Tuesday, August 25, 2009

26 Aug 09 – Wooden Bowl

My brother-in-law Rich forwarded this to me. Sometimes I save forwards to read later and sometimes I read them right away. This time, given my present situation of having a few minutes on my hands I decided to read it right away.

The Wooden Bowl

I guarantee you will remember the tale of the Wooden Bowl tomorrow, a week from now, a month from now, a year from now.

A frail old man went to live with his son, daughter-in-law, and four-year-old grandson. The old man's hands trembled, his eyesight was blurred, and his step faltered

The family ate together at the table. But the elderly grandfather's shaky hands and failing sight made eating difficult. Peas rolled off his spoon onto the floor. When he grasped the glass, milk spilled on the tablecloth.

The son and daughter-in-law became irritated with the mess. 'We must do something about father,' said the son. 'I've had enough of his spilled milk, noisy eating, and food on the floor.'

So the husband and wife set a small table in the corner. There, Grandfather ate alone while the rest of the family enjoyed dinner. Since Grandfather had broken a dish or two, his food was served in a wooden bowl.

When the family glanced in Grandfather's direction, sometimes he had a tear in his eye as he sat alone. Still, the only words the couple had for him were sharp admonitions when he dropped a fork or spilled food


The four-year-old watched it all in silence.

One evening before supper, the father noticed his son playing with wood scraps on the floor. He asked the child sweetly, 'What are you making?' Just as sweetly, the boy responded, Oh, I am making a little bowl for you and Mama to eat your food in when I grow up. The four-year-old smiled and went back to work.

The words so struck the parents so that they were speechless. Then tears started to stream down their cheeks. Though no word was spoken, both knew what must be done.

That evening the husband took Grandfather's hand and gently led him back to the family table. For the remainder of his days he ate every meal with the family. And for some reason, neither husband nor wife seemed to care any longer when a fork was dropped, milk spilled, or the tablecloth soiled.

On a positive note, I've learned that, no matter what happens, how bad it seems today, life does go on, and it will be better tomorrow.

I've learned that you can tell a lot about a person by the way he/she handles five things:

A rainy day, the elderly, lost luggage, deployment, and tangled Christmas tree lights.

I've learned that making a 'living' is not the same thing as making a 'life.’

I've learned that life sometimes gives you a second chance.

I've learned that you shouldn't go through life with a catcher's mitt on both hands. You need to be able to throw something back sometimes.

I've learned that if you pursue happiness, it will elude you but, if you focus on your family, your friends, the needs of others, your work and doing the very best you can, happiness will find you.

I've learned that whenever I decide something with an open heart, I usually make the right decision.

I've learned that even when I have pains, I don't have to be one.

I've learned that every day, you should reach out and touch someone.

People love that human touch -- holding hands, a warm hug, or just a friendly pat on the back.

I've learned that I still have a lot to learn.

I've learned that you should pass this on to everyone you care about, I just did.

Hopefully the wooden bowl story will make its way into your heart. Being here far from home definitely brings a new meaning to the story.

That is all,


P.S. I will be coming home soon leave the light on!

Sunday, August 23, 2009

23 AUG 09 – Fun Meters Pegged

Good morning from Iraq,

I have to tell you this place isn’t exactly what the doctor ordered. Yesterday I’m pretty sure the temperatures were a balmy 125 with 80% humidity. Today the thermometer in the guard shack registers at 130. How I love the wind blowing the warm moist air off the ocean to bake us here. It reminds me of time spent with my father in an old finish sauna, with some old guy with the road map of life etched into his face pouting water on the rocks. I also remember my dad adding water to the rocks in the sauna saying it’s so good for you, and that it will clean your pores out. I didn’t really want him to add the water but he did it anyway. Present day all I can say is don’t add the water. If you remember reading my blog from the other day I mentioned briefly about wet underwear. Today it’s more of the same, were talking wet boots.

Yesterday when I took my boots off I noticed the water marks on the upper portion of my boots. Trust me in wasn’t from the higher than normal rainfall here. Or me marching through a marsh, and it definitely wasn’t from me hand washing my NTV (stands for Non-Tactical Vehicle) at Abdul’s wash and go. No it was definitely sweat that had leaked out of my pores that had joined other drops of sweat to run like a river down my legs during yesterdays roll over training. Instead of teaching us to be better drivers we teach our soldiers how to get out of a vehicle after it’s rolled over. All kidding aside, there are a lot of reasons why tactical vehicles roll over anything from fatigued drivers, narrow roads, the heat, and lack of experience. What’s funny is during the roll over training they have you strapped inside this simulated vehicle. In your group you have to nominate a driver (it was me), a vehicle commander, and a gunner to stand in the hatch. The trainer takes you left 30 degrees, then 90, back upright, right 30 degrees, to 90 and back. Then they give you the “loop de loop” treatment and you have to get out. As the driver I wanted to yell “hold my beer and watch this”.

