Nov 222011
 

The following is a statement from Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta (Source) from my Tumblr.

The failure of the Congressional Supercommittee to reach an agreement on deficit reduction is a setback for the country’s efforts to achieve fiscal responsibility while protecting our national security.  If Congress fails to act over the next year, the Department of Defense will face devastating, automatic, across-the-board cuts that will tear a seam in the nation’s defense.

Despite the danger posed by sequestration, I join the President in his call for Congress to avoid an easy way out of this crisis.  Congress cannot simply turn off the sequester mechanism, but instead must pass deficit reduction at least equal to the $1.2 trillion it was charged to pass under the Budget Control Act.

In my four decades involved with public service, I have never been more concerned about the ability of Congress to forge common-sense solutions to the nation’s pressing problems.  Since becoming Secretary of Defense, I have made it clear that the Department has a responsibility to help the country get its fiscal house in order — and we are doing that.  I have been leading a strategy-driven effort to achieve the more than $450 billion in cuts over 10 years required by the Budget Control Act.  We will move ahead with that plan.

But as Secretary of Defense, my primary responsibility is to protect the security of the nation.  The half-trillion in additional cuts demanded by sequester would lead to a hollow force incapable of sustaining the missions it is assigned.  If implemented, sequester would also jeopardize our ability to provide our troops and their families with the benefits and the support they have been promised. Our troops deserve better, and our nation demands better.

The emphasis in bold, is from my friend Andrea, who added…

 

Emphasis mine. I know a lot of people would applaud further cuts to the defense budget, but what a lot of people don’t understand is that the first things to be cut are not materiel or training. The cuts will first come from benefits and family programs. I know that even though I don’t qualify for MyCAA (educational training for spouses), I regularly use FMWR(Family Morale, Welfare and Recreation) and ACS (Army Community Services) programs to help me just get through the day some days.

This is the part most people don’t realize when they scream for cuts to defense spending. I don’t care what your opinion on the wars is. That is not, I repeat NOT where spending cuts get made.  It’s the FAMILIES that pay. Please, please PLEASE, hear and understand this. The cuts could/would include health care, dental, prescriptions (adding copays, or increasing them) child care, vital when BOTH parents must work, because believe me, we are certainly NOT that well paid. I’ve been very lucky these last years to not need work. My kids are older, out of the expensive phase of diapers, bottles, formula, etc. Even MORE vital when husbands are sent to train, to war, or to schools. Even I am looking to start building a resume and work experience.

Educational programs provided through ACS (Army Community Services, which provide job hunting, resume, adjustment to military life, resource gathering, educating new spouses, and many other vital services), Educational programs for dependents, such as the ability to take proctored exams at our Ed Centers, a benefit we already lost at our last post, not to mention sports and activities that help these kids feel like NORMAL kids with all the moving around, family counseling and outreach programs. They may not sound like much to you, but we depend on their availability. Especially when our husbands are away, be it for field time or deployments, or schools.

Think about who these cuts are really going to hurt before you demand them.

Nov 222011
 

The following is a statement from Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta (Source) from my Tumblr.

The failure of the Congressional Supercommittee to reach an agreement on deficit reduction is a setback for the country’s efforts to achieve fiscal responsibility while protecting our national security.  If Congress fails to act over the next year, the Department of Defense will face devastating, automatic, across-the-board cuts that will tear a seam in the nation’s defense.

Despite the danger posed by sequestration, I join the President in his call for Congress to avoid an easy way out of this crisis.  Congress cannot simply turn off the sequester mechanism, but instead must pass deficit reduction at least equal to the $1.2 trillion it was charged to pass under the Budget Control Act.

In my four decades involved with public service, I have never been more concerned about the ability of Congress to forge common-sense solutions to the nation’s pressing problems.  Since becoming Secretary of Defense, I have made it clear that the Department has a responsibility to help the country get its fiscal house in order — and we are doing that.  I have been leading a strategy-driven effort to achieve the more than $450 billion in cuts over 10 years required by the Budget Control Act.  We will move ahead with that plan.

