Saturday, April 17, 2010

AHHH - My Own Bed!!!

Well all, there was plenty of drama yesterday to say the least. We were all finished on Thursday evening and they needed the night to type up our discharge orders as the last step. Then at about 10am Friday morning we were told that for some reason they had made all of our flights for SATURDAY!!! They said that they were "working to fix it and to try and get SOME of us out on Friday". But WTF!!!???!!! I have my own suspicions as to how it happened but we'll keep the story short. Basically, at about 1pm they came in with all of our flights fixed and I finally landed in Cincinnati (or, technically, Kentucky) at about a quarter till midnight last night.

I was so happy to see my wifey, and so happy to see my dogs, and so so so happy to finally spend a night in my own bed knowing that I could wake up whenever I wanted (or whenever the dogs wanted as it turns out) and that I didn't have to shave in the morning.

I do want to send a quick "shot out". When I was waiting for about 5 hours at the airport for my flight I swung over to the airport hotel bar for a quality burger and a couple drinks to pass the time. There a nice lady there stuck waiting for her family to fly in and we talked about everything under the sun, but mainly sports, for about 3 plus hours helping us both pass the time. So a shot out to Beverly for keeping me company and helping the time pass. And the next shot out is to the two anonymous bar patrons that paid for my burger and fries, as well as my three drinks. The only money I put down was a generous tip for the bartender in the end. Certainly a lot less than a burger meal and three drinks at a airport hotel would have cost. So thanks a million to those folks who showed your appreciation for my service by keeping me fed and "un-thirsty".

So all, I AM BACK!! Now I have a little over a month of built up leave to burn so I can still get paid so-to-speak for all the "honey-do" list items around here now. First order of business, putting up some lattice type sides on the back porch stairs. Mimi is learning how to climb the stairs but in her visually impaired state has already managed to fall off the edge once. So time to fix that up. Then on to the weeds :)

Take care all. And we'll keep you all posted on possible Memorial Day Weekend festivities.

God Bless America!

Friday, April 16, 2010

Today's the day

After some serious drama, Jason finally has a flight home!

I'll be picking him up at the airport close to midnight tonight.

But he'll be home tonight.

And the doggies will rejoice.

And so will the Natti

Thursday, April 15, 2010


The countdown is complete which means I should be rejoicing that Jason and I are together again. The only problem is, Jason and I are not together again. He's still at Fort Dix. He still doesn't know when he's coming home. Is it ok that I'm a little frustrated? Not with Jason of course, but I'm shaking my fist at the army right now. I just keep reminding myself that it could be much, much worse...his deployment could have been extended by months as opposed to delayed for days. That would be worse, and I would be in the loony bin.

Hopefully at some point tomorrow Jason should find out his flight time, and there's a very good possibility that he will still fly out I'll hold on to that possibility.

This whole week I've been running on pure adrenaline because my husband is coming home! The house has been cleaned top to bottom and I couldn't have been happier. I completely crashed today. I feel exhausted.

So everyone keep your fingers crossed that tomorrow will be our lucky day. LOL otherwise Jason will be renting a car and driving in from New Jersey.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010


Jason's safe in the United States. Anyone else feel like doing a happy dance?

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Phase 3

A quick stop in Qatar and then on to the United States. Mr. J should be state side by midday Tuesday. Keep praying for safe flights and for Jason to be home by Friday. I think I'll go insane if I have to go another weekend without my hubby. I think there will be a very angry sergeant Hoyt if he has to wait another weekend too.

On a completely different topic, the Apollo 13 story always makes me cry. It's the fortieth anniversary of the event and I'm watching a Dateline special of the actual crew members and what they remember. To be brave and courageous enough to even fathom going into space and to the moon boggles my mind, but then to have the strength and fortitude to overcome the hundreds of obstacles they had to overcome to make it back to Earth...unbelievable. Can you imagine going four days with no heat, your food and water has frozen, and you can no longer expel your pee out of the space craft for fear that it will push you off course? Can you imagine the only thing between you and the endless vacuum of space is a craft that contains less computer technology than we now find in our cell phones? It's just so fantastic and heart-warming that human ingenuity can manage to get us into space at a time when it seemed impossible. So yes I'm a little bit of a nerd, I kind of believe that Star Trek could totally happen at some point in the future, and I'm totally proud to admit that I went to space camp twice.

