Sunday, June 28, 2009

Leaving on a Jet Plane

Very soon I will be leaving for Afghanistan! I am honestly excited. I think it will be a great adventure and I'll get an opportunity to work on some really cool projects. I'm also happy that I will no longer be a member of the 5% of the Air Force who hasn't deployed. And what a deployment I'm on...running combat missions outside the wire instead of typical Air Force deployments (relaxing by a pool or going horseback riding). It's never easy being away from Scott and saying goodbye to him only gets harder (Scott has already departed). This time is different with the added stress that we'll both be in a dangerous part of the world. I know the time in country will go by fast as I'll be working a lot! The guys on my team are great and I realized today that I missed them on leave. They can make me laugh and that is a great distration! But I must admit that I am already looking forward to coming home and being with family and friends again.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Hobos, Homos and Just Plain Crazy People

Scott and I returned to Camp Atterbury yesterday after a very relaxing vacation in beautiful, sunny San Francisco. I must admit the city was a culture shock. After being in a monochromatic society 27/4 for three months, we were immediately injected into a rainbow society. It took some getting used to. Scott and I have never paid the homeless for directions before, but we did it twice in two days. They certainly know their way around the city! We also did a lot of walking. We walked from one end of the peninsula to the other and then some in just one day. The weather was perfect although I did get a nasty sunburn on my neck. We also ate our way through the city! Sourdough, sushi, $30 breakfasts and juicy steaks. At least we know how to live it up! We will have nine months to rough it.

The atrium of our hotel. I've never felt under dressed for breakfast before.

Scott and I celebrating our third wedding anniversary--together for the first time!

Here are some pictures from our bus trip around the city. We rode on the top of an open roof double decker bus across the Golden Gate Bridge.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

MRX - Done!

Today is the last day of our MRX! I was on two missions, one to a shura (meeting) and one to a provincial development council (PDC). The shura is pictured below. I'm in the middle with my black head scarf. On the way to the PDC, we received an exercise inject that our driver was injured and we had to practice our down driver drill. Since I was the only person in the back seat, I got to jump into the gun turret! I was behind a 240, but I didn't get to fire any rounds. It was pretty cool.

Since we are almost done with training (three days and a wake-up!) Scott and I are getting ready for San Francisco. We have reservations for a well deserved massage and are looking forward to exploring the city. If anyone has any suggestions on where to go, let me know!

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Making History

We'll be there making it happen!!

Things I Won't Miss

As the countdown continues, I've made a list of all the things I won't miss about Camp Atterbury. In no particular order...

- Skunks and the smell of skunks
- Styrofoam plates and cups and plastic utensils for eating
- MREs for lunch...every day
- Patience training (because the 189th doesn't train boredom)
- Personal humiliation and degradation (broad category, includes many things)
- Mud
- Walking on packing crates
- FEMA trailers
- Porta-potties (by now I'd rather use a tree)
- Death by powerpoint (it's nice to know some things are the same in every service)

Monday, June 8, 2009

The Clique

Some of the officers on the staff have started to form a good friendship. This is a picture of us. It's not a very good pic, but I like it. The other member of our clique is the doctor, or "Doc". He's taking the picture.

Here's another pic from our PRT picnic. We're such dorks!

MRX Planning

I can see the light at the end of the tunnel! We are nine days and a wake-up away from getting out of Camp Atterbury. I've never wanted to go to a third world country so bad! We finished our civilian-military training. There was a lot of good material, but it was death by powerpoint. The best briefing was by a gentleman, John, who went to Helmand province with the UK. He's actually from Scotland and Scott and I got a chance to talk to him. When Scott and I return from Afghanistan we'll get in touch with John and give a presentation to the UK forces preparing to deploy to Afghanistan.

We are now focusing on our final exercise. The first three missions are all engineer related, so we are pretty busy. It should be an okay time. Very different from Air Force exercises and it's a nice change of pace.

In other related news, all Air Force civil engineers except for fire fighters are now on a 1:1 dwell. That means six months deployed, six months home. Apparently taskings under this new schedule have already started to come down. It's very possible Scott and I could know about our next deployment before we return.

Friday, June 5, 2009

Introducing Capt Scott Wilcox

Yesterday Scott officially became a Captain! I am so proud of him and his promotion ceremony was extremely memorable. Scott's been waiting for this for a long time and he's more than ready to be a Captain. Most of my good ideas come from him anyway. I am so happy I was there and able to pin him on. We've missed birthdays, anniversaries and holidays, but we've never missed a promotion.
Scott's birthday was yesterday and I think he had a good birthday considering he couldn't leave the post and couldn't drink alcohol. He received a lot of nice gifts and his PRT even had a pool party that day.

Going back in time a little, our STX was pretty good. I got to go out on a mission and we got attacked. The shortest person on our security forces team threw me to the ground and I got a huge bruise on my arm. It was awesome! They told me to stay put and not shoot back, which is actually a shame as I could have killed 'em all! We took a casualty with a gun shot wound to the leg. We transported him back to the base and doc was there waiting to patch him back up.
We are currently in the middle of civilian-military training. The training has useful info, but it's painfully boring. Luckily we are taking some time off from training to recharge our batteries before our final exercise, the mission readiness exercise (MRX). Only 12 days and a wake-up until we're outta here!