6.30.2006

Still here...kind of.

MacGyver is still on block leave (though he's been into work 3 times this week alone...).

I'm STILL busting my butt trying to find a rental unit for my client (he's NOT making it very easy but I only have a few hours left on contract with this guy and then he's on his OWN!).

We pick up keys to our new house tomorrow :o

MacGyver's parents come for a visit Sunday.

We are holding an early birthday party for Princess Trouble before MacGyver deploys so she can have her daddy here for her party. That happens MONDAY.

And, did I mention we're moving? Did I mention how much I HATE moving? Yeah...




And then, of course, the deployment looms. Mentally my brain has not even gone there yet. Maybe after we move I might start to accept the fact that the deployment is coming. Then again, denial is a WONDERFUL thing...




Pau.




- hfs

6.26.2006

Fixed

Thanks to Gawfer, I fixed the blog for those of you using the AOL web browser or Internet Explorer to view it.


Just so's you know...didn't have any issues viewing it with either Mozilla's FireFox or Opera. I"m just saying...




Pau.




- hfs

6.23.2006

So much for...

...block leave.




Sometimes, I hate the Army (or parts of it).


I'm so mad that I'm CALM (aside from the tears of sheer frustration and rage). Wonderful. Just flipping wonderful. And here, I thought the end (end of 18 hour days the end of my husband only seeing his kids for a few minutes each day if they are still awake when he gets home) was in sight. Boy was I mistaken. Thanks guys.



(*and don't give me comments telling me to buck up or that the mission comes first. I know that thankyouverymuch. I vent here so I don't have to unload on my husband when he finally gets home tonight*)




***UPDATE: Everything has been worked out. There was no general recall issued for those on leave so MacGyver told them basically to stuff it. If a general recall is issued (to include those off island on leave) then he will go back in to work. Otherwise, he is now on leave!!! Best birthday present a girl could ask for!***





Pau.




- hfs

6.20.2006

1LT Watada

June 20, 2006



1LT Watada,



I read your letter in the Honolulu Advertiser and, as a military spouse whose husband is set to deploy in the next few weeks to do the job you so conveniently have chosen not to do, I feel it is my duty to point out a few discrepancies in your arguments. I would not want you to go to trial with such a lacking defense. You might find yourself with a one way ticket to uptown Fort Leavenworth and that would be unfortunate.

Your assertion that your responsibility is to protect and defend the Constitution of the United States is correct. However, you cannot pick and choose what articles or amendments you wish to protect and defend. You must protect and defend all of them. And that includes Article I, Section 8 which states that Congress has the power “To declare war, grant letters of marque and reprisal, and make rules concerning captures on land and water;” At this point in time, United States forces are currently in Iraq according to the mandate set by United Nations Security Council Resolution 1637 which was passed unanimously and considered at the request of the Iraqi government. Our troops are in Iraq in full compliance with both international and domestic law.

As an officer in the United States military, you do not have the authority to decide what is legal and what is illegal. And your DUTY, with regard to unlawful or illegal actions or orders is to report up your chain of command or to JAG. Have you done either, sir? Last I checked the media is not in your chain of command. Last I checked the media is not the entity that will decide what is lawful and what is not. Your DUTY was to take your concerns to your chain of command or the JAG. To do otherwise is to shirk your responsibility as an officer of the United States military.

You argue that the war in Iraq is “unlawful and immoral” and that there was “never any just cause”. I beg to differ Lieutenant. If you will refer to the Coalition Provisional Authority’s webpage which discusses UNSC Resolution 1546 (HERE) you will read “Following is the text of United Nations Security Council Resolution 1546, adopted unanimously June 8, which endorses the new interim government of Iraq, allows the multinational force to provide security in partnership with the new government, sets out a leading role for the U.N. in helping the political process over the next year, and calls upon the international community to aid Iraq in its transition:

Recognizing the request conveyed in the letter of 5 June 2004 from the Prime Minister of the Interim Government of Iraq to the President of the Council, which is annexed to this resolution, to retain the presence of the multinational force,

Recognizing also the importance of the consent of the sovereign Government of Iraq for the presence of the multinational force and of close coordination between the multinational force and that government,

Welcoming the willingness of the multinational force to continue efforts to contribute to the maintenance of security and stability in Iraq in support of the political transition, especially for upcoming elections, and to provide security for the United Nations presence in Iraq, as described in the letter of 5 June 2004 from the United States Secretary of State to the President of the Council, which is annexed to this resolution,

In addition, our current presence in Iraq is legal in international terms based solely on Saddam Hussein’s failure to comply with the armistice agreements made following Desert Storm back in 1991 and his repeated and continued violation of FOURTEEN separate UN resolutions over a twelve year period. Never any “just cause”? I don’t think so.

