Category: Military Life


Laughing all the way…

…To the bank!  Okay, not literally because we have direct deposit, but still.  It looks like the good ol’ Coast Guard pulled a little trick on us.  Typically, when you get any sort of allotments or “extra” payments, they’re just a part of your pay check.  In other words, they lump it together, so there’s no seperate deposits.  For some reason, they deposited our DLA (dislocation allowance) by itself, rather than with our paycheck.  Our paycheck hit today, in the expected amount.  Woot!  I replenished our savings, made a nice $1,000.00 payment on our credit card, and even tucked a little away into the boys’ savings account.  I’m so friggin’ relieved!


*sigh*

…  We’re fucked.

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     What’s worse than dreary, rainy weather?  Sick kids.  If they could stop crying long enough to tell me what’s wrong, I might actually be able to help them feel better, but that seems impossible right now.  *sigh*  Of course, DH is back at work, too.  Joy.

Nabbed!

 

Coast Guard Nabs Pounds of Cocaine and Heroin

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico – U.S. Coast Guard personnel, working with their partners in the Caribbean Border Interagency Group (CBIG), Puerto Rico made a drug interdiction in the Mona Passage Friday, May 23, 2008, detaining two drug smugglers and seizing approximately 1,511 pounds of cocaine and 17 pounds of heroin (approximately 600 kilos of drugs).

The cases of the two drug smugglers, Josué Alberto Dávila Padró and Jonathan Fonseca Torres, were accepted for prosecution by the United States Attorney's Office in Puerto Rico.

Details of the drug busting interdiction are as follows:

The crew of a U.S. Customs and Border Protection fixed-wing aircraft located a suspect vessel Friday morning near Mona Island, Puerto Rico, as the vessel was transiting to the west coast of Puerto Rico from the Dominican Republic. Coast Guard Cutter Tornado arrived on scene and interdicted the 35-foot fiberglass vessel, about seven miles southeast of Mona Island. The crew of the Tornado took custody of two Puerto Ricans and initially located and recovered approximately 15 bricks of cocaine hidden within the vessel.  They towed the vessel to Mayagüez, Puerto Rico where they turned over the custody of the drugs, the vessel and the smugglers to Immigration and Customs Enforcement ICE.

After ICE agents and U.S. Customs and Border Protection Officers conducted a further inventory search of the interdicted vessel, they located an additional 445 bricks of cocaine and seven bricks of heroin.

The concept of CBIG resulted from a March 2006 collaboration of local Homeland Security components that effectively stemmed the increased flow of traffic across the Mona Passage between the Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico. In July 2006, CBIG was formally created to unify efforts of the U.S. Customs and Border Protection's Office of Air & Marine (A&M), Office of Field Operations (OFO), and Office of Border Patrol (OBP), the U.S. Coast Guard (USCG), Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and the United States Attorney ' s Office, District of Puerto Rico, in their common goal of securing Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands against illegal maritime traffic and gaining control of our nation's Caribbean borders.

Coast Guard Cutter Tornado is 179-foot patrol craft home ported in Pascagoula, Miss.

This is more along the lines of what DH typically does when deployed, but again, this ain't him.  🙂

 

Coast Guard and Good Samaritan Vessel Team Up

CG and Good Samaritan Vessel Team Up

JUNEAU, Alaska – A Good Samaritan vessel, UNICORN, and the Coast Guard teamed up to rescue a cabin cruiser Wednesday afternoon in Chatham Strait near Point Augusta.

Coast Guard Sector Juneau issued an Urgent Marine Information Broadcast (UMIB) and launched a rescue helicopter from Air Station Sitka, a 25-foot Response Boat (RB-S) from Station Juneau, and a 47-foot Motor Life Boat (MLB) also from Station Juneau after receiving a distress call at approximately 3 p.m. Wednesday.   The pleasure craft (P/C) SEATONIC II, a 40-foot cabin cruiser, stated they were taking on water and heading toward Point Augusta to beach the boat.

The P/C UNICORN responded from 5 miles away and was first on scene. The UNICORN moored up alongside the SEATONIC II approximately 100 yards offshore and provided a pump for dewatering the vessel.

The Coast Guard rescue helicopter arrived on scene shortly thereafter and reported no injuries and no signs of pollution.

