06OCT2011: MSgt Joel Weber

Ramblings of a Deployed Mind
From the confines of Camp Leatherneck

ALMAR/ALFAM/ALFRDS,


Another week in the books and I couldn’t be happier at the moment.  This week fly by because of another round of inspections, this time NATO decided to visit us all the way from Belgium.  After prepping, very little, and allowing NATO to get settled in, we started our inspection at roughly 1400.  By 1800, we were done.  We have prepared so well and had every ready to go, that the three day inspection lasted 4 hours.  If I must say, that’s pretty damn good.  We received glowing remarks as the best Regional Command in theater…I wouldn’t expect anything less and Brian and I are pretty good at what we do.  I’ll give most of the credit to him since he is the Manager and I just supervise.  Either way, we sent them on their merry way the next day with RC(SW) Coins for their troubles.  We are still trying to get to the NATO Schools in Italy though, so we are keeping in close contact with them.  Right now I am scheduled for the end of the month and Brian in December, we don’t think we’ll go due to commitments, so we’re gonna try and get our replacements to take the slots…we are good guys.  The rest of the work week has been just as busy as day one.  Trying to figure out plans of what goes home and to whom and how has been quite a process.  We brought Chris out from DC to take a look at all the work out here and do his inspections and we’ve kept him 2 weeks longer than what we were supposed to.  If he’s nice, we’ll let him go next week sometime… after all the work and processes are complete.  Again, it’s been a productive deployment from our side; we’ve accomplished way more than we set out to and it’s going to benefit the Marine Corps and Afghanistan as a whole when we leave…so we have the right to feel good sometimes, regardless of what people think we do.

I’m a little late in sending this out again this weekend, but I participated in the DANCON MARCH AFGHANISTAN 2011.  It’s supposed to be a 25k march or run with a 20lb to 55lb pack.  The march ended up being 16.5 miles long and I ended up weighing my pack at 51 pounds.  I walked with MGySgt Kirby and we finished in 4 hours and 17 minutes…not to bad to two of the oldest guys in the section.  


MSgt Weber & MGySgt Kirby


The short, but hot shower was nice.  Especially after last Sunday’s marathon and me losing a toe nail this week, I was glad and fortunate to do this one with the Danish.  We are preparing for the December Danish Marathon on Dec 4th, but I believe I’ll only be doing the half Marathon and not the full…my body needs to relax a minute before it rebels.  I know it’s going to be extremely sore tomorrow morning and rightfully so.  We did receive nice medals and certificates for our troubles though.




 Kirstin and Kara had pretty good weeks from what I gathered.  I’m able to talk to Kara after she gets off of school and before her parental units get home.  They are at the Great Wolf Lodge this weekend for Kirstin’s birthday.  I can’t believe my little bird turns 9 on Monday…OMG!!!  SHE TURNS NINE!!!  She is such an awesome little girl and for every one’s information, she seems to be doing great since being put on Remicade.  So far, so good, so that is awesome!  I hope she has.  I’ll say thank you now to those who sent gifts and cards.

A few other important dates this week…our official 8th Month Mark!!  Woot, woot…what more can I say about that!?!?!?!  Probably the holiday most important to me (minus Jesus’ birthday) is the Marine Corps Birthday!  November 10th means a lot to me and it’s more important than my own birthday.  We will be celebrating out here, that’s all I can say.  Us Marines are fanatical about our birthday and that goes out here as well.  Yet another important day is that of Veteran’s Day…enough said with that one.

Well all, another week down and another week starts.  I’m heading to dinner soon, then back to work to watch my Buffalo Bills defeat the NY Jets on the TV.  My Bills have been voted “AFN Game of the Week” 7 of the 9 weeks they’ve been playing…tells ya how many die hard Bills fans are in the service.  Have a good week all!  Happy Birthday to Kirstin and the United States Marine Corps.


MSGT JOEL WEBER
II MEF FWD C6
UNIT 73920
FPO AE 09510-3920

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30OCT2011: MSgt Joel Weber

Ramblings of a Deployed Mind
From the confines of Camp Leatherneck

ALMAR/ALFAM/ALFRDS,

GOOD AFTERNOON FROM CAMP LEATHERNECK, AFGHANISTAN! It’s been quite a morning so far. Today, thousands are running the 36th Marine Corps Marathon in Washington, DC and 380 of us ran our 26.2 miles as part of the Marine Corps Marathon Forward here in the A-Stan.

