and Families of 1/6 “HARD”,

It is with great pride I write this letter to you all today to let you know what a great job these Marines and Sailors are doing here. Day in and day out they are tireless in their commitment to make this a better place. Everyday I witness the heroic efforts of these brave men and I feel their sense of pride, honor and courage. They are committed. You too should be proud of them and what they have accomplished in the time they have been here. We are continuing to make a difference. Change takes time, but slowly, everyday, I see a difference.

Because of the efforts of the Marines and Sailors:

  • Four new security stations have been opened in the city, including one Iraqi Police station 100% manned and operated by local cops who are motivated and enthusiastic.
  • Over $250k in newly initiated construction and emergency response projects are working as of now in the city, and counting.
  • Partnership with the Iraqi Security Forces (ISF), including the army and police, has never been better. The effectiveness of the ISF is measurably improved as they take over more and more responsibilities incrementally.
  • 6,000 pounds of food was delivered to a local mosque when it was found the residents of the area were in need. Marines assisted the Iraqi Army and Police in delivering the food and greeting the Imam.
  • Key tribal and civilian leaders are supporting the ISF and government more than ever before. The people’s trust and confidence in their ISF and government continues to improve.
  • Tons of medical supplies were delivered to the Ramadi General Hospital and the Women’s and Children’s Hospital through the combined efforts with the ISF.
  • Previously destroyed vehicle hulks strewn about the city are now being removed by local workers, Iraqi flags fly down the main roads now… And schools that have been closed for years are opening for the children to attend class.
These are but a sample of the progress being made everyday… I know you do not hear a great deal about the positives from our media – but you need to know your Marines and Sailors are making a difference.

Not all of these victories would have been possible if we would have had to shift our focus and deal with issues at home. With that said, please know that I appreciate what each of you are doing back home so that your loved one can stay focused on the mission at hand. You are vital to our success. Your job isn’t easy but I ask that you continue to stay strong over the next few months. Your sacrifices are greatly appreciated.

I know not everyone hears from their Marine or Sailor as much as they would like to. Know they have a job to do here and must remain focused. I ask that you please don’t send phones to your loved ones. It makes it too easy for the enemy to gather information. I appreciate you respecting this request. If we can assist in any way with questions or concerns, please contact our Family Readiness SNCO, SSgt Martins. He is located at our 1/6 Headquarters in Camp Lejeune and can be reached at (910) 451-2407.

Thanks for your continued support to all the Marines and Sailors of this battalion. Keep the letters and packages coming. It certainly helps to keep us motivated. Thanks too for those of you who contributed to the success of Operation 1/6 Holiday! The stockings are rolling in and our storage space is busting at the seams with these boxes. They will be a great reminder on Christmas Day of how much you all support each of us here.

During the hustle and bustle of this holiday season, I ask that you pause and find the time to be mindful of the freedoms we have that others don’t. I ask that you remember our fallen Marines who have given the ultimate sacrifice; I ask that you pray for their families and for our wounded; I ask that you continue to keep us all in your thoughts and prayers while we are away accomplishing our mission. And lastly, I ask that you continue to serve our country by all that you do while we are away defending this great nation.

In your service,

W. M. Jurney
Lieutenant Colonel, U.S. Marine Corps
Commanding Officer, 1st Battalion 6th Marines

Wondering what 1/6 "HARD" means?

1/6 "HARD" is the Commanding Officer's philosophy of leadership... He explains it below.

Tenets of 1/6 “HARD”: Marine leaders in 1/6 should always be doing one of two things; leading their Marines in combat or preparing their Marines for combat. Nothing is more fundamental to war fighting excellence than a solid base of character. We must have trust and confidence in one another’s actions and commitments.

If you say you are going to do something, do it.

If you see something is wrong, fix it.

If you want to be treated well, treat others well.

If you put the mission and the welfare of those with which you serve first... then our team will be second to none.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

A Thanksgiving poem...

'Twas the night of thanksgiving, but I just couldn't sleep,
I tried counting backwards, I tried counting sheep.

The leftovers beckoned- the dark meat and white,
but I fought the temptation with all of my might.

Tossing and turning in anticipation,
the thought of a snack became infatuation.

So I raced to the kitchen, flung open the door,
and gazed at the fridge full of goodies galore.

I felt myself swelling so plump and so round,
'till all of a sudden I rose off the ground.

I crashed through the ceiling floating into the sky,
with a mouthful of pudding and a handful of pie.

I managed to yell as I soared past the trees...
Happy eating to all, pass the cranberries please!

May your stuffing be tasty, may your turkey be plump,
may your potatoes and gravy have nary a lump.

May your yams be delicious, may your pies take the prize,
may your Thanksgiving dinner stay off of your thighs!

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

An update on the Old Man

Last night was the first night since the Old Man went on rotation that I had to try extra hard to fall asleep without having talked to him…I think he heard me cause he called this morning!!! (They have one satellite phone that they have to share during the few times they get permission to use it.)

