Saturday, May 30, 2009

Blog Post from Bagram

Hello everyone from lovely Bagram Air Force Base Afghanistan. Sonya has said that she is getting a lot of questions about what I am doing on this deployment, and what the conditions are like. So I figured I would hijack the blog and put out some info to help explain what exactly I'm doing this time around.

For starters I am in Afghanistan instead of Iraq, Afghanistan is on the Eastern side of Iran and it borders Iran, Pakistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, and, China. Kabul is the capital city and Bagram (where I am) is located a little ways north of it. I work for the Headquarters of the 82nd Airborne Division. Afghanistan is split up into 5 different areas and the 82nd is responsible for running the war in Eastern part of the country.

In the headquarters I work in the J33 section. J is for joint since we have all of the services working here, I have a marine Staff Sergeant in my little section. The J33 works with all current operations. In my piece of the J33 I am in charge of a section that processes fragmentary orders (FRAGOS), concepts of operations (CONOPS), and requests for information (RFI). FRAGOS are orders that come down from the headquarters above the 82nd, and we push out the information to the people that need it. And we task other sections with writing FRAGOS for our subordinates based on the higher FRAGOS. For the CONOPS part we track the proposed missions from our subordinate units and coordinate the briefings for our bosses, and make sure that they are aware of what operations are going on at a given time in our battlespace. For RFIs we get questions from our higher headquarters and we task different sections with answering the questions.

So all in all, a lot different than my last deployment. That's about all I can say for now. Congratulations to all the new graduates out there, and I hope everyone is having a good summer.


Friday, May 29, 2009

House Updates!

Here are a few photos of the house with our things in it. I've still got some work to do but it looks much better than when we first moved it! This week I'm stripping the wall paper in the dining room so I can paint.

Our Bedroom:


Living Room:

Guest Bedroom:

Sonya with the new duvet cover for our room from Chris:

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Congrats to the Class of 2009!

Over the weekend, New Riegel High School graduated 37 students. Congrats to my cousins Michelle and Heather and my brother-in-law Eric! Best of luck to all of you and we are so proud of all of you!

Friday, May 22, 2009

Max is 1

Max turns one year old tomorrow so I thought I would post a few photos of the time that he's been with us. Having him in our lives has been a blessing and I'm so happy Chris picked him.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Max's favorite spot

Max has claimed his favorite perch in our new house, on the back of the couch where he can look out the bay window. He enjoys sitting there and barking as people and dogs walk by. He barked himself right off the back on Sunday night and was trapped behind the couch!

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Paint for the Dining Room?

I can't stand the bright blue in our dining room so it is first on the list to paint. Right now I'm leaning toward a mocha/chocolate color combo. The room is divided with chair rail with white baseboards/crown molding/chair rail. The darker color below the chair rail and the lighter on top. The dining room opens up the the living room (tan color) so I want something that will contrast but still work with it. Any suggestions/comments?

The blue in the background is the current wall color (and it is that bright!)

I'm contemplating a pale blue/gray for the bathroom (it's currently white) but one project at a time...

Yard Work Weekend

This weekend my Mom, Dad and brother Andrew came down for a weekend full of yard work. Our beautifully landscaped yard takes A LOT of maintenance, luckily we had beautiful weather for it. They brought mulch from home and took a whole trailer load of yard debris and moving boxes back for me (saving us $$$ by not paying the city to haul it all away). Some of the highlights were purchasing a lawnmower, raking up tons of bamboo leaves, trying to figure out the wiring to the ponds and lights in the yard, putting up a small-dog-proof fence for Max and mulching. I tried to take a few photos, enjoy!

Back yard after pruning and mulching

Front yard after LOTS of pruning, mulching and waterfall work

New chicken wire attached to the bottom of the fence so Max can't escape

After photo of raked up bamboo (it killed all the grass)

Before raking bamboo (4 large garbage bags)

I think I owe them cookies and a few cherry pies after all this free labor! Thanks everyone, it looks so much better!

Saying Goodbye (for now)

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Hiding the Chewie

One of Max's favorite games is to hide is rawhide sticks (which we call chewies). Here are a few photos of some of the hiding spots he has found. He has also put them in our suitcases, behind chair legs, next to the bed and under pillows on the couch. As soon as Chris or I notices them/moves them/touches them he has to find a new hiding spot.

Moving into the new house!

Over the past week Chris and I have loaded up all of our worldly possessions and moved them to our new home in Ohio. It has been a whirlwind few days! We are very grateful to all of our wonderful friends and family who helped us. Everything is in the new house and most of the boxes are unpacked. It did rain and thunderstorm while we were unloading the moving truck on Friday and we couldn't fit our box spring up the stairs but other than that, no problems! Tim and my Dad deconstructed the box spring, took it to our room and reconstructed it so we don't have to buy another one. Stay tuned for more photos of the changes to the house over the next year!

Obviously, we still have some work to do to make it a home but I think we got a pretty good start for only being there for a weekend!