Fro's Secret Little Black Log Book

Discussion in 'Blogs' started by FroMan, Jul 18, 2006.

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  1. Europe Communicator's Ball

    So I almost got out of going to the Ball that my battalion was hosting. I'm a non-communicator (non-Signal Officer) at a Signal Battalion, so I had a decent excuse not to attend. Not to mention, that I was preaching at chapel the next day.

    A few days before the ball my battalion XO asked me to come to her office to talk about it. The chaplain that was going to say the invocation (my Brigade Chaplain) was unable to do so at the last minute due to flight delays and I was next up since my battalion was the host for the ball. I used all my excuses, "Ma'am, I have to preach tomorrow." Okay, Chaplain. "Ma'am, there are no tickets left." It's okay Chaplain, you don't need a ticket to go. "Ma'am, there probably aren't any seats left." It's okay, we'll make sure you have one. Lol. I guess I better go home and put my ASUs together.

    Now mind you, balls are not really my type of thing. I'm a non-drinker and they're usually just a reason to throw a wild drunk. But if I do go to a ball I prefer it be a unit ball--that way everyone knows what they're getting with Chaplain Bailey and it's everyone that I personally know. This ball was a Europe-Wide ball and included some VIPs traveling to Europe from the States. The NETCOM Major General Barrett (2-star) was the guest speaker, and there were generals, Colonels, and Lieutenant Colonels everywhere. Not really my cup of tea, but sometimes a guy has to play ball at a ball.

    So I did. It wasn't that bad and although it made for a jam-packed, tiring, and eventful weekend (especially after preaching).

    Me visiting with the Brigade Commander, COL Khatod in the Receiving Line prior to the start of the formal portion of the ball. MG Barrett is in the foreground.
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    My prayer.
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    A few of my table members...SPC Charles, NETCOM Soldier of the Year and SGM Velasquez.
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    Bastogne War Museum

    The Ruples and us decided to visit Bastogne (Battle of the Bulge) last Saturday because it's only a few hours from here. It was our first time in Belgium and Luxembourg. The weather was crappy and we ran a bit late because I had to visit with a Soldier that morning and it set us back. We weren't able to visit the Madasson Memorial, the remainders of the 101st foxholes in the forest, nor the American Cemetery in Luxembourg City (GEN Patton is buried there) like we wanted to, but we will definitely revisit before we leave Europe. We did get to visit the Bastogne War Museum, but didn't get many pics. It was still an enjoyable time for Jude, Josiah, and me. Justus lost interest pretty quick, but he's 4 so that's understandable. It was a decent museum overall. I think the Verdun one in France was better, but this one wasn't shabby. The struggle and loss of life at these battle sites where these museums and memorials now rest is hard to fathom.

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    HHC Field Exercise

    Last but not least, last week my company was in the field for a field exercise. Compared to the exercises at Riley this one was easy-peasy. Small area. Manicured lawn. Lol. The only thing that made it bad was we had no heat for the sleep tents and it rained and was in the 30s all week. I was successful staving off hypothermia and surviving. Here is our happy face "going home from the field" picture from Thursday right before we headed back home. 1LT Birnberg (HHC XO), CPT Li (S3 Staff), and myself.
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    Big news coming on the horizon, but it's not time to post it yet...prospective PCS locations and jobs and other life news. More to follow at a later date. Love, peace, and crabs.
     
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  2. Santa, Christmas Markets & Chapel Christmas Program

    Lots has been happening around these parts. A few weeks ago we visited a Christmas market in Trier, then hit the one here in Baumholder the next weekend. We visited Santa at the PX and got some pics. I traveled to NETCOM (Network Enterprise Technology Command) UMT (unit ministry team) training in Southbridge, Massachusetts. I’d never been up there before. I didn’t get to do much for sight-seeing, but as a seafood lover I did get to eat lots of lobster, crab, and real New England Clam Chowder. I got to see and hangout with a buddy from chaplain school who has been living the dream in Hawaii the past few years and also networked with some other chaplains.