It was chilly at the start but warmed up very quickly. Since we don’t have 26 miles to run here, we had to do laps of 5 miles around parts of Leatherneck. It was quit a day and I’m glad it’s over, BUT, Brian and I decided to run the 26.2 miles and then proceed to make it a full 30 miles!! Yes, Brian and I ran 30 miles…basically because we’ve both run marathons before and we wanted to go farther. The finishers collected the very same medal that will be given away in DC this morning to the finishers there. I HAD A GREAT TIME and I feel fortunate to have been able to run this Marathon here in Afghanistan!! I’m going to go ahead and rest my feet for a few minutes (hours) and then proceed to head to work. The pain isn’t really there right now, but it will be tomorrow, guaranteed! I ran marathon personal best of 3 hours, 56 minutes. It took another 50 minutes to complete the 30 miles…something I will never do again!

Now, on to work. I hate it…I’m just being real. I believe that my Team and I have been able to do more for the our community than some people will have accomplished in their careers. We have take our jobs to a whole new level, thus making our predecessors job easier as they filter in here. I know that the “pats on the back” will never come, as this is a thankless job in it’s self, but I know we kicked ass! Either way, I’m going to leave this slum in way better shape then when I arrived, just like good Marines should. As for the Marine Corps, someone decided to give us our 100% Tuition Assistance back. I don’t know why the 180 degree decision, but it’s the right one. Too bad we still won’t be able to roll our sleeves; I’d take sleeves over Tuition Assistance.

Kara and Kirstin seem to be doing pretty amazing as well this week. Both are excelling in school and in their respective sports and music classes. Kirstin turns 9 on the 7th, I can’t believe it. It is so crazy how much my little baby has grown up in the last year. I love them both to death!

So, one of the most exciting things we discussed this week was……REDEPLOYMENT. We are almost at the 8 month mark, leaving 4 months to go. We’re discussing when our replacements will be here and when we tentatively plan on leaving this crap hole…all dates will be kept until the end, so no one starts making plans like idiots.

On a bad note, my cousin Kevin is battling cancer and not doing so well. I ask that everyone pray for him and his family. Thank you all!

MSGT JOEL WEBER
II MEF FWD C6
UNIT 73920
FPO AE 09510-3920

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23OCT2011: MSgt Joel Weber

Ramblings of a Deployed Mind
From the confines of Camp Leatherneck

ALMAR/ALFAM/ALFRDS,

Greetings from Camp Leatherneck, Afghanistan!  Another smoking week down and boy did it go.  I was stressed for most of it due to inspections and all that non-sense, but overall my boys performed to the tune of, “DOWNRIGHT AWESOME”.  No no one else in the Marine Corps has overcome some of the obstacles that we have since we’ve been out here.  Minor little administrative discrepancies here and there, but things went very well.  The inspector is being kept out here by my boss due to some issues with another unit…he’s kinda not happy.  The initial request to was keep him for 6 months, lol.  Could you imagine???  Going someone where for three weeks and being told when you landed that you have to now stay 6 months, LOL.  I’d be upset too!  Either way, we’re going to try and get him out of here as soon as we can.  He’s got a few month old baby he needs to get back to and we want our peace and empty desk back and I’m sick of traveling all over this place!  We’ve been moving at the speed of light here.  It’s good on one hand, as it makes time move; it’s bad on the other hand, cause it’s wearing our butts out.  


The weather here has been a little unpredictable.  We had a thunderstorm that knocked our socks off, it rained for one whole day, and its been as cool as 57 degrees here.  I know some of you are saying, “aren’t you glad it’s not in the 130’s and 140’s anymore”…YES, I am.  But to go from the 50s to the 90’s in one day is sick and I don’t like it…so yes, I’m going to complain…HUSH!!  But hey, Halloween is coming!!!!!!!    