But as Secretary of Defense, my primary responsibility is to protect the security of the nation.  The half-trillion in additional cuts demanded by sequester would lead to a hollow force incapable of sustaining the missions it is assigned.  If implemented, sequester would also jeopardize our ability to provide our troops and their families with the benefits and the support they have been promised. Our troops deserve better, and our nation demands better.

The emphasis in bold, is from my friend Andrea, who added…

 

Emphasis mine. I know a lot of people would applaud further cuts to the defense budget, but what a lot of people don’t understand is that the first things to be cut are not materiel or training. The cuts will first come from benefits and family programs. I know that even though I don’t qualify for MyCAA (educational training for spouses), I regularly use FMWR(Family Morale, Welfare and Recreation) and ACS (Army Community Services) programs to help me just get through the day some days.

This is the part most people don’t realize when they scream for cuts to defense spending. I don’t care what your opinion on the wars is. That is not, I repeat NOT where spending cuts get made.  It’s the FAMILIES that pay. Please, please PLEASE, hear and understand this. The cuts could/would include health care, dental, prescriptions (adding copays, or increasing them) child care, vital when BOTH parents must work, because believe me, we are certainly NOT that well paid. I’ve been very lucky these last years to not need work. My kids are older, out of the expensive phase of diapers, bottles, formula, etc. Even MORE vital when husbands are sent to train, to war, or to schools. Even I am looking to start building a resume and work experience.

Educational programs provided through ACS (Army Community Services, which provide job hunting, resume, adjustment to military life, resource gathering, educating new spouses, and many other vital services), Educational programs for dependents, such as the ability to take proctored exams at our Ed Centers, a benefit we already lost at our last post, not to mention sports and activities that help these kids feel like NORMAL kids with all the moving around, family counseling and outreach programs. They may not sound like much to you, but we depend on their availability. Especially when our husbands are away, be it for field time or deployments, or schools.

Think about who these cuts are really going to hurt before you demand them.

Oct 052011
 

Sooo…we moved to Georgia. Ya’ll knew that. And I haven’t posted anything further about it. So, let’s catch up.

Most important things first, on August 12, we got out of the motel we lived in for a month, and into our house on post. Not a bad wait at all. Hubby brought me to see it the day before we signed. We had trouble finding it at first, but were enjoying looking at the neighborhood when I pointed at one nice, corner lot with a single dwelling unit and said “I want that one!”. He laughed at me and said “yeah good luck with that.”. Turned left, and low and behold “that one” was OUR house. Ha!

HouseFront

IMG_4877

Not bad eh? Now, I’ve never had the fortune to live in a single house, let alone one this nice. We’ve had eight-plexes, duplex, and no this is NOT officer housing. This is NCO housing. Conveniently located right across the road from where he works.

Our furniture and such took two more weeks to be delivered, though we did end up buying new before that, since you know…FLOOR! and our old stuff was about shot. And my Washer/dryer wouldn’t fit in our laundry room since it was a stackable that didn’t UNstack. So we had to replace that too. We got settled in, got the kids in school and, well…Hubby got this…

IMG_4846294175_2423543953960_1412311625_2857099_899019841_n

A 2011 Harley Davidson Fat Bob. He has waited 20 years for his bike, and after 9 years in the army, 2 deployments, and especially that one to Afghanistan…it was more than well deserved. I sustained the first injury…I thought I’d sit on the bike, in my shorts, and bam…exhaust burn. I left skin on the pipes and ended up with a pretty nasty wound. It didn’t look that bad at first as you can see. But I ended up going to the ER when blisters continued forming 2 days later. Ouch. It’s all healed now, and fading fast.