I feel that for the most part I’ve been pretty good when it comes to complaining about the heat. As the guys that we replaced said “it is what it is”. What an odd thing to say but it’s true. It’s hot, and its hotter that’s your choices here. As if that wasn’t bad enough you’re here far away from home and the only green that you see is off in the distance, or the paper money in your wallet.

My youngest boy Josh graduated from Basic last Friday and I’m so proud of him. I know I’ve said it before but you truly have to give a little of yourself to your country before you can complain about your life. Both Jacki and Josh have given a part of themselves to serve, just like their dad has done and a long line of family before them. Many of those I have served with who are like aunts and uncles to my kids have welcomed them into the ranks of those that have served. I know my kids can stand shoulder to shoulder with the best of them. I watched the American Soldier video by Toby Keith the other day. It was very emotional and my eyes watered over. I thought about Jacki and Josh serving and wondered what the future holds for them. When my cube mate asked what’s wrong I said my allergies were acting up. I don’t think he suspected anything differently.

I imagine that when Josh gets back to High School this fall, he will walk a little different. His head will be held higher, his self confidence even higher. While his friends talk about time spent on the beach, and eating pizza at the pizza parlor, Josh will have stories from a different world unbeknownst to them. His stories will include how to treat someone for shock, properly throw a grenade, inflate a lung and shoot a gun accurately up to 400 meters. He will talk about the people he met and the bonds with strangers that were formed. While other tells about some place they stayed that was really fancy; he will tell a different story of his 30+ roommates, the food at the mess hall, and the latrines. Some of his friends might even complain that their car had broken down, and Josh might reply about completing the death march while carry everything from ammo, food, and his sleeping accommodations all on his back while wearing his full battle rattle. FYI – The term battle rattle means, Kevlar helmet, Rifle, and full body Armor.

Yep he’s going to be different; he experienced life outside of his security blanket. He left his family behind, his friends, and did something that most people wouldn’t even dream of. How many people can say with conviction in their voice “Greater love hath no man than this: that a man lay down his life for his friends”. It’s what being a soldier is all about, giving of oneself in order for others to live their life free.

Jacki can attest that it takes a little bit of awkward before some bit of normalcy comes back. Looking at the soldiers I’m serving with now I think we are all just a little different than the day we left home. Granted some are by far more different than the others, it’s more than that it’s about the change in one’s self due to the experience. Hopefully when we get home we will adapt to our lives before Iraq. That when a car backfires we won’t run for a bunker. Or when the fireworks are lit we don’t close our eyes and remember a place and time spent far from our homes.

Jacki, Josh and Doug you will never know the amount of pride I have for each of you knowing that you are wearing the uniform of a soldier. Knowing that you’re the next generation of soldiers will allow me to sleep comfortably knowing that you’re serving our country! My 30th anniversary of serving is coming soon and all I can say is it’s been a great ride. When I finally pull the pin, and leave my last formation I know that one door will close but yet another will open. Remember that the 7 Army values are more than just words. They are a code of conduct for you to live your life by.

For those of you that know me well you should know that my fun meter is pegged and I’m ready to come home! Two weeks give or take and I will be back in the good old USA. My water marked boots will be in the closet; my uniform will be cleaned and hung on a hangar waiting for my trip back. Hopefully, the next part of my journey will be uneventful.

Susan – Thank you for our family and for the sacrifice that you have made so we can serve. Thank you for standing by my side as our kids sprouted their wings and flew. Most importantly thank you for such great kids! Looking at all of them now you would think that we actually knew what we were doing. That the sleepless nights were not for nothing, and that the joys of being a family by far outweigh the sorrows

That is all,


Saturday, August 22, 2009

21 Aug 09 – Cribbage Masters

It’s been a while since I’ve posted and I thought I would share a little from my world. It is hot here today; I'm guessing its already 110 and 70% humidity. Needless to say after walking in my T-shirt is soaked, my deodorant has evaporated and my underwear is wet. There are a lot of “going to the movie” comments just waiting to be spoken. My day can only get better from here right? Looking back at the past week, I wonder can it get any better.

