Happy Greetings to all! May you be enjoying the season with Halloween, All Saint's Day, Election Day, and first frosts/snows (OK, maybe all except the last 2!) all at hand. It will surely be a busy week...
For you as well as me. As of right now, I do not expect to be stateside for any of those events. This is very likely my last note from Fort Bragg.
But, *boy* what a couple of weeks it has been. I had an absolutely wonderful time at home with Julie and the kids for one whole week. Got to feed Gideon his first solid foods, celebrated Zion's 2nd birthday a little early, joined Gabe for his first kids sports class at the Y... got to spend one whole evening with Julie (and the kids in the care of a babysitter), with family and friends for the birthday party, and with our church for the first Sunday at home in over 10 weeks! Ate at almost all of our favorite restaurants, fully enjoyed the fall colors of Western WA, and got most of the summer outside toys put away. It was a great week.
We returned to Fort Bragg less than a week ago. Within 24 hours I had my Dad and Joyce coming in from MI and Mom with her sister Jerri coming in from Atlanta, GA. They all arrived safely Friday night. Saturday morning the189th (our training brigade) hosted a nice deployment ceremony for us and all of our guests. On short notice, my good friend Joel, from MTU (now teaching in South Carolina) also drove up to join the clan.
We spent most of the day together Saturday and really had a wonderful time. By midday, Joel was on his way, by the evening I said goodbye to Mom and Jerri to spend the night with Dad and Joyce at their hotel, and by Sunday morning they were all on their way home. It was a short visit, but it was great to see everyone together in one spot.
Our CO was able to extend liberty to us for the rest of the weekend - the group of folks here that are my closest friends came and kidnapped me from the hotel to take me "south of the border". Mexico you ask? No, but this incredibly silly place that is a local tourist trip - just south of the North Carolina border into South Carolina on I-95 (only about 45 minutes from Fayetteville). Pedro reigns there and has carnival rides, free mini-golf, restaurants, and gift shops all under the "Golf of Mexico" (a large golf ball sign). This time of year the place is pretty quiet, but we did enjoy the mini golf!
As with all liberty, it had to come to an end, but having said that our work this week has been to be ready to go at any time. And on any day that we weren't scheduled to fly, we've had to catch up on personal stuff. It's worked pretty well for us to get a couple more days of light duty to finish up any last shopping or tasks on post before flying out. Tuesday was a particularly interesting day - one of our presidential candidates came through Fayetteville (I'll let you guess which one) offering free tickets to his rally. Having never attended one before, I was pretty excited to go -and managed to pull a good sized team of us to the local civic center. The place was packed, 10,000 or more by my guess. Regardless of any one's opinion of the candidate, it was truly a worthwhile experience to just be a part of the American political process. And last night I came back and finished up my absentee ballot and dropped it in the mail today.
All I ask is that you would do the same - *please vote* -either in the polls or by mail by next Tuesday. I've been told that you will have a clock time change this weekend - please take that into consideration for your trip to the polls on Tuesday! The race is close enough and this is too busy of a time in our country to just let Election Day pass us by. Thanks!
And with that, I guess the last thing I have for you is my new address. As always, please pass this to anyone who's interested - I won't be able to hit all of you by E-mail on the first shot.
(This is Julie, I've edited Rob's address out. If you know us and would like to write to him just ask via comment on the blog or e-mail and I'll get it to you. Thanks!)
It will take a week or so for stuff to reach me from the states. It will likely take a little longer for me to mail back to you. As always, please keep my family in your thoughts and prayers. Julie continues to maintain her blog as well of all the fun stuff going on around home.
It has been awesome to have all of you for support and friendship. My best wishes to all of us in these next several months. Godspeed and take good care.