He sounded great! He was just as excited as I was to be talking to him! He said he is doing pretty well. They are working very hard and the living conditions aren’t the best, but they’re managing. Actually, he caught some sort of virus that he thinks is from the water, but the mosquitos were the biggest thing he complained about. He’s getting to use all the fancy schmancy equipment that he trained with before he left so he says that’s pretty cool. They’re really interacting with the Iraqi citizens and working hand in hand with the Iraqi Army. Sounded like that keeps things interesting to say the least…

The Old Man mentioned that he knows a few other guys who will be going to Quantico with him in July. He’s super excited about his re-enlistment package- as am I! (Although just to clarify, it was me who said super) To give him something to look forward to, I told him about a few condos I found in the area that are pretty nice. He’s funny though. A few months ago he was telling me that if I found a house or an apt to go ahead and get it, but now his tune has changed. He said he was thinking about how I’m happy in my ridiculously tiny apartment so he seems to think I’ll get a super expensive place that’s the size of a shoebox and and say, ...but it’s cute honey!! We were laughing about that. My official orders are, “Wait till I get home!”

He said that he is still receiving mail even though they’re technically away from their main base and he gets our moto-mail every other day. He said to say thank you to Christie & Evan and my mom and dad for their packages. He wrote a few letters to the family so keep an eye out for the mail! He misses everyone like crazy!

I just can’t believe how strong he is!! I’m so proud of him!! He doesn’t know when he can call next, but he said to tell everyone not to worry. He’s relatively safe and all his guys are doing well, keeping warm, and working hard!

Monday, November 20, 2006

Awesome websites!!!

I found two great websites!

The first organization is called Operation Homefront. It coordinates the adoption of military servicemembers AND their families!! If you are looking for other ways to help support our troops this is a great way to do it!

The site is set up so that you can search for a military person or a military family using criteria that lets you choose things like branch of service, location, etc., about the person or family you are willing to adopt. A list of things they like and/or need is shown to help you get a better idea of what to send then it automatically brings you to an online store with pre-made care packages and individual items. Everything has somewhat of a discount and it ships to both domestic and FPO addresses. You have to buy directly from them. They will not give out addresses for those who have registered to be sponsored on their site.

I registered the Old Man, but I had to enter some personal information. If you are interested in using this site to sent things over, leave a comment and I'll email you the information on how to look him up!

If you'd like to browse or adopt a service member or family member, visit E-CarePackage.

The second site has great pre-made care packages! If you buy packages from them, you can send it to yourself to send overseas or send it directly over to the Old Man. They ship to military addresses! If anything, you can browse the site to get a few ideas on what to send!

I believe that for purchases over $20, shipping to domestic addresses is free! Please visit Minimus Care Packages.

Sunday, November 19, 2006

A letter to the families from the H&S Commanding Officer

To the friends and family of H&S Company,

All is going well as times roll on here in Iraq. We have all become accustomed to the semblance of a routine and we are making calls and writing messages home when we can. I am happy to report that mail runs are now augmented by several trucks due to all the care packages you are sending. Halloween, minus the costumes, was very much alive at our Battalion Base. Marines had so much candy; they were actually giving it away. In some cases candy was shared with the children of our city. Your support is so greatly appreciated! Whether the items you send are used for tactical reasons (the kids), comfort food, or just a reminder of home they are making a difference and keeping us motivated.

On November 10, we celebrated the Marine Corps Birthday. Every Marine took part in a cake cutting ceremony, regardless of where they were in the battalion area of operation. The first piece of cake was given to the oldest Marine present symbolizing the honor and respect accorded to experience and seniority. The oldest marine present at the H&S ceremony was Master Gunnery Sergeant Hernandez, who was born on 10 may 1958 (that’s 48 years young, for those who are doing the math). Symbolically, the eldest Marine present passed a piece of cake to the youngest Marine present, just as for 231 years our marines have nurtured and led young marines that will fill our ranks and renew our corps. The youngest Marine present was Lance Corporal Alejandro Ahumadapuente, who was born on 13 December 1987 (that’s 18 years old, for those of you who are wondering how he could possibly be old enough for the military). Overall, it was a great time. We were all able to reflect on the mission, the sacrifices we have made, and how we have now all taken our place as part of Marine Corps history. Oh, and we also had a few beers. Only two per Marine (at least we were only supposed to have two per Marine), but it was enough to enjoy ourselves and relax for just a little bit. I’m sure none of us will ever forget how we celebrated the 231st birthday of the Marine Corps.

The below listed Marines were promoted to their present rank on the 1st of November. If your Marine has not informed you of the recent promotion, be sure to congratulate them.

GySgt Thomas J. Saeger
Sgt Timothy A. Braudrick
Sgt Michael A. Mortimer
Cpl Joseph A. Bovia
Cpl Matthew J. Hall (Combat Meritorious)
Cpl Old Man Hancock
Cpl Timothy C. Hillard
Cpl Paul H. Hutchinson
Cpl Richard L. Little II
Cpl Gary L. Miles Jr.
Cpl Jason W. Parker
LCpl Kyle J. Anderson
LCpl Lee A. Bedford
LCpl Brandon J. Fogg
LCpl James A. McQueen
LCpl Christopher J. Mello
LCpl Joshua D. Wycka

We continue to work hard and look forward to coming home. We are making a difference and our city is changing because of our hard work. I am very proud of your Marines and extremely thankful for the support you have given us. We’ll be home soon. God bless and take care.


Captain Dynan

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Thursday Thirteen #5

Thirteen funny things we did when we were just young chaps
This is inspired by our rehearsal dinner that really wound up being one big roast of the Old Man and I!