    Family in front of the Roman Gate at Trier

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    Trier happens to be the birthplace of Karl Marx, the man whose ideology is one of earth’s cancers...still, thanks to capitalism I used my paycheck and iPhone to take a pic next to his statue with the boys.

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    Us in front of the Church of the Tunic, a robe Jesus supposedly wore near the time of his death.

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    Justus putting some ornaments on the Christmas Tree.

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    Pics with Santa

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    Justus with his friend Olivia riding rides at the Baumholder Christmas Market

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    The Rock Chapel Christmas Program

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    I got home from Massachusetts yesterday morning at 0900 and although I’ve been dealing with some moderately severe jet lag , the family and I went to the kids program today at chapel because Josiah and Justus were singing in it. Although not really Justus’s cup of tea, he hung in there with some encouragement from his brother, and even whistled during Twinkle Twinkle Little Star.

    I leave for Poland tomorrow morning after I re-enlist SGT Mackey my Religious Affairs at 0930. I’m not really looking forward to the 8 hours on the road, but I’m going out for a visit and to offer a Christmas service. SPC Casanova, the battalion command team driver is going with me. I’ll be back Thursday evening and then next week is Christmas! I can’t wait!

    It’s such an awesome time of year! It sneaks up on you fast and then is over just like that.

    Sometime soon we should receive orders to move to a new duty station. We have an idea, but nothing is certain until it’s certain and even then it’s not really certain. In any instance it will be a stateside assignment. It’ll be completely awesome to be back in the Land of the Free! Can’t wait!
     

  3. Taxachusetts

    Like I said before, I didn’t get to do much sightseeing while at UMT training but did get to eat some good food. If you’re ever in Southbridge, Massachusetts, you’ll have plenty of good eats nearby.

    Lobster Roll from Cousins Lobster Food Truck.

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    Cracker Barrel

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    Clam Chowder, Crab Legs, and Lobster from Sturbridge Seafood

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    Chaplain Group Selfie

    CH King, CH Beck, me, CH Hill, CH Mateer, CH Frederick, and CH Moralesjude

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    Lastly, a surprise selfie of Mama and my youngest that Justus snuck onto my phone. Lol.

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  4. Merry Christmas! From My (Growing) Family, to Yours

    We weren't trying, but we weren't really not trying. We are getting old enough to where it's not as easy as it once was. But 40 is the new 30 right?

    Bailey Baby #4 due July 2020.

    Merry Christmas to all! Remember the reason for the season!

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    Last edited: Dec 24, 2019
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  5. People's Republic of Texas, here we come!

    I received my request for orders (RFO) from the Chaplain Corps yesterday. My family and I are headed to "The Great Place" of Fort Hood, Texas for our next assignment. I will be going to a Military Intelligence (MI) unit there. We will leave Germany in mid-May and show up in mid-June at the new duty station and settle in for when this baby shows up in July. I can't wait to be back stateside! I actually talked to the chaplain of the unit, who went to Seminary with me. It really is a small world.

    So Texas, here we come!
     
  6. 44th ESB Dining In, 31 JAN 20

    My battalion had a dining in at one of the local restaurant hotels last weekend. We haven’t done one since I’ve been here and had some calendar space prior to sending our troops all over Europe for the upcoming exercise. Each company did skits, drank a lot from the grog bowl, and I got to be there to pray that no one would die or go to jail. The prayers must’ve worked. Overall it was a decent time.

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    Last edited: Feb 7, 2020
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  7. Curtailment Approved, What? Another Boy! & a Snow Day

    Good news! Our curtailment request got approved and our new DEROS (date eligible for return from overseas) date is May 14th! That puts us 77 days out of the US at this moment. Yippee-ki-yay!

