Friday, September 14, 2007

Popped

September 15, 1997 to September 15, 2007.

A lot has happened in 10 years.

On September 12th, 1997 I received a letter from the registrar at the University of Tennessee stating that I had completed all requirements to receive a Bachelors of Science Degree in Social Work. I took that letter (it was a Friday) to the Army ROTC Department which confirmed my Commissioning on Monday, September 15th, 1997. That began my Army career. I spent the first four months in the Army working at the ROTC department awaiting my Transportation Officers' Basic Course. I worked for a great boss, Mark Grazdan. I reported to my class on January 6th, and spent 4+ months there until I went back to Tennessee, picked up Jane Anne and moved to Colorado. Jane Anne and I were so naive about what we were supposed to do to buy a house that we walked up to a real estate agent and said that we would like to buy a house in the next 3 weeks. We drove into Colorado on June 2nd and found and closed on our house on June 19th, 1998.

We spent three great years in Colorado, had a great time in our church (Heart of the Springs Baptist Church), and had our first baby. We really miss our friends from Colorado. My brother moved to Colorado after we did and met and married his wife there as well. They had their first child a few (4) months after Jonathan was born. When we left in August 2001, we were really enjoying our time in the Army. We were looking forward to seeing where we would end up next. The next 6 months was spent in Virginia where I spent about 1/2 the time at our house at Fort Lee and Fort Eustis and Kansas. Jane Anne moved back to Tennessee because I was heading to Korea.

So Korea was a lot of fun. I felt like I was really doing my job as a transporter. I left for Korea on April 29th, 2002 and spent a year living about 12-13 miles from the DMZ (De-Militarized Zone). It was great. Jane Anne was able to fly over there about 4 months after I got there. She spent 2 weeks with me and then I flew home around Christmas and spent 2 weeks in Knoxville. I left to go back to Korea and a few week later Jane Anne called me to tell me that we were going to have a second baby. I flew back home for good (from Korea at least) on April 24th, 2003. the next day we celebrated Jonathan's second Birthday. We sold Jane Anne's Saturn and drove to Washington with a pregnant wife, a two year old and two dogs.

We drove into Washington on May 10th, 2003. We found a townhouse in Puyallup, WA to rent. I was about to sign a year lease when Jane Anne and I decided to just sign the 6 month lease. We were so happy about that. The place was not the best. But, we lived just a few miles from a church that we found the second week we were in Washington. Bethany was an amazing place to attend church. Absolutely perfect. The friends we met and made there will last a lifetime. In September of 2003, David was born. Born isn't really an accurate description. He was taken through a C Section. If it wasn't for our friends at Bethany, I don't know what we would have done to get through that time. Then we moved onto Fort Lewis and lived there for about a year. Then Thomas was born. Through this time, I took command and had a great time for almost three years. On October 19th 2004, I and 227 of my Soldiers to Iraq for a year. Jane Anne led the Family Readiness Group for the entire time I was in command. The families enjoyed great support because of her hard work. I was pretty happy to fly back with my company on October 6th, 2005. When the plane's wheels set down at McChord Air Force Base in Washington, I almost lost it. A year worth of stress and worry washed away immediately on that cloudy Sunday morning.

I gave up command on March 2nd 2007. I hated doing it. I loved commanding. I loved the Soldiers. I loved being there.

On March 15th, I put my paperwork in to resign my commission effective September 15th, 2007.


Saturday is my last day in the Army. In ten years, I have lived in five states and set foot in six different countries. We met and still hold close plenty of friends in those places. But now it is time for the next chapter . I don't regret joining the Army and I don't regret popping smoke and getting out. I cannot even begin to imagine what my life would be like if we had missed all of the great things that have happened because I was in the Army. Thanks Uncle Sam.

Friday, August 31, 2007

Finally

This article gave me chills.

I've waited and waited for football season to begin and its finally here. Compare and contrast for a moment.