Kara and Kirstin seem to be doing great this week.  Kara is very involved in Church and even won some kind of Math contest and won; a $50 gift certificate to Starbucks…that’s my girl!  She says school and violin are going great.  Kirstin has been feeling very well since starting her Remicade, thank God.  She won her soccer game yesterday 2-1 and as the goalie the 2nd quarter, she didn’t allow a goal.  That’s my girl!  Speaking of Kirstin, the Wine Country Take Steps had their Crone’s & Colitis Walk yesterday.  The chapter raised over $13,340 with the “Babes With Bowels” team collecting $1,550 of it.  A BIG SHOUT OUT TO KATIE F for forming the team in Kirstin’s honor!  Kirstin actually help pick the name and the BWB Team had t-shirts and wrist bands made.  The Babes With Bowels team was the 2nd highest in money collect and Katie F was the top individual earner.  Kirstin laughs every time she hears the team name.  Thank you Babes With Bowels and thank you Katie F!!!!!!  You have no idea how much this means to Kirstin and I.    Here is their team page:


So some news on the Marine Corps front this week.  In my opinion, it’s all bad.  Not that it’s enough for the President and Congress to even think about messing with our retirement a few months ago, now our Tuition Assistance has been slashed by 75%.  No longer will recruiters be able to use college and Tuition Assistance as an incentive.  We get $850 a year, or 5 credits.  OK, what school as a class that is other than a 3 or 4 credit class and how much are those credits?!?!?  Seriously?!?!?  And then the Commandant of the Marine Corps decided it was a good idea to wear our cammies, sleeves down…ALL YEAR LONG!!!  Seriously?!?!?  Whatever happened to the Keepers of Tradition and the White Sleeves that the Marine Corps has known for 230 years?!?!?  All gone now and we must march in step like good Marines and go with it.  I’m NOT a fan!  On a good/great note, it’s been passed by the Senate that October 26th is now the National Day of the Deployed!

There have been lot of questions posed to us as what the boys out here want for Christmas.  Well, as most of us aren’t picky, there has been many items listed: air freshers, Doritos (me), Nintendo DSi games, Christmas cookies, Christmas trees/lights/decorations, gum, beef jerky (it’s hunting season), knives (I have no idea why) and even gift certs…whatever.  Anyway, we can’t wait for Christmas to get here, cause that just means it’s another day closer to coming home.  Speaking of coming home…I can’t wait…I’m not sure if I mention that or not.  A little under 5 months and I’m outta here…for a future of uncertainty at this point.  Well, that’s it kids, I hope everyone has a great week.  The Bills have a bye week, so they are playing some other team on TV this week, but GO SABRES! 


MSgt Joel Weber
II MEF FWD C6
Unit 73920
FPO AE 09510-3920

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09OCT2011: MSgt Joel Weber

Ramblings of a Deployed Mind
From the confines of Camp Leatherneck

ALMAR/ALFAM/ALFRDS,

YAY for another week being over and done with and a new week starting. I was severely out and about again this week and didn’t have Internet access for the most part. I know, I know…cry me a river, lol. I’ve been on Osprey’s, Chinooks, and C-130’s…flying all over this forsaken little country. WHEW! I was dirty, tired, cranky, and pissed at all time. I even conducted an authorized inspection and got my ass handed at the end by a CO over VTC…I can’t make this stuff up. Not only did I get chewed, but it got the butt chewed of my Deputy before I even got back to Leatherneck. Gotta love technology! Anyway, the week flew by quickly and that’s what it’s all about.

So my little baby Kirstin got released from the hospital last weekend and got to play in her first soccer game this weekend…and she won!! Woot woot! She enjoyed her week back at school and was very appreciative of all the cards and items that people sent to keep her spirits up! She is an amazingly, positive little girl, but she is also extremely humble for an eight year old. Kara on the other hand has sprouted like a tree, grown a “bubble butt”, and has become a little sassy girl. All the things that you would expect from a pre-teen. Gotta love it 🙂

So the Bills play Philly this week, GO BILLS!

We get to see it tonight too and they are playing the Bills game here for a record third week in a row! Too bad they blew it against lowly Cincinnati. That’s okay, I’ll take a 4-1 record after we beat Philly and Mike Vick this week. Our beloved Buffalo Sabres also started the NHL season in Europe with a big win, 4-1. Tommy Vanek and Jason Pominville are back! Gotta love it.

So it’s going to be a short email this week as I can’t discuss what most of my week consisted of, but I know I’ll be moving around again this week…UGH! But, on the bright side, 7 MONTH MARK LAST WEEK!!! 7 DOWN AND 5 TO GO!!

