Friday, June 30, 2006

223



I can't wait to do that!
<----------------------

Just a few random things..
Coming to work this morning, I passed a dump truck on my street. It was a Mercedes-Benz truck. Only in Europe would you see a automobile full of trash that is a Mercedes.

If you live in or around Greene County, pick up this week's Lake Oconee News. You may see someone you know on the front!

As of today, there is officially one year left until we leave Germany. We are scheduled to return by 30 June 2007. I better get to doing more traveling!

We're having a work cookout this afternoon at 2. I'm very glad that I don't have to spend the afternoon sitting in this office bored out of my mind. Everyone is supposed to bring their family. Since I don't have any here, Laura & Tally are going to go with me.
The next time I post on here, I'll either be updating Bryan's travel status or saying he's home!!

Thursday, June 29, 2006

222

Bryan made the first part of his trek home yesterday. It was a short trip, but it was the most dangerous so I'm glad it's done. He still has a long way to go. He's on his way though!

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

221

Baumholder remembers two of its fallen soldiers
Ceremony honors comrades killed in Iraq by roadside bomb

By Matt Millham, Stars and Stripes


Two soldiers whose names were called during a roll call at Baumholder, Germany, Tuesday weren’t there to give a reply. The soldiers, members of the Baumholder-based 40th Engineer (Combat) Battalion, had been killed in Iraq earlier this month and were memorialized during a service at their home base.

Sgt. Reyes Ramirez and Cpl. Robert L. Jones died instantly when a roadside bomb hit their vehicle in Ramadi on June 17.

Hundreds of people filled Baumholder’s Good Samaritan Chapel on Tuesday to pay tribute to the fallen soldiers, both of whom were in Iraq for their second tours.

One of Jones’ comrades, Sgt. John P. Goodrow, remembered the Milwaukie, Ore., native as a joker with a compassionate side.

“Even if he had personal issues, he’d put them aside to help you out,” Goodrow said of the 22-year-old Jones.

During their first stint in Iraq with the 40th Engineer Battalion, part of the 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Armored Division, Jones was known for his candor and practical jokes. Goodrow said that if you slept next to Jones, you could expect to come back to your rack to find everything you had turned upside down.

When the unit was called back for a second trip to the desert, Jones thought he had already seen enough of Iraq. Goodrow told the hundreds of people who gathered at the memorial service how some of the unit’s new troops couldn’t wait to get to the war. Jones was less enthusiastic about the prospect of heading back.

“With him, he had already been there,” Goodrow said. “He knew what it was all about. He didn’t want to go back to it.”

Jones made it a point to set the new soldiers straight. War wasn’t fun and games.

When the 40th was told that it was going to provide theater support from Iraq’s relatively innocuous neighbor Kuwait, Jones wasn’t upset. He and many of his comrades were hopeful rumors that the deployment would last just six months were true.

But he was shocked and disappointed when, after almost half a year in Kuwait, the 40th was given the order to head north into Iraq, Goodrow said.

Ramirez, a 23-year-old native of Willis, Texas, also had a lighter side and joked around a lot, but he will most likely be remembered for his strong leadership, Staff Sgt. Michael J. Stewart said. He had known Ramirez since the unit’s first Iraq rotation, and watched Ramirez grow from a regular soldier into a professional noncommissioned officer, he said.

Before the unit headed to Iraq, Ramirez’s skills as a leader were on display when his squad won the Sapper Stakes, a competition that tests the skill and ingenuity of Army engineers, commonly referred to as “sappers.”

“You get lucky and get a great bunch of guys, but he was a great leader, too, and a great teacher,” Goodrow said of Ramirez.

Ramirez was also a family man. While on leave in February he married his girlfriend of a year, Sy, a sergeant who is also a member of the 40th Engineers.

Sy Ramirez is expecting the couple’s first child, a daughter.