I work in Albany, Oregon. that is exactly 10.6 miles from the stadium at Oregon State University in Corvallis, Oregon. This is arguably a major university. They have a football team (I think.) And they played a game there Thursday evening. No buzz. No parties. Nothing. This is a Division I school. I actually had to ask someone if there was really a game. Their answer was, "Yeah- I think I'll go. I'm sure there are tickets left."

Can you IMAGINE that happening in Tuscaloosa, or Knoxville, or Auburn, or Starkville, or wherever Georgia plays? Would anyone over the age of 5 in Baton Rouge not know if there was a game on Saturday?

I am nervous and excited. Tennessee beat the snot out of California last year when Cal was predicted to walk all over them. This year it is the same prediction- most people are guessing Cal to win by almost 2 touchdowns. It’s probably a fair guess. I hope it’s just not accurate.

19 hours until toe meets leather. I've been waiting for this for 9 months. Cal tomorrow. Two weeks until Florida. Seven weeks until Alabama. Georgia is in there somewhere. And there are 11 weeks until Vanderbilt. That happens to be the day that JA is due with Elisabeth.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Target



New career begins Monday

Sunday, July 22, 2007

10 Happy Years

We've been married 10 happy years. And, yes, looking at Jane Anne's Blog , you see that it is our 12th anniversary. Here's the deal- its because of Football. I mean- The Army. Maybe they are related.

We were married July 22, 1995. That year Tennessee beat Alabama.
October 1996- Tennessee beat Alabama.
October 1997- Tennessee beat Alabama.
October 1998- Tennessee beat Alabama.
October 1999- Tennessee beat Alabama.
October 2000- Tennessee beat Alabama.
October 2001- Tennessee becomes the first team to beat Alabama more than six years in a row.
April 2002- I started my year long tour in Korea. Tennessee loses to Alabama in October.
April 2003- I return from Korea. Tennessee beats Alabama in October that year.
October 2004- Tennessee beats Alabama.
October 2005- I deploy to Iraq a week before the Tennessee Alabama game- Tennessee loses to Alabama.
October 2006- I return from Iraq. Tennessee beats Alabama.

There is irrefutable evidence that when I am in the USA, Tennessee beats Alabama.


Really- we have had a great 12 years. I cannot believe that it has gone by so quickly. I look at the pictures that Jane Anne put on her blog and realize that I look a little older now. If I had the last 12 years to do all over again, I would- They have been great. Now, as JA and I decided earlier tonight, we start Chapter 2 in our lives.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Done

I picked up my discharge certificate today as I signed out of the Army. I am actually still in the Army until September 15th. That will make 10 years and 1 day in the Army. I'm sad to leave the friends I have made in the Army. I am sad to leave the job and the feeling that what I do makes a difference, if not in the world, in the lives if the Soldiers working with me. Its been a great 10 years and I will miss the people. I sure as heck won't miss the overseas duty. I didn't do too much special to mark the occassion of the last time (or nearly, according to my wife) that I will put on my uniform. I packed up the rest of the uniforms still in my closet along with boots, t-shirts, PT stuff, and socks that I will not wear again. So my bedroom and dresser is, for the first time in 10 years, free of army stuff. I have a lot more drawer space now. Already, leaving the Army is paying off :)

I look forward to starting my next career with Target.

We put an offer on a house in Lebanon, Oregon today. A small town with a good high school football team. We are excited about the house and the move. Just a couple weeks before we actually get there. Hopefully things work out with the house- we are looking forward to living there.

Friday, July 13, 2007

Phobias

A friend posted about phobias. It reminded me that I have ALWAYS been freaked out by broken bones. Body parts bending in unnatural ways just turns my stomach. Seriously. There is some alien-type movie where at the end one of the characters you didn't know was an alien transforms back into his alien form and his knees bend backwards and he runs off into the desert. I nearly got physically ill at that part.

THE FOLLOWING MAY BE SLIGHTLY GRAPHIC

That being said- picking Jonathan up off the stairs after his fall and wrapping my hand around his floppity arm took a LOT of will power. I knew it needed to be stabilized in order avoid any muscle/ nerve/ artery damage so I had to hold the break in my hand as I carried him over and try to calm him down. The break is about 2-3 inches above his wrist through both bones (ulna and radius). In his panic, he kept trying to move his wrist. I'm feeling ill thinking about it. It was three hours before they brutally set it straight (bones don't just fall back into place- it is a very forceful process.) I never got used to seeing it lying there broken.