I love Jason!

Friday, April 9, 2010

Phase 2

Jason had a several day layover in Baghdad before heading out of Iraq. By the time we all go to bed tonight he should be safe in Kuwait and finally out of Iraq. I'll feel much better knowing that he's finally out of a war zone. Originally April 15 was the absolute last day that he would possibly be back in we're praying that he'll be here on the 16th. Welcome to the US Army. If the date gets pushed back again there will be a very angry wife making her way to where ever her husband may be and bringing him home! But I heard from him just about an hour ago and he's safe albeit slightly bored and preparing to head to Kuwait very soon. Phase two of his homeward bound trip has begun...I'll keep everyone up to date for Phase three!

Monday, April 5, 2010

Jason's coming home!

There was a good chance that he was going to fly out earlier today, but that didn't happen thanks to bad weather. But the forecast looks good for tomorrow, so he should definitely be on his way out of Iraq. And when I say tomorrow that really means like five hours from now.

Honestly it's taken me a couple weeks to really understand the fact that Jason is actually coming home. For the last twelve months all of my energy has been spent in not thinking about and not missing my husband, and now that it's so close I have to force myself to change gears and allow myself to be excited that the end is really near. It's not twelve months's ten days away. Blows my mind.

We'll keep updates coming as the ten day trek home begins.

Prayers and well wishes are greatly encouraged...Jason needs to get home to his family safely!

Sunday, April 4, 2010

The Big Finish

Well, I promised some pictures, so how about the ones from our going away party. We seem to have a party about every month or so to celebrate someone arriving to or leaving from the team. It could also be that we are always looking for an excuse to have a party and to make Kamil cook for us again. But this time it was OUR time to be sent on our way in grand fashion.

As usual, we typically have Iraqi food for our parties. This time a lot of the local Iraqi employees had their families (read "wives" in this culture) cook us food for our party. We had all kinds of good eats, to include Dolma (sp?) which is like the rice and meat stuff you would fill in a stuffed bell pepper, except that it is wrapped up in grape's wonderful.

Oh, and the two females are with the band. They were here for a huge ribbon cutting earlier that day so they got to join in the fun too. Not new members of the team.

What party wouldn't be complete without the requisite attempt by Steve on Oghale's life? I keep telling him though that the plastic forks won't do the trick. Once Steve recovers from the butt kicking that Oghale swiftly administered, I'm sure he'll be at it again.

During the night there was the obligatory semi-formal giving of speaches and gifts and such. One of the presents from the PRT as a whole were these huge photos of the pretty much the whole team and most everyone had signed them. Even the base commander left his mark. They're pretty just took a few days to figure out how in the heck we were going to mail them home. We basically had to cut up a bunch of boxes and make one big box for each one.

Also, the Iraqi staff gave us some gifts as well. I got what is supposed to be a brass replica of the oldest guitar in the world. LT got something that resembled a Christmas tree but it was supposed to be something else. You may also notice that we somehow convinced the Lieutenant that smoking cigars was cool during these pseudo-monthly parties. So here she is puffing away.

And what farewell party would be complete without a stirring speach by Dr. Khan, our local resident Chicago native engineer. He can sure give one heck of a speach and it's always hillarious with plenty of segways and non-sequitors. I swear to you at one point he said that "we had been here ten months and he was amazed that LT Neve wasn't pregnant". Or something along those lines pretty much. I swear to it - I couldn't make up this stuff if I tried.

Well folks...that's it for Iraq hopefully. In the next 24 hours I start hopping from one spot to another on my way back home. I wish I would have had more time and energy to blog, or at least for the internet to cooperate more often as well. But for those who have stayed tuned I'm glad that you did and I hope that I kept what is going on here in Iraq a bit more alive than the local media does for you. There are great things happening here and I think in the end this war is definately going to be seen as a success, especially by the troops and civilians who executed it and made it all happen.

This isn't signing off though. There will be other photos I'm sure once I get home and some more time. And who knows...maybe we'll even keep posting so that those of you far away can have some confirmation that we're still alive from time to time.

But for now, wish me speedy travels and safe pilots on our journey home.