Wednesday, August 13, 2014


It's been a good long time since I've posted a new blog entry; to be honest, I'm not sure what prompted it. I guess my mind is just running and it's good to be able to get my thoughts out. First, as the title suggests I am retired, and it is everything I had hoped for and more. My family and I are happily back in Michigan and we have a beautiful house. I have been dealing with the VA and despite expected difficulties it has been going quite well. I received a new knee brace today and it is fantastic. I have reached the limit of surgical intervention, at least until I am 50 and am old enough for a replacement. Until then, I will get injections every 3 months and continue to wear my brace whenever I need to be on my feet for more than a few moments at a time.

Short but sweet, I guess that's enough for today, or at least for now. I'll post more when my brain starts to spin again. Until then...

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Captain's Blog, Supplimental: Stardate 20120815.2137

I'm not going to pretend it hasn't been a considerable time since I last posted here, but since I can't make up for it I'm not going to dwell on it. Instead, you all get to be witness to what a basically random thoughts in my head. Somewhere in all this rambling a pattern or psychology may begin to emerge, maybe, and if not, well at the least, it should be entertaining.

So since the last posting here Facebook has come into it's own, I get the feeling I'll be able to share this there somehow. Things have drastically changed in those many years. 3 right knee surgeries, another child, several changes in assignment, a housing move, even a few cars. But what does all that boil down to? In the end life continues, yes? So what of it then? This is something of an existential several of the voices (relax they're all versions of me) in my head have been having with each other. I'd wait and report on what they come up with, but they seem to be stuck, and I'm a bit impatient besides. I'm not exactly in the middle of a why are we here conversation, I find those a bit dull and played out. No, what I'm chewing over is, how do I define myself, or perhaps, more broadly spoken, how do we define ourselves. Over the years the Army has told me I need to get my priorities right, what they are really saying is I need to conform to their mindless programming; sorry, not going to happen. When presented with this statement, however, I usually reply thusly: I am a Christian first, a father second, a husband third, and a soldier fourth. Let me tell you, the Army does not enjoy or appreciate that priority listing. Never exactly cost me much sleep. Now certainly, my definition could be used to define me. Any of those "titles" would suitably define me, and there is nothing wrong with any of those titles, however, I find myself searching for something more. If I had a dollar for every time I was called a smart person I'd likely never have to work again. But to what end? I cannot help but feel that if I apply myself towards some venture that I could be quite successful. The difficulty is I cannot seem to focus myself into any one direction; one of the reasons college never appealed to me. The idea of focusing all my energies on one topic just hasn't ever appealed to me. It feels like I'd be limiting myself in some way or forcing myself into a preconceived standard or image. Yet, high school has been quite some years and I haven't even attempted one direction, much less more than one. So perhaps you understand the existential debate. What I feel I want (because I flip flop on this back and forth so quickly I can hardly keep up) is to leave something behind or change some industry in a way that only I can do; and not in a conceded way, I hardly care if I get any recognition knowing that I accomplished whatever it is I accomplish would be satisfaction enough.

So join my debate. What would you do in my place. Please explain how you have come to the advice or opinion that you choose to leave. I have no problem accepting constructive criticism but I like to know the rationale behind it so that I may form an educated opinion of my own.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

History will repeat itself

If it is true that History does repeat itself, then we have much to learn. War and how war is fought has changed. It is time for America to change its thinking about war as well. On December 7, 1941 the situation was clear: Japan had declared war on the United States of America. In our history no one single event has so unified the American people. Over one thousand people lost their lives in a sudden and violent attack at Pearl Harbor. We were at war. Specifically, we were at war with Japan, all of it. Japan had declared war on the US; not in a public declaration from their government but by a violent and sudden strike from their naval and air forces. War with a country was obvious.

September 11, 2001 the situation was changed. Our country was again attacked. This time, as before, there was no declaration of war by a country against the United States. This time, however, the situation was different. The attack was not by the Afghan people, who we went to war with; or from the Iraqi people, who we went to war with in 2003. No, this attack came from a group of Islamic radicals; a specific group of people who called Afghanistan and Iraq home. The people of those countries did not declare war on the US and neither did their countries. While it may be true that these countries did not consider themselves allies with the US they were not our enemy; people from these counties were.

Our response, tragically, was similar to every conflict prior: attack the country, that would solve the problem. Friends, nearly 10 years have passed since that tragic and terrible attack on the Twin Towers that cost thousands of American lives. This time, it was a civilian target. Our military was not targeted, our very heart was. And while a swift and calculated response was called for, we, like an old relic from a time that has past, retaliated in a manor not consistent with the conflict we were in.

When will America learn? The world has shown us that nuclear war is obsolete, and yet we have more nuclear arms than any other country in the world. The world has also shown us that naval wars are obsolete, yet we have one of the most technologically advanced Navy in the world. The world has shown us that wars no longer have clear defined front lines as they did during WWII, Korea, and Vietnam. Yet we continue to fight as though we have a front line and resources that support it. The world has shown us that war has changed, yet we continue to wage war in the ways of days past. Until we learn that war has changed and adapt to the way war is being fought we will continue to face loss.

