Monthly Archives: May 2012

The Knee Saga

On December 31st I injured my knee at work. For the past five months I have been told that their is nothing wrong with my knee. Today was my final day of physical therapy and surprisingly my knee still hurts hah. Maybe I was expecting to much from my employer. I am twenty one years old and I believe that I will live the rest of my life with knee pain. It baffles me how an individual can tell me that my knee does not hurt, I wasn’t aware that the government could feel my pain. Oh well, things happen for a reason, kids don’t get hurt at work you’ll be wasting your time.

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Exhausted

Today will start the 9th day of the Insanity workout for me. So far this exercise program has been extremely challenging for my friends and I. When I started this program I was over-confident, I did not think that I could be pushed any harder than what we do during our PT time. My body is still getting accustomed to working out twice a day. In the morning we do our regular Army PT and after work we do Insanity.

Hopefully with doing these workouts twice a day my body will be prepared to complete a Tough Mudder challenge. Depending on our deployment I should be able to compete in the October event. Pushing my body to the limits seems like something I should try at least once. 

Not much is going on in Army land today. Thank God that we have Friday off, I will surely need a 3 day weekend to rest my body. Well it is time to go to work, hope that y’all have a great day.

When you arise in the morning give thanks for the food and for the joy of living. If you see no reason for giving thanks, the fault lies only in yourself.

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All gave some, some gave all

I posted earlier about my leave and how I had the privilege to go to a fallen service-member’s funeral. Here are the pictures I was able to get.

With Memorial Day coming up I thought it would be fitting to post the pictures on my blog. As I wrote earlier, being present at the ceremony affected me in ways that I did not expect. It is because of individuals who join the military and pay the ultimate price that we can live in peace. Many times people forget about why we have Memorial Day and I believe that it is important that nobody forgets the sacrifices that military personnel do every day.

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The Patriot Guard Riders showed up and gave their support

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Here we are waiting outside for his casket to come out

Although he died from a non-combat related injury the fact that he had the guts to sign up and get deployed is more than anybody can ever comprehend.

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May you R.I.P. Petty Officer Second Class Jorge Luis Velasquez

Which brings me a story I read on a forum today. I will paraphrase everything that this individual wrote, I think more people should hear this story.

I went to put decorations on my friend’s gravesite. I post every year about Foster Harrington. This year is a little different. I showed up on saturday to decorate his grave. I met a very nice lady who was decorating the grave next to Foster as well as one other. This solved the mystery as to why sometimes I would find Foster’s site already decorated. She admitted that she would often decorate Foster’s along with her son’s and those of others.
What a classy lady she is. She has spend 10 years with the USO in Dallas. 

I told her Foster’s story. 
Foster was killed in Fallujah in 04. We worked together in the ER in Miami. We had a great friend in common and shared a love of guns. He was a paramedic and had taken over a corner where the Corpsman had been but had become ill. Foster was shot by a sniper. He always did more than he had to and was liked by all. 

The lady told me about her son, Gregory Schneider. He served as a Marine and made it back from his deployments. Sadly, he died in a motorcycle accident. You could see the love in her eyes as she spoke of him. Clearly choking up a bit she changed subject to the other gravesite. 

One row up rests Wesley R. Durbin. He had served in the USMC and gotten out after doing his time. He missed the service and enlisted in the Army. He was in Iraq when he was killed. He and a fellow NCO (Staff Sgt. Dawson) went to chew the ass off of a Sgt. named Bocizevich (I had to google his name but she had the story right) for screwing up dangerously on a patrol. They went in the early morning and placed their weapons down across the room. The guy raised his weapon and shot Dawson first then Durbin. 

Section 26 is a resting place for heroes who have served our country well. I’m honored to have spent some time there and learned more of their stories. I am also touched by the love of this lady for her son and his fellow fallen heroes (Yes, I’m comfortable calling them heroes). 

I will try and put in some pics. 

section 25 

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http://www.ar15.com/forums/t_1_5/1326816_Memorial_Day___Section_25_DFW_National_Cemetery.html

Comments would be greatly appreciated

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Come along and join my party

Here are some pictures from various times here in the Army, the pictures span about 2 years and are from many different places/bases. I hope that you enjoy.

 

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1st time I got to repel out of a Blackhawk helicopter

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Basic Training

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Graduation

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AIT

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Hiking with friends

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Hiking

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One of my many tattoos

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Hiking

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This is how we live in the desert

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Some of the amazing food we eat, haha

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one of our numerous uniform inspections

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Gas chamber

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Working with the Japanese military

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At a stadium with a friend

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My battle buddies from BCT

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out in the desert

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another desert

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desert

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..

 

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Would you go with me?