1. When the Old Man's younger brother Jordan was born, the Old Man was insanely jealous. So the little guy's response was to stop speaking to anyone and bark like a dog...for an entire week!

2. My sister Christie once rolled up her white socks to look like donuts and put them on a plate then convinced me to take a bite... (She was a lot older than I was..)

3. Christie also made me eat mudpies. (In her defense, I was outside playing in the yard with her so I'm not entirely sure why I did that..)

4. In elementary school, the Old Man wrote a story titled, The Bear with the Human Face, written and illustrated by Old Man Hancock. There were no pictures!

5. We asked his Aunt Carolyn to do the first reading at our wedding. It was the bible verse about how God created man and brought him together with woman. The verse says, "...he created all the birds, all the animals, and the Bear with the Human Face.." OK, not really that last part, but it fit perfectly when AC suggested that we personalize the reading.

6. I used to love singing commercial jingles, unaware of what they meant. My jingle of choice was, Summer's Eve, brings back freshness every tiiime!

7. He bought a crappy, old Subaru to get him around the city when he was stationed here and it eventually broke down beyond repair. Not sure of what to do about it, it sat in the parking spot for days. He walked by it one day as the tow truck was taking it and he goes, ummm....can I just take my license plate off? thanks...

8. My family used to ask me to make meatballs all the time. They loved my recipe and they were easy for a little kid to make- just mash a crap load of stuff together and roll it in a ball, right? Well I got bored with my recipe after the 40th time so I looked through the spice cabinet to add something new and picked the spice that had the coolest name. Cinnamon. I figured out what it was after my first bite. :)

9. The Old Man's parents have a video of him where they were asking him on camera what he got for Christmas. I haven't seen this one yet, but his dad says you can see the Old Man looking at something out of the corner of his eye every few seconds. Then all of a sudden the Old Man runs in the other room to beat up his brother that he heard playing with his toys!

10. The Old Man may toss me around for this one but apparently there is quite the silly picture circulating amongst his friends. He's wearing his dress cover, a shower cap, a thong and socks pulled up to his knees as he's singing into the camera. Yikes.

11. I used to be obsessed with the shows Shop 'till you Drop and Supermarket Sweep. I was 7...

12. I also used to be infatuated with getting samples even though I usually had no idea what they were. I ordered a crap load of Rogaine samples just because they were free! I was also 7...

13. In North Carolina, he wanted me to try his first crack at making me my favorite kind of martini and I wanted him to let me finish making him a nice dinner. I was cooking as he was standing behind the counter begging me to try the martini. Then we were both getting mad because he wasn't letting me cook and I wasn't trying his martini. We wound up arguing over it then when we realized we were bickering over trying to make each other happy we couldn't help but laugh at each other's I miss that guy!

Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!

Welcome to Thursday Thirteen! Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others comments. It’s easy, and fun! Be sure to update your Thirteen with links that are left for you, as well! I will link to everyone who participates and leaves a link to their 13 things. Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

The Old Man's swearing in ceremony

I was talking to another wife in the family chat room and her husband accepted the same package. We were laughing because if you read one of my previous posts, they just had their birthday celebration so moral of the story? You give a bunch of Marines some cake, some beer and a contract and a few hours later they think it's the best idea ever! hahaha JUST KIDDING! Apparently the Old Man and I, and the wife online are not alone... You can read the article, Record setting pace for re-enlistment .

It amazes me that many of these Marines who are re-enlisting are serving in Iraq right now. They are the only ones who see first hand, the progress (or lack thereof) overseas. It would be difficult for me to make such a huge commitment if I didn't believe in the Corps, its mission...

Just saying..

More importantly, I spoke to the Old Man for the last time prior to his rotation and he said he video taped his swearing in ceremony. He said it was great. All of his higher ups were there and most of his fellow Marines. The officer who swore the Old Man in knew him very well. He was able to make the ceremony personal. He commented on how the Corps decided to challenge the Old Man and take him out of the H&S shop and put him in Guard Force and how he was able to do so well that he was promoted almost immediately. He also spoke a little about the Old Man's character and shared with the Old Man's fellow Marines how he wants to make sure he will be able to provide for his new wife and family! Can't wait to see the video!

We'll miss you Old Man. Be smart and stay safe!!!

Today's "How to..."

How to Regain Control of a Spooked Camel

Maybe the Old Man will need this over the next few months... :) And no, I didn't make this up!

In some parts of North Africa and the Middle East, the camel remains the primary means of long-distance transportation. These remarkable animals are intelligent and strong, and they possess incredible endurance. They can also be quite fast: some camels can briefly attain speeds up to 40 miles per hour (64 km/h). While their speed makes them ideal for racing—camel races are very popular in many parts of the world—it can provide a camel rider with a harrowing, potentially deadly experience if a camel is spooked or otherwise begins to run out of control.

Steps :

Stay calm. The camel will eventually stop. In fact, a runaway camel will usually regain its composure and slow down pretty quickly. Until it does, you need to keep your wits about you.

Hang on to the reins. Because camels are cud-chewing animals (they are constantly chewing), their reins are usually attached to a peg inserted into the nose, as opposed to being attached to a bit in the mouth, as is the case with horses. Thus, unlike with a horse, you can’t try to steer an out-of-control camel by pulling hard on the reins. A hard pull will break the reins or, worse, tear the peg out of the camel’s nose, which will cause it to panic even more. While you don’t want to pull on the reins too much, you do want to make sure to keep hold of them so you can steer the camel once it slows down.