The Coast Guard RB-S crew arrived on scene at approximately 3:45 p.m. and provided an additional pump for the SEATONIC II.  The MLB crew arrived on scene at approximately 5:20 p.m.

A Tenakee Springs Fire & Rescue boat also responded to the UMIB and assisted the Coast Guard MLB in escorting the P/C SEATONIC II to Tenakee Springs. The pleasure craft was safely moored at 9:10 p.m.

"Good Samaritans often make a difference in Alaska's unforgiving waters," said CDR Scott Bornemann, Deputy Commander at Coast Guard Sector Juneau, "the Coast Guard certainly appreciates their efforts and good will."

A post search and rescue safety boarding was conducted by the Coast Guard and no discrepancies were reported.

Again, not DH's personal work, but still good things for the "company" he works for.

DH HAaarg!rd at Work

 Coast Guard Heads to Hijacked Ship

MOGADISHU, Somalia – Coast guard officials headed Wednesday toward a ship hijacked by pirates two days earlier after the vessel docked at a northern Somali port, an official said.

Four Russian and five Filipino crew members were on board the MV Amiya Scan, along with an unknown number of pirates. The ship's Dutch owner, Reider Shipping BV, said it was in contact with the pirates but declined to comment on the captors' demands out of concern for the crew's safety.

The ship, seized Monday off the Somali coast, arrived in Bargal, 710 miles (1,150 kilometers) northeast of Mogadishu, on Wednesday, said Ali Abdi Aware, foreign minister of the semiautonomous region of Puntland.

The MV Amiya Scan had been chartered by Danish company to carry a decommissioned oil platform and was sailing under a Panamanian flag.

It was among 24 ships hijacked this year in the Gulf of Aden, one of the world's busiest shipping lanes.

Somalia's 1,880-mile-long (3,025 kilometers) coast – Africa's longest – is infested with pirates and the lawless country is awash with weapons. The transitional government formed in 2004 with U.N. help comes under daily attack from Islamic insurgents.

Pirates typically seize ships within Somalia's 12-mile territorial limit, where foreign navies patrolling the area are forbidden to go by international maritime law.

Since Somalia does not have a navy, France and the United States are drafting a U.N. resolution that would allow international naval vessels into Somali waters.

Somali officials say foreign countries encourage piracy by paying ransoms for hijacked ships that can reach hundreds of thousands of dollars.

"As always, we are calling on the owners of the ship not to pay any ransom to the pirates, as that would only encourage criminals," Aware said in a special Cabinet meeting to discuss the hijacking.

This wasn't DH's ship personally, but whatever.  It's still cool. 

Military Families Video

I must say, I strongly disagree.  I wonder of the 3 in the military, how many are enlisted?  The last one had family or people in the area who were always willing to help out…  Wow.  Maybe I'm just angry with the military because my husband is gone too damn much, but I also hate when people say "Free Health Care."  You get "free" care if you choose to see military doctors.  If not seeing a different person each time, having to fill out a 12 page questionaire they don't read every visit, having to keep your own records because yours are constantly lost or mis-handled, etc., sure.  Go for it.  Otherwise, you go outside the system and pay.  It might sound snotty, but I know corpsmen who wouldn't let the hospital they work in treat them.  Another comment that made me mad, "What other job do you get a raise every year?"  What other job is your paycheck still stuck in the 80's and they think it's okay to make up for it 3% at a time?  Again, maybe I'm just jaded…

Hey…  Ja-ja-jaded…  Oh wait.  My bad.

Honestly, I don't think they accurately captured the spectrum of the military and how we're dealing with the struggling economy.  For instance…  We live in a state where the federal $5.25 is still minimum wage.  After 5 years in service, as an E-5, my husband makes what my best friend does.  She's got a degree.  If you take out the housing allowance, she makes more than we do.  She's struggling to support herself and there are 4 of us.  We have that "free" health care and access to the commissary, where groceries are easily 30-40% cheaper than they are even at Wally World, yet we struggle.  By struggle I mean…  Our hosue is 76 because anything cooler will destroy our budget.  We debated getting a pool because we couldn't afford to fill it, but we know we can't drive to the beach or to anyone else's pool either…  Since the house is 76, the pool would be our only relief from the heat.  We're getting a motorcycle (yes, you win DH) because we can't afford to drive even the sedan, let alone the van.  When DH drives the bike, the kids and I will have the car, but when it's crappy and freezing outside, we're back to the van while he takes the car.  The car is paid off, and we're just now to the point where we're no longer upside down on the van, so we're sure as hell not selling it now!  Besides, we could never take a trip in the car because of all of our stuff…  But then again, we're not taking a trip any time soon with gas over $4.00 per gallon now.  HA!

