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The Road to Baghdad

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Monday, 21 January 2008

Location: Milford, USA

My goodness, time flies by much more quickly at home than it did in Iraq. I can't believe I haven't posted anything in a month. I just added some misc. pics. Feeling better and eating better. Be fat again soon I'm sure. We've all been fighting off colds for the past couple weeks. Who'd a thought day care would be a germ factory, eh?

Big news, was sworn in as Ensign Hanna on Jan. 12th. Added a couple of pictures. Was a pretty good time. We went out to eat at a pretty decent resturant. Mary, Heather, and Dave from the unit were able to attend. Was hoping LTC Williams could make it, but he had to run off to England and do LTC stuff. Brandy & Katie, Mom, Dad, Sister, Grandma, and Mother and Brother in laws were able to make it down too. I'll be heading to the unit in Ohio in a month or two. Not looking forward to that, but hopefully it'll go by quickly.

Monday, 17 December 2007

Location: Selfridge, USA

Well, I'm at the base this morning to check in and no one is here. Looks like the snow chased everyone away today. This is typical of the bullshit that goes around in this place. I drove in from over 50 miles away. The roads were fine. These people will do anything to get out of work. The NOSC in Detroit is the biggest collection of useless people in the military. I'm not coming back. I'll go downstairs in a few minutes. If no one has shown up I'll leave. See them next drill weekend.

Throat still hurts. Hurts to swallow and hurts to talk. Not liking this at all. Not one of my smarter decisions. Want food. So hungry....

Thursday, 13 December 2007

Location: Milford, USA

Katie came through her procedure with flying colors yesterday. She didn't like it when they took her away from Mom and was quite bitchy when she woke up. Other than that, she's pretty much back to normal.

My procedure took about 45 minutes. I can't eat and I'm not very happy about that. It hurts to swallow. Even water is painful to get down. Tired of eating ice cream and pudding.

Not sure if this will take care of the snoring. I can still tell my sinuses get backed up periodically. Funny, you wouldn't think I'd have trouble breathing through a nose as big as mine. I've been able to hack up snot out of my throat much easier lately. Not sure if that is becuase of the tonsilectomy or not. Guess only time will tell.

Still waiting for Dave to send me pics from the airport. I didn't quite get everything planned out like I wanted to. Was kind of last minute for everyone. Just have to keep checking every few days or so to see if I get new pics.

Tuesday, 11 December 2007

Location: Milford, USA

Wow! Where do the days go? Been home almost a week already. Been moving some stuff around in the basement and garage. Been throwing quite a bit of stuff away. Finally got everything I shipped home put away somewhere.

Katie goes in tomorrow to get tubes put in her ears. Mom says its pretty common procedure. I go in right after and get my tonsils taken out. She and the Doc seem to think it might take care of some of the snoring. The things I do for the wife. Oh well, I told her she gets what she wants when I get home. Not much of a sweet eater, but I like ice cream and pudding. We'll see how it goes.

Friday, 07 December 2007

Location: Milford, USA

Finally made it home tuesday night. Didn't plan on leaving Norfolk till Wednesday, but when they said they had a direct flight to Detroit I took it. 387 days away from home is far too long. I called Brandy and my sister and gave them my flight info. They only had about 6 hours to get everyone to the airport. Brandy rushed home and picked up Katie. One the way to the airport the road was blocked due to an accident. Brandy had to take side roads to try to get to the freeway. She wasn't able to be there when I got off the plane but we met up at the baggage claim. Not exactly how I pictured my homecomming but was happy to see them again. I've only got a few pics, I'll post more as soon as I get them. Only took Katie about 10 minutes to warm up to me before she'd let me hold her.

More later...

Sunday, 02 December 2007

Location: Norfolk, USA

Just went over 4000 hits! OMG I am soooooooo bored. The Lions lost. I've seen every DVD I have at least a dozen times. This "decompression" phase they're making us go through is making things worse. Must have been some officer who thought taking 2 weeks to get home was a good idea.