A seated camel.
Note the head halter. If the reins are attached to a head halter, as is often the case with camels that are ridden on tourist expeditions, you can pull on the reins to get the camel to turn in a circle and, eventually, slow down. Work with the camel, not against it. Pull the reins to the side that the camel wants to turn its head. If the camel decides to turn its head the other way, allow it to do so, and pull the rein on that side instead.

Consider a quick dismount. If the camel is just starting to pick up speed and won’t respond to commands to stop, consider sliding off. This is especially useful if you have lost the reins. Kick out of the stirrups and attempt to hit the ground running, bending your knees slightly as you land. Note that this should not be attempted at high speeds unless there is impending danger ahead (a cliff, for example). Once you’re on the ground, try to grab the reins. The camel will most likely come to a stop once you have the reins in your hands again.

Hang on. The camel will eventually stop. Your goal is to hold on until it does. Press yourself to the camel to lower your center of gravity, grip the camel between your legs, and hold the horn of the saddle. If you aren’t using a saddle, just hold on as well as you can, and try to lean back a little so that you avoid riding near the tip of the hump, which will be a very bumpy ride at high speeds.

Get off the camel once you have it under control. Once the wild ride is over, have the camel sit. Dismount and continue to hold the reins.

Camels generally don't like to be alone in unfamiliar places, so a runaway camel will often come back on its own. This racing camel is looking for its caretaker. Later, he trotted back down the track the way he came.Most, but not all, camels like to stay close to the herd or close to home, so if you fall from your camel, the camel will likely come back once it calms down.

For more tips and information, Click here!

If Saddam escapes!!!

Captain Poopy

Aidan surely missed his uncle! Read about his great idea here!
The Mis-Adventures of Captain Poopy

Monday, November 13, 2006

Four More Years!!!

I say that as if I'm cheering at a presidential re-election know what I'm talking about...when the supporters get together with their goofy t-shirts and signs yelling and chanting! But I digressed...

The Old Man and I have gone out on a limb and decided to accept a re-enlistment package. As of today, he has officially sworn in and is assigned to be an assistant instructor at The Basic School (Officer's training school) in Quantico, VA upon his return to the states. This is a non-deployable unit and a 48 month tour. We weighed the pros and cons (briefly, but thoroughly) and it sounds like it will fit us quite well. He will be able to start school, I can finish up at Hopkins, we may be able to buy our first home (yipee!) and there are quite a few others... (hmmm...maybe a Thursday Thirteen!? Yes, I'm addicted!) On the other hand, there is a tiny, tiny chance in his last 6 months he will have to travel a bit stateside and his hours may be long, but we'll tackle that if we have to.

The Old Man is real excited and that makes me excited. It's a bit shocking, yes, but we could both use your support. Ultimately, our lives will follow God's path...we've started by finding each other, so now we'll pray for the best! :)

Love bears all things, hopes all things, endures all things. 1 Corinthians 13:7

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Look at this little punam!!

Look how big Huckleberry is, Old Man!! He's so cute! And he has teeth!!! He said to say he misses you! So do the rest of the Flynn's!

To everyone who doesn't know, this is Kimmy and her almost 8 month old son (hehe I'm retarded-I knew that, what can't I remember that!), Jacob. I've known this amazing lady my whole life and I love her to death! She was recently married to Jeremiah Flynn and now they have a beautiful son who the Old Man appropriately calls Huckleberry. (The Old Man is such a joker!!)

Don't you just want to squeeeeze him! :)

An update on the Old Man

The Old Man called. He sounded really good. They had a birthday celebration for the Corps and brought in food, cake and beer (See below-he called immediately after for literally only a minute and we were laughing on the phone the whole time. The idea that he had the dialies from Iraq was hilarious! :). Needless to say he had a good time. He's been on a fairly steady work schedule and has been able to find a little time to relax and sleep every now and then.

The Old Man has been reading a lot about starting his own EBay business. He bought a few books on Amazon and loves the idea. He's a big fan of being his own boss and making his own hours. He's trying to figure out what to sell but he's convinced that he may have found his calling.

His rotation is delayed one more time. They will be leaving on Tuesday (14th) and will be gone for 4 weeks. He is still excited to have the change of scenery. I was able to give him a few updates on his family and friends and he said he really misses everyone. Oh, and he said to say happy birthday to Steven... Actually he said, "What? How old? No....already? Jesus, he's an old gezeer!" hahahha (Not that you're old Steven, just older than Mr. I'm Of Age Now :)

Other than that, there is no new news to report. He's doing pretty well and working very hard. Oh, he did ask for some Cup O' Noodles (low sodium if possible cause he's watching his girly figure), instant coffee and single serve powder mixes to add to bottles of water (like Crystal Light singles or Kool Aid singles).

2 and a half months down!!

Celebrity Jeopardy

Here's another one for you to watch. This one's hilarious!! SNL cast as Bert Reynolds, John Travolta, and Michael Keaton...
(Make sure you turn off the music on the side of the page.)

Friday, November 10, 2006

Happy Veterans Day!

To read about the history and traditions of Veterans Day visit, the Department of Veterans Affairs.

To everyone who has served our country,


On a lighter note...

As I was writing that last post, the Old Man called and he says,
"I love you honey, what are you doing? I can't talk long. Guess what, we had beer last night!"

