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RIP Darren Tate

A friend of mine at FOB Alamo has died recently.  He was a young sailor nearing the end of his tour.  I remember talking to him the night before he was taken from our FOB to a medical facility.  He said he wasn’t really feeling good; something fairly common in such unclean conditions.  The next morning he went to get checked out because he still was sick, and was soon evacuated for medical care.  Only a few days later, we learn that our friend and brother-in-arms has passed away.  Darren was one of the youngest kids on the FOB and always full of energy and in good spirits.  He was like everyone’s little brother on the FOB.  He will be sorely missed.  Please keep his family and friends back home in your prayers.

Rest in peace, Brother.

http://www.salem-news.com/articles/july102009/war_casualties_7-9-09.php

http://www.wvec.com/news/topstories/stories/wvec_local_070909_iwo_sailor_dies_afghanistan.2395478f.html

If you’re wondering…

what its like here, it seems they made a movie about it:

Life as a Deployed Soldier

Back at The Alamo!

Well, I finally made it back to my Forward Operating Base (FOB), yay!  There is nothing worse than being stuck while travelling in the military.  For my 15 day leave, I was gone 27 days, which I think is a FOB record.   Between being stuck in Kuwait, Bagram and Atlanta, I was more than ready to finally make it back to my 6′ by 6′ home-away-from-home.

Seriously though, I want to give a heart-felt “Thank you” to everyone who came out to see me, wished me luck, bought the next round and was generally there for me when I was home.  It feels great to know that I have such amazing family and friends.

I feel renewed and ready to tackle the second part of the deployment.  When I come home at the end, we will have an even bigger party!  Thanks again everyone.

On my way back now

Leave was great.  It was exactly what I needed.  I am now sitting in the airport terminal waiting to head back.  It is a much different feeling than when I left the first time.  I’m almost excited to get back and start working again so the time will go faster and I can come home again.

I left my camera in my bag the whole time, sorry!  I was having too much fun to remember to take pictures!  I did post a few more pictures from before I left while I was still home and had good bandwidth.

Afghan Village of Sheenza Wer Receives Medical Aid

http://www.dvidshub.net/?script=news/news_show.php&id=31747

Here is another article that turned up in my Google Alerts hopper.  This one is also written by Guy Volb, and its about a Humanitarian Assistance (HA) mission that my unit completed while I was home on leave.  I was there for the planning of it but didn’t get to go on this one.

Anyways, great article that gives you an idea of what the villages surrounding the Alamo are like.

Made it

I finally got in on Monday.  The good news is I will get an extra day of leave because I had to stay in Atlanta one night.  I’m having a great time and will try to take pictures to share.  If anyone in the area wants to stop by to say hi, I will be at Watson’s in Elwood tonight.

Lauren – Check your email!

Honey,

I haven’t been able to make contact with you from here yet.  I dont think Yahoo Messenger is working.  I’ve emailed you all my flight information, but I don’t know when you will check it next.  I will try to find a working phone around here, but please check your email soon!

How To – Google Alerts

While working at CDW last year, I started using google alerts to keep up to speed on what was happening with my clients’ businesses.  Since then I have found many uses for this powerful tool.  Its not one of google’s most popular or well known features, so I thought I would share this with those who have never heard of it.

Check out http://www.google.com/alerts to get started.  You can add criteria for google to search the web for and send you articles, blog entries, news releases, etc… based on a few options and settings.  For example I have alerts set for “Afghan National Army,” “Camp Alamo,” and “JoeGeis.”  By the way, there is a pro surfer out there with the same name as me.  I get a lot of results for him, lol.  I wonder if he would like to trade places?

Anyway, it’s a great way to get information on topics that arent super popular or easy to find.  For example, I wouldn’t set up an alert for something like “Obama,” or “Afghanistan.”  You would just get too many results.  A lot of the time the info isnt quite what I’m looking for, but its easy and does turn up some real nuggets at times.

Enjoy!

Anxious, bored and fidgity

So I’m leaving in the morning to start the trek back to the States for R&R.  I’m all done with work for the day, my bags are packed, paperwork is done and I’m ready to go.  I know its going to be a long moring adventure home (and even more so coming back) so I stopped and picked up the TV series Trueblood from HBO to tide me over along with a copy of the new PC fame The Witcher.  I’ve been anxious to break into the TV series but I’m holding out so I have something to do besides drink coffee all day while I’m stuck at different places along the way.  What really pissed me off is that the game that I bought was aburned copy that doesnt work because it didnt come with a serial number.  Damn bazaar merchants!  Although for $10 what can you really expect…

Anyways, there is no real point to this entry.  I just cant wait to get some R&R!2009-03-12_0306

New header

As a dabbler of photoshop, I had been meaning to create a customer header for this site basically since I launched it, and only just now got around to it.  I’m not extremely happy with it, so I’ll probably be changing it again soon.

If anyone likes to tinker with PS, feel free to make one (plenty of my photos on flickr!) and send it to me.  The image is 904×160.

Thanks!