Promotion Ceremony

I had the pleasure of attending a promotion ceremony by the Berlin Wall memorial outside my office this afternoon, and snapped this pic five seconds before my phone died. I enjoy attending events like this. Military tradition and honoring a person’s accomplishments … it’s a good mix. Congrats to Col. C!!! It’s a privilege to work with you.

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Chit Chat about Basic Training

Photo during my basic training in February 2000.

I started my morning yesterday with coffee and chit-chat with my coworker’s daughter, who is heading to Air Force basic training in a few weeks. We did the math: she was THREE WEEKS OLD when I arrived at Lackland AFB back in January 2000. I must seem ancient to her, but I like to think my advice is timeless. What an exciting time for this young lady!

I told her to be wise in choosing a battle buddy, and later, good mentors. Seek out those who are level-headed, optimistic, and genuine.

It’s pretty crazy to think that the people I went thru basic training with … if they are still in the service, they are probably thinking of retiring in the very near future. Isn’t that crazy?


My Encounter with the Glenns

DOD photo from Dec. 17, 2000,  by Linda D. Kozaryn

John Glenn passed away last week.  In December 2000, he and his wife Annie visited Ramstein Air Base, Germany as part of a USO show with then-Secretary of Defense William Cohen, as shown in this DOD photo. I was a brand-new public affairs Airman at Ramstein, tasked with writing about the show for the base paper.

For most of the show, I was back stage, standing next to this tiny, older woman, chatting up a storm about Ohio and Cincinnati, not realizing WHO I was talking to until someone came up to her in a panic, saying, “Mrs. Glenn, you are supposed to be in the DV lounge! You’ll be more comfortable there. Why don’t you come with me?”

And she said, “No, no! I’m having a delightful conversation with this Ohio girl here. I’m staying here.” Continue reading

Bunker of Memories

We spent the morning at the museum dedicated to the former Bundeswehr Kaserne. It is kept in the basement of the hotel, which was a former training barracks. We had the whole place to ourselves, and Martin was free to read the old manuals, books, and albums. The Kaserne was here from 1962 to 2004, and they had items from every decade. Martin found photos of his former chain of command, and the unit’s yearbook. We also went down into the old bunkers, which were prepped and ready for a Cold War invasion.

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Flashback Friday: Reporting from the Triangle of Death

[dropcap style=”color: #9b9b9b;”]I[/dropcap]n many ways, it seems like a complete lifetime ago. But all it takes is a blink to return to that summer in 2007 when I was deployed to Iraq with some of the most incredible people I’ve ever known.

Eight years ago this week, I landed in Baghdad with JV and JB for our second trip through Iraq.  We all know what happened there.  Yet my experience in Iraq was definitely more than that one incident.

I hate reading about what is going on in Iraq these days. I have little interest in the politicians changing their tune about it all in accordance to the election seasons. It doesn’t bother me as people dissect the purpose and role the United States played in that part of the world. I feel such a disconnection from all that chatter.

But when it comes to my memories, to the things I saw happening there, and especially when I remember the people I met and served alongside over there, I remember everything clear as day and remain proud for having been there among them.

And I also remain so grateful to have made it back, to be here eight years later and remember.

You can read this week’s Flashback Friday post HERE.

Memorial Day in France

Memorial Day is an American holiday meant to honor those who made the ultimate sacrifice in defense of our countryWhile living in DC, we regularly visited Arlington Cemetery to pay our respects. Now, we have the ability to visit one of the many American cemeteries over here in Europe.

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