Then we start laughing as we realize how long it's been since he had any alcohol...
"It's the Marine Corps birthday, yay! I have to pee. I'll call you later. I love you!"

hahaha I love that guy!

Wreath Laying Ceremony at Iwo Jima

I went to the wreath laying ceremony at Iwo Jima this morning. The ceremony was beautiful. The Commandant of the Marine Corps, General Hagee, and Senator John Warner, Chair of the Senate Committee on Armed Services, were the guests of honor. They both said very touching speeches.

In Senator Warner's speech, he was telling a story about when he was a Lt. in the Corps. The Commandant got word that Warner was an engineer and was familiar with heavy machinery and convoy's. Warner was floored because the Commandant personally asked him to move the pieces of the newly made Iwo Jima memorial from the storage rooms of Henderson Hall to Quantico. Then put it together at Quantico and convoy it over to where it stands today. The Commandant continued to yell at Warner that if there were any cracks, bumps, or broken pieces that Warner would hear directly from him. Now, years later as Senator, Warner was explaining proudly how he was able to recently sign off on a significant piece of legislation that will renew the memorial and refurbish and fix all the cracks that he made years before!

Later, they laid a wreath in honor of the 231st birthday of the Marine Corps and in honor of the fallen Marines who gave the ultimate sacrifice for their country. You can read part of the Commandant's speech in the post I wrote this morning.

The opening of the ceremony

The presentation of the colors

Senator Warner's speech

The wreath laying ceremony

Yes, I was wearing my Marine Wife t-shirt

I have to say, it was a little emotional for me. Not only was I directly faced with that pink elephant- the possiblity of the worst case scenario, with prayers and speeches and tears during the ceremony, but it brought back a lot of memories for me...

The Old Man was in the Honor Guard, stationed at the Marine Barracks 8th and I just last year. It would have been him doing this wreath laying ceremony if he was stateside. I was remembering how every time I went to see one of his ceremony's or parades either through the streets of DC for a holiday, at Iwo, or at the Barracks on Friday nights, the crowds and support from everyone cheering them on was incredible. Even though they were exactly the same everytime- with a few different guests of honor, I just loved to be able to watch the Old Man for a few hours. I couldn't help but have the biggest silly grin on my face as I bragged to anyone around me who would listen that my Marine was a part of it all.

I remember back in those days our biggest worries were being sure we were able to pick up his dress blues from the dry cleaner on time for his ceremonies or that he would get off early enough after his Friday night parades so we wouldn't be too late for whatever we had planned. This exact day last year, we were drinking margarita's at the apartment right about now and getting ready for the Marine Corps Ball later that night... It's amazing how things have changed so much since then. That seems so long ago.

The most special memory I have was that I was so proud and I remember thinking how some of those days were some of my proudest moments. Now, the Old Man is serving our country in Iraq and sacrificing everything he can to make sure we can all sleep well at home.

Just when I thought I couldn't be any more proud...

I love you Old Man. You're my favorite!!!

Happy 231st Birthday Marine Corps!

A message from the Commandant...

On November 10th, 1775, our Corps was born as the Continental Congress raised the "first and second battalions of American Marines." Each Year as we celebrate our birthday, we pause to reflect on the Marines of yesteryear who fought in our touchstone battles and forged the modern Marine Corps with their courage, integrity, and undying commitment to their fellow Marines. Each of our storied battles is a link in the long chain that binds all Marines together- from the Continental Marines at Bunker Hill to the Teufelhunden crossing the wheat fields of Belleau Wood. This chain binds us to the Marines on the crest of Mount Suribachi; it passes through the ice and snow of Chosin Reservoir and the steaming jungles of Vietnam, and it anchors firmly today in the sands of Iraq.

This year's celebration again finds many from our ranks, serving with distinction in harm's way. As we have for the past 231 years, our Corps is answering the Nation's call. I can report first hand that our Marines fighting on the front lines of the Long War on Terror are performing brilliantly, acquitting themselves with honor, dedication, and dignity in difficult and dangerous environments.

All Marine are making a difference. Regardless of where you are serving, you are adding new chapters to the legacy that was earned with sweat and blood on old battlefiellds. Just as previous generations of Marines shaped today's Marine Corps, your deeds are molding the Corps of tomorrow. Our Corps has never been stronger, and all Americans are extremely proud of your magnificent performance and unwavering commitment to server our Corps and country. With high caliber Marines like you, our future has never been brighter.

Another irreplaceable element of our success as Marines is the terrific support we receive from our families. Through the long hours, the exercises, and the combat deployments, their support is unconditional and firm. They give us love and devotion, providing us with the strength to drive on when duty calls. Today we should all acknowledge our loved ones for their patient, steadfast service.

To all who have earned the title Marine, to the superb Sailors who serve with us in every clime and place, and to our precious families-- I wish each one of you a heartfelt Happy 231st Birthday.

Semper Fidelis and Keep Attacking!
M. W. Hagee
General, U.S. Marine Corps

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Thursday Thirteen #4

Thirteen little things to take full advantage of with your best friend

I apologize ahead of time if these are, in any way, not manly enough for a Marine to admit to doing... :) I'm a little sentimental since the Old Man is going on a rotation for a few weeks..