MSGT JOEL WEBER
II MEF FWD C-6
UNIT 73920
FPO AE 09510-3920

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01OCT2011: MSgt Joel Weber

Ramblings of a Deployed Mind
From the confines of Camp Leatherneck

ALMAR/ALFAM/ALFRDS,

Yep, yep, another week down and closer to freedom! And that ain’t no joke! You sometimes get into a rhythm when it comes to deployments and that’s what everyone is shooting for. You find that “comfort zone” where everything works how it’s supposed to, no big surprises, you handle the fires that come your way….well, NOPE! It’s 7 months in (that’s right, I said 7 months) and we have yet to find that sweet spot. This has most definitely been the craziest deployment ever; chalked full of firsts!

Top Weber

Most of the “firsts” that I’m referring to are specifically related to my job. We have brought systems, networks, and procedures here that are not even yet running stateside. We’ve been able to request support from our Navy breathren and for the most part, they’ve obliged. Without getting into too many specifics, we’re kicking ass in our jobs out here. Over the next 5 weeks we are going to be EXTREMELY busy here. We have two teams on deck at the same time, while still trying to maintain our normal job output, and I’m losing one of my Marines due to the draw down. So now we’re kicking ass, with one less Marine…awesome. Also over the next few weeks, I’ll be travel all over God’s green (mostly tan) earth to our out lying sights to conduct inspections…it keeps getting better, ugh! The only good thing that is going to happen over the next few weeks is that we’re going to be so very busy, that the weeks are going to fly on by, bring us to and past Halloween and into November. That’s a good thing! The most negative thing that has happened is that I’ve had to with drawl from my class at school because of the high operation tempo that we’ve been running at. I’m willing to do the majority of the work, only so that my replacement has an easier time when he comes to replace me. That’s what all this hard work is about.

As most of you know, my little bird Kirstin is still at UNC Children’s Hospital. It’s almost been two weeks now that she’s been there and like always, has the best outlook on life. There was one day that I had talked to her that she didn’t seem to be her upbeat, positive self. I can’t blame her as she’s taking this much better than I probably ever could. She’s been doing her homework regularly, watching her favorite channel, the Food Network, and undergoing all sorts of tests to figure out what can make her better so that she can go home. She is still upset that she’s missed the first two games of her soccer season, but she’s excited that she’ll hopefully make next weeks game. Kara is little social butterfly and I see (more like hear her) grow up before my very eyes. We have long, explicit conversations like grown ups and she’s always telling me how wonderful school and music is going. She’s been very supportive of her little sister and that is extremely awesome. To donate to a Team from California that has chosen to walk in Kirstin’s honor, please go to: http://tinyurl.com/3kv7xpn They have named their team, Babes With Bowels…even Kirstin thought it was funny. So if you’re able to donate, please do, as they are roughly $450 short of their $1,500 goal. This would be greatly appreciated all Kirstin and all others that are affected by Chrone’s & Colitis.

So, I have to say this, “HOW ABOUT THEM BUFFALO BILLS?!?!?!” Finally, for the first time in years, the Bills have an undefeated season (in fact, the only undefeated team in the AFC right now) and we beat the New England Cheaters…I mean New England Patriots. I actually got to see the game here as AFN televised it. I don’t mind staying up to 0100 to see the Bills kick some Patriot ass! Me and a handful of Bills diehards, watched the game in the chow hall and we went nuts…to put it mildly. I now have new friends aboard Camp Leatherneck. I even met a Marine from Cheektowaga and one from Depew/Lancaster.

Other than that, these 13-17 hours days do become tiring. All we are waiting for is for Halloween to come and pass, Thanksgiving to come and pass, Christmas and New Years to come and pass and then we can start gearing up to come home! Also, if anyone wants to provide me with information on where I can get GOOD refurbished MACs or IPhone 4, that would be greatly appreciated! Well, that’s it for this week. I hope everyone has a great week, and GO BILLS!

MSgt Joel Weber
II MEF FWD C6
Unit 73920
FPO AE 09510-3920

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11SEP2011: MSgt Joel Weber

Ramblings of a Deployed Mind
From the confines of Camp Leatherneck
ALMAR/ALFAM/ALFRDS

Yep another week down. Today is Patriot’s Day, a day none of us should EVER forget. 10 years ago a faceless coward, the one we are still fighting, attacked a peaceful nation. I still remember what happened that day. I was living in Iceland at the time, just got there the month prior and was just getting settled in to my new job as Guard Chief of Marine Corps Security Force Company Keflavik, Iceland.