Sorry for the delay in my posts, I took two weeks of leave to my hometown.

Every time that we are able to take leave, it is as if we need to have a permission slip from God himself. Being able to take MY OWN LEAVE DAYS is almost impossible in this place. Before we leave many of us have this impression on how home will be when we return. I personally always picture my city the way it was when I left. Whenever I arrive, the city is similar, but it is never as good as I pictured it.

“Because we think the world stops at home when we leave, and it doesn’t”, this was actually just said by my roommate. I had never actually thought about it like that. He is completely right in my opinion, I can still picture the exact day I left Houston. It was a chilly day for the month of May, and I was so nervous as we drove through the city to the airport. I remember my family saying goodbye, I remember my friends, I remember my neighborhood, hell I even remember the people on the bus. We go through so many classes on resilience and how to overcome many emotional obstacles, and it’s funny because most of us(military members) think very similar. How can we be living in the past when we are in the present?

When my plane arrived in Houston I was so excited to see grass. I had not seen a lawn in so long, I never thought I would take something like a lawn for granted. I was so fed up with this desert that change was great. The humidity hitting my face was great, the traffic was amazing, and all the new faces at the airport were a sight to see. Honestly I was expecting to be able to reconnect with all the friends I had, and when I arrived the reality was much different. Why would individuals who never tried to contact me when I was gone suddenly change their perspective and try to contact me now? I was expecting too much out of people, it is not my first time visiting and it wont be my last. For the most part visiting Houston was a much needed vacation. Although I always keep my guard up, y’all have no idea how good it felt to sleep in. I was actually able to sleep on a real bed!

One of the main reasons I wrote this entry was to talk about the funeral I attended during leave. As much pain as I felt going to the funeral, I was honored to be able to go and pay my respects to a fellow service member and his family. Although I did not know this man and he was in the Navy, I felt so connected to him and to his family. It hurt so much having to salute while the burial guard performed their duties. With each round that was fired in the 21 gun salute, it felt as if with each trigger pull a dagger was being pushed deeper and deeper into my body. I was so proud of his service, yet I was in tears over what had happened to him. The church was filled with many service members that did not know him, yet we all stood together and showed our respects to him. The family was thankful that many people had shown up to pay their respects and I felt that was the least I could do for them. Their I was in complete emotional pain for a stranger and yet it felt as if he was one of my brothers. 

I hope y’all have a great day, here is a quote that I try to live by, little by little.

So live your life that the fear of death can never enter your heart. Trouble no one about their religion; respect others in their view, and demand that they respect yours. Love your life, perfect your life, beautify all things in your life.

Seek to make your life long and its purpose in the service of your people. Prepare a noble death song for the day when you go over the great divide. Always give a word or a sign of salute when meeting or passing a friend, even a stranger, when in a lonely place. Show respect to all people and grovel to none.

When you arise in the morning give thanks for the food and for the joy of living. If you see no reason for giving thanks, the fault lies only in yourself.

Abuse no one and no thing, for abuse turns the wise ones to fools and robs the spirit of its vision.

When it comes your time to die, be not like those whose hearts are filled with the fear of death, so that when their time comes they weep and pray for a little more time to live their lives over again in a different way. Sing your death song and die like a hero going home.

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Battle Buddies

An ever-lasting bond was created between my bay-mates and myself. We were together through the ups and downs of BCT.

I can honestly say that I would give up anything for these guys. We helped each other deal with the hardships of BCT. If I needed help, they were there to lift my spirits. Even though we are all stationed in different parts of the world, we still keep in contact. Today I was talking to my bunk mate reliving the moments we shared. I remember me and Hale were walking to our bay when suddenly all we heard was DROP! GET DOWN NOW!. We were both so confused as to what was happening. When we tried to ask why we were on the ground, we got yelled at more. It was horrible while we were on the ground, but now we look back at these moments and laugh about it. When I needed help folding my clothes he stayed up at night with me. I never thought that I would be going out of my way to help a complete stranger in such a short time. Those strangers became my family.

And then, some of my friends left to Afghanistan. We tried to stay in contact as much as possible, but it was very difficult. Even though war is hell, our friendship was able to hold on. I remember the day like it was yesterday, my friends mom called me crying telling me that their base had been bombed. I felt such an intense pain in my heart, I was praying to God that my friend wasn’t a casualty. It sucks when I see news reports and fellow service-members have been K.I.A, but when it’s the possibility that it has hit home, it is so much worse. A fear that is very difficult to explain. Thank God that my friend was not injured, but since he is a medic, I cannot begin to imagine some of the things he had to do. The military has its ups and downs but being able to make lifelong friendships is definitively an up.

I don’t even know how to continue on with this post, I’ve added too much, hope y’all enjoyed

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