The following Sunday, we had our friends over. We were lucky enough to join two other soldiers he worked with in Washington, and deployed with when we moved here. There’s Tracy and Andy, married couple, and Joe. Andy shows up on his bike, our garage is open so you can see ours too, and thus our first complaint was born. A neighbor complained about the “quality of the company we keep”.  Because of “all the bikes”. Right. All TWO bikes. Mind you, as I mentioned these are all soldiers stationed here. Three guys that worked together, fought together, and lived together for years. All three who are decorated combat veterans.  People are jerks, and THIS is why I make friends far from my neighborhoods. Anyhoo..

Shortly after the house, school started back up for me so I’m buried in Cultural Anthropology, Ethics, Intro to Law, and Art of the Cinema until December 9th. I did however finally decide where I’m going with my education. As I wind up my AA in Letters, Arts, and Sciences I’ll be picking up some prereqs for my next degree program. I’ve decided to get a BA in Psychology, and hopefully after that a Masters. My goal is to work on post, in the future as either a Family Advocacy counselor, or in the Substance Abuse program, or just at the hospital. I’d really like to get involved in working with PTSD patients and their FAMILIES. Maybe by the time I get done with school the military will acknowledge Secondary PTSD and that families suffer through this and need assistance as much as their soldiers. If not, well…guess I’ll become a squeaky wheel.

As for my spare time…what little I have, I’m finding myself enjoying cooking again. Probably because I have a great kitchen now. I’m also finding keeping a house this size clean is a full time job! I’ve also decided to learn to sew, and I’ve started little craft projects from Pinterest that caught my attention. My first completed project was a set of four coasters.

313479_2505536443721_1412311625_2921763_1457672946_n

Gaming has taken a back seat aside from Dragon Age 2, but WoW still remains unattainable. Maybe next xpac, who knows. It just takes more of a time investment than I have.

Oct 052011
 

Sooo…we moved to Georgia. Ya’ll knew that. And I haven’t posted anything further about it. So, let’s catch up.

Most important things first, on August 12, we got out of the motel we lived in for a month, and into our house on post. Not a bad wait at all. Hubby brought me to see it the day before we signed. We had trouble finding it at first, but were enjoying looking at the neighborhood when I pointed at one nice, corner lot with a single dwelling unit and said “I want that one!”. He laughed at me and said “yeah good luck with that.”. Turned left, and low and behold “that one” was OUR house. Ha!

Not bad eh? Now, I’ve never had the fortune to live in a single house, let alone one this nice. We’ve had eight-plexes, duplex, and no this is NOT officer housing. This is NCO housing. Conveniently located right across the road from where he works.

Our furniture and such took two more weeks to be delivered, though we did end up buying new before that, since you know…FLOOR! and our old stuff was about shot. And my Washer/dryer wouldn’t fit in our laundry room since it was a stackable that didn’t UNstack. So we had to replace that too. We got settled in, got the kids in school and, well…Hubby got this…

A 2011 Harley Davidson Fat Bob. He has waited 20 years for his bike, and after 9 years in the army, 2 deployments, and especially that one to Afghanistan…it was more than well deserved. I sustained the first injury…I thought I’d sit on the bike, in my shorts, and bam…exhaust burn. I left skin on the pipes and ended up with a pretty nasty wound. It didn’t look that bad at first as you can see. But I ended up going to the ER when blisters continued forming 2 days later. Ouch. It’s all healed now, and fading fast.

The following Sunday, we had our friends over. We were lucky enough to join two other soldiers he worked with in Washington, and deployed with when we moved here. There’s Tracy and Andy, married couple, and Joe. Andy shows up on his bike, our garage is open so you can see ours too, and thus our first complaint was born. A neighbor complained about the “quality of the company we keep”.  Because of “all the bikes”. Right. All TWO bikes. Mind you, as I mentioned these are all soldiers stationed here. Three guys that worked together, fought together, and lived together for years. All three who are decorated combat veterans.  People are jerks, and THIS is why I make friends far from my neighborhoods. Anyhoo..

