What's Happening

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May 26th

GRAD WEEK IS HERE.

The family is here, the relatives are almost all here, the time is short until Saturday, and after that hat toss...  Let the games begin.  It's go time and I can't friggin' wait.  I've been playing tour guide since the 'rents and sisters flew in yesterday and it's been great.  It's always a fun time when we're all together.

 

I found out my Mounted (Armor) Officer Basic Course start date has been moved up two whole months so now I'll begin learning how to be a tanker/cav scout on August 1st and graduate December 8th.  Hella sweet.  That means I'll be able to go to Ranger school soon thereafter and we'll see from there.  I'm slated, as of now, to go to the 4th Brigade of the 25th ID at Ft. Richardson, Alaska.  It's a Light Airborne Infantry Brigade so I won't be on a tank or even a Bradley; I'll have Humvees and one of the sweetest jobs in the Army as a Cav Scout.  Ahhh... It's gonna be great.

 

My Trooper is finally back from the shop and in great shape, mechanically speaking.  I still need to fix the bumper and antenna once I get to San Antonio this summer and after that I'm looking at getting rid of it in favor of a much newer Toyota 4-Runner.  We'll see. 

 

This is the last update I'm going to do before I get home this summer so for my loyal readers, I'm terribly sorry.  I'm sure you'll find some other way to entertain yourselves.  Read a book or something.  I recommend Angels & Demons, Thunder Run, Gates of Fire, or any of the writings of Rudyard Kipling.  Good stuff.

 

Hope everyone's doing well.  The next time you hear from me I'll be a commissioned officer. 

-Tom

 

 


 

May 22nd

Now THAT was a great weekend.  Most excellent it was.

After our last final exam Erika and I took off to spend some time together far far outside the gates of WP. 

We saw the new Star Wars movie Thursday night and I have to admit that it was exceptionally good.  I'm man enough to admit that when I was younger I was all into the whole Star Wars thing.  I mean, I had the action figures, I knew the names of the characters, I once even spent an entire Saturday afternoon recording the original Trilogy on our VCR because I hadn't saved up enough allowance money to buy the real deal.  It's cool.  I do