1. Watching TV together. I miss coming home from work when the Old Man would make dinner and after we ate, we'd curl up on the couch for Seinfeld and Everybody Loves Raymond reruns.

2. Inside jokes. The Old Man and I just realized how often we take millions of pictures of each other during one sitting. It's hilarious when he get's camera crazy. I'll have enough random pictures to make a flip book, but I always get stuck when I actually want to take a quick picture and my memory card is full.

3. Doing things outdoors. We try to get out and stretch our legs often, especially since we live in the city. I love when we buy a bunch of food to eat or grill and he takes me to Great Falls or the local parks.

4. Taking weekend get-a-ways. We've taken quite a few weekend trips but the ones we’ve really loved were when we stayed at bed and breakfasts. They were so relaxing and romantic that we always talk about finding more.

5. Fishing. Yes, the Old Man is HUGE on this one but I love it too! It's fun trying to catch more or bigger fish (I always do!) and it's so nice to spend time together. Seeing the Hancock Shuffle every time I mention that we should go fishing is the best!

6. Playing sports together. When I lived in Bethesda, I had a tennis court at the end of my block. We'd play all the time. Or I mean, we'd go and I'd be running around chasing the all balls that he wacked onto the baseball field! What I really love is how he thinks he's good at every sport but I can beat him at just about anything! At least, I think I can...

7. Playing games together. The last time my parents came to visit DC we played Monopoly together and the whole game was hysterical. The Old Man got the three of us wasted on his famous margaritas. As my mom drank drinks that were entirely too salty and beat the pants off of us, the Old Man and I laughed the whole time and played till 1 AM. My dad gave up half way through and passed out on the couch watching Tommyboy. Makes me laugh everytime I think about it.

8. Having good conversations. OK, maybe his one is more girly, but I love how we always have the best conversations. Especially every time we go to coffee shops or bookstores. Besides, I love the fact that it reminds me of how on our first date we didn't want to end it, but we had nowhere else to go so we sat in a Starbucks for literally hours talking until we were blue in the face.

9. Making dinner together. I got lucky with the Old Man. He loves to cook. But I love to help him cook. I'm not sure why- I think it's just doing something that has a guaranteed awesome outcome!

10. Drinking at home. Maybe not every night, but we always have tons of fun getting bottles of wine and watching SNL Best Of... movies.

11. Having friends over the house. This one speaks for itself. Guaranteed good times!

12. Doing seasonal stuff. My roommate and I would go sledding on DC's infamous hill all the time and after we took the Old Man there the first time he was addicted too. His mouth just about hit the floor when he saw how high the hill was, but we had so much fun clothes lining each other cause we had no other way to stop from flying across the road!

13. Visiting our families. We both looove visiting home. It gives us a little energy and it reminds us of how much we can’t wait to have our own family someday!

Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!

Welcome to Thursday Thirteen! Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others comments. It’s easy, and fun! Be sure to update your Thirteen with links that are left for you, as well! I will link to everyone who participates and leaves a link to their 13 things. Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Just because

Hey Old Man, I know it's a little late, but if you haven't seen these already, I thought you'd get a rise outta them. Love you!!!!!

Aidan's the cutest!

This was Babyfest 2006 when I went home last time...

This is your sister-in-law and her silly husband...or I mean Harry Potter and Hermione! hahahah They're hilarious!

Our Parade Boy!!

For those of you who couldn't make it to see the Old Man while he was in the Honor Guard, I found this great clip. This video shows part of the Evening Parades that the Parade Boy, as Grandpa Hancock used to call him, was a part of every Friday night. (Make sure to turn off the music on the side of the page before you hit play.)

To read a little more about the history of the Barracks and the Honor Guard visit: Marine Barracks 8th and I, Washington, DC.


Marine Wife's Prayer

This is such a nice prayer for wives, mothers, fathers, friends-anyone!

Dear Heavenly Father,

Now the evening shadows gather, the lonely night is here. This day which has been so empty is almost gone. Oh dear God, be with my husband who is so far from home. Help him when the thoughts of his loved ones bring the awful heartache on.

Lord, let him know that with Your ever-lasting love, You are right beside him with Your loving mercy from above. Help him with his heartache, with the closeness of a friend, a smile of
understanding. It will lift the burden from his heart.

Let him also be a blessing to one who needs him. Let him feel the prayers of his loved ones whose thoughts are always with him. And, dear God, when the tide has turned against him, his whole world seems upside down, let him see things more clearly. Show him how to love Thee more dearly.

Let his faith in Thee stay unbroken.

Inspire him with new courage every day so that he will soon be with us.

Make him strong to run the race.


Monday, November 06, 2006

Iraqi Police & Army deliver food to Al-Bohemla

West PAO Nov 5, 2006, 17:23
Blackanthem Military News, RAMADI, Iraq

Iraqi Police and Iraqi Army reference a map during planning to deliver more than 6,000 pounds of food supplies for the local population in Ramadi from the Iraqi Government.

Iraqi Policemen and soldiers of the Iraqi Army delivered more than 6,000 pounds of food supplies to the Al Bohemla mosque Saturday to help relieve a food shortage here in the central portion of the city. Local residents approached Iraqi Army soldiers during patrols to express their concern about the food shortage.

“Being the sons of Ramadi,” Major Kathem from the Iraqi Police recognized, “We must help the people of Ramadi.”

