Subh Bakher!

Good morning!

It was a long trip getting here to Ft Polk, LA for our Combat Advisor training prior to going to Afghanistan. Our introduction to the course was a speech that is is timeless; the issues and events spoken 50 years ago still ring true today and will for the foreseeable future.

John F. Kenndey’s speech to the graduating class of US Military Academy, West Point on 6 June 1962. Take a moment and go to:

http://www.jfklibrary.org/Asset-Viewer/Archives/JFKWHA-103-001.aspx

and listen to the speech, think about what is going on in the world today. What he said apllies to today.

While travelling here, we stpped in Dallas and spent some time at the USO. It was a humbling time to see all the memorbilia there of all the soldiers, saliors, arimen and marines that has passed through those doors.

 

Quote of the day:

Believe in yourself and others will believe in you

 

Try this again

I tried to post yesterday, but had issues with the connectivity and could not get it to work. So, let’s have a go at it today…..

If you look around and try to be observant, you will notice things that look like other things; based on your memories. Here is a photo I took with my camera phone yesterday at lunch:

The mashed potatoes look like ice cream with chocolate syrup……mmm.

The Swedish meatballs don’t look too shabby either.

Today I am taking a break from lunch and having a protein drink. The food is really good and there is plenty for you, but I normally do not eat big meals for B-L-D. You need to have portion control or you would get really big and not pass the physical fitness test or meet your height and weight standards.

On the other hand, if you worked out like a beast all the time and ate all the meals with abandon; you might turn out to be like some of those guys and gals in fitness/ body builder magazines.

Stay strong and healthy……..

Quote of the day:

The sovereign invigorator of the body is exercise, and of all exercises, walking is best.

Thomas Jefferson

 

 

SNOW!

Go figure….. I wake up to go to breakfast and there be snow! Being from Arizona in the Phoenix valley area, you don’t normally see snow unless you go north toward Flagstaff.

Yesterday it was 12-16 degrees most of the day and now there is snow on the ground. It is much warmer already today at 28 degrees; nice.

Coming from breakfast, there was a gaggle of birds on the phone lines trying to stay warm…..

Then they flew away en mass…what a noise they made as  I was directly underneath them when they took off.

Today, we will be getting our gear and new uniforms packed and ready for wear.

I have a book – The essential Wisdom of our Founding Fathers and I will try and leave you with a pearl of wisdom from it each day as I post.

Saying for the day: Freedom is not a gift bestowed upon us by other men, but a right that belongs to us by the laws of god and nature – Ben Franklin

Have a Great day!

Waiting

As promised, here is a better shot of the helicopters at sunrise…..this time they have one that is in the process of transformation, to be put in operation.

Still, there is room for improvement on the photo…..but I am limited on access to the location of the helos (they are in a Marine area and I am Army, go figure).

All in all, better than the other day – I think.

I used the P7100 at ISO 200, F8, 1/10, 0EV and increased detail in LR3.

Today, we are just waiting…..no training scheduled, getting ancy; as we are all done except for some mission specific training next week. Once that is done, the real journey begins as we head into country.

I talked to another soldier yesterday that is leaving this morning going to Africa. He said it will be 2-3 days before he actually gets there! Wow! I figure our flight will be around 20-24 hours, not including stops along the way……Guess I better have lots of reading material and thank you my lovely wife for getting me one of those airplane neck pillows! It will definately come in handy while deployed.

Until next time……I hope you have a good day

Cold

Good Morning!

Man is it cold today! 30 degrees out with a 30mph wind chill makes it really, really cold! Brrrrrrr…..

I went out to try and get a sunrise shot of a Marine helicopter, but made it too late. As I was gettiing there the sun rose so fast that I couldn’t get the shot I was hoping for.

I will try again tomorrow and get there a little earlier. I was trying to get the peak of the sunrise right behind the helo. The sun was off to the right this morning and was way too bright to get it in the shot; it flared out the lens.

As I mentioned yesterday, one of my objectives this year is to be more aware of my surroundings; as the below photo shows, it brings back memories before cell phones were invented.

The coolest thing? They still work……only on a military installation/ barracks will you still find these around. I guess it goes to show that even with the lowering cost of cell phones these days, some servicemen and women still cannot afford a cell phone; or choose not have one.

I did read in the Army Times magazine last week that they will be issuing out cell phones to the masses sometime in the near future. Sorry Apple, it doesn’t look like it will be the I Phone – more than likely it will be a phone with the Android system. This will allow the military to develop apps specific to thier needs; and own them. Unlike Apple, everything for the Apple is owned by Apple (proprietary).

Off to learn Dari, the official language of Afghanistan…..khodaafez (goodbye)

rowz-e khosh baretaan meykhaayom (have a good day)

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year Everyone! Today starts a new beginning for many and hopes of good tidings, cheer and success for the rest of us. I look at today as the start of looking at things a little differently than I did last year.

Last year was full of challenges and turmoil that at one point, i did not know how it all would turn out for me and my family. I try to always look on the positive side of things (an optimist – the glass is half full), but we all know it is difficult at times. I trudged away and trying not to worry how the rest of my life would turn out, hoped for the best.

“The difference between the impossible and the possible lies in a persons determination” (Chinese fortune cookie) I utilized that proverb to keep me motivated through all the twists and turns; and continue to use it to this day.

It all worked out in the end and now today am ready to look toward the future and not worry about what happened last year, but to be grateful of what I still have; a loving wife, beautiful daughter that cooks like a chef a roof over my head and 3 dogs that love us for who we are and do not judge.

I have a chinese fortune cookie taped to my laptop that says:

LIFE IS FULL OF WONDERS…..EXPLORE WHAT IS AROUND YOU

That is what my plan is for this year; to explore what is around me. Look at what is different, keep my mind open and try to understand – keep things in perspective.

I will be working with many nationalities while deployed to Afghanistan and plan to keep all of you “in the loop”, so you may explore with me during my time there and beyond.

Have a great beginning to the new year and look forward to hearing from you in the coming months.