Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Monday, September 28, 2009

Graduation Weekend

So this weekend was fabulously exhausting. Lee almost didn’t get to march the field for graduation because his DS wanted him to take the last portion of his Airborne physical. He would still graduate but not march. I thought that was ridiculous because we had come all the way to see him do that. There’s much more to it but too much to type. In a nutshell, his 1st Sgt told him to board the bus with the other guys for graduation and everything went on as planned. We got iphones this weekend too! Everyone text Lee your number because he doesn’t have it. I have my contacts but his weren’t saved. This morning Lee called me from breakfast. I asked him if he had his ACUs on for his physical or if he’s in civilian clothes. He sent me a pic of him drinking his coffee in his camo so I wouldn’t have to imagine him sitting there. Awe… We extended the rental car and the hotel room until Tuesday since he is on leave until then. Today he’s going to base to try and take his final portion of his physical so hopefully he won’t be in Airborne Holding too long. We got up insanely early everyday to get good seats to both ceremonies and be on the front row. I didn’t get home until midnight last night so I’m struggling today. I had to drop a co-worker off at the airport at 7:30 this morn and I’ve got a trade show this week too. Is it Friday yet?!?! At least I get to talk to Lee at the end of the day! I'll write more when I'm back to juggling everything on the home front.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

He's a Big Deal

This is it. See you Thursday. I love you. Lee

I've been so busy with work this week that I haven't had time to post this pic that I took of "this week's flowers." I'm leaving for the airport soon and I CANNOT wait! This time tomorrow I will be staring at Lee!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Toast Our Pizza

Tonight I am packing for my trip to go see Lee's Graduation! I leave tomorrow! I am also preparing the video camera for the trip and found this clip. This is the 1st night of Family Weekend when we were able to visit Lee. He wanted to order pizza and we did. We stuffed our faces and stared at him. A bit like you do at the zoo....Jan was camera happy and caught us being "us."

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

In Bloom

Look how big and beautiful my flowers are today!

Out of the Hospital

Lee is out of the hospital! When I talked to him last, he was waiting for the DS to come pick him up. He is very bummed because his new medical profile has strict limitations on what he can do for a month and ½. . Basically, he has to report to this place we will call “sick call” every week for a checkup and blood tests. Every 2 weeks his limitations will decrease and he will be able to do more. He won’t be able to go onto Airborne School immediately after graduation. Instead, his orders are to sit around and wait for the doctor to release him to full activity. He wants to be able to come home and sit around and wait. His orders are adjustable by the doctor’s discretion. There are a lot of questions in the air right now and we are waiting for him to have a sit-down with his Commander or National Guard liaison to see what his options are. I reiterated that we have a lot to be thankful for right now. His health #1! He gets to graduate and I fly out to see him one week from today. AND this may be a month and ½ less on the countdown that we don’t have to worry about him getting deployed. He will go Airborne eventually but right now he needs to concentrate on feeling better. The doctor says that a lot of stress were put on his kidneys and liver, especially his liver. Hopefully he’ll find out more info soon. To be cont’d…

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Soldier Stand-in

My innovative cousin Brittany found this news report and thought of me. This lady took a picture of her husband and made this! She takes him everywhere while he's stationed in Iraq.

Read More:http://www.nbcmiami.com/news/local-beat/Wife-Finds-Stiff-Replacement-for-Hubby-in-Iraq-59260992.html?yhp=1