Marines with 1st Battalion, 6th Marine Regiment provided external security while soldiers with the 2-1-7 Iraqi Army and policemen from the Western Ramadi Police Station unloaded rice, flour, beans and cooking oil for the people of the area to a local Imam. The food supplies were provided by the Iraqi government.

Please visit this story: Iraqi Police & Army deliver food to Al-Bohemia

Verdict for Saddam Hussein

The Washington Post
Monday, November 6, 2006; A20

It's been nearly three years since U.S. troops pulled Saddam Hussein from his spider hole, so the justice that came yesterday, in the form of a death sentence from an Iraqi tribunal for crimes against humanity, was not particularly swift. Nor was his nine-month-long trial the model of fairness that the Bush administration and many Iraqis had hoped for: Three defense lawyers were murdered, a judge was pressured into resigning and many of the 39 courtroom sessions were chaotic.

There nevertheless can be little doubt that justice was delivered in the trial of a tyrant who never hesitated when ordering the summary murder of tens of thousands of Iraqis. The prosecution, planned as the first of several, focused on one small example of that record: Saddam Hussein's complicity in the torture and killing of at least 148 people in a single town, Dujail, after an assassination attempt against him in 1982. During the course of the heavily publicized hearings, Iraqis heard their former dictator confess to ordering the arrest of the innocent civilians, and they saw the death warrants he signed. They heard the testimony of townspeople whose lives were destroyed by this savagery and whose pain echoed that of millions of Iraqis who endured one of the bloodiest tyrannies in the modern history of the Middle East.

Tragically, the remediation that ought to come from the verdict has been shaded not only by the tumult of the trial but by the escalation of lawless violence around Iraq. Yesterday Shiites in Baghdad justifiably celebrated the sentencing of a man who carried out indiscriminate massacres against their sect. But Shiite militias, some of them embedded in government security forces, now abduct, torture and slaughter dozens of Sunnis a day. Sunnis in Iraq and in neighboring Arab countries are more likely to see the verdict as an act of vengeance by the Shiite-led government -- or a preelection gambit by the Bush administration -- than as a legitimate judgment.

In the short term, Saddam Hussein's conviction and eventual execution may worsen Iraq's civil conflict. His trials nevertheless may come to be seen as milestones in the slow and painful attempt to construct a more civilized Iraq from the poisonous wreckage of his regime. Like the rest of that enterprise, the trial was tumultuous, deeply flawed and often painful to watch; and some of the brave Iraqis who committed themselves to making it work lost their lives. The result was imperfect, to be sure, but also well-founded.

Please visit this editorial at: Verdict for Saddam Hussein

Friday, November 03, 2006

This is hilarious!!!

While I'm on the video bandwagon tonight, I had to put this one on here. It'll be a good one to go back to if you're not having a good day! (Make sure to turn off the music on the side of the page before you hit play)

I imagine this is what my sister sounded like when she laughed as a baby!

Some of the Old Man's favorites!

We love watching Saturday Night Live Best Of's. I'm so excited I found these!!! Here are some of our favorites! (Make sure to turn off the music on the side of the page before you hit play)

Will Ferrell as Robert Goulet. Only a few more months and you can see Old Man do the funniest impression EVER of this video.

SNL Blue Oyster Cult video.

Chris Farley as Matt Foley. I love it when they laugh themselves...this one is hilarious.

Will Ferrell as George Bush.

Christmas mailing deadlines

I'm not sure if you all were a bit smarter than I, but I misunderstood the deadlines for mailing packages over to the Old Man.

November 11th is the deadline to mail letters and good old fashioned packages with the address printed directly on the box.

December 12th is the deadline to mail priority packages. Everything shipped to military addresses should be sent priority mail anyway whether in the flat rate priority boxes or with a priority sticker/mailing address label on your own box. I'm not even sure if the Old Man's address accepts those old fashioned address on the box type of packages. Just be sure to use the priority address label and it'll get there fine and on time for Christmas.

For more information click here: USPS mailing information

An update on the Old Man

I talked to the Old Man quite a bit this week. He called me early this morning and sounded really good. He was laughing at the picture he sent of the cat (see below) and really sounded like he was in good spirits. He mentioned that he is about to go on a rotation for four weeks and will be unable to call or write during that time, but he will be able to receive mail and packages. Of course, he couldn't say much more than that. The time that he'll be gone goes into Thanksgiving so that's the debbie downer news of the day..

The Old Man told me a little about his promotion and the ceremony. He said there were only three Marines who got pinned this month and all the higher ups were there. He sent some great pictures! (again, see below!) Now that the Old Man is a Corporal, there are a few new responsibilities, a pay raise and a better position in the things that he already does. Of course, he followed that all up with, "'s no big deal..."

He said to send his love to everyone and that he misses us all!

Two months down already!!!!! Keep your spirits up Old Man and stay safe!! We love you!!!

The 'post cat'

The Old Man tells me about this cat all the time. He comes around the post often so they call it the Post Cat. He sent this picture that he thinks is hilarious so I thought I'd share. The Old Man said it resembles Sophie (our cat), but its face looks just like Stanley, if Stanley were a cat... Stanley is my parents tiny, but overweight Chihuahua who turns evil if he's sitting peacefully on your lap and someone near you points at him and yells, "Oww Stanley Oww!" Not that we would possibly antagonize him like that... He is also infamous for making 6'4" grown men shake in their (combat) boots... I caught someone completely pale in the face and at a standstill trying to come out of the bathroom because Stanley cornered him and was barking wildly, but I'm not gonna name names... I wonder if this cat has the same effect when it makes this crazy face...