    We also found out yesterday that we’re having another boy! This makes 5 pregnancies and 5 boys! Everything looks good and is going well. Jude, Josiah, and Justus are excited. Aurea and I are too. Bailey Boys for the win!

    https://www.facebook.com/55001963/posts/10103253600276311/

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    Lastly, today we finally got the ever coveted Baumholder snow! We got a late work call this morning (no PT) and then got released at lunch. So far we’ve gotten about 4 inches. Roads are jacked up. The boys’ school was canceled today. I’m hoping and praying we get tomorrow off work too!

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    I’m glad we finally got some snow because I doubt we’ll use our sleds much in Texas!
     
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  8. Germany & Poland

    CPT Andone, our Brigade Behavioral Health Officer, myself, and SGT Mackey did a circulation through Germany and Poland to visit our deployed teams for this summer’s big exercise. We saw about 40 Soldiers in total so it was a good trip.

    In Hannover, DEU we were able to eat a Five Guys Burgers (expensive but awesome) with one of the teams, I found a geocache, took pics of a Holocaust Memorial in Hannover, some important guy in a statue, and an AT-Walker at the hotel outside of where we stayed near Sczcecin, Poland.

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    I’m heading back out in a few weeks for my last hoorah before preparing to go home to the US permanent this summer. 68 days left!
     
  9. Well...that sucks...

    Nothing like an overhyped global pandemic to mess up your planned return to the US.

    I'm trying all avenues to get Aurea and the boys back to the US. Right now we aren't sure whether the baby will be born in Germany, Arkansas, or Texas. We should be in the process of moving right now with our planned DEROS (date expected return overseas) but our lives are on hold. The boys are out of school. I'm working half days. I can't leave Germany, nor can I travel further than 50 miles from post. All restaurants are closed down or offer takeout only and chapel is canceled.

    Good times. I had this fear that TEOTWAWKI was going to happen while I'm away from proper civilization and it appears to have come.

    COVID is literally, screwing up my life.

    More to follow on if the powers that be have mercy on my family because my wife is pregnant.

    Until then, buy ammo, wash your hands, wipe your butts with the ungodly amount of TP that you stocked up on.
     
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  10. This crap is crazy, but that’s expected when you have the US Army, US Govt, and German Govt micromanaging your life. Y’all are new to this crap, but we aren’t. Lol. That doesn’t mean I have to like it.

    Here in Germany it is now illegal for 2 people to be within 6 feet of each other in public. Lol. Absurd. Luckily, everything we need we have on post and we’ve been doing without modern conveniences for three years so this probably doesn’t hit us as hard as it does everyone stateside. Coronavirus finally made it on post. The boys are probably gonna homeschool the rest of the year. Jude is happy. Josiah is sad. And Justus just complicates the boys doing school. Haha.

    We sent up an ETP (exception to policy) to try to allow us to PCS during this life freeze. If approved it’ll allow us to leave sooner than later and report directly to Fort Hood but I won’t be able to take any leave during transition. That might be better and allow us to get housing sooner and healthcare for Aurea established quicker.

    We have the proper approval through leadership channels here in Germany, but now the memo goes to DC. I pray it gets approved. Please pray with me that it does. We are all ready to be home. We want to have the baby stateside and if not approved we will probably be stuck in Germany until August, September, or maybe even into October.

    Nonetheless, with all this uncertainty, God remains on the throne. I did a Facebook Live devotion for our chapel community Rock Chapel here at Baumholder. I used Hebrews 6:19, “God is an anchor for our soul.” I feel like we’re getting thrashed about by all this crap, but God as our anchor holds true.
     
    Last edited: Mar 24, 2020
  11. Justus Turns 5!

    So...our ETP is still sitting at wherever it sits. The powers that be keep asking for more and more to go into the packet. So far we've been able to get most of it, save a few, which in that case we just got angry about the lack of compassion we received. If nothing else, it helps me identify with those who feel marginalized and screwed over by the Army. Hopefully it'll add to my overall perspective and empathy when the Soldiers are sitting in my office visiting with me.

    We've been sitting at home a lot. We have to. We aren't allowed to go anywhere. I'm teleworking and helping Aurea and the boys with their online schooling. We can't go off post and now, even on post, we can't go anywhere without a facemask on. Remember when we had rights? I member.