Long Weekend

A lot has happened since my last blog. Lee made it through the week in the field and completed his fourth mile of his twelve mile ruck march to Honor Hill when he collapsed on Friday evening. He suffered a severe case of heat exhaustion. He had a temp of 102 when he blacked out. They did the heat casualty exercise with the ice sheets and took him to the hospital. He had a catheter and an IV before I was notified of what had happened early Saturday morning. His enzyme levels were very high and the doctor wanted to monitor the enzyme trends until they leveled out. The important thing-he is OK. He was worried about this incident pushing his graduation back or being asked to restart. When you restart, the DS can push you back in your training depending on what they feel is appropriate. Fortunately, Lee's DS came to visit him Sunday and confirmed that Lee will not have to redo the march and he will still graduate with his platoon. This is GREAT news and a HUGE relief. Today Lee's 1st Sergeant came to see him. He confirmed that Lee will graduate on time. The 1st Sergeant reiterated that Lee needs to make the doctor aware of his upcoming training so his medical profile will be accurate. He wants the doctor to understand that Lee will not be getting a break from training but he will be going onto multiple training schools after graduation next week. If his condition is going to affect his training then his file needs to read that. Lee is becoming more and more like himself everyday. He has been very week and nauseous all weekend. However yesterday, when I talked to him I rattled on about my day and then asked him how his day was going. He sarcastically said, " Oh I rolled over a couple of times, went to the the bathroom about 80 times and got several new IV bags." I laughed. It is so nice to hear him laugh. Lee's doctor is pleased with his progress and hopes to send him back to his platoon this evening. He really wants his CT to come down??? Lee told me that involved the enzymes surrounding his kidneys.

"I love you. Lee"

Friday, September 11, 2009

Wrath of the Army Wife

Tonight at ~9pm Lee will begin his 12 mile ruck march to Honor Hill. He should arrive at Honor Hill at ~3am Saturday morning. They will be rucking through the rain, mud, etc. They will be forced to carry an assortment of things. Boulders and telephone poles are a couple things that have been carried on marches by other platoons. Before Lee's platoon left for the field last weekend the guys were given phone privileges. While the guys go to chow, 2 guys have to stay behind and guard the weapons. The Weapon Guards chosen were specifically told to not talk on their phones while on duty since the others couldn't because they were eating. Well... the Weapon Guards got caught by the DS talking on their phones. Lee had been told that they would be given their phones after they conclude the ruck march on Honor Hill. Since the guys got caught talking on their phone Lee is afraid they may not get their phones right away. If those ignorant morons ruined phone privileges for ME, I just might kick them in the balls at graduation....of course this all happened last weekend and this was the news of my last phone call with Lee before he left for his week in the field. For their ball's sake, let's hope they have already been punished.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Erin Tests the DS

So...I sent a disposable camera to see if I could get it past the DS. Sneaky I know...but I was hoping Lee would be able to keep it and he was! I got it in the mail today and raced to CVS to get the pictures developed in the 1 hr photo option. Very few came back looking decent but there are a few good ones.
Lee said a couple guys weren't getting along so the DS stuck their helmets together all day:)
One day the DS told the guys to take apart their bunks and set them up outside in the same format or they would get smoked if it wasn't done in 30 mins or less. They got smoked. I may have already made a post about that...anyway, here's a visual.
Lee's on the top bunk.
When Lee does field training, this is how he sleeps. This week it's raining. No words.

Short and Sweet

I received 2 letters from Lee. They were written last week. The letters were super short but sweet. He confirmed that he misses and loves me as much as I miss him but plus a million! He thinks about hanging out on the back patio grilling burgers with Cooper and me all the time. He said it gives him something to look forward to doing.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Dear God

Please God, hold my soldier tight. I snuggle into my covers when he sleeps in the rain at night. I watch the clock to hurry the day, he watches for the signal to blow a target away. Keep him warm, keep him safe, give him strength to finish each day. -Erin

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Love, Love, Love Lee

12 mini yellow roses and 2 giant gerber daisies in a purse shaped glass vase just to tell me, "Three weeks left. We can make it! I love you, Lee"