Saturday, 01 December 2007

Location: Norfolk, USA

Hey, did you notice I made the Top 5 list for this month? First time that's ever happened!

Friday, 30 November 2007

Location: Norfolk, USA


Finally made it stateside. Got into Baltimore yesterday afternoon. Connecting flights to Philly then to Norfolk. Staying on base for a few days. Probably fly home sometime around wednesday.

Flight from Kuwait was about a 48 hr evolution. Had to be up and out by 8 am local to get bags to the customs area. Met up with Jeff Klock there. He used to be in our unit till he transferred to the SUBGROUP a year or two ago. Now he's in Kuwait for another 4 months. Hung around the base all day doing absolutely nothing. Didn't fly out till around 5 am. Plane full of losers from the Air Force bitching and whining cuz it was cold. We stopped in Germany for a couple hours, then across the pond to Baltimore. Only slept a couple of hours through the whole trip. Was pretty cranky by the time I got to the hotel last night.

Off till monday... more wasting time.... Seeing as I didn't have a weekend off the entire year I was in Iraq you would think the Navy would make a few of these people work a weekend to get us home sooner. It would save the government money. So now we'll sit here this weekend and do nothing. Assholes!!

Maybe we'll do something fun in the next couple of days... but I doubt it...

Tuesday, 27 November 2007

Location: Kuwait

Turned in all the gear yesterday. Two bags of crap I never used. Navy know-how, its working for America! Had the re-deployment briefs today. Head to somewhere tomorrow, not sure where, to wait to take a bus to the airport in the middle of the night. Should be wheels down in Baltimore sometime Thursday afternoon. Still looking like Tuesday, give or take a day, be back in Detroit. I'll send flight info to Brandy and Kristine. Anyone wants to show up at the airport touch base with them. I'll be flying back with Dave; he just spent the last 6 months in Afghanistan and ended up in Kuwait with us. He'll likely have a small army waiting for him at the airport.

Next update should be from stateside....

Sunday, 25 November 2007

Location: Ali Al Salim, Kuwait

Made it to Kuwait. We had a show up time of noon on saturday and left around 3:30 pm on Sunday. Iraq just had to kick us in the nuts one last time. Spent the night in that God awful airport, just like the night Katie was born. Only the Air Force could screw up a simple evolution such as a regular rotating flight from Baghdad to Kuwait. Doesn't seem very difficult to comprehend. Plane is leaving on this date at this time with this many seats. Every single flight in and out of this place is always screwed up. Aim High my ass!

Gotta go... haven't showered or brushed my teeth in two days. More later...

Friday, 23 November 2007

Location: Camp Slayer, Iraq

Finally, the day has arrived!! We are leaving Baghdad tomorrow. I never thought this day would get here. So much has happened over this past year.

I don’t quite know where to begin, so I’ll start at the beginning again. We arrived in theater in December. Things were pretty bad out here. Police stations were getting hit by car bombs. Suicide bombers were driving into the middle of markets and mosques and killing scores of civilians almost daily. Coalition Forces were losing about 3 or 4 people a day. There were the rumblings of a political movement in western Iraq called the Al Anbar Awakening. Things were pretty grim.

Over this past year the condition of Iraq has improved significantly. The Al Anbar Awakening has grown into a viable political entity in western Iraq and it has had a ripple effect throughout the country. In March 2000 Iraqis showed up at a police station to volunteer to form neighborhood watch units in order to fight Al-Qaeda fighters just outside of Baghdad. Today those neighborhood watch units are in almost every province of Iraq and number over 50,000 volunteers. Al-Qaeda is being pushed out of the cities and into the swamps and desert. There hasn’t been a car bomb at a police station in over six months. Bar graphs showing attacks against CF show a significant decline over the past 4 months and continue to drop. Security is improving throughout Iraq and economic development is close behind. This place is getting better and will continue to get better.

