Monday, October 26, 2009

As We Are, At This Moment

This is a series of pictures of the house and yard and some of the animals. Sam wanted a sense of how things have changed since June. I didn't get a good picture of Sebastian, but a glimpse. Some of the chickens are there in their glory.

The first one isn't our house. Mike and Joell cut down four big (50') Silver Oaks that have been messing their yard and dropping limbs for years. Just a picture to show what it looks like without the trees.

The cabana as Wilson lives in it. More to come later.

As Sebastian chills, Annie says, "Goodbye!"

Thursday, October 15, 2009

What's Cookin' at the Garvers?

MREs! That's what! Meals Ready-to-Eat are the modern Army's equivalent of the C-Ration for the former military, and a different version of freeze-dried food for the non military former backpackers. They come with everything you need for sustenance for a meal except with less of the taste.

There was a minor sibling squabble over the MREs Sam sent home. He thought Wilson should eat healthier, so he sent some leftovers. Wilson immediately went to the Reese's Pieces and the FRHs(Flameless Ration Heater), ever the scientist. The FRH is a plastic bag that when water is added heats up and is used to heat, not cook, the MRE or at least some portions. It really works to some extent. Better living through modern chemistry, I guess.

Annie is deciding what to eat for this weekend. Dad was trying to figure out what "hunky eanut utter" was when he realized the bag was folded. The hit today may be the "Nutritious Energy Bar," which brings to mind the question... How nutritious is something if it has to be labeled nutritious?

Sam sent these both for us to try and because he's sending home most of his personal stuff before the next phase. He said these were his dinners and lunches many days during Airborne. They would get off about 5 or later and instead of taking them to the mess hall, the instructors would throw them an MRE and dismiss them. Sam would walk across the street from his barracks and eat at Subway and save the MRE. Sam has other stories he can tell of MREs being traded and thrown at him because the owner didn't want some of it and Sam would eat it.

Sam called Tuesday night after his first day in RIP Holding. He was excited, but reserved. Or maybe that's just Sam. They are being heldover in barracks next to the Ranger barracks for those stationed at Ft. Benning, within the gated Ranger section of Benning. He didn't get to talk to any in RIP now, but did with other Rangers he comes in contact with along the way. He and his class were told stories and given advice about the mind games the instructors will play. One involved a rainy day, when doesn't it rain in Georgia? The class was out on maneuvers in the rain and the instructors set up a tent, built a fire and prepared a meal. They offered the the class a chance to come in get warm and have some food. Two did and were kicked out of RIP.

Sam is excited and knows it will be tough, but to him it's a challenge. He said they cut his hair again and took away his cellphone. He said he would write and send the address. Today is the end of the first of two weeks in RIP Holding, then four weeks of RIP. He shared two new facts. They are starting his class a week earlier so they will be done before Thanksgiving. He also said when they pass RIP they get to request their duty station, though they might not be assigned there. Sam wants out of Georgia and will request Ft. Lewis, Washington.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Red Bull Didn't Do This For Him

Sam got his jump wings yesterday. Of the 5 jumps, 3 were out of a Boeing C-17, which is a HUGE piece of metal and plastic. He said they were lucky to get the chance. Usually only C-130's get used.

We be proud! Hooah!

I'm sure Maureen will write more later.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Sam jumped out of a PLANE.....


More importantly, he landed safely...twice.

He'll jump 3 more times this week if the weather cooperates;
they are predicting thunderstorms for today.
In that case they sit around in their gear all day and watch movies.

That sounds ok to me :)

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Tacky Tourist Day

...and the sad thing is, Steven's students hardly noticed :)