The message traffic below is about a hallway challenges that was issued to play cribbage dating all the way back to February at Ft Lewis. You see one of the soldiers added to our deployment is from Oregon. She had a special skill that was needed, and she filled a vacancy that we had. Quite a bit of trash talk but for some reason (she never showed) the game never happened.

After talking about it for so long the long anticipated game finally took place. We both opted to play with a partner just in case the game went south. The rational I’m sure on her part was in case of a loss you could blame it on your partner and never have to admit defeat. It reminded me of high school football playoffs with two local teams. There was electricity in the air as we sat down to the table to play. A new deck of cards was opened, the board inspected for flaws and the game was on!

The first game we were neck and neck down the back stretch, coming around the last corner we were elbowing each other all the way to the finish line. The second and third game was played, and again we triumphed. It was official we were the Cribbage Masters of Basrah!

Those of you that know me would realize that I would feel bad about the butt kicking. Using my great sportsmen like upbringing, and my conscious getting the best of me I thought I would offer up my support to the losing team. I sent the following message offering our support to the losing team.


My cribbage partner Cheryl and I invite you to our office for some cribbage lessons. You and others like yourselves can be winners too! With our very easy to follow curriculum you can learn more than just how to play the game. With our Zen like training you not only learn the game but become one with cribbage as well. The steps are so simple that senior officers from North Carolina, and yes even the state of Oregon have witnessed what our training can do for you.

It's all broken down into simple steps:

Step 1: Understanding your opponent

Step 2: Emotional and physiological conditioning

Step 3: Game face

Step 4: Trash talk 101

Step 5: win/lose with dignity

Step 6: Happy dance

Below is a one of our customer comments from our website:

MAJ DTO (name changed to protect his identity) Being from Minnesota I thought I had the game down pat. In my mind I was able to walk the walk and talk the talk. What they taught me about cribbage has made me stand a little taller and walk with a spring in my step. Being a winner has changed my life for the better. I have looked into the face of fear (COS) and laughed because I know I am a winner! Dave and Cheryl you have made me what I am today and I thank you!

Contact either Cheryl or Dave for your first cribbage lesson today! Our operators are standing by. Enroll now and get our free introductory pamphlet "Cribbage it's not a game it’s a contact sport".

Remember the first step in seeking help is admitting that we are the winners and you're not worthy of us!

The Cribbage Masters!

With all my years of sportsmen like conduct behind me the other team had the nerve to reply the following.

SGM - I thank you for the invitation for a rematch of cribbage. I can see that you have achieved a graduate level at "trash talk". How about a rematch on Saturday evening? That would be conditional on if my partner is available as I believe that might interfere with movie night.

In addition, you might recall that we were fairly close on that one game. With additional practice I think LTC Muskrat and I will be kicking your hinny and have you squealing like a little piggy. (How's that for trash talk???)


LTC Oregon

That’s a good sign that they would utter another challenge. But the tone that they used didn’t seem very nice. So I replied:

LTC Oregon,

It's so sad to read your message crying out for help! Under the circumstances I will waive our usual butt kicking fee in an effort to help you. As far as your trash talk comment goes I should add the word "Respectfully" after I use trash talk.

BMYAFP (Between Me, You and the Fence Post) close is a term used to describe horseshoes, hand grenades and poop fights, not to be used to describe the butt kicking we gave you. I'm sure in your mind you celebrated your second place victory.



With that being said the additional training is scheduled for Saturday evening. I think with a little intervention that they might be able to break the cycle. My question to myself is “Self, do you let them play the A team or give them a chance with the B team?”

I will let you know the outcome later. Although I’m sure most of you by now know the outcome. For those of you back home in Osakis, and Oak Grove Lessons are available!

That is all,


Thursday, August 13, 2009

12 Aug 09 – Upcoming Leave

Sitting in the mess hall this morning I found myself thinking of my life, my wife, my family and lastly but not least important our friends. Now that I wrote it down on paper I guess it’s not much different than yesterday or the day before that? It’s just that right now I so miss even the smaller things in life. She told me about her weekend, and that Aubrey and Matt were at the cabin with her and had enjoyed a small fire outside. I could visualize them sitting by the fire, complete with the sounds of the snapping and crackling wood as it burns. I picture in my mind the small talk that always seems to go with a fire or sometimes even the unspoken words amongst family and friends that are shared. All this and more had me missing home.