More importantly, insurgent leaders are coming forward willing to talk to CF. Eventually there will have to be a time when these people are given some form of amnesty. In order for there to be peace, past crimes will have to be forgiven. This is true in all wars. Yes, there were some trials of a few people, but in order for the fighting to stop, people must be willing to forgo revenge and take the next step forward.

One of my biggest fears coming out here was that I was going to waste my time. I was afraid I’d spend a year stamping badges or news casting or some other mindless task. I wanted to make a difference when I came out here. I can say without a doubt my time here was well served. I was very fortunate to have worked the jobs I have. I can’t imagine being in another position where I would have more knowledge of what was going on out here. I would see email chains from 2, 3, and the one 4-Star out here. My chain of command went from me, to an Army COL, to a British Major General, then General Patreus. I sat across from, and next to, insurgent leaders who were coming to the table to talk peace with CF. And I learned so much out here. I learned how the intelligence community operates. I saw first hand the obstacles which prevent important information from reaching the masses, down to the levels where it is needed most. I learned how governments function and how things can go to hell very quickly when a government is largely impotent. After observing the Iraqi government for 11 months I now have a greater appreciation for my own government and those who keep it trudging along. We may complain about red tape and bureaucracy, but I can guarantee you our government is 100 times more efficient than the Government of Iraq.

I’ve been fortunate to meet dozens of truly great people, of all ranks, ages, races, and nationalities. I’ve spent a great amount of time working with British and Australian people. I can say without a doubt those countries really sent the cream of the crop out here. Now if we’d just share more information with them we could accomplish a lot more. I say YESFORN to my funny sounding Brothers in Arms!!! (Some of you will understand) I’ve learned a lot about leadership out here. I’ve seen officers who genuinely had their head in the game and really made things happen. I’ve seen others who I am certain I would shoot if I ever had to work for them. I’ve been fortunate to work with Soldiers from the US Army, especially my girls, SSG Rene and SPC Kira. I can honestly say I learned more about leadership from these two than I had in my 10 years of service in the Navy. For this I am truly grateful for having the opportunity to work with them. I couldn’t possibly list all of the people I’ve worked with out here. But I learned from every single person I worked with, and for that I am truly thankful and grateful to them. You all know who you are!!

I was lucky to be sent out here with some people from my unit; Eric, Jim, Paula, and especially Tim. While I was at Slayer Tim and I would try to go to dinner together. It was my daily “Sanity Check”. I am certain I would have lost my mind months ago if I didn’t have Tim there to help me keep things in perspective, and more importantly, take my mind off the war. Later on we were joined by Mary, Heather, Tracy, Kate, and Critter. We didn’t get to work together, but the emails and the chats helped us all take our mind off the madness at least for a little while. I still don’t forgive those of you for only getting six months, but we won’t talk about that ever again. I just take satisfaction in knowing you are all above me on the mob list for next time.

I also need to thank all of the people who have kept my inbox flooded with emails and messages on my blog. Again, I couldn’t possibly list all of them. I met some new people, and was fortunate to get messages from people I hadn’t heard from in years. Again, your support was a most welcome distraction, if only for a few minutes. It was nice seeing old friends with new families, new baby pics, etc. Although none of your kids are near as cute as Katie! Again, thank you for keeping me tuned in to what is going on in the real world. It’s easy to forget out here.

So was it worth it? Yes it was. Do I want to do it again? God, I hope I never have to. There is a part of me that doesn’t want to leave, because the job isn’t done and there is still a lot I want to do. But at the same time I have also missed out on a great deal. I’ve had the luxury of a lot of support from back home. The leadership at my reserve unit was always there when we needed them. Thankfully I didn’t need them very often, but some of us did. Have to single out LTC Williams for being our POC and “traffic cop” for a very wide variety of issues. If he didn’t know the answer, he would find out who did. He was extremely helpful to me with my DIRCOM package and subsequent exile from the unit. Just knowing he and the rest of my unit’s leadership were there when needed was a huge burden off my mind. And the care packages from the unit were ridiculously huge, and frequent! It got to the point when we had to ask them to stop!