Whatever your argument against our mission in Iraq and its legality, those statements should smooth your moral fiber and allow you to return to work immediately. Otherwise, what you are doing is illegal and my hope is that, while my husband does the duty he was sworn to uphold and that you are refusing to do, you will be prosecuted to the full extent of the law.


Sincerely,
HomefrontSix

6.17.2006

Is there an Army regulation...

...that mandates that the weeks leading up to a deployment must just SUCK?




Pau.




- hfs

6.12.2006

PROJECT VALOUR-IT MAYDAY!!!

Patti Bader has sent out a mayday alert:

WE ARE BEHIND 11 LAPTOPS. NEED MONEY. PLEASE, PLEASE HELP.

I cannot fail heroes. I just cannot.


The following is a repeat of a post from the original Project Valour-IT fundraising drive a while back. We need your help again. These soldiers have given everything they can for you and our country. Let's help them out.

In case you're wondering what Project Valour-IT is, check out the BBC article on it HERE or go HERE and read up.

Fuzzy has a good roundup of information and blog posts about Project Valour-IT as well over at Fuzzilicious Thinking. So please, click on over to the Project Valour-IT website and make a donation today. I am.


*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*


One of the things that MacGyver and I have talked about it how we would handle things should he be injured in the line of duty. It's not a pretty conversation - things like that never are. But I am not a fan of surprises so I'd rather discuss this now, before he deploys.

Those of you who know MacGyver know what type of person he is. He is a very "hands on" type of person. He works a LOT with his hands. He is a mechanic by nature - at the age of 2, he took apart a transistor radio while he sat in his crib. Our 2 car garage is full of his projects - the BMW 2002 that he is restoring, the Yamaha YSR 50cc motorcycle that is his labor of love, the oddball projects that he always seems to have more of than time - and his tools. His hands are strong. Not necessarily big - small, in fact, for someone who is almost six feet tall. But they are powerful hands with scars that show where he has been and what he has done. Each scar has a story. There are the scars that have come from working on our cars (we don't own new cars...). There are the scars that have come from working on helicopters. There are the scars that have come from who-knows-where. It's not uncommon for MacGyver to come in and be bleeding and not know how he got hurt.

We've talked about the different injuries that can be sustained in combat and the one injury that worries him most is the loss of his hands or the loss of the use of his hands. He can deal with spinal cord injuries, shrapnel injuries, leg injuries. But to take his hands away from him would mean taking life away from him. He's a strong man but it would take every ounce of strength he has (and then some) to overcome that.

When CPT Z was injured, it really illustrated how big a challenege it is to function without the use of one's hands. They do SO MUCH over the course of a day - things you don't even THINK about. Here is just a small sampling of the things I did with my hands this past weekend :

rubbed sleep from my eyes
brushed my teeth
washed my hair and body
dried off
buttoned the button on my shorts
brushed and dried my hair
typed e-mails to friends and family
typed a blog entry
chatted on IM
made a few phone calls
put on my makeup
fixed my children waffles for breakfast
brushed my daugther's hair and teeth
tied her shoes
opened my purse
buckled my children in their car seats
started the car
cleaned the laceration on Little Man's toe
bandaged Little Man's toe (three times)
wiped tears from Little Man's face


And the list goes on and on. How many of those things - little things, really - could I have NOT done had I not had the use of my hands?

Think about not being able to do those things AND not being able to be in contact with friends and family across the globe. Let's face it...most of us are (or were) military families and very few of us live close to friends and family. So the phone and the internet are incredibly important to us. Imagine how important those things would become if you were trapped - literally - in a hospital bed on the East Coast...thousands of miles from anyone you know...with a debilitating injury and no way to speak with family and friends without the help of another person.

How helpless and frustrated would you feel?

Tie your hands behind your back for a moment and then try to interact with the world.




Not easy is it? And you're not injured. You're not hurt, scared, or alone in a place you don't know.



