Saturday, May 29, 2010
I haven’t blogged since leaving Ft Jackson so this will be a long one.
I guess the best way to write this blog will be to talk about four different aspects of the last month – moving, Hawaii, my unit and family
We arrived in Hawaii on the 13th of April – after having a one day delay at the airport for a broken plane. The Schofield Inn was nice but it was a hotel and living out of luggage and eating out for a month has been tiresome to say the least. We immediately went to housing and were told of a long wait for a house but thankfully they worked with us due to Cody’s Crohns disease and his need for a better diet. Last week we finally moved into our house here on post. It is a four bedroom with a great living room and an outdoor patio that fits us very well. Our household goods arrived on the 19th and we now have about two boxes left to unpack, still have pictures to hang and we need at least one more window AC unit.
Hawaii is beautiful! We have fallen in love with the North Shore and all the beaches up there. Waikiki is nice but a little too commercial for us. We plan on getting in some surfing lessons before I leave. The mountains along Schofield are amazingly beautiful and most days we have a few clouds enveloping the peak of one of them and we have come to call this King Kong’s mountain since it looks so ominous. The water surround Oahu is bluer than any ocean I have ever seen and as we drive down towards the North Shore it is hard to tell where the water ends and the sky begins.
My unit, 2nd Squadron 14th Cavalry (2-14Cav) is part of the 2nd Styker Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division. Being in a Cavalry unit is great, full of old traditions and unit pride. We wear Stetsons at least once a week; those that have earned their spurs (either gold ones by deploying or silver ones by completing a spur ride) wear them as well and Denise has been awarded the "Order of the Garter". We have done three changes of command ceremonies since I got here, during these the commanders pass the unit saber between them as well as the guidon. We also do a saber ceremony that morning, this is a like a roast of the outgoing commander. We have also done a marriage retreat and a single Soldier retreat – both in Waikiki. We are now on two weeks of block leave in preparation for our deployment to Iraq at the end of the month.
Denise and Cody have been great through all this transition and Nicole is here now for a few months. Tripler Army Medical Center has been an wonderful blessing for Cody’s Crohn’s and his doctors there are very warm and receptive to our concerns.
As the days countdown to our deployment our anxiety increases a bit but I know our family love is strong and God’s grace is powerful. It will be a long year in the sandbox and we are all not quite sure of how the mission will be in Iraq. Can’t say much on public posting like this but our squadron will be pretty remote from everyone else and we will be sitting about 30 miles from another unfriendly country’s border. I know God placed us here for a reason and we are ready to respond.
Posted by Jim Mitchem at 9:04 AM