And the support from the family was very much appreciated too. The emails, the cards, the pictures, and especially the 2 liters of “Dr Pepper and Diet Vernors”! Who would have thought Diet Vernors goes so well with Coke! I really hated to miss the canoe trip this year. It was nice to see pictures of Katie’s first campfire, and her own little tent! They were a big hit out here too. I have the cutest baby in Iraq! But most important, it was reassuring to know they were there if I needed them. I’ve never been one to ask anyone for anything, but just knowing they were there if I needed them was the important thing. Mom, Dad, and Kristine, thank you for being there for me when I needed you!

But the person I need to thank the most is the wife. We both knew I could be mobilized, but neither of us knew it would come as soon as it did, and it couldn’t have come at a worse time. I vividly remember having to tell Brandy I was mobilized. I told her everything I knew, which wasn’t very much at the time. I’ll never forget her response. She said those two words that probably every military wife says when she learns about a pending deployment, “You Suck!” It was a difficult day, and it didn’t get any easier. She’s been through a lot, much more than she should have ever had to endure. I wasn’t able to get back in time to be there when Katie was born, but I was able to spend 2 of the best weeks of my life with them. Words can’t describe how hard it was to leave them and come back here. Brandy has earned the right to complain the most about this past year. She’s been a single mom, doing much more by herself than she should. To her credit, she has rarely complained, though she more than anyone has more than enough reason to complain more than she did. With the stress I had to endure out here, the long hours, short deadlines, indirect fire, and lack of time off or sleep, I didn’t need the extra stress from home. Brandy shouldered the burden by herself. I’ll come out of this deployment with 4 awards and the knowledge I helped write a page in history. There is no award, no prize, no level of recognition worthy to acknowledge the sacrifices she’s had to make. I could never repay her the year we’ve lost together, the nine months of Katie’s life. I can’t even begin to think how I’m going to try to make this up to her. But try I will. She definitely has earned whatever it is she wants. The words “thank you” and “I love you” don’t nearly acknowledge what you mean to me, but it’ll have to do for now until I’m home in a couple weeks!!

I’ll have sporadic email and phone access, so I don’t know when I’ll be able to update again. The Road to Baghdad has been very long, very tiring, but very rewarding. I’m very proud of all I was able to accomplish out here. This chapter of my life is coming to a close. I’ll look back and skim through it occasionally, but will have to let it go. But I have a new chapter waiting for me to start when I get home; one with Brandy and Katie, and hopefully at least one more just like her.

Thursday, 22 November 2007

Location: IZ, Iraq

Turkey Day. 2nd one in a row away from home. Went to dinner with Tim today. Wasn't too bad. Been trying to call home, phones are all screwy. I imagine everyone in Iraq is trying to call home right now. Probably won't get through today, but I'll see everyone in a couple weeks.

Tuesday, 20 November 2007

Location: Camp Slayer, Iraq

Just a quick note today. Made it back to Camp Slayer this afternoon. Ran into Tim about five minutes after I got here. He's ready to go too. We've got a few odds and ends to tie up, but we should be all set to go by this weekend.

Monday, 19 November 2007

Location: IZ, Iraq

Today is my last official day of work. Leaving here and heading to Slayer tomorrow afternoon. I thought today would be a very happy day. But, its just like the rest. Still a lot of running around, putting out fires. Its very overcast today. Was very cold when I woke up this morning so the day didn't start out too well, been pretty much on that steady plane all day. Planned on writing my summary of the past year today, but I'm going to need a couple days of sleep before I tackle that task. Haven't been able to relax the brain since right after Katie was born. Should be able to post that in a couple of days. Till then......