    Anyways...Justus turns 5 on Tuesday, but we decided to celebrate it early so we aren't celebrating it next week while the boys have school. It's their Spring Break this week, which falls on top of their Coronacation. We couldn't go anywhere or do anything for Spring Break (even visit with our neighbors), but at least we didn't have to login and do school this week.

    Justus didn't seem to mind that he had a limited party. He had a cake, blew out candles, and got some presents. It was just him and us. It was nice. We tried to make it as special as we could without being allowed to have a party or his friends over. Aurea did a good job putting it together.

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    Justus picked some Dandelion flowers for Grandmom this afternoon. I can't believe this kid is turning 5. It seems like just yesterday he was being born at Irwin Army Hospital at Fort Riley. He's a firecracker. I can't wait to see what kind of man he turns into, but for now, I'll keep him right where he's at--fun, vibrant, brave (almost reckless), strong-willed, and charming.

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    Here's my Good Friday Devotion I did this morning for our chapel family. Figured I'd share it here. Maybe it'll bless somebody. While our faces may be covered, the tomb isn't!

     
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    My crazy third son turns 5 today. It seems like yesterday he was getting me 10 free days of turkey hunting, I mean paternity leave in Kansas. Happy birthday buddy! I love you!

    Also in other news...

    OUR ETP GOT APPROVED! After all the pain and suffering associated with trying to get back to the States, we finally received approval to move home (due to Aurea's pregnancy) in the next month. Thank you God! We will be able to have our next son, born in the good ol US of A! Land of the formerly free and home of the brave!

    See you soon!
     
    Last edited: Apr 13, 2020
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  13. May 5 Adios Jack!

    I haven't had this much fun moving since I moved this month last year. Our orders were amended and now allows us to leave on May 5. Our household goods get packed and shipped next Wednesday. Our van ships on next Thursday. I'm picking up clearing papers tomorrow to start that process. Once we're in Texas I think we'll be quarantined for 14 days at the hotel (which super sucks), but it is what it is. Quarantine in Tejas beats quarantine in Germany. It's going to be painful and stressful and insane...but in the end we'll be where we want to be, together, as a family. We will miss people from this place, but not this place itself. It's time...to...go... Catch you on the flipside!
     
  14. Moving Out, Moving On

    Tomorrow is our last full day in our house. Monday until Wednesday we’ll be in the post hotel and then we fly out on Thursday and will be stateside that evening.

    No love lost on this place. I can’t wait to post hunting and fishing on this journal again.

    Until we get a house I’m Texas we’ll be “roughing it.” No phones. No internet. No vehicle. The boys, their mama, and I might just go crazy. I guess we’ll see.

    Our household goods are gone, our van is getting detailed for the boat ride back, we have no internet or TVs, and are living out of our suitcases, the boys took the time to play Smash Brothers on the Switch today. You gotta do what you can to pass the time. The Bailey Boys are increasing in size in early July. I hope we aren’t homeless when that happens.

    This crap is stressful as heck, but when it’s all said and done at least we’ll be in the right country.


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    Last edited: May 3, 2020
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  15. Dear God in Heaven, This is Super Painful

    I forgot how painful moving overseas is. My van got kicked back on our initial appointment the other day because the engine was dirty. Mind you, all of my earthly possessions are already on the slow boat across the Atlantic. I'd already spent 5 hours washing the outside and inside of the car (vacuuming, soaping, scrubbing, wiping, etc.) I forgot that the cleanliness standards to ship your vehicle are unattainable by the normal guy--Pharisaical is the good biblical term. So after paying 200 Euro to some guy in town to literally, go back over my van and detail, wash, wipe, (which I had already done) and clean my engine to where it looks like it just drove off the new car lot, it got kicked back this morning because of a "leak."

