As I have contemplated all of the changes that have occurred in the last few weeks, I feel so blessed to have a full-time job. Not only does it give me a reason to get up every day, but it also provides me with a daily routine to keep me busy and focused on other things so I don't sit at home and become depressed. Nights and weekends are the worst for me. So I am trying to become involved in inexpensive activities to pass the time away. Since Jared left, I have kept myself fairly busy every weekend. The first weekend Alicia Ellis and I went to Nachtman's Crystal Factory, the second weekend I went to lunch and the Amberg pool with Jenni and Teresa, the 4th of July weekend was spent at Mega Play, Eshenbach Lake, and Bamberg (it's known as little Vienna) with Gina, and last weekend I went to Berlin on an MWR trip with Liz.
I have been very fortunate to be able to communicate in some form or another (Face Book, texting, or phone calls) with Jared every day but one since he left. He only gets to use the internet once a week until an internet box becomes available to him (should he decide to pay $180 per month). Prepaid phone cards are quite expensive, but the peace of mind that comes to me from hearing his voice each night (for 3 minutes or 20 minutes) and knowing that he is safe is worth every penny!!
As for Jared, he says that time has gone faster than he thought it would go. He actually arrived in country two days after leaving Vilseck, Germany. Since then, his unit has spent every day setting up shop and preparing for work to be brought in. After work, he can be found running out in the DUST and blistering hot 120 degree heat and then training with the Sergeant Major. In the one month that he has been there, he has lost about 20 pounds on the "Afghanistan weight loss program!"
Jared has been selected to be part of the RAMP Ceremony. In the event of a fatality within his regiment of 3,000 to 4,000 soldiers, a special ceremony is performed on behalf of the fallen soldier where the color guard is present, the taps are played, scriptures are read, and then the casket is carried from the vehicle to the airplane that will take the body to DOVER Air Force Base. Jared is going to be one of the pall bearers. He feels very honored to be a part of this special ceremony, especially being able pay tribute to his comrades. A couple of weeks ago, he actually participated in his first ceremony. He said that it was heart wrenching as the soldier's name and age was read and whether or not they had a wife and children that won't ever see him come home. However, he said there was also a great peace felt as the Chaplain shared a few scriptures with the group.
Here are a few Face Book posts that Jared has provided since being in Afghanistan:
July 3, 2010
Afghanistan weighty loss plan is now 15 pounds and counting. Lots of dust and heat and walking everywhere. Finally had sometime to get on the internet. A little over two weeks have gone by and it seems to be moving a little slow, but i am sure it will pick up. Looking forward to going to church in the afternoon for ...a few minutes of peace to step away from everything.
July 9, 2010
Made my weekly trip to the mwr tent to use the computers. I hope i can get regular internet soon. This week has flown by fast I just wish every week would fly by. Cant wait to get away from the dust every where and gravelly roads. I could be in worst situations so should not complain. Glad its the weekend so I can... go to church on sunday, that is the main thing I look forward to during deployment.
July 13, 2010
Almost a month into deployment. I really did not think a month would go by so fast. I hope by the end of the week I can drop 2 pounds so I can call it an even twenty pounds lost in the first month. Having something to work towards seems to make time go a little faster.
I am so proud of Jared for serving his country so we can be free.