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Recent Messages

From Kate
Hey Wade thanks for keeping this up. I am heading out of hear in about two weeks so it was really nice to see how long it takes to get back home. So, I guess I should hit GR by the 23rd of February. I am so looking forward to seeing my kid.
Response: That's great news!! Be sure to let LTC Williams know your travel plans on the way back. They will need to keep tabs on you and make sure someone is here when you have to come to the base.

Also, make sure San Diego NMPS gets you enrolled into Tricare AND you get a Tricare ID card from them. Looks like San Diego dropped the ball with Mary and Heather and their Tricare.
From Tracy's Gram
Hi Wade..We all want to know if you made it home ?????
Love... Gram
Response: Hi Gram
Made it home in one piece. But what an adventure it was!!
From Spence
Hey bro haven't fun in Norfolk if your next to NOB I live right there .
Response: Got the note too late. Left tuesday afternoon. Wish I would have known that sooner. We were bored out of our minds over the weekend.
From barry
welcome home grandpa. you might remember me, we went to Ferris together.... member don peed off the feed mill.....yeah.....good times
Response: How could I ever forget Barry. You still live with your parents? Drop me a dime buttslammer. Grease got married and is fixin to head to San Diego.
From #3 M--re Girl
Welcome home Wade!
Response: Hi Kel!

Good to be home!!
From Brandy
I appreciate the Thank You sentiment and your acknowledgement that I haven't complained much (although you know you are getting an earful when you get home). I really tried for your sake even though you didn't always make it easy. I don't ever want to go through this again. I'm not a particularly good military wife.

I'd like to thank my Mom for being there when I needed her, and to your mom and sister for the same. Your whole family has made me feel welcomed (as usual). Also I am grateful for Denae - I'm glad I got my friend back and I can't wait to watch our little girls grow up together.

Most importantly, I have to thank my happy baby girl. Without Katie to keep me company, I would have gone crazy and lost my focus on life. She is absolutely the best thing to ever happen to me. So yes, being a single mom is alot of work, but it's been rewarding as well. I didn't think I could manage all of this on my own when you left, but I'm actually alot stronger than I thought (or anyone else thought for that matter) and am managing just fine.

Be good and get home safe. I miss you.
Your Wife
Response: You're a good Mom. And as I said, you have earned the right to complain as much as you want when I get home.
From Mom
Glad to hear you're finally on your way back to the good old USA. Wasn't surprised to hear you had trouble getting out of Iraq - I remember how upset you were when trying to get home for Katie's birth. Read your Blog - proud of all your accomplishments but Oh So Glad you'll soon be home where we need you. - Be careful - Be good - Love Mom
Response: Be home soon!
From Michael
Maybe you should check the regs and see exactly what an ensign can do to an E-6.

Absolutly nothing........
Response: We'll see what your CO and CMSgt has to say about that. The spineless always stick up for their own!!
From Michael
You could have the navy take you home. lets see you should make it home by the time Katie turns 2 if you wait for the boat.
Response: Aw bite me. This coming from the militant wing of American Airlines....

Gonna pin on Ensign bars when I get back. Then I'm going to stand right outside your hangar and make you salute me every time you walk past!!
From Uncle Roger and Lynn
Well you are probably on your way home.Good for you.We want you to know that Hannah runs a close second to Katie.Will be leaving the 18th to see her.Justin broke his foot yesterday.Think he is an accident waiting to happen.See you soon.
Response: Hi Unc and Aunt
Guess that means I won't see you at Christmas? Actually, I don't know when Fike Christmas is this year... I have not been informed, nor did I ever think to ask. Step on his toes for me!!
From Aunt Sue
Gee Thanks Wade!

Believe it or not I had a very quiet birthday. Didn't even have a beverage. Waiting until you get home! Take care and see you soon!

