Sunday, July 29, 2012

"Victory Starts Here!"

Hi, this is Brig.  Just got back from Fort Jackson where when you go onto post, you're greeted with a smile and a "Welcome to Fort Jackson!  Victory starts here!!"

While we were there, the ranges were hot 24/7.  I caught Steve on more than one occasion looking wistfully in the direction of the mortar and machine gun fire.  You know what they say, "You can take the man out of the Army, but ...".  You have to hand it to the men and women who were out there training night and day because it was H-O-T!  If you've ever been in the south in the summertime you know how oppressive the humidity can be.  And instead of the rain bringing relief, it only brought more steam!

Me and the boys (our dogs, Kyle and Charlie) hiked Black Squirrel Trail and saw red-headed wood peckers, Kyle's arch nemesis the squirrel, deer tracks and tons of butterflies.  Is it butterfly season?  Is there such a thing?  They were everywhere.  The best part was listening to the wind blowing through the pines and the sound of the cicadas - very relaxing.  (Yes, even with the explosions in the distance.) =)

We ran into some folks at the campground who Steve had met when he was here prior - Ralph and Billie who we call "The Honeybee People".  We traded one of Steve's books for some local honey they recently harvested from their hives.  And oh yah, it's good!

Before jumping off of here, I did want to mention a gentleman Steve met during his last stop at Fort Stewart - "Philly" Phil Parks.  He is a homeless Vietnam veteran who is an incredible artist.  Philly Phil also has some pretty good worldly advice.  Like - 'don't buy a woman a house just because she gives you a little leg' and 'definitely don't let her keep it when you break up!'.  Good advice I would say for those young, naive troops out there.  The AAFES Exchange has made it possible for Phil to sell his artwork - kudos to them!  And if you're at Ft. Stewart, stop by and check out his work - you won't be sorry!

Please continue to think of our troops and keep them all in your prayers.

There are 10 Green Berets in this photo.  Can you find them? 

Only at a military campsite will you see this. =)

Kyle, looking for squirrel.
Okay, next stop - Fort Gordon!!

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Top Of The Rock!!

Good morning, everyone.  This is Brig, Steve’s wife.  In case you haven’t heard, Steve and I will be traveling across the United States to sell and promote his two books, “The Night Eagles Soared” and “Burnt Yellow and Red”.  The majority of our stops will be at military bases; however, there are a couple of events that are not, and all of them will be posted on his website  I hope if you're in the area, you will come out and see us.  We are starting out in the Southeast and making our way west.  West coast or bust!  What better way to see these great, beautiful United States than to drive and camp along the way!  Our two dogs, Kyle and Charlie, love car rides!  This will be a good one for them.

Until October, Steve is flying solo and he started off the Nationwide Tour yesterday at Fort Stewart – home to the 3rd Infantry Division and 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th Brigade Combat teams, just to name a few, along with many tenant units.  Some of our country’s finest!!  On Steve’s last visit to Fort Stewart he told me about the Warrior Transition Unit that is there.  Some of the wounded soldiers came up to his table and he had the privilege of speaking with them.  When a soldier is wounded on the battlefield, he is whisked out of theater and medivaced to the rear, usually Germany and then onto stateside.  Fort Stewart is one of the locations they come to.  Although necessary, they are now ‘alone’ and separated from their tight knit unit, buddies, and commanders.  As Steve said, “They just wanted some old, fat Sergeant to listen to them and tell them it would be okay”.  Don’t get me wrong, Steve is empathetic, but by no means a ‘coddler’.  On many an occasion he has gone into Sergeant mode and not allowed me to slide down that slippery slope of self-pity, but instead made me pull myself up by my socks and ‘buck up’.  I am grateful and I’m sure he did the same for these young troops.  Me, as a Blue Star mother, the soldiers would have reminded me of my own son and I would have just wanted to hold and baby them.  But that would do them no good.  As Steve has pointed out, they are SOLDIERS.  It is good to listen to them, but they are strong and capable and just need to be reminded of that.

I spoke with Steve on the phone last night and he said that the Special Forces Recruiter had brought his kids to his table.  Apparently, the “recruits” were full of energy, busily touched and inspected everything on the table, and then just as quick, they were gone.  He said they were going to make some fine SF soldiers!  =)

I haven’t gotten to see the campground at Fort Stewart yet, but Steve said that it is quite nice and beautiful.  I can just picture Steve and what he was doing after work last night – a white cotton t-shirt, shorts, a couple of beers in the lawn chair, and relaxing by the lake.  Ahhh, life is good.

I hope you’ll continue to read the posts of our travels and look at the photos of the locations and people we meet along the way.  God bless our troops and our great country!


Monday, July 9, 2012

eBooks Now Available!

Did you know that both of my books are now available through my little online store as eBooks?  That is right!  We have what are Called Digital Down Load Cards.  Great idea and new product from my publisher. It allows readers with eBooks like Kindle or Nook to order directly from the author.  It doesn't get any better than that!