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

220

I have 4 matching tires on my car again! Yesterday on my lunch break, I finally went to the German shop where Bryan bought our tires when we got here. The older man who owns the shop was so nice. He came out and looked at my tires and then went to the back to see what he could find. He came out with one of my exact tires. I asked him if I should make an appointment to get it put on, but he offered to do it right then. It turned out that I needed to go on post to get some cash though. He went ahead and took the bad tire out from under my car so he could get the new one ready to put on while I was gone. I went home and got my VAT form (which would save me the 16% tax) and some cash, and went back to the tire shop. I pulled right in and he went to work. He took off my spare and put it back under my car, and then he put the new tire on. All this was done in less than an hour, and I was back to lunch before 1pm. Now I just wish I would have gone there first. Hindsight is always 20/20 though!

Monday, June 26, 2006

219


So much for cleaning. I was hardly at home this weekend, so I didn't get much accomplished in that department. First thing Saturday morning I went to the gym and did an hour on the elliptical. Later on, myself, Pam, Laura, & Tally all went to the lake near Baumholder. I knew it was there, but I had never actually been there. We had a really nice afternoon there and I look forward to going back soon. I told Bryan that I may try to coerce him into going while he's here. I figured he may not be too excited about experiencing the sun and sand. Then he reminded me that if it's 80 degrees here, then that's about 40 degrees less than what he's living in right now! He may be cold if he goes out in just a swimsuit! Anyway, we had fun introducing Tally to the lake. We took the picture above when I finally got brave enough to get all the way in the water.
Sunday I went to church and then spent most of the afternoon at my friend Sara's house. Our other friend Sarah had her 1st wedding anniversary but obviously she wasn't able to celebrate it with her husband. We had lunch and then looked at one another's wedding albums. As we were looking at my album, I was thinking how I can't believe it's already been almost 3 years since Bryan and I were married. I guess time flies when you're having fun! Married life in the Army isn't what most people would consider ideal, but we definitely do the best we can with what we've got. I hope we were able to make Sarah's anniversary special for her and that this will be the only one she has to celebrate separate from her husband.
After I left Sara's I did my weekly trips to the commissary, PX, and Powerzone. Last night was the usual Sunday night dinner and tv at Laura's. I eventually made my way back up to our home and finally to bed!

Friday, June 23, 2006

216

I really hope it's ok if I post this!

In my eyes, my cousin Casey is someone who deserves to have her 'happily ever after'. I recently found out that she is another step closer to that! You could say that it's been a "challenge" for her to get pregnant. She couldn't get me on the phone because of my trip, so I had an email waiting on me when I got to work Monday morning. Casey informed me that she is almost 2 months pregnant!!! As I sat at my computer and read her email, I began to tear up. I can't say how happy I am for her and Mike and how excited I am to have a new cousin (Although I do think I may want to be "Aunt" Cristin!). Bryan and I have been hoping and doing a lot of praying for them. Congratulations to the grandmother to be too!
Casey & Mike ~ I hope everything about this pregnancy and this baby are amazing and wonderful. I know that y'all will be awesome parents!

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

214

Baumholder remembers two soldiers killed in Iraq
By Terry Boyd, Stars and Stripes

BAUMHOLDER, Germany — In Baumholder, the 1st Armored Division community was in mourning once again, remembering Monday two men from Company D, 2nd Brigade, 6th Infantry unit killed last week in Iraq.

“The grief bucket is full,” said Chaplain (Col.) James Brown, during the ceremony, the third in 12 days for Baumholder-based soldiers.

First Lt. Scott McLean Love, 32, of Huntsville, Ala., and Spc. David “Nick” Crombie, 19, of Winnemucca, Nev., were killed Wednesday when a roadside bomb hit their patrol in the insurgent stronghold of Ramadi, west of Baghdad.

In Love, the Army lost an accomplished, seasoned leader and an Arabic-speaking officer, said those who saluted him. Joining the Army after earning a bachelor’s degree in film at Florida State University, Love attended the Defense Language Institute at Monterey, Calif., as a noncommissioned officer. Love could read, write and speak Arabic fluently, said 2nd Lt. Joshua Adelman, 2-6 rear detachment commander, who gave his eulogy.