By struggle I mean…  I'm wondering if I could sneak to the library an hour a day to keep up with all my crap on-line and cut the innernet – the source of 75% of what little doula business I get.  Sorta' sounds like cutting my nose off to spite my face, huh?

I'm wondering if we could live in the backyard this summer if we got a pool and filled it with well water since that's free. 

I'm wondering if I should give up being a doula and take in some kids to help get ahead on some bills or just stay up with gas prices.

I'm wondering if even trips to the library for free entertainment for myself and the kids (story time, and bringing books and movies home) is too expensive because of gas…  It's less than 2 miles from the house…  And if I knew I could walk into a cool house, I'd walk, but between coming home to 76 degrees and no sidewalks the whole way as we're walking on busy streets, walking is out.

I'm wondering how my family will survive what feels like an impending depression.  I'm wondering how I will keep myself and my children from going insane, especially if I have to give up my little piece of autonomy as a doula to care for the children of others so I can continue to stay home and put gas in my husband's vehicle so he can work for the military that I feel, short changes us left and right.  I don't agree with the spouses up there.  I won't feel like we're better off as a military family until we're on an even pay scale with members of Congress.  Call me greedy, but I think we deserve at least half of what they make.

It’s official!

I have the best husband…  EVAR!!!

Mothersday20078

These were on the front porch this afternoon.  I thought that DH would think he was off the hook for Mother’s Day since he’s not here, or that he would just do something when he got home and found time.  He never ceases to amaze me.  I FREAKING LOVE YOU, BABE!!!

Woot!

          I know I never say, "DH left for a deployment today," but DH came home yesterday!  Woot!  His birthday was on the 10th, so I made him a lasagna and a cake and invited some friends over.  He knew about the food, but not about the people.  Hee hee…  We stuffed our faces, had some wine, played Scattergories, and then played Rummy before calling it a night.  Good times, good times.

          Mega is very happy to have his daddy home, and Bear can’t wait for him to leave again.  Every time DH got near me, Bear gave him the evil eye and screamed bloody murder if he saw DH actually make physical contact with me.  He is very protective of his momma, and apparently, he views DH as a threat.  I have a feeling he will get over it very soon.  In fact, I bet as soon as he can spend more than a few hours with him and DH and Mega get down on the floor and wrestle with him, he will be over it.  He has always had a preference for Mommy, but I blame that on him being a Boob Baby for the first 7 months of his life.  Mega has always been a Daddy’s boy, so it evens out.  Mega was very upset when he got up this morning and DH was already at work.  I knew that was going to make for a rough day, but I prepared!  We’re going to an indoor park for a lunch-n-play-date this afternoon to help make the time go by a bit faster for him.  We made a paper chain to help Mega visualize the passing of time, and when he got up this morning he said, "But Mumma, there’s no more chains!  Where’s my Daddy?"  It about broke my heart, I tell you!  I explained to him that Daddy was at work and would be home this evening, but he cried anyway.  *shrug*  He’s 3.  Every little thing is dramatic.  I just hugged him and told him it would be okay.  Poor kid.  *sigh*

          Anyway, off we go to get a snack and hang out until noon when we head out for our play date.  I’m so happy DH is home!  YIPPEE!!!

          So a few commenters pointed out that there was much more to the bill, which I did actually read.  I was under the impression that Bush could use his powers of line-item veto and in my head, that meant he could scratch everything out except for that 3.5% pay increase.  Heh…  Let’s just say that I am having a really hard few days, and with no light at the end of the tunnel just yet, this seemed like a good thing to pounce on.  While I am still highly irate that there will not be another .5% raise coming to us any time, soon, I admit that there were several items in that bill that I am pleased did not pass.

          We’ll have to keep an eye on that one…