    My stupid van hasn't leaked at all up to this point. I think the guy who detailed it knocked a line loose or did something to it, because before this there wasn't an issue at all. And I mean, I leave Europe in 2 days, half the crap over here is still closed, the stuff that isn't is backed up for months, and it's not like I'm under an extreme time crunch.

    So...I go the auto skills center on post, which opened up today for the 1st time in two months because the government shut it down due to Coronavirus. The mechanic there pressure-washed it for me, I was out 10 more bucks, and tried again to ship it this afternoon at 2pm. Third time's a charm right?

    The lady says, "It looks like it's still leaking, but I'll go ahead and process the car and run it for about 30 minutes. If there are drops on the cardboard under the engine, you'll have to get it fixed before we can ship it." So that's simple right? It's an American car so I'll have to get an appointment at the shop, order the part, wait, pay for the part to be installed and then go through another detail, and shipping appointment again. BECAUSE I LEAVE THIS COUNTRY IN TWO DAYS. I'LL DO SOME OF THE SCHEDULING AND WHOEVER WE DECIDE TO GIVE POWER OF ATTORNEY TO WILL DO THE REST.

    See how complicated this crap is?

    We're not talking a class 3 leak here, we're talking pin drops that very well might be due to the pressure wash from earlier in the day.

    So there I am, trying to remain calm. "God, if there's a leak, please dry it up like the Red Sea. If it leaks, let it catch in the tray under the engine or stick to a line or evaporate before she checks the cardboard underneath. I have to have this van ship now." Praying for 30 minutes trying to decide if I should continue my pleas for help or switch to some imprecatory prayers.

    The girl comes back and says, "It looks dry. We'll go ahead and close you out."

    Now...I don't blame the workers for making the standard impossible. I blame these governments with their regulations. They literally act like a car is made to never be driven. That is should look like it just came off the new car lot. That the little guy has the right tools to make it meet the standard. That's a bold-faced lie. If they were up front and transparent, they would say, "You can't achieve our standard. Pay for a professional auto-detail. It'll cost you money." Like a little dust on the engine is going to make the world end if it comes from Germany to the US. You think you get fed up with stupid, unwarranted and overreaching government regulations? Be in the dang military. It's absolutely atrocious, is expensive for the little guy, makes processes super-difficult and painful, and is the most inefficient, laborious load of crap that anyone could ever deal with. Literally, the only morons clamoring for more government, more regulations, and more oversight, are those who have 1.) Rely on the government to be their sugar daddy or 2.) Have never actually worked for the government.

    And I don't necessarily expect this process to be easier once I get stateside, but at least I'll be in the right freaking country.

    T Minus Two Days and Counting...
     
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  16. Let My People Go!


    We had a rotator flight from Ramstein to Baltimore scheduled for Thursday May 7th. We showed up yesterday morning at 0700 with our 8 suitcases, having checked out of our hotel, and about to kiss Germany goodbye forever!

    Psyche!

    The lady at the airport entrance informed us that the flight was moved to Sunday. That was a long nice walk back to the car to tell my family.

    I’m currently sitting at the Ramstein Inn waiting for Sunday. It sets us back 3 days but I already rebooked flights through Dallas to Killeen. Our flight Sunday leaves at 0530 with our check-in at 0 dark 30. That’s gonna be a long crappy night.

    The Big Green Weenie. Always a good time.
     
    Last edited: May 25, 2020 at 5:53 PM
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  17. Well, That Sucked

    As I sit here in Texas and type this, I am absolutely thrilled to be writing this from the US, my new place of residence without all the pains and struggles of the Deutschland. And struggles they were.

    We met good people in Germany, but experienced some difficult situations there. Even so, there are good people who helped carry us through. One of those communities was our chapel at Baumholder, who gave us a nice going-away gift from the hotel before we left! Much love to them.

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    This PCS was an absolute nightmare and it's still ongoing. Lol.

    After our flight getting bumped three day to the right, we pre-checked out luggage and showed up to the terminal at 0300 for our 0530 flight. We were told that the flight was bumped to 0830. Then 0930. Then at 1130 everyone on the flight was told, "Hey everyone, there's no luggage weight allowance for this flight. You have two options: 1) fly without your checked baggage or 2) stay with you baggage and try to get on the next flight in 3 days.