“Quick to laugh, slow to anger,” the former enlisted soldier had the complete trust and confidence of his NCOs and soldiers, said Adelman. Love was a distinguished honor graduate in his NCO Academy class and went on to get his commission in 2003. As an officer, Love was the kind of leader to be “the first down with the boys breaking track,” working on Abrams fighting vehicles, Adelman said.

In an interview after the ceremony, Adelman quoted Sgt. Jason Welsh, who was wounded in the attack that killed Love and Crombie, and was treated at Landstuhl Regional Medical Center.

“I was chatting with [Welsh] at Landstuhl, and he was reminiscing about times with the platoon leader,” Adelman said. “There was this one time where everything was just going crazy and he was starting to lose it, and he looks over and sees the PL, who is totally calm. And he says, ‘OK, I can be calm too!’”

Crombie, a medic, had spent only a brief time with Company D downrange in Kuwait before being called up in the reserve force to Iraq. But his medic skills had been specifically requested for the mission by Love, “a patrol (Crombie) could have sat out,” said Capt. Daniel Costin, who gave the soldier’s eulogy. “He died knowing we could depend on him.”

“Remember,” Costin concluded, “he was there for [his country] when you needed him most.”

After deploying to Iraq, Crombie sent a letter to his mother, Jennifer Laybourn, explaining how he had saved the life of an Iraqi soldier who had been shot, according to a Yuma (Ariz.) Sun newspaper report. “He admitted he was scared, but it didn’t stop him,” Laybourn was quoted as saying.

The memorial was attended by several hundred people including Maj. Gen, Fred Robinson, 1st AD commander, and Brig. Gen. Michael Tucker, 1st AD assistant division commander-support.

Love is survived by his daughter, Vina Love, and his parents, Robert and Lydia Love, of Huntsville.

Crombie is survived by his mother; his stepfather, Dennis Laybourn; and brother Jason Laybourn, 13, all of Winnemucca, Nev. He is also survived by brother Dan Crombie, 23, of Tucson, Ariz.; and grandparents Lannes and Mary Brock of Yuma.

Crombie will be buried in Arlington National Cemetery in Virginia.

The units listed in the article are incorrect. 1LT Love was assigned to B Company, 2-6 IN, and PV2 Crombie was assigned to HHC 1-35 AR.
Here are more articles about them.

PV2 "Nick" Crombie
1LT Scott Love

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

213


Ain't it pretty!?!

I put some more pictures from the Italy trip online. They're in the June section at
http://cristin.fotopic.net

Monday, June 19, 2006

212

Last night I got back from a 4 day trip to Italy. This picture is from Pisa. I wasn't trying to imitate the leaning tower with my head, I was just being silly. We basically spent 2 days driving and 2 days there. We stayed at Camp Darby, which is a small military installation. We went to the beach in the neighboring town of Terrenia. The towns in the area were very small but I enjoyed that and hope Bryan & I may be able to go back next year. The drive was an adventure since we had 4 adults and a baby in a 5 person car, but the beautiful scenery made it worthwhile. In 4 days I stood on the coast of Italy and in the middle of the Alps and saw everything in between. I hope to have more pictures online soon.

Somehow my tire issue made it's way to some important people in AAFES, which is who manages the car center on post. I never made a complaint so I don't know how that happened. Someone called me on Friday to see how they could "help" me. Now they want to see if they can get the tire I need. Obviously, after everything that happened I'm not about to give them my business again so easily. I will listen to what they have to say though.

It's now official (although I'll never say 'definite' when referring to the Army) that Bryan should be here in around 2 weeks. I'm so excited but at the same time I'm trying to keep my mind off of it so that the days don't drag by too slowly. He will probably leave again before our anniversary (which is a month from today!) but I can deal with that. Having 14 days together will be more than enough to keep me happy.