So, my phobia is Ruptophobia.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Little Kids

Should never, ever, ever get broken bones. Especially if they are my little kids. Ever.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Proud and Frustrated

David turns 4 in September. There are still a little over 13 years before he could join the military, but he did something last night that proved to me that he may hold out a LONG time under interrogation if captured.

There are two baths upstairs in our house. Last night, I ran both of them and Jonathan got in one and I was planning on putting David and Thomas in the other. AFter David (my Pokey Little Puppy) finally made his way up the stairs, he decided that he wanted to take a bath in the tub Jonathan was in. He refused to get in the tub with Thomas (they play very well together, and he told me downstairs he wanted to get in the tub I was putting him in.) I picked him up and put him in, but he wouldn't sit down. The last few days he has developed a habit of saying "No!" to us. I explained to him that I would spank him if he didn't sit down. I counted to three. I spanked him almost hard enough to stun an ant. Not a big ant, but a little tiny one. He screamed and cried- no red mark on his little butt. I said, "Now David, I am going to spank you again and harder if you do not sit down." With tears flowing from his cheeks, he looked me right in the eyes and said, "No! I want to take a bath in the other tub." I counted to three and gave another swat, this time a little harder. He really had the tears flowing. He bit his three year old lip, cried and AGAIN told me he was NOT sitting down. I was amazed. Well, in for a pinch, in for a pound. Jane Anne, I am sure, was thinking, "choose your battles a little wiser, Seth." But it was too late. I went through it one more time. "David, if you want me to stop spanking you, just sit down." no answer, still standing. "David, I don't want to spank you, all you have to do is sit." No answer. I put my hand on his arm to turn him around, and he keeps staring me in the eyes, and turns around.

Yes, I do have a heart. And it broke about then.

I spanked him one more time, one swat, a bit harder this time. He screamed and cried. I picked him up and held him, told him I loved him, and told him he has to sit down in the bathtub.

"No!" he says through gritted teeth and sobs and tears. I am amazed.

After a couple minutes, I put him back in the tub and he refuses to sit down. I then decide I am going to wash him off standing up and put him in bed. I tell him to just stand there while I wash him off and...

... he sits down.

Next time, I will choose my battles with more wisdom.

Thursday, July 05, 2007

6th Grade Computer Class

When I was in the sixth grade, we took a computer class in school. I am pretty sure that this class consisted solely of playing the game "Oregon Trail". I should have paid attention a little better. When I was in Korea, the Battalion Commander's driver was from Oregon. I remember telling him that I had never met anyone from Oregon and didn't really know where it was. Well, in the next month I will find out pretty well where it is.

We are moving. I have a great job lined up with Target Corporation. They are moving me to Albany, Oregon (or somewhere fairly close to there.) JA and I really wanted to be in the southeast, but it doesn't seem to be working out that way.

These last few weeks I have driven JA crazy, I am sure. When I was in Texas, I remembered what I love about the Army. I remembered all f the good things and got excited about it all over again. That, coupled with turning down jobs that I knew I would not enjoy seemed to point pretty handily toward staying in the Army. Then I interviewed with Target. I thought that after the first interview I would decide that it wasn't for me and turn off the process. I was interested after the first interview. Then I flew to Minneapolis and did a final round of interviews. It went well. So, they made an offer and tomorrow I will most likely accept it.

One of the good things about Target is that they like you to move around. I believe between three and five years we will move again. During that move, I plan on reversing the Oregon Trail and make my way back across the country.

Monday, June 25, 2007

Ultra sound quotes

Technician: "I don't see anything but girl parts."
Momma and Daddy: no words but tears from both

LATER
Daddy: "Does this mean we're going to get a lot of pink crap?"

EVEN LATER
Jonathan after being told the baby is a girl: "Ohhhhh Noooooooooooo!"
David at the same time: "a girlul! That's just what I wanted!"