Shortly after the house, school started back up for me so I’m buried in Cultural Anthropology, Ethics, Intro to Law, and Art of the Cinema until December 9th. I did however finally decide where I’m going with my education. As I wind up my AA in Letters, Arts, and Sciences I’ll be picking up some prereqs for my next degree program. I’ve decided to get a BA in Psychology, and hopefully after that a Masters. My goal is to work on post, in the future as either a Family Advocacy counselor, or in the Substance Abuse program, or just at the hospital.

I’d really like to get involved in working with PTSD patients and their FAMILIES. Maybe by the time I get done with school the military will acknowledge Secondary PTSD and that families suffer through this and need assistance as much as their soldiers. If not, well…guess I’ll become a squeaky wheel.

As for my spare time…what little I have, I’m finding myself enjoying cooking again. Probably because I have a great kitchen now. I’m also finding keeping a house this size clean is a full time job! I’ve also decided to learn to sew, and I’ve started little craft projects from Pinterest that caught my attention. My first completed project was a set of four coasters.

Gaming has taken a back seat aside from Dragon Age 2, but WoW still remains unattainable. Maybe next xpac, who knows. It just takes more of a time investment than I have.

Aug 022011
 

No, I am not talking about the WoW achievement. We have been in Georgia now for about 2 weeks. We made the trip from Washington in roughly three days. And not D.C, Washington State. Why the rush? Because if it could go wrong it DID go wrong. Let’s start with the Army.

Orders. We couldn’t start the moving process without Orders. He returned hom on June 3rd from Drill Sgt School. He SHOULD have had his official orders in hand by the 17th of June. Yes, he had orders prior, but he needed to post graduation orders. The first set are contingent upon graduation, the officially official orders are cut when that happens. He got the run around for a full month finally getting his orders sometime late in the first week of July. Mind you our report date here in Georgia was July 17.

With orders in hand the process began. And it went well right up until we got movers scheduled.  That didn’t happen until July 8. We figured it would still be ok, we don’t have a lot of stuff, having cleared out tuff we no longer needed or wanted prior to this. The company guy shows up Thursday the 7th and informs us it will take until the 10th. The day we planned to depart. He also informed us that they wouldn’t be working over the weekend so as not to disturb us. Shut the front door I call bullshit! They weren’t going to work the weekend because they don’t work weekends. Don’t pee on my leg and tell me it’s raining buddy, even in Washington I know the difference. We also had a motel room set up. Anyhow, they said they’d start Friday. They dropped off ONE worker to pack. ONE!! We had already gone through and packed most of the house into Rubbermaid totes. It still took her all day and she never finished. In fact, this wonderful moving company didn’t finish until I think the 12th. Which meant he didn’t sign out until the 13th. Oh no wait! Someone in the Army screwed up again and forgot to sign a paper, so make that the 14th.

IMG_4370So, We drove 3,000 miles in 3 days. We stopped long enough to sleep a few hours in Montana, South Dakota, and Missouri. We drove through Washington, Idaho, Montana (gorgeous!), South Dakota, ended up in Minnesota by accident, Iowa, Missouri, Illinois, Kentucky, Tennessee, Alabama, and finally made it to Georgia. Along the way we saw the awful flooding in Iowa and Missouri. Entired farm fields under water. In fact we had to go the long way around as a large part of I-29 was closed due to the water.

The picture to the left shows how close it was to the interstate when we drove through, taken through my window so the quality isn’t my usual. In fact that goes for all my shots since we were in a rush.

I can’t even put into words how it felt to see the flooding. I didn’t know about it, because we seldom watch the news. It put things in perspective though. For 4 years I complained about all the rain in Washington, that’s nothing compared to this.

 

IMG_4368

 

IMG_4374

So we’re here, in a motel. The weather is gorgeous, the heat feels great, and I’ll have more pictures later. I’m thinking it’s about time to visit the pool. Well, when hubby gets back from post anyhow.

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