Sgt. Hook had a good point - if everyone who reads my blog (I average about 80-100 hits per day) were to donate just a couple of bucks - say $5 - that would just about raise enough money to purchase one fully-loaded laptop computer with software. Five bucks. That's not even lunch money anymore. It's a latte at Starbucks.




The next person that needs that computer could be MacGyver. Or someone close to you. Five bucks is nothing compared to the freedom and independence and healing that computer would provide.




Five bucks.




Pau.




- hfs

6.06.2006

Whew.

The house is ours. Signed the lease today. We pick up keys in about 3 weeks and move the week after. Not quite what I had hoped to be doing during block leave before a deployment but at least MacGyver will be here to help with the move and the settling in. Better than doing it alone. Now I need to shop for a refrigerator! My very first major appliance purchase! I've been married for 9 years and (aside from air conditioners) this is the first major appliance I will have ever bought - new or used. Funny.


Anyway...the house is ours which is one less thing to stress about. Thank GOODNESS. Now we just have to move. Luckily, we have good friends on island who will help (thanks to the offer of free beer and pizza!) and I'm hoping it won't be as stressful as the last move.


One of my best friends is in town so posting will be light for the next week and a half or so, though I may need to vent here about stupid crap that MacGyver is having to put up with at work occasionally. We sure do miss 101st. It may have been a lot of pomp and circumstance but man, it was a well-run outfit. There is a lot to be said about that.




Pau.




- hfs

6.03.2006

Computer Assistive Device/Technology help please!

Those of you with any knowledge of or experience with computer assistive devices for people who not only have no use of their limbs but also no use of their voice, can you please e-mail me at homefrontsix @ yahoo.com (no spaces)?

MacGyver's cousin is making great strides in her recovery from the hit and run accident that left her paralyzed and unable to speak due to a brain stem injury and subsequent tracheotomy. Her mind is completely in tact but her ability to communicate is severely hampered (to say the least) and I would like to get her husband some information on computer assistive technology and devices in order to help her communicate while she works on recovering.

Thank you.




Pau.




- hfs

6.02.2006

Down

I'm usually a pretty positive person. I know on this blog it may not seem like it all of the time but this is where I vent so, for the most part, I get my frustrations and such out here and don't let them interfere with my daily life. But there are some days, like this week, that I just feel down.

One of the thousand tiny cuts I talked about is hurting. Another friend is leaving the island. I met her about a year ago when we both had just arrived. She has children about the same age as mine and we went to the same playgroup. Her husband is a Hooker though he doesn't work in the same unit as MacGyver. A few months ago, she and I were discussing churches and the fact that I hadn't found one for our family as of yet and she pointed me in the direction of her church which wound up being the right place for us. I was thrilled! Finally, a friend to weather the upcoming deployment with!


This week she told me that her husband has received orders. He had put in for a branch transfer and their orders came through. They leave in August. So much for that idea. On top of my other friends who have left or will be leaving in the face of this deployment, this was yet another one of those tiny cuts. True friends can be so hard to come by, especially in military life, and when you lose one it really hurts.

I thought I had found a solid group of girlfriends here on the island but that, too, seems to be falling apart in front of my eyes. Part of it is my fault - I jumped to conclusions too quickly and I hurt some feelings. But it just makes me so sad to see friendships fade so quickly. I'm a social person and I try my best to make friends. This week just hasn't been my week and I'm feeling alone in the face of this damn deployment. And I hate it.


Don't get me wrong. I still have friends on the island. And I'm greatful for them. But to lose even one hurts. I'll get over this down mood. A lot of it is hormones. Joy. And a lot of it is the buildup to this damn deployment (I think that's what I'll title this deployment - "This Damn Deployment"). And I know that. But I need to vent so I can get on with my day.


To all of my friends that are NOT on this island, I miss you. More than you know.




Pau.




- hfs

6.01.2006

Again

Chinook Crashes in Georgia


DOERUN, Ga. Four soldiers on a routine training mission are dead after an Army helicopter clipped a television station tower wire and crashed early today in south Georgia.
A spokeswoman for Fort Rucker, Alabama -- Lisa Eichhorn -- says a fifth soldier aboard the M-H 47 Chinook helicopter survived. Fort Rucker is home to the Army helicopter training school where the chopper was headed when it crashed about 8 a-m near Doerun (DOH'-run) in rural Colquitt County.





Pau.




- hfs