To be honest it left me sad and the self pity monster tried to suck me in. But to know my time until coming home on leave is getting closer pushed self pity back into the closet where it belonged. Soon I’ll be able to listen to the sweet music of the wind blowing through the trees at our cabin instead of the mega generators that run here night and day supplying our power. To actually have a fire that wasn’t burning important papers, but instead maybe having a fire to actually roast some marshmallows? How my taste buds will enjoy one of those up north delicacies called S’ mores! I will enjoy the soothing sound of crickets and frogs serenading in the distance, instead of the air handling units rumbling in the background. I’ll even welcome the sound of our dogs Bella and Mikey as they crash through the underbrush, instead of the foreign language being sang on the radio.

How I want to be there right now to do nothing more than hold my bride in my arms. Or to be on the receiving end when my grand baby gives me a snotty wet kiss or even when she holds my hand with her tiny one while we walk down the road. I can’t imagine what it’s going to be like to have someone in my personal space again, if only giving me a hug. When Jacki hugged me here at Basra last month it was like my body had come alive with emotions. Emotions I had unconsciously blocked out came rushing back. I find myself looking forward to having a meal together with Jacki just so I can see her smiling face. It’s kind of twofold really because when I look at Jacki I see so much of my wife in our daughter. She has her mom’s smile, her laugh, and has even mastered the look of “oh I’m so tired”. All those things and more make me realize that I am so blessed by what I have both on the home front, and also here with me today. Jacki has definitely brought a smile to my face, and a little spring to my step. Knowing that she is here as well as the other members of my extended family has filled a void that I didn’t even know existed.

People here ask me what will be the first thing that you’re going to do when you get home. Many of my emotions might answer differently at any giving time but right now all my emotions just want to be held close by my wife. I want to be able to smell my wife’s hair, and be able to look into her eyes and see that everything is going to be ok. I want to put my arms around her and hold her so very close. There is much more to this paragraph but I’m censoring it out using my parental controls.

So to answer the question about what are you going to do, my reply is nothing? My plan is to not have a plan but to enjoy each day with the love of my life, our family, and hopefully our friends if we are able. One thing is for sure I will find some time to spend with my grand baby (Pudding Britches) to fill my mind with more memories to carry me through the rest of my time here in the sand. Then again thinking about my soon to be separation from the Army I will probably have to make some money playing cribbage with Harry. I’m not saying I’m proud of my card playing ability, but I have to prepare myself financially for the world without the Army.

Until then please tell everyone that I said hi! And please keep the soldiers and their families in your thoughts and prayers as you go through your daily lives.

That is all,


Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Freedom of Speech

Dave asked that I post this:

Subject: Sign in a storefront window


This sign was prominently displayed in the window of a business in Whiting, Indiana . You are probably outraged at the thought of such an inflammatory statement. However, we are a society which holds Freedom of Speech as perhaps our greatest liberty.

And after all, it is just a sign.
You may ask what kind of business would dare post such a sign.

Owens Funeral Home
Who said FUNERAL DIRECTORS have no sense of humor!
You gotta love it!
God Bless America
God Bless OUR Soldiers!

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

9 Aug 09 – You guys are great!

I just wanted to drop you all a quick note to say hi, and that I so appreciate your E mails, letters, cards and boxes from home. I know I’m not alone when I say that those of us on the ground here in Iraq love mail call. My boy Josh just sent me a letter from basic telling me about his life. I thought it was funny when he wrote to me that “The letters and postcards do more for me than you will ever know”. He went on to say “They give me a little bit of inspiration that helps me get through the day”! I could so relate to the comments he made, and then he went on to say “Lately he needs all the help he can get.” Trust me Josh I do understand and I look forward to hearing from you more when you get home!

You guys back home really make a difference in the lives of the soldiers both over here, and those serving back home. After the past few weeks our moral is slowly starting to improve. It helps knowing that we are almost over the half way point, and that you all keep us, and our families in your thoughts and prayers.

Even notes sent amongst us and the ability to share pictures help us all remember that we are not alone. Although there are those that may run when I yell I have new pictures of my grandbaby. Just kidding one of my new civilian friends here sent me this E mail from his friend. Good morning. Sherly loved the Blog. She’s never been in the military but has a son in the Marines, and a brother in the Army. She had no clue until now of the things we all go through during our deployments. She said there is no way that she would survive the hardship that not only the men, but what the women go through.