Operation Iraqi Freedom may be over, but make no mistake, we have not won. Moreover, we have not changed the situation in which our nation finds itself. We will continue to be threatened by radical groups who now have power independent of the country which they call home. Until we can change our view of who we are war at we will continue to be threatened. Our boarders will become weak and we will continue to send our forces to fight wars they cannot win. Our country will divide and we will war with ourselves. This day is coming, mark my words. We cannot continue to be a dinosaur in this modern age. It is time to change how we fight and who we fight.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Recovery update

Quick update on Lauren. She's been discharged. They never figured out what she had or what was wrong but her numbers got better so they let her go. They're likely going to take her to another hospital to get a second opinion.

I had another follow up with my physical therapist today and the brace came off. I'm now allowed to walk with the cane only as needed. I can bend my right knee to just over 120* and the average person has a range of motion of 130*, my left knee goes way past that but it's mostly because of how thin I am, most people have things like muscle that gets in the way, I don't have that problem lol. I still can't do PT with my unit, darn, but I'm progressing nicely. Most of my range of motion problems now are just due to some left over swelling. My physical therapist says that will go away now that I can use it unrestricted. I'll keep you all posted as I continue to recover. It's going well though.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

A prayer request

One of Diana's good friends, Lauren has been in the hospital since yesterday. She's currently in the ICU and probably will be for a while. She went in with a UTI, a kidney infection, and influenza type A. They are pretty sure the influenza is going to turn out to be H1N1 so they've started treating for it. Her platelet count is also very low and there is a problem with her white and red blood cells. She's stable right now and Diana is with her but she doesn't stay that way. At this point all they can do is try to keep her comfortable while they wait for test results. I visited this evening and asked her nurse what she thought it was, she was very honest and said she had no idea. There are already a lot of people praying for her, and she's being very strong considering where she is, but more prayer never hurt anything.

Her kids are staying with Diana and I for now. She and her husband were supposed to move out of their apartment tomorrow and he's begun working on that. His unit is going to help him move everything tomorrow, so we're watching the kids so he can take care of that.

I'll post updates as we know more, but there hasn't been much news since yesterday. We just ask for prayer, not knowing is the hardest part but even if we did there isn't anything we could do, it's all in God's hands and we need to ask him to guide her and her family though this.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

October update?

Maybe I can do this once a month, that shouldn't be too hard. No big updates, just more life as usual. Another neighbor got arrested today. I know, not life as usual maybe for most of you, but in my neighborhood that's par for the course. I'd give more details but they play out like a day time soap opera and who actually watches those things.

Work is going well, I drove a HET today for the first time since my surgery. My new squad leader plans on having the squad goto Alamagordo at least once a week, mostly just to get away from the day-in day-out activities of the motor pool but it also serves to get some of the new members their required miles for their licenses so it's dual purpose. I drove one way today. I want to get "back on the horse" so to speak but I'm certainly not trying to over do it. Especially since driving these things is what injured my knee in the first place.

I've begun researching what I need to do to go CID (criminal investigative division). It turns out I won't be a special agent if I get accepted, but it will be a better career path for me than just truck driver. I need 30 credit hours as a part of the requirement but what little research I've done so far tells me that my military training alone will count for about 20 of those hours so it shouldn't be too hard to pick up another 10. My goal will be to get a criminal justice degree and end up in the crime scene investigation department at CID. I would be similar to the people on CSI then, to give a reference to a TV show. The process isn't an overnight thing but the sooner I can get the ball rolling the sooner I can get in.

Not too much more to say. Like I said, mostly just life as usual here. School and CID are my two short term goals that I'm working on. I've been off Facebook for a while and I'm going to try to keep up to date with that more than just every so often.

Sunday, October 4, 2009


No real news, I just feel like chatting. I have been thinking about going to college. I've been researching how many credits my military training coverts to. I'm leaning towards a criminal justice degree but still need to talk to a few counselors, one with the college to find out what I need to do to enrol, and one with the Army to learn how much tuition assistance I'll get or if I'll need to use my GI bill.

If I get my degree I have a few options for the future. I'd really like to get a law enforcement job back in MI, local, county, state, whatever, just something that brings me back to the state. If I can't get a law enforcement job I can drop a packet for CID (criminal investigative department). It would be a huge promotion, my rank would become that of a warrant officer, but I'd be addressed as a special agent, kinda like the show NCIS except that's Navy and TV. It would likely mean staying in the Army longer, but I have to accept the reality of the job market in Michigan right now. It's really hard to be this far away, but it's a nessisary sacrifice to provide right now.

My recovery is still going well. I can walk quite well without the crutches although I'm not sure I'm supposed to yet. I missed my 6 week appointment 'cuz I lost track of what day it was. Hopefully when I get it rescheduled I'll be allowed to walk without crutches, especially since I broke one of them already. Physical therapy has been a little unpleasant but it's just muscle rebuilding, any muscle strengthening has a degree of pain and rebuilding an attrophied muscle doesn't seem to be an exception.

Anyway, like I said, no real news, just felt like chatting. Can't wait to visit Michigan again. Hopefully before the end of the year, but I don't know when yet.