    I had already waited 3 days from my initial flight. I already charged $500 for hotel rooms on my card. There was no guarantee that we'd make the next flight with our luggage, as we'd be on the standby list.

    What the crap? I expect government inefficiency--after all, I work for the government. But no weight allowance?

    Best I can figure is that AMC (Air Mobility Command) pushed our flight back to fill it up and didn't relay this message to the airline, Atlas Air. So Atlas showed up with a small plane instead of a big one, and the weight limit was reached by passengers and carry-ons instead of having a few passengers with lots of luggage allowance.

    We opted to get the heck out of that place. But we left with nothing. No clothes. No toothbrushes. I have no uniforms. We don't have Jude's school records. We left about $4,500 worth of luggage in Germany and were told we "should" get them back.

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    A cool thing, while waiting for our plane I saw one of my brother's best friends from Russellville. He had been in Europe for our big summer exercise and was bringing the rest of his guys back home (he's a company commander) to Virginia. Super small world when you're in the Army. I enjoyed seeing and visiting with Drew. A small bright spot in the darkness. Lol.

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    AMC passed the buck to the airline. The airline passed the buck to AMC. In the end my family got super-screwed over. We literally have nothing, but the clothes on our backs.

    To make matters even better, when doing the laundry in Baltimore, the only pair of pants we had for Jude disappeared. We're not sure if they got dropped in the hall on the way to the laundry or if someone took them. In either case, Jude had no pants. He ended up wearing an oversized pair of Aurea's maternity pajama pants the rest of the way to Fort Hood. He didn't miss a beat. I think he actually liked wearing them.

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    We had to wear masks the whole time in plane (even though they do absolutely nothing). But Justus had a good time and didn't seem to care one iota.

    We did make it to Texas and got put on 14 days "quarantine."

    A pic from the plane leaving DFW of Jerry's World!
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    A pic from the ground of our plane landing at Fort Hood.
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    Beautiful sight!
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    Mind you, we don't have a vehicle or American phones (we do now, bought two new ones with American service last night). It's impossible to order out food or pick it up. No one is tracking us. If it wasn't for my good buddy Rojas, we would've been stove the heck up. He helped us get into a hotel here (it's bigger than my house in Germany was), and get lunch and dinner on the first day back and shuttled us around.

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    We still don't have our bags. From what I was told they left Germany yesterday on the way to Norfolk, VA. And from there will go to Rojas's house because we don't have A BLOODY HOME ADDRESS TO SEND OUR BAGS TOO.

    We felt like if we stayed we may never leave. It's like Germany had claws stuck into our back and wouldn't let go!

    Our flight to the US was packed full. Baltimore International was essentially empty. We talked to AMC at BWI and did a baggage claim form. Our suitcases have all our clothes, laptops, Fire Stick, Xboxes, everything we were going to live off of until our household goods arrive in a few months.

    Oh well.

    Oh yeah...ran into this guy as well. Bartnick! My old chaplain assistant from Fort Riley!
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  18. New to Me Truck

    One of the things I wish I had for the past 3 years in Germany was a truck. The bed space is useful for hauling and moving stuff. I got rid of Old Faithful right before moving to Germany anyways (see post in here). She was a good truck and treated me well for 15 years.

    Our one vehicle (the van) is currently on the slow boat back to the US so we have no wheels. Luckily, Mom came to Texas and is letting us use her Explorer. Had she not, we probably would've starved to death by now.

    I looked at trucks online and ended up at a Ford Dealership North of post here. I ended up getting a 2016 F-150 Lariat. It's pretty nice and had all the non-negotiables--4x4, crew cab, tow hitch, and bed liner. It's used but was low (enough) mileage.

    At any rate, I'm glad to have a truck again! I hope this one treats me as well as my last one and hopefully I'll have it for 15 years!

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