On a separate subject Jacki and I wanted to drop you a list of some do’s and don’ts for sending stuff to soldiers. I sent a poll out to the guys in my section asking for their input. Here is how they responded:

What is your favorite thing that you have received so far?

- Pictures (Home, Family, reunions, weddings, graduation parties, birthdays, family reunion, ex wife getting arrested)

- DVD's (There are 5-8 different movies on sale at the PX)

- Beef Jerky (Wrapped airtight)

- Unsigned Greeting cards (birthday, love, anniversary, wedding, sympathy, get well, retirement) the old PX doesn’t have much in stock.

- Marshmallow gun (With pink Marshmallows for safety)

- Travel size hygiene items (deodorant, shampoo, glass cleaning cloths, bar soap, mouthwash, women’s products, and aspirin)

- Puzzles (sounds weird)

- Not healthy food such as Pop tarts, individually sealed rice crispy bars, boxes of Ritz crackers (Garden Blend), Chicken in the basket crackers, etc)

- A yard of beef (Salami, or beef sticks that don’t need refrigeration)

- Snacks that are non perishable

- Homemade Townsend salsa (In glass bottles individually bubble wrapped).

- Shoe string potatoes (Vacuumed sealed in a can)

What is the worst thing that you have received?

- Clothes (We wear Army uniforms or PT clothes)

- Expired snacks

Best packaging job?

- The one that will survive being crushed by other boxes that are larger than the one you sent. Take a little time to place newspaper, bubble wrap, or a layer of something around the items to protect them.

- Newspapers and magazines from home fill the void nicely. It’s kind of like a recycling program for your soldiers. Not only do they protect the goodies but you can read them after your belly is full in the bathroom (Dave)

- Vacuumed Sealed Cookies (keep in mind that we all agree even the worst packed cookies are still better than no cookies at all)

- Cookies in coffee cans with bread in them (Thanks Jan)

Worst packaging job?

- The ones that don’t follow the best packing job techniques. Remember if you’re sending glass wrap them up good (Pat)

- Unwrapped shampoo (Always tape the lids down or place in a zip lock bag)

What do you need?

- Peanut butter M & M’s (trust me they will survive)

- Peanut butter M & M’s (really it was on the list twice)

Things that you should not send:

- Chocolate (Temperatures get up to 120+ during the day, no telling what the temperature is inside the trailers hauling mail)

- Jar of Barbecue Sauce (Sorry Darcie)

- Can of Refried Beans (No can opener?)

- Refer to worst packaging job! (Pat in his finest)

Advice to family and friends:

- Tape down lids on bottles

- Wrap bottles in zip lock bags whenever possible

- Whatever we get here we have to bring back home at the end

- Refer to best and worst packaging jobs (Good one Pat)

- We love to hear from you so keep the goodies from home coming (Another one from Pat)

Before I go I just wanted to share this note that I received from our friend Lisa. What she described below made me visualize the moment that I knew I wanted to spend the rest of my life with her. I know some of you guys are groaning (Yeah I mean you NB) but it’s true. Lisa’s short E mail made me forget where I was and remember much happier times. Lisa sent the following short and sweet message: “Dave - Saw your bride, she looks good. Had a few laughs - it's good to see her smile. It just lights up her face - that and when she talks about you.”

It just goes to show what I said earlier about letters, E mail and packages from home. They help us reconnect for a moment in our minds. By closing our eyes and savoring the letters from home we feel just a little better. We are able to connect on a much higher level and leave this place behind if only for a brief moment.

Once again you guys are the best and we the soldiers thank you from the bottom of our hearts!

That is all,

Dave and the gang!

Sunday, August 2, 2009

31 Jul 09 - Another Friday

Good evening from Iraq. I can honestly say this is the last Friday of July that I will be here in the desert. Many of those that I work with are rotating home for their two week vacation. When everything is totaled up, the soldiers are actually gone for about three weeks. Every time one goes home I so wish that it was me leaving. It’s hard to see them go, knowing you’re now a man short. It will soon be 6 months to the day that I started out on my journey here to nowhere. 6 Months since I last had a long shower, a cold luscious Mountain Dew, slept with my wife or watched the news in its entirety. 6 Months since I tickled my grand baby, ate McDonalds or walked bare footed in the grass. It’s not that I want to walk bare footed (I’m ticklish) as much as I want to see the green grass. Is it true a comedian is now our senator and ER is off the air? Did anyone save the last show for me or do I have to wait for the reruns?