Friday, June 09, 2006

202

This is a long tire story.
Two weeks ago I took my Explorer in to the car care center on post to get an oil change. Shortly after getting my car back, I heard a clicking sound that seemed to be coming from the front drivers side tire. I didn't think much about it, but after mentioning it to Laura, she suggested that it may be a nail. I looked and sure enough, I had a nail in my tire.
I scheduled another appointment at the car care center to get the nail removed and the tire plugged. I dropped my car off there at 1200. At around 1315, they told me that the tire could not be repaired because it was on the side of the tire/edge of the tread rather than in the tread. Apparently it takes an hour and 15 minutes to look at a nail in a tire and determine that?!? As a result, I was late getting back to work and had to take leave for that. However, I digress. The employee at the car care center informed me that I would need to get a whole new tire. The mechanic went to look at my tire again to see if they had that size in stock. They did, so I scheduled yet another appointment to have my tire replaced.
I continued to drive my car up until Monday, but then I thought it looked a little flatter so I decided not to drive it anymore until I could get the tire replaced. I spent Tuesday, Wednesday, and part of Thursday walking wherever I needed to go.
Thursday morning I dropped my car off around 0630. Chris, from the car care center called me around 0830 to inform me that the tire they were putting on wasn't going to match the parallel tire, so I needed to get 2 new tires. Apparently it is against the law in Germany to have mixed tires. Since we hope to get rid of the Explorer within the year, I adamantly told him that I only wanted one tire. First he refused, but then they agreed to do it if I would sign that I knew mixed tires aren't allowed but I only wanted one anyway. We got off the phone and after thinking about it some more, I called Chris back and told him to not do anything and I would contact him within the hour. Bryan agreed that I should just get the one tire, but I also talked about it with my boss when I got to work. Chief suggested that I just get my spare put on and try to find a tire that matches the other 3 in the meantime. I thought that was a good idea.
I rode over to the car care center and when I arrived they had already put the new tire on. I told Chris that I didn't want any of their tires, just the spare put on. He tried to argue with me about it, but finally agreed and said my car would be ready at 12.
Laura dropped me off at 12 during my lunch break. My car was parked out front and I noticed that it looked like the spare was still under my car. I walked in and asked Chris what they did, but he just mumbled a lot and never gave me a straight answer. It finally came out that they had put my damaged tire back on rather than the spare! Chris told me that I would have to wait for it to be corrected because the mechanics were on lunch. I was very upset by this point and informed him that I was on my lunch break too and needed my car back. I ended up waiting quite a while regardless. Finally, I got my explorer back and it has one mismatched tire. I'm driving with illegal tires, but at least the only driving I do is the short trip back and forth to work everyday. I absolutely refuse to do business with the AAFES Car Care center here now.
I have been online looking for my tire but for some reason I can't find it anywhere. If anyone comes across any Tacoma Trail TE tires made by Firestone, please let me know! ;)

Thursday, June 08, 2006

201



Brazoria County soldier dies in Iraq


By RICHARD STEWART
Copyright 2006 Houston Chronicle

ANGLETON - Army Pfc. Brett Tribble, who would have turned 21 next month, telephoned his mother after arriving in Iraq last week and told her he was not afraid of his new combat assignment. "I'm here to do what I'm trained to do," he said.

Friday afternoon he was injured when a home made bomb blasted the humvee he and and three other soldiers were in on a road near Ar Ramadi. He was the gunner, the most exposed member of the team. He was rushed to nearby medical facilities, but on Saturday he died.

"He was my hero," his mother, Tracy Tribble, of Lake Jackson said.

Today, she and other family members went to Palms Funeral Home to make arrangements for the services for the young man who earned the nickname "Lightnin'" when he played youth football because he could run so fast.

They remembered him as a youth who loved to hunt and fish and play sports, who loved his younger brothers and his family. Most of all, they said, he was proud to be a soldier.

Tribble had found maturity and a purpose in life in the Army, his family said. "He loved it," said his father, Alan Tribble, of Angleton.