Love, Aunt Sue
Response: The days are dragging.....
From Gram..
Hi Wade..I'm happy for you, you'll sone be home with your fanily. Could you do something for me?? Please get in touch with Tracy, and try to cheer her up.She sounded so down and isn't eating.A lot of her friends have left, I know that's why.Thanks and good luck to you..God Bless..Love Gram
Response: Hi Gram
Might just be an adjustment from being out of her routine from being in Germany. I was pretty much the same way for a few weeks when I got back out here, except I never have any problems eating! I'll remember to shoot her an email tonight.
From Critter
Yo Wade, things went pretty smooth at Ft.Bragg. Two days and we were done with Bragg and Jackson. Norfolk took three days because you have to get a PPD shot and they have to wait 48hrs to look at it. No exceptions. Landed on Sat. the 3rd and was home the following Friday night. Do not let them tell you you HAVE to check in at Selfridge. You can do it the next drill weekend. Tell Tim he can fly into Dayton and that someone from the reserve center will meet him there to sign his orders. If not, they will fly him to Det. and then back to Dayton. It is all screwed up, and they will not waver one bit. Welcome back in advance.
Response: Hey Critter
Glad you made it home!!! I have 4 days of work left, still a couple weeks from being home. I think Tim has worked out the issues with LTC Williams. He'll be flying straight home. Thanks for the info on what to expect. I haven't heard a word out of Mary or Heather or anyone else who just left. I was going to try to get a ppd out here but have been unsuccessful so far. Might as well wait I guess.
Hoping to see everyone at the Jan drill!
From Mom
We're all in the big count down with you. Can't wait for you to be on your way home. Spent some time Monday evening with Brandy & Katie. Both quite sick with colds, sinus infections, cutting teeth - you name it - they have it all combined. Tried to help, but you know when baby is sick she much prefers her Mom. She did let me hold her but when it came to taking her bottle, Mom had to step in. Hopefully they are beginning to get better since both have medications to help with the process. Will be nice when you're home to help - I'm sure Katie will let Daddy help too when she doesn't feel well. - Love Mom
Response: Hi Mom
Brandy sent me an email saying they're both doing a little better, but still staying home from school today. I'm pretty much resigned to the fact Katie isn't going to want anything to do with me for a while. Just how it goes, I guess. Thanks for going down and checking on them. Even though she never asks for it, she needs the help once in a while.
From Guppy
HAPPY BIRTHDAY! Sorry your getting old,but I am too(29).
You have great pictures and your daughter is adorable. Hope to see you soon!
Response: Hi Guppy!!!
You're sneaking up on 30!! HAHAHAHA. Good news is I can run for President now. Stuff's gonna change now!
From Gram..
Hay..I had a birthday tooooo.Passed you-all by, I tuned 80 on the 7th.Oh?? to be 35 again.... But, belated birthday wishes to you too. Enjoy your last 16 days there, you'll be home to hug that little one soon. Love Gram
Response: Hi Gram
I didn't know it was your birthday?? You can't be 80. I saw your picture, you don't look a day over 66!! The days don't go by quickly enough!
From Sister
Wade, The first joy in your mother's life was also the best Christmas present anyone could ever get and don't you forget it. To all you people that think he is such an angel you should get a hold of me I can tell you alot of stories about our little *&(*&*^&^%&. I can't tell you his nickname that would be cause for a murder - MINE. Lets just say he likes something soft and cuddly that likes honey. Just a little note to tell you to get home soon before your Grandma Fike and your father have me in a tizzy because they worry over you so. Hope you had a good birthday and enough pop for a good toast. See you soon. Counting the days down right along with you!! Love, Sister Kristine
Response: Don't think anybody believes I'm an angel. You might become one sooner than you'd like... Had a decent time at quiz night. I'll explain in the next blog posting. Little Vernors left. Saving for special occasion.
From Kelly
Response: Which Kelly are you??
From Denise
Happy Birthday Wade!

I was looking at the picture of Kristine, Chris and you on Dad's lap the other day. Hard to believe the toddler on Grandpa's knee has grown up to serve his country in such a great way and be a great husband and Dad. I know Dad (Grandpa) would be proud of you. We all are.

