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You're About to be Redirected to the New Home of Ground Control to Major Mom: 4/5/09 - 4/12/09

Saturday, April 11, 2009

It's Good to be Home!

Greetings from Detroit! I've two legs down on this journey, three to
go. The flights from Doha to Amsterdam, and from Amsterdam to Detroit
were more or less without incident (save a broken shoe heel from an
overambitious beverage cart that I didn't notice till I had
I'm now getting ready to board my flight to Colmbia, SC where folks
from my unit will meet me at the airport to get some of my equipment
and perhaps have me sign a couple forms.
Then I will continue my journey home from Columbia to Chicago, then
finally homeward bound to Omaha.
I found some wonderful gifts for the boys at the Doha Duty Free shop,
including some European Easter candy that I remember getting at
Eastertime in 1980 in Hong Kong....when I was the same age as Jacob!!!
I can't wait to see my boys again!!!!

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Books Read on this Deployment - The Complete List

Books Read on this Deployment
1.) The Marching Season, Daniel Silva: 16 Jan 09
2.) Angels and Demons, Dan Brown: 20 Jan 09
3.) Deception Point, Dan Brown: 25 Jan 09
4.) The Other Boleyn Girl, Phillipa Gregory: 3 Feb 09
5.) Marley & Me, John Grogan: 5 Feb 09
6.) Cruel and Unusual, Patricia Cornwell: 11 Feb 09
7.) Point of Origin, Patricia Cornwell: 21 Feb 09
8.) Black Notice, Patricia Cornwell: 1 Mar 09
9.) Holy Cow, Sarah Macdonald: 7 Mar 09
10.) Blow Fly, Patricia Cornwell, 16 Mar 09
11.) Trace, Patricia Cornwell, 23 Mar 09
12.) Book of the Dead, Patricia Cornwell, 31 Mar 09
13.) The Last Templar, Raymond Khoury, 10 Apr 09

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Friday, April 10, 2009

Things I Won't Miss About This Place

Don't get me wrong, I'd rather be here than Bagram or Balad. The trips off base were great and I'm glad I took the risk to venture out there. But this is still a deployed location and I had to do without quite a bit.

Here's a list of things I won't miss about being here...

1.) Wearing reflective belts at night even though the AF Physical Fitness uniform is covered in reflective screen printing.
2.) The dust.
3.) Eating breakfast at dinnertime, and dinner at lunchtime, and lunch at breakfasttime.
4.) The dust.
5.) Having a first sergeant come up to me outside to ask me to tuck in my fitness shirt all the way. Like he was standing there waiting for me to arrive to give him something to do.
6.) The dust.
7.) Wearing reflective belts at night around my uniform, and around my backpack.
8.) The dust.
9.) Trudging home from work in 90 degree temperatures along the roadside while a young Airman whizzes past me in an air conditioned 2009 Ford F-150 with no other passengers.
10.) The dust.
11.) The smell of ASS in the trailers when we weren't able to open the doors periodically. One giant collective fart.
12.) The dust.
13.) The smell of dead animals right outside the entrance to the dining facilities. There's no better way to perk up your appetite.
14.) The dust.
15.) The dining hall main line servers (not military) who always would offer me TWO steaks, TWO pieces of lasagna, TWO Belgian waffles. What, did they think I wasn't fat enough?
16.) The dust.
17.) Having to walk 90 seconds to the latrine if I have to pee in the middle of my sleep time...and having to remember to tuck in my uniform shirt and put on my reflective belt first.
18.) The dust.
19.) Having to reduce my entire life down to the contents of two suitcases.
20.) The dust.

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Wednesday, April 8, 2009

I've Been Taken Off the Line

"Taken off the line?"

Yeah, I guess it's a reference to putting a fighting unit in reserve after serving on the front lines for a while. That's how I feel now. I'm no longer on the work schedule. My mission is to get home safely.

Paul is here, he's fully trained and now has the helm of the weather team's night shift. The training was a very busy time, and not without drama...we have to shoehorn the training here with real-world events and real weather issues. I'm popping in and out of the workcenter, mainly to say "goodbye" to the various people with whom I had the honor of serving alongside, but don't ask me anything about the weather over Iraq or Afghanistan. I don't know!

I also had some non-weather related drama this past week, with lots of troubles scheduling a flight home. I was cleared to leave anytime starting today, and about 6 hours ago I received my flight information. What a relief. I wasn't as concerned with when I'd be headed home as much as simply knowing something to pass on to the family and colleagues. I should be home by the end of this weekend.

I went to my last weekly social tent call this past Tuesday and as is tradition, I put some money on the bar to celebrate it being my last week. It certainly didn't hurt that I had taken 2nd place in the Air Mobility Division's NCAA Bracket contest, much to the chagrin of the 20 other guys who didn't appreciate my "Barbie's Dream Bracket" prediction of UNC v. Michigan State for the championship game. I had predicted Michigan State to take it all, but oh well.

I got a lot of great pictures from Tuesday but here's a sampling I'll share. Working the night shift was awesome, we could be honest with each other and focus on getting the job done without the politics of day-shift issues like pretty Powerpoint slides for the generals.

Here's proof that my replacement did indeed arrive and is doing well. That I didn't kill him during our training! Ha ha! Just kidding! Paul was a great student despite the brutal schedule we gave him!

Me with some of my night shift colleagues. Yes, I'm the only girl in the picture above, but there were other ladies around...

See? That's Sarah on the left (Royal Air Force) and Mel on the right (Royal Australian Air Force).

This is for Jacob. This young man, who goes by "Buddy", flies A-10s in the war and has been temporarily assigned to our unit here for a couple weeks to serve as a liaison between his squadron and the air war planners. His patch is that of the Expeditionary Flying Tigers and I told him about how that's Jacob's favorite airplane, the Flying Tigers A-10! He gave me a unit patch for Jacob!

Now that I'm "off the line", I have been converting my sleep schedule into more of a swing shift schedule, to better match Central Daylight Time. I have the time to work on this blog entry, upload about 50 new pictures, and I also have a chance to work out 1-2 more times before I head to the airport. In fact, I think I'll go to the gym right now!

Just like on my trip here, I'll send a note or two on my trip home, so long as I can pick up WiFi on my layover in Europe, and once I'm back in the states my phone can hop back on the AT&T network and I can write more often!

I absolutely can't wait to see my boys again -- knowing it'll be this weekend some time is such a great feeling!

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