"He was only 20, but he was a very mature 20," his mother said. "When you talked to him, you would have thought he was in his 30's."

"He joined up on his own," his father said. "He didn't tell anybody else he was going to do it."

The young soldier had gone through some trouble as a youth, his family said. He'd dropped out of school. But then he'd gotten his GED diploma. He tried working at local chemical plants, but never had found anything he liked

"He wasn't lazy," his mother said. "He just couldn't find anything that interested him."

In January, 2005, he joined the Army, and found a life that he loved.

Later that year he was sent to Baumholder, Germany as part of the Army's 2nd Battalion, 6th Infantry Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team.

"He said it was like going to the gym and getting paid for it," his mother said.

He had planned to come home on leave in late July and be in Brazoria County for his 21st birthday, his family said, but orders to the Mid-East dashed those plans.

First he was sent to Kuwait for more training and then, a week before he died, he arrived in Iraq.

"He was where he wanted to be," his mother said.

The time of the services are still pending. They will be at Community Baptist Church in Danbury under the direction of Palms Funeral Home in Angleton. Burial will be in the Danbury Cemetery.

Besides his parents, Tribble is survived by his son, Blaine Alan Tribble, of Lake Jackson; younger brothers Clint and Bodie Tribble of Lake Jackson; stepmother Janet Tribble of Angleton; grandparents Sissy Bogema of Danbury, Artist Tribble of Angleton and Roger and Charlene Blackwell of Angleton.

Not long after the military came to tell his father about Tribble's death, word about it started spreading around the small community where he lives on a bayou near Angleton. Neighbors began to bring food and condolences.

One friend brought several flags, Alan Tribble said, including one that bears the insignia of all the branches of the U.S. military.

"All gave some," words on that flag said. "Some gave all."

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

200

Get the tissues:

An Army Wife

 

When the person you love is far away for months on end, when his body is beyond your reach and you can't hold him and smell him and be reminded of his realness, when he blurs in your mind like a ghost, then each day you must dream him back to life.  But each time you recreate him, you change him a little.  You fill in the blank spots.  Sometimes you fill in his outline with the details of his own best nature, the person he could be, his finer qualities taking up all the space his annoying habits and human failings used to inhabit.  And you fall in love all over again.

- excerpt from While They're at War

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

199

This is great! Watch it!.


"Some people are always grumbling because roses have thorns. I am thankful that thorns have roses."
– Jean-Baptiste Alphonse Karr

Monday, June 05, 2006

198

Bryan called yesterday with some bad news and some good news. The bad news was very insignificant and just related to some work he had to do. The good news is it looks like he will be getting R&R next month after all!! I will remain a little skeptical until I hear that he's actually on the way, but I am SOOO excited.

Thursday, June 01, 2006

I like this quote

"Happiness always looks small while you hold it in your hands, but let it go, and you learn at once how big and precious it is."
– Aleksei Peshkov

194

Yesterday I went to the memorial service for CPT DiCenzo and SPC Blair. Once again, it was a very nice memorial.
We were given information and addresses if we would like to do anything for the families. I have mailing addresses where cards can be sent for both the DiCenzo and Blair families, but to protect their privacy I won't list them here. If anyone would like them, you can email me at cs3110@aol.com

The DiCenzo family has set up a fund to help kids attend outdoor or sports camps who otherwise may not be able to afford to do so. They have asked that contributions be made to this fund in lieu of flowers. Contributions can be sent to:
Doug DiCenzo Camp Fund
c/o Plymouth Elementary School
43 Old Ward Bridge Road
Plymouth, NH 03264

The family of CPL Antoine McKinzie, who was killed in action in March, has also set up a scholarship fund in his memory. This fund will help students with learning disabilities from McKinzie's high school to attend college. Donations for this fund can be sent to:
MSD of Pike Township
Attention: Antoine J. McKinzie Fund
6901 Zionsville Road
Indianapolis, Indiana 46268.