Brenna and Matthew's school is having a special assembly tomorrow to honor our veterans. I sent your picture in along with Michael's and their Grandpa Thompson's. I just wanted to let you know the kids will be standing up in honor of you tomorrow. I am taking off work to be at the assembly. Can't wait to see you when you get home.

Response: Hi DD
Thanks for the note. Support for everyone out here has been phenonemal. One of the more intelligent things I've heard out here was "We (the military) does not dictate policy. We execute it." And I think most people understand and agree with that.
From Mom
Thirty five years ago, November 8th, we welcomed our 2nd joy into our lives - yes you were born. Here's wishing you a Happy Birthday. - Love Mom ! ! ! !
Response: Thanks Mom!! What was the first joy???
From Robin
I know how you feel (do you have one of those pictures that represents all of the days you were mobd that you fill in as each day passes? (I was a crocodile in beach gear cut up into 180 days..coloring that sucker entirely was the goal). Anyway, you sound good, glad the family is doing well. Keep your head down and see ya in a few months.
Chief Bailey
Response: Yes ma'am I do! Mine is on an Excel document. It has a picture of Katie in a pie graph. There is 4% left. I can see both of her eyes now! I had something similar to what you're talking about when I was on active duty. That one started to count down at 99 days. I'd tell you more, but its pretty graphic. I'm sure you can imagine! Damn Sailors!! 14 days....
From Paula
Wade, glad the days are getting short for you and Tim. Looks like you have done alot of sight seeing while there - more than I got to do. Believe it or not I actully kinda miss the sandbox - as crappy as it was. I think it is mostly the people and the experience I miss. Don't get me wrong, I wouldn't volunteer to go back. Next time a new location. Why can't we go to war with Hawaii or Cozumel? Will be glad to see you guys home!
Response: Miss this place? Did you get kicked in the head by a horse? All things considered, I am fortunate I got to see something other than VBC. Not that downtown is a cornucopia of fun things to do! I was talking with the Brits one day and I commented, "Last time you guys dragged us into a war we went to France and Germany. We go to war and take you guys to Iraq twice and Afghanistan!"

Anywho, you don't miss the place, just the people who were stuck here with you. Looks like I might be headed to WP when I get back. Probably see you in Jan/Feb. Mary and the crew leave AF tomorrow, should be back before Dec. See ya Chief!!!
From Tracy again
I just looked at all the pics! Katie is gorgeous! I love the "Katie visits JRISE" page. The captions are perfect - especially that one of Mary. Maybe your page IS better that mine. Naw - too much political ranting. Later dude!
Response: Political rants is the closest I can get to writing about what I'm doing. And as soon as I can figure out how to get "Sleeping Lil Dragon" set as my wallpaper I'll have the top blog on this site! 21 days....
From mr. smellmore
sounds like you are ready to come home soon,c-ya when you get here ,sounds like we need to have a party,that baby sure is cute,i bet you cant wait to see her,have a safe trip home,stinky
Response: Hi Stink!!
Very much looking forward to it! Yes, baby is cute like Mom but has my hair right now. Hope she grows out of that. Thanks for the emails over this past year. Any chance I get to think about anything besides what is going on here has been a welcome distraction!
From Tracy's Gram
Hi Wade..Sorry that you feel so alone without your friends. That was how I felt when my husbond died. But from the sounds of your letters you are a very out going fellow. You'll make new ones before you know it. Just keep looking up, and remember you are really never alone. May God bless and keep you all safe.
Love Gram
Response: Hi Gram
Thanks for the note. I can't say I feel alone, but it is tough saying goodbye to people I've spent so much time with for so long. It'll be the same when I head back home, I won't be in contact with Heather, Tracy, Roger, Mary, or Tim nearly as much as I am now. Its been one of the few silver linings in this dark cloud.