Week 12

Lee had his phone this past weekend. We got to talk a bit but he was still busy doing his normal drills, chores, etc. The DS allowed the guys to use their phones since they are in the field all of this week. Lee left Sunday afternoon to rough it for the week. My heart hurts for him because I've read and heard so much about what he's doing this week. This is comparable to a semester final. They are taking every bit of information they have learned thus far and cramming it into multiple scenarios throughout the week. I looked up the weather forecast for him and there are high percentages of rain for him this week too. He said he's going to spend extra time working on his irrigation ditches since they sleep on the ground. He's been told to inform his family/friends to stop sending letters. DS receives many letters well after gradation because it takes so long to sort all the incoming mail. Lee did ask that I overnight a few items. They were unable to go to the PX before they left for the field. PX was closed due to the holiday weekend. Since they are able to get Mail Call while in the field, I am sending toilet paper, wet wipes, bug spray, protein bars and gum. I'm sneaking in the protein bars and the gum. Hopefully the DS won't check it. Protein bars because I know he needs as much as he can get, especially this week. Gum to keep him awake. Some nights they have to have 50/50 awake to guard post. This means that 50% sleep while 50% keep watch. They rotate every hour. Sometimes they may do 30/70 or different. On Friday evening they will begin their 12 mile ruck march to Honor Hill. They will be told to carry boulders, telephone poles and more. When they reach Honor Hill in the middle of the night on Saturday, there will be a brief ceremony. This is when the Soldiers are transformed into Infantrymen. The DS will pin their "crossed rifles" on their uniforms. Lee and I talked about Graduation weekend and what all he wants me to bring. Oreos were among the list! I'll have a fridge in my room so I'm going to stop by a convenient store and get some milk for him when I fly into Columbus. I hope it will be nice and chilled for him.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Holiday Weekend

Drove to Lee's hometown this weekend to celebrate Nana's 92nd Birthday:)

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Sleeping in the Rain

Lee sounded tired in his letter. He started the letter off by telling me how much he loves me and how hard it was to leave me at the airport. He was a nervous wreck and he didn't eat dinner that night. He's had several overnighters in the field and hasn't been able to write much. They did have mail call one day in the field so he was able to get some encouraging words from home. It rained a couple nights they were out there. Most of their "hasties" or fighting positions that they dug, flooded. They slept wet and sandy all night. They built "hooches" with their ponchos. They use sticks and cord to build little tents over their fighting positions. He spent a long time digging irrigation ditches around his so it wouldn't flood. He said it worked well enough for him to get through the night with only minor problems. It started pouring rain and lighting bad one night so they had to move into the wood line. The next day he led the guys on a pretty successful assault/ambush. He said they snuck up on their objective while the DS was standing around talking and he didn't even notice them. I bet he misses our big fluffy bed. Poor guy. During Family Day weekend, he took a lot of long hot showers. It was funny. When he comes home, he'll probably start soaking in the tub and taking hot bubble baths too. I better stock up on Mr. Bubble.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Boogie Man

The Boogie Man haunted my imagination last night. First big scare since Lee has been gone. I have trouble sleeping these days so I've gotten into a horrible habit. I crawl into bed and watch television until I can barely hold my eyes open. Last night was no different other than the fact that I heard a strange noise! It wasn't just me that heard it either. Cooper did too. He even jumped out of bed and started pawing at the door to go check it out. Normally, noises don't bother me. This one did. Embarrassingly, I keep my bedroom door locked while Lee is gone even though we have an alarm system. Laugh it you will...I finally mustard up the strength to get out of bed and run to my closet. I started going down my call list on my phone to see who was still awake all the while gripping my panic button to set off the alarm. After confirming with Kimberly that she has my address in case a crazy person was in my house, I carefully unlocked my door. Keeping Kimberly on the phone, I flipped on every light in the house until I could confirm I was alone. I confirmed. I have no idea what Cooper and I heard. After totally freaking myself out, I felt relief and then I got really sad. I hate feeling alone all the time. It gets hard. I know I'm never truly alone. My friends are great. Cooper keeps me entertained and my family is the best. Bedtime just sucks. I called Lee and left a voice message. I know his phone is turned off and he doesn't have it in his possession. Sometimes it's comforting to simply hear his voice. Anyway. New day. Gorgeous weather. And I can chuckle a bit about my vast imagination.