Saturday, May 19, 2007

The Wall

The picture is of the Wall with a reflection of DH and Junior.
The Dignity Memorial Vietnam Wall Experience came to the Central Texas State Veterans Cemetery this weekend. I have been wanting to see this for a while and was glad when I saw the signs and read the article in the paper about it. We are headed to DC this summer and the original memorial is on our list of things to see.

The display was unbelievable. Surrounded by American flags, it was hard to believe that there were 58,356 names engraved on there. To even fathom that that many American lives were lost over there just amazes me. It was a very moving experience and to see other Vietnam Veterans find their buddies names and make a rubbing was hard. Families left medals and newspaper articles about their loved ones. At the end of the day all of these items are gathered and placed in a special casket that will be buried at the cemetery. There was a tent setup full of memorabilia that one woman has collected over the years telling about her son Michael E Schafernocker. She wanted people to know her son and she took young men by the hand and showed them different items that would be of interest to them such as the spark plug helicopter. She hugged young soldiers and old and took the time to answer any questions she could about her son. It was very emotional to watch....

I am embarrassed to say that I don't know a whole lot about the Vietnam War, but I plan on changing that. I know the basics that I learned in school, but being a business major history was not a required subject so I took it to fill an elective spot during summer school at our local community college the first summer I was home. I don't even think we broached the subject. I explained to the girls what I knew and promised them that we would find out more information about other soldiers that were listed on there.

There was a booklet that was handed out and I read through it and it spoke about the Memorial and the Vietnam Veterans of America, Inc. The VVA's Founding Principle is "Never again shall one generation of veterans abandon another." Just the thought of what happened during the Vietnam era is enough to bring a tear to anyone's eye.....

Animal Park

There is a wild animal park that you can drive through near our house at Hood, so I sent DH off with all three kids in the old car (in case it got scratched, which it did) and a picnic lunch. TOPSEY is about 20 minutes away from us and I had heard good things about it so DH was excited about surprising the kids with another Saturday adventure.

When they arrived, there was a huge camel that was blocking the road and they had to wait for one of the employees to come move it so that they could drive in the park. It cost $21 for the 3 of them to get in and Junior was free. They bought a bag of food for each of the girls at $1/2 and were on their way. The animals came up and into the car! DQ loved it and Abs was scared. An ostrich bit DH, but not too hard. They got some great pictures! They ran out of food about halfway through the park, so make sure and buy two bags per child. They had a petting zoo at the end and also a picnic area so make sure to pack a lunch to take a long.
The girls can't wait to go back and even Junior laughed hysterically when an animal would poke his nose in the window. My nephew is coming to stay with us for a week in August and I think we will return!


I went to a conservation class on post today. It was offered through housing and I admit that I almost did not attend. I went to the gym and on the way home I felt guilty about possibly not showing up so I ran in the house, showered, dressed and left.

I actually ended up learning a lot while I was there. We also got shower timers (who really takes a 5 minute shower???), smart switch, rain gauge and some of those high tech light bulbs that are supposed to last forever. They are also going to send housing out to install these light bulbs throughout the house. I have heard that there is some controversy about them because they contain mercury and can be dangerous if they break. I can't remember the last time I broke a light bulb (knock on wood) so I will take the chance and if they break I will call housing like they instructed us...or at least I think they did. Chris was texting me from the animal park...more on that in a bit....

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Drat, foiled again!

DH had CQ last night which requires him to sit in a chair for 24 hours babysitting single soldiers to make sure that they don't do anything stupid and monitoring barracks hoes (or is that ho's). There has also been a rash of car break-ins on post in the barracks parking lots for the last several months. I called him before I went to bed and he was bored of course since they can't really do anything but sit there. This morning I called to see if he got any sleep and see how grumpy he would be today and he told me "I foiled a robbery!". Apparently he heard some noises after 1 AM and went outside to investigate. There was a guy going back to his room from his buddy's room and DH stopped him to chat for a little while. Then he saw two guys crouching down by a car and started walking towards them. They took off running and DH chased after them. DH couldn't catch up with them so he called the MP's and they came and took his statement and went looking for the guys. They found one guy so they had to come pick DH up and take him in to make an ID. They also had the jack from the scene that they were going to fingerprint as well. So DH identified the guy (well he was the same height, same build, but different shirt and they found the shirt DH described in his car as well as some pot, the idiot.) and then they took DH back to work. So of course all of this goes back to DH's 1st SGT and he had to report it to Staff Duty that keeps a log and submits it to the Sgt Major each morning. So now the little world of Fort Hood is safer (well sort of) because of DH. (He told me that he was sure the president would give him a medal, and I told him he just needed 34 points to make the next rank instead!) Hopefully at least some good will come out of it for him. (He did say that they were pretty stupid since if he was them he would have waited for him to round the corner and then beat him up since he was outnumbered and they were a lot bigger Thank goodness they didn't!)

Tuesday, May 15, 2007


I am down almost 25 pounds. Kind of sad to think I was hauling around that much weight. I bought a few new clothes that fit...from Sam's. No sense spending a lot of money on items I hopefully won't wear very long.

I got an email from our FRG leader and we are having an impromptu meeting next Monday over lunch. Not sure if I am going to go or not, but I am just glad to see that for this deployment we will actually have a FRG. The lack of one last year was hard on a lot of people, so it can only get better, right?

Junior is still sick, but I think it is mainly allergies. He has an appointment tomorrow so we can see what is going on. The poor little boy is miserable. On a bright note he slept through the night last night, so that in itself is great news!

I dropped Abs off at school this morning, got down to the end of the street and got a phone call that she walked in, threw up and was lying down. She's been find ever since and is ready to go back to school.

Since Abs was sick today I am going to work this evening for a few hours while DH takes care of the household.

I also have "buy a house" idea where to start though.

What's with that hairstyle?

I told Abs this morning to pull her hair back in case she threw up again. By the time we left for the doctor, she had 1 piggy and about three buns. She also had a barrette holding a piece of material in her hair, near the front of her head. A lady in the waiting room asked me if I fixed her hair and I said no, she did. She then asked me if I let her go out in public like that. I told her that if this hairstyle was the worst thing I had to deal with then I was a lucky person! So we get called back and everyone is checking out Ab's new "doo" which she has by this point named the "cinnamon roll". The nurse asked her why she made the "cinnamon roll" like that, and Abs looked at her with disbelief and told her "So I don't get barf in my hair silly". They were laughing so hard they were crying. Never a dull moment.....