I had a small 30 man platoon with two new squad leaders, a new Commanding Officer, a new Training Chief, and a new Admin Chief…we were all just getting there. I had actually come back from lunch and was sitting in the Admin office going through some files when the clerk said a plain had run into the World Trade. Mind you, we didn’t have any TVs in our small building, only in our Guard Shack in the barracks. Thinking nothing of it, we continued to what we were doing. A little later, with the radio going at that point, the second plane had hit the second World Trade Tower. At that point the Maj (now out here with me as a LtCol) and I had spoken, going through files of what we needed to do if something happened. I had called over to the Post 1 at the Guard Shack and told the Guard Platoon to get on deck with gear. I got the response, “they’re already loaded up waiting on you…we are watching the TV in disbelief”. The CO ran over to me and told me a bomb or something had gone off at the Pentagon and he was calling the Base CO for employment of the Marines. I got over to the Guard Shack, starring at the TV for a few minutes, and gave the Marines direction to employ a barrier plan around the barracks, I wanted nothing to touch us. Within a few hours, we had triple strand c-wire around our complex, a 13 foot high ECP, machine guns in the yard, and Marines standing post. I was called to the base COC to stand up the base defense operations center and stood watch for the first 24 hours. We eventually had to deploy one platoon to Germany to assist with Security, but the Marines acted like Marines and worked 12 hours on, 12 hours off for a few weeks. It was a trying and emotional time for all, no doubt.

How quickly have people forgotten? Look on Facebook and search 9/11 and see how many people are saying, “get over it” or just listen to our liberal media. Firefighters and policeman aren’t being honored as they should, today’s military has become a pawn in a political game, and people have skewed the term “separation between church and state”. As for the events of modern day America, we have changed. I have nothing against religion, just the people that push it. It’s easier to be Muslim now a days, because if you don’t agree, the liberal media attacks you for being a bigot; yet Christians get trashed everyday. The term “separation between church and state” was coined by our fore fathers dictating that the state (federal government) could not push a religion upon it’s nation…NOT that you couldn’t profess/practice/or show your faith as the liberals have put it in today’s society. We need to get America back to being great, where people did not test our resolve due to weak leadership.

Regardless, the week here was busy and fast. Lots of new projects were started and I’m getting ready to leave for Europe next week. I officially went of 472 miles (my goal) this week, two months early, as I had until November 10th. These 5 Fingers have been pretty exciting to run in. We are excited here that the football season has started, so GO BILLS! It’s also Grandparents Day today…so Happy Grandparents Day Mom and Day, I love you!!

My little one was again admitted to the hospital on Saturday and she’s going to be there for a few days again. She was more upset that she missed her teams first soccer game of the season (two years in a row), but she is always in good spirits. I miss that girl so very much and would trade anything to take her pain away. She is back in room 6C-06 at UNC Children’s Hospital at Chapel Hill.

So another week down and next week will be the half way point for me…I can’t wait. I’ll talk to you all next week!

MSGT JOEL WEBER
II MEF FWD C6
UNIT 73920
FPO AE 09510-3920

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24JUL2011 MSgt Joel Weber

Ramblings of a Deployed Mind
From the confines of Camp Leatherneck

ALMAR/ALFAM/ALFNDS,

Another week down in the dirty hood, the A-Stan, The Stan, or as you all call it, Afghanistan. As usual, the busy bee didn’t notice how fast the week went. Overall, I give the week a B+, as it could’ve been worse, but it could have gone better. NATO interrupted our week by coming down and inspecting our little kingdom and left us a “Satisfactory” report…thanks guys! We were called “exceptional” and not in a good way. I took it personal for a second until I realized it was coming from a German Captain and a Turkish civilian… I let it go… because I truly think Americans are exceptional… especially the men and woman out here.

Traveled north to Bagram to have a small pow-wow with my boys from RC (E). They are truly joint in that vault! They have a Soldier, Sailor, and Airman there, while we have all Marines working here. Learned a few things from them and kept up good communications by exchanging ideas. Ran into a few friends up there and ran their Disney 8 mile loop (that didn’t go well at all). Got to visit with my brother for two days, which is always the best and he is doing well. He has two months down with four to go… I’m a tad jealous.