Thursday, November 02, 2006

A prayer for all of us

I got back from a meeting just now (see, I don't blog all day at work :) and a co-worker emailed this over to me. She addressed it to me, my husband and our families...

May today there be peace within.
May you trust God that you are exactly where you are meant to be.
May you not forget the infinite possibilities that are born of faith.
May you use those gifts that you have received, and pass on the love that has been given to you....
May you be content knowing you are a child of God...
Let His presence settle into your bones, and allow your soul the freedom to sing, dance, praise and love.
It is there for each and every one of us.

Thursday Thirteen #3

13 things that might make military families crazy

I tried to make light of them since all of these things have more positive points then negative ones, but I thought I’d rant on this Thursday Thirteen...Next Thursday I'll do a positive one, I swear! Besides, this is all in good fun, right?!

1. Postal employees having a bad day. This really drives me crazy. I’m in there so often and it’s not the happiest moment ever realizing you’re sending stuff to your husband at war. The last thing I need is a grumpy person behind the counter. Especially when I'm trying to hide that I'm the one with the grumpy pants.

2. The political talking heads doing commentary news reports. Half the things reported are either incorrect or exaggerated and it’s likely the anchorperson has little or no military background other than what he or she reads in college… Potentially, all they are doing is bringing down morale and fueling all the possibly ignorant people who form their decisions from them and not factual news reports or the troops themselves.

3. Visitors who knock. I have now established a ‘call ahead’ policy at my tiny and overpriced, but FANTASTIC apartment. I dread the knock.

4. Faulty cell phones. Ironically, the sat. phone in Iraq worked better than my old cell. Thankfully, the Old Man managed to find time to buy me a cell phone to replace the ridicu-phone I used to have with a broke antenna and white screen. Granted, it’s big, black, manly and rubber, but it works and it’s great!

5. The fact that we have to buy gear that’s comfortable for the Old Man. It’s all well and good that the Corps issues certain things like combat boots or sunglasses, but it's not so good when the boots weigh 80 lbs each and are hard as a rock to walk in.

6. Leave policies. It is heartbreaking how the Old Man ALWAYS finds out about his time off a few days in advance. It's a struggle to find last minute airfare that’s actually affordable and it's nearly impossible. I guess that whole concept of last minute decisions comes with the Corps.

7. Useless military discounts. It’s awesome that many companies support the military and their families, but I think that giving discounts like 5% on purchases over $500.00 are only so the company can advertise that they’re military friendly.

8. The reporter who made the comment to Kristen Henderson, “…does it ever bother your husband that you’re writing about the wives instead of the real story?” Henderson is the author of a wonderful book titled “While their at War: The True Story of American Families on the Home Front.”

9. Sympathy-less sympathizers. I understand that sometimes when people are faced with someone who has a loved one deployed during wartime; it’s difficult to know what to say. Before I became a military wife, I used to be at a loss for words myself. Saying thank you means a whole lot more than one might think. But, saying that you know how they feel and then continue to talk about that one time a few months back that your significant other left for a business trip or whatever for a week and you were miserable the entire time only means to me that you have no idea what’s actually going on with your country being at war. There is absolutely no comparison to a business trip or a few days you couldn’t accompany your spouse somewhere. None. For the love of God, just say thank you or God bless.

10. Holidays. Where do I go? Who do I visit? What about saving my time off for when my husband returns? What if I break down wherever I am during my time there? What if I just want to be alone? Why can’t my husband be home? I hope he’ll get a chance to call. What if my package doesn’t get their in time for Christmas? I hope he stays strong. …these are some of the things that are going through my mind about the next few months.

11. Death tolls. Why don’t they have Success Rates? Why can’t the news channels report on the lives that are saved by the weapon caches that are uncovered? Or the children who run through the streets following troops and the families looking admirable as if silently thanking the troops for being in Iraq.

12. The general misconception that the military is the military and the troops are the troops and it's all the same. OK, this is mostly personal and I’m just as proud to say my dad served in the Air Force. And don't get me wrong, it's an HONOR to serve in any branch of the miltary. But, the Marines are the First to Fight and the Few and the Proud and all those other catchy slogans that the Old Man thinks are silly, but they're so true. Marines have to earn their right to say they’re a Marine. If they screw up in boot camp or don’t cut it, they go home, unlike any branch of the military service.

13. War. Of course, the most obvious thing that is very likely to drive a military wife crazy. It takes a strong family and a strong love to withstand the ups and downs of any deployment. Especially a war deployment. It’s a circumstance that one wouldn’t wish upon anyone, but in the end, somehow manages to be rewarding. Living months on end as positive as you can, but knowing in the back of your mind what the worse case scenario is- is both an adrenaline rush and a Debbie Downer. Nonetheless, it’ll make for an awesome homecoming and strong marriage!

Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!

Welcome to Thursday Thirteen! Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others comments. It’s easy, and fun! Be sure to update your Thirteen with links that are left for you, as well! I will link to everyone who participates and leaves a link to their 13 things. Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!

I caved in...

I tried to resist posting something about all of this John Kerry hoopla, but my cousin Jason sent me this picture and I had to post it...