I’m not complaining it’s what I signed up for when I raised my right hand and was sworn into the military all the way back in November of 1979. Who would have thought the road I chose to travel down so long ago would lead here of all places. Of all the things I have seen in my career they never prepared me for what I would find waiting for me here. People wear gloves in order to keep from getting burned when touching the exposed metal. Locals wrap their faces and wear bandannas here to prevent sun burn and filter the dirt out of the air. Back home wearing the same garments would get you shot. Speaking of clothes here you wear two shirts so your sweat evaporates. If you’re curious about the bathrooms here, I was used to sharing a bathroom with four kids and a wife long before I got here. There are some bathrooms here that alternate between men and women throughout the day and night. Then there are the coed bathrooms (toilets only) with your own private stall. I’m all for alternating time periods but I still have issues when it comes to Mother Nature calling knowing there is a female sitting in the stall next to me. I was trying to be a good sport up to now but my embarrassment of giving birth outside is being overshadowed by the porta- potties that are baking in the 110 plus degree sun. I for one know it can’t be good for you to even attempt to go when the plastic door handle is soft to the touch. Not to mention what might be cooking in the slow cooker located inside.

Then there is the porta-potty that the locals use. No hand rails, no back rest, just a place for one foot on each side of the hole. Close your eyes and visualize no seat, no shelf, no hand rails, just a hole in the floor right between your feet. It seems like a bathroom right out of a twister game sales catalog. How they keep from whizzing on their pants or laying some fertilizer in their shorts has me wondering what in the world? You can’t even lean against the back wall and slide down into a good firing position. What would you do if your friend Charley Horse does one of those surprise attacks? Maybe they are smarter than me on this one. But truth of the matter is, you won’t catch me in there with a camera, my first time in there was my last!

We are going to watch the movie Ground Hog Day Saturday night. I wonder how many will be able to relate to the theme of the movie. I try to separate the days of the week by every three days I pick up laundry which never works out. I tried using meetings to track what day of the week it was because every Monday, Wednesday and Friday I have a meeting in the morning. But that didn’t help because I have a meeting on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday that seem to fill the void. Maybe the true way to tell the difference is Church; after all it is the day of rest or is it? If it wasn’t for the mass, and the shorter work day an untrained soldier might not be able to notice the difference. I mean after all between meetings, 3 square meals a day, sleep, mail call, and good old Mother Nature what else do you need to mark you time?

It’s been a long day already being a fire fighter. What I mean is just about everyone we talk to have an emergency of some sort. Either they ran out of something they needed, didn’t get the message in time to respond, were on leave, didn’t know, or that their roommate ate their paperwork. It’s true when I mentioned it being ground hogs day. Every day here is the same stuff, different day. You would think dealing with the regular Army dudes it would be different. Trust me it’s not, if there is a corner to cut, or a short cut to take they find it. I guess in some ways I can’t blame them you’re never fully appreciated here until you don’t do something. Kind of like the guy whose job it is to put toilet paper in the bathroom. He can do it for months on end and no one notices. Yet if he misses a day no one is worried about him directly they want answers on why he let them down.

Last Monday I was shamed into going to Yoga. You know one of those the “team” needs you kind of things. Anyway I went, I saw, and I conquered (sort of). The lady in charge was not a professional yoga instructor by any means but she did a great job. Those of you with that poop eating grin back home need to understand it’s not easy by any means. She started out by asking if it’s ok if she made corrections to our forms if need be. We all nodded our heads and I was thinking to myself with a little attitude let’s get going. She went through the warm up and then we started. She came over to talk to me on one occasion; I’m pretty sure to tell me I was doing a good job. I’m sure she felt she had picked on the others already and didn’t want to show favoritism. I mean if she actually thought I was able to hold the pose she moved me into she had another thing coming. Why before she could spin around, click her heels together and take off to correct another my foot had slid back to where it came from. The whole time she kept saying listen to your body. I have to tell you I had to shut off listening to my body early on, all it did was bitch (Pardon my French). At one point I think we were doing the crouching tiger, hidden dragon move when my foot released itself from where I had lodged it into. I almost took out the back row with my recovery attempt. I’m sure that my move went unnoticed by those around me. I like to think the snickers were from some joke that they had heard earlier in the day. Truth be told I might try it again knowing I’m going into it sober again. If you ever see my instructor at Helga’s house of pain tell her Dave and crew says hi!

I just wanted to send you another snapshot of life on a deployment.

That is all,