I am prepping to go on R&R soon, so that is HELLA exciting!! I’m flying into NC, driving to my electricity-less home, picking up clothes, attending a BBQ at a friend’s house, putting my truck on a trailer and heading north to get my girls. I can’t wait to see them!!

I must say that as much as there isn’t anything to do at Camp Leatherneck, I’d much rather be here than the other bases that I have to travel to. The comforts and family at your “home” base is a reassuring concept that most people don’t get. When I was at Bagram, I couldn’t wait to get back to Leatherneck. Speaking of Leatherneck, the Marine Corps Marathon has chosen this base to partner up with for its “forward” marathon. So, I’ve already registered for the 2011 Marine Corps Marathon Forward. It is an officially sanctioned event, so all finishers will get an actual medal, shirt, and goodie bag that the MCM will be providing out here. That’s exciting. We will be running on October 30th along with the MCM runners in DC; the USS George Washington has been selected as the 2nd site to run a “forward” Marathon…so congrats to them. Bagram was chosen for last year’s Boston Marathon, so this is quite exciting. We are only allowed 500 runners and we are expecting the spots fill up quickly. I’m assisting our gung-ho Lt that has spear headed this whole evolution. Along with volunteering for that, I’ve also started volunteering on Sunday mornings with church. That has been more awesome than expected.

As I just sent out a Ramblings on Wednesday, this one is going to be short. As everyone knows that I love to talk, I just don’t have anything more to say. Semper fi.

Joel
MSgt/USMC/FOB Leatherneck, AFG

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20JUL2011 MSgt Joel Weber

Ramblings of a Deployed Mind
From the confines of Camp Leatherneck

ALMAR/ALFAM/ALFNDS,

As Slim Shady said, “Guess who’s back, back again!”  That’s two thumbs pointing to this guy!  After a brief, overwhelming, and abrupt stop to my “Ramblings”, I’m back kicking it JVille (deployed) style.  Things in Lejeune FWD (FOB Leatherneck) are going swimmingly.  We are staying busy with no end in sight, but we are at a point where things are becoming a bit more routine.  This is the point of the deployment that is commonly referred to as TOA Hangover.  Things start to drag on…but, there are always new things coming our way here in Afghanistan.  This is the point where you start crossing T’s and dotting I’s.  After my R&R (in just a few weeks) will be the point where you try and make things easier for your replacements.  It’s exciting to me!  How can I make what we do easier and better for the guy coming in to best support the Warfighter?!?!?!  I love this part.

On a sidetrack note, my boys working in the vault got BIG PROPS from the highest of HQ in the Navy world of COMSEC….it’s nice to know someone is paying attention to how hard my boys have been working.  Our job is very technical and to see someone notice and to pat us on the back is a big deal…IT NEVER HAPPENS.  Peoples view on what I and my boys do it this, “you guys sit in a vault and watch movies and sleep all day”….really?  It’s true though, people really think that.  What we do is so behind the scenes it’s crazy…but I tell you what…no one would be doing there jobs safely without us!  Just sayin’….

My little girls seem to be doing well.  Kara has not written in more than two months and barely has anything to say to me on the phone…again, I told her to stop growing up and she has not listened!  Kirstin is going better.  They’ve increased some of her meds and she seems to be doing okay for now…but you could never tell.  Every time I talk to that child, she makes it seem like the world is full of butterflies and candy and that nothing is or ever has been wrong.  She writes me every week or so too…all by herself.  Not to long, I’m going to be spoiling those two little angels of mine!!!! OMG, I CAN’T WAIT!

As we all know, Gen Allen took over all NATO and US Forces in Afghanistan.  That now makes 2 Marines in charge.  Gen Mattis for CENTCOM and Gen Allen for NATO/USFOR-A….watch out Taliban….just saying.

Anyway, I know that this is a mid week email, but they will start coming out on Sundays again.  I missed venting to my friends and family 🙂  Anyway, I love you all.

