Where family, friends, and strangers can come to follow the life of a soldier as he tours the globe.


27 Days and counting. . .

That's right -- just under a month left here in Maryland. Of course, I come right back to the East Coast for Iraq training about a week after that, but at least I will get home for a little while.
This weekend was pretty stinking good. I had a four-day weekend, which allowed me to do some sightseeing and enjoy the weather. A friend of mine came to Baltimore for some Army training, so on her day off we did a little sight seeing in the Baltimore area. We went to Fort McHenry, where the Star Spangled Banner was written during the War of 1812. It was very cool to see that part of history. Turns out that the following day there was a Civil War camp out there, with a live fire of muskets and cannons.

I also got back to the Capital. I got to see the Washington Monument, Lincoln Memorial, and the Vietnam wall. I took somewhere around 400 pictures, so I will just put a bunch of pics up to show some of my weekend.
Tomorrow starts the beginning of my last 4 weeks here, and I am stoked to get it going. I am ready to be back home, if even for a little while. Enjoy the pics.

Me at the Washington Monument. If you haven't seen it, go there. It is huge.

Cannons at Fort McHenry looking toward the Chesapeake where the Brits attacked.
The Oregon pedestal at the World War II Memorial.
I really wish that this were still true. . .
The Lincoln Memorial. Another one of the must-see places for all Americans. Awe inspiring.
Statue at the Vietnam memorial. The detail is amazing.
The Vietnam wall. It was a somber and powerful place. I only heard about three people say anything as they passed the wall. You could feel the power and respect.
Cannon firing demonstration at Fort McHenry for the Civil War camp out.
Behind me at that bridge is where the Brits bombarded from. That is the Francis Scott Key bridge.

I got thrown into the brig at McHenry. Sgt. Trinna busted me out.

The Baltimore (foreground) and the USS Constellation docked at Baltimore Inner Harbor.


What I have been up to

The last few weeks have really flown by. I haven't had a chance to do much writing outside of class, and I really haven't done much of anything on the weekends except catch up on much needed rest. Here is how my typical day goes. I wake up at about 3:50 a.m. and head to PT formation at 4:30am. PT lasts until around 6 a.m., after which I eat breakfast until about 6:30 and head back to my room to wash up and get ready for school. I often do studying from around 7 a.m. until about 7:40, when I head to the school house for the day. Once there we do any number of things involving our job, from photography to writing features, to public affairs training. Lunch is usually around 11:30 a.m. for about an hour, which I spend at the school house with a sandwich and a couple of friends studying. After lunch is more of the same until about 4 p.m., when I head to final formation for the day which seems to average a release time of around 5 p.m. I then head back to my room and change into civilian PT gear and go for another run. At about 6:30 p.m. I head to dinner with my friend A.J. and we hang out until around 8:30 or so when she and I both have to head back to our respective units for evening studying stuff. I study until around 10 p.m. and then get my stuff ready for the following morning. I am usually in bed by around 11 p.m. That has been my standard day for the last 5 weeks or so. The good news is, we are a little over half way done.

Two weeks ago, we had our field exercise, where we enter a joint services environment and get hammered with emergencies that we have to write press releases, do on camera interviews, take media calls, and prepare command messages (talking points). It was fun, stressful, and educational. My group, Blue Cell # 1, took the motto "If you ain't first, your last." We did a magnificent job of coming together as a team, and as far as we are concerned, smoked the other three cells. Our grades for the FTX were decent, so we had no worries.

Last weekend, my friend from Ft. Sill, who I haven't seen in about 7 years came up from Virginia with his new wife, and they hung out all weekend with me. It was great fun catching up with my old friend.

I have a couple of pictures to put up, so I will get to it so I can get to bed. Thanks to all of my friends and family who have sent me things, or taken the time to write or call. You guys are fantastic!

This is me giving a briefing to my media team during the FTX. My friend AJ in the foreground scratching her head as though she has no idea what I am rambling about. My other friend Juaregi (Hod-a-gee) in the background.

Another picture of the same briefing, but this time I am giving instructions to the Marines.

This is me during a photography exercise that was teaching depth of field, and capturing motion. The pose is lame, but this is what we did all day. It sucked. It was about 30 degrees and windy. Note my fleece. Great coats, but the Army is replacing them with something else because there is no rank or names on them.