Joel
MSgt/USMC
FOB Leatherneck, AFG

PS >>>My plug for the week…if you have time/money…I would like to you check out this page.  THEY HAVE BEEN NOTHING SHORT OF AMAZING TO ME!!!  SOLDIERS ANGELS  www.soldiersangels.org

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26JUN2011 MSgt Joel Weber

Ramblings of a Deployed Mind
From the confines of Camp Leatherneck

ALMAR/ALFAM/ALFNDS,

Everyone is going to get sick of hearing this, but this week WENT BY quick as hell. I’m not sure where it went, but it’s gone. It’s another very warm, very bright, and very dusty filled day here in Camp Leatherneck, Afghanistan.

MSGT JOEL D WEBER

Work was work and it kept me busy for the most part. We’ve been trying to trim back our hours, but it just never seems to happen. I partly blame that on my OCD because (if you know me) I can find something to do every second of everyday and it’s not just busy work. I don’t procrastinate and if it can be done now, then we’ll do it now, regardless if I have 12 months to do it…just sayin. Anyway, things are going well and have become routine. We have started to cross all the T’s and dot all the I’s and have begun to make definite and huge improvement for the crew that has to replace us. They will be walking into a modernized, up to date, clean work area.

So Brian, the new Daddy, is back on deck. We were issued our pink cigars upon his arrival and it’s just really nice to have him back. We tried to make his transition back an easy one, but outside sources made his first day back suck…and he was upset his first day back. It’s just part of our job out here, working with other entities…that don’t quit know what they’re doing and it’s our job to be the Marines and to fix things that other lazy people will not. At the end of the day, I go to bed with a clean conscience, knowing that I did all I could for the day. I’m hoping by the time our replacements come out here next year, that they get to walk into an area and pick up all that we do in a few days…we are trying to make it that simple and routine. I know my roomie is on his way out here too, so that’s exciting…high 5’s all around. I gotta give props to my TRUE FRIENDS back home. Dave and Robin said they will be taking care of my house while Joe and I are here…I’m just hoping Joe emptied the fish tank. I’ve also learned this morning that my boy Chongo is in country. This will be a hell of a reunion…good times!!!!

As for school, I am falling behind again. It’s not that I wasn’t trying, but it was just the time thing. So many things have come up that I haven’t been able to truly sit down and knock it out. This will be the last class I take until I return from my R&R; so I think I’ve done pretty well knocking out three course since I’ve been here.

A lot of people have been asking me my thoughts on President Obama’s speech to pull troops from Afghanistan. I tell them to look at history and timing. The man has not done anything he said he was going to do as of yet, why believe him now. My taxes are going up, he’s going to erode military benefits and retirement, troops have not left Iraq (but are going back), and we have more troops over here than you can count. BTW, Libya is going on…..just throwing that out there. It’s just another speech and his words don’t meet the actions. Either way, he is my CINC and I will do as he orders me. I’d like to see all my fellow military members out of here. I think NATO can handle this, just like they have in Balkans and Libya (insert a sense of sarcasm).

So my babies are done with school and attending camps this summer. Kirstin has missed a few due to sickness, but every chance i do get to talk to her, she is in such amazing spirits. She said she really enjoyed the Colitis Walk a few weeks ago and she told me to say THANK YOU to everyone that helped her crush her goal. She reached right under $2,400 for the cause. She made me a candy basket (filled with candy) for Father’s Day. She said I work late and need candy to keep me up….awwww….how sweet. Kara is Kara…and being 11 years old. She talks about Middle School and how she is always so busy doing things, LOL…makes me laugh. I hate saying, “that’s what my parent’s told me”….but it’s true….crazy the Circle of Life, lol.

I haven’t ran much lately due to my back, but a few developments on that side. I criticized Nike last week and low and behold, I win one of their 4,999 spots in the 2012 Chicago Marathon….that is sweet! Also, my new Garmin 610 showed…now back to pacing my runs….thank you Nike and thank you Garmin. We are looking to spend our 4th of July having a good time here…PT gear, hats, and weapons…just like the other services! Should be interesting. We will be on TV, so if you get a chance, try and watching Good Morning America or any of those morning shows on the 4th…you’ll see us 🙂

Anyway, it’s off to church for me (yes, I’m emailing from my room….terrible, lol) and I will talk to everyone next week. If you feel like send a care package….room fresheners are a wonderful item. Dad/Mom = SLEEP Room Spray from Bath & Body Works 🙂 I love you guys!

MSGT JOEL D WEBER
II MEF FWD C6
UNIT 73920
FPO AE 09510-3920

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19JUN2011 MSgt Joel Weber

Ramblings of a Deployed Mind (Father’s Day Edition)
From the confines of Camp Leatherneck

It’s another Sunday in the A-Stan…no it’s not; it’s freaking FATHER’S DAY! HAPPY FATHER’S DAY DAD, I LOVE YOU. You raised a pretty awesome kid in me, if I do say so myself. I got your Father’s Day box by the way…AWESOME!! THANK YOU!! I hope you enjoy your day with your kids! Wait…Chris and I are here, Mike is busy playing Doctor in Delaware and Tammy is fishing in Florida… I guess you’re assed out! Have a good day anyway!

So I got to travel the beautiful countryside again this week and got another few meals in with my kid brother, Chris. He seems to have settled in nicely with the hopeful chance that he gets to move out of his current closet into a bigger one, with a tad more accommodations, such as a place to hang things, internet, etc. It’s always good to see him. Conducted a lot of business with my Army and Air Force counter parts in Bagram, so that’s always good too; keeping up relations with people from other services who dis-like their job as much as me is always comforting. Chris doesn’t know it, but I only come to Bagram to get my coffee fill at Green Bean Coffee…don’t tell him. It’s also very nice to be able to run in 70-80 degree weather, unlike the 90-110’s that we have here…ugh! It is always nice getting back home here…I believe we have the best room accommodations in the RC(SW). Not as good as the Air Forces barracks or anything, but I miss my own room, my blanket, my Bear (Love-a-licious), and just being by myself for 6 hours a day (sleep time).

As most of you know, my little Kirstin-bear was in the emergency room this week. She was in there overnight for some procedures, but apparently she was just an absolute champ about the whole thing! I expect nothing less from my little trooper! I want to also thank ALL OF YOU that helped Kirstin reach her goal of $2,000 for her Chrone’s & Colitis Walk that went yesterday in Raleigh, NC! She ended up raising close to $2,200 because of people that love her! THANK YOU! For those of you that have children with illnesses, you know the helpless feeling of watching your child in pain and most of you would do whatever it takes for them. Kirstin will overcome this and go on to do great things. Her mother stated that they plan on doing this every year and with a different design on the shirt every year. I can’t wait to see my t-shirt, as I’ve been told its being sent here! Again, she is fine right now and thank you for all of you that helped.

So I’m hearing my buddy Brian is on his way back after being delayed in the states. I’m sure leaving your wife and new daughter sucks, but he’ll be in good hands here. I’ll keep him so busy he won’t have time to think about anything else…JUST KIDDING people! We kinda miss him here a little and I miss having someone to run with. Speaking of which…DEAR NIKE, this is the THIRD Nike + that has shit the bed on me in 16 months…FUCK YOU! I can’t wait until my Garmin Forerunner 610 gets here…it’s supposed to do everything but wipe my butt from what I’ve heard.

So we’re about hitting the “routine stage” of the deployment. The food is already becoming the same, we finally have our daily, weekly, monthly schedules down and things are settling down. If there is one thing I hate is being reactive. Proactive is the way to be…why not, I have a year here, why not make it the best for the crew replacing me in 9 months (insert sigh). Besides, I know I’ll have my Master’s plan to keep me freakin busy all year, so maybe I should just relax and go with the flow. So a few weeks back I was given a nickname: Eeyore. Now anyone that knows me, knows that I am not a laid back, tired, draggin’ ass kinda guy…so how I got that one…I’ll never know. So last week, a few of me Brit mates were jabbing on and one said that I remind him of Sid from Ice Age. Seriously?!?! Although I’ll take it over Eeyore any day! Thanks a lot Blokes!

Anyway, I am out of here and will talk to everyone next weekend. BTW, the most requested item of the week: SMALL REFRIGERATORS. For a while they were selling those tiny refrigerators and now they’re not stocking them anymore…first come, first served sucks! They are about $50…anyway, if anyone finds a nice small refrigerator on a website that ships to FPO/APO address, shoot me the website please!!! J Have a great week all!

MSGT JOEL WEBER
II MEF FWD C6
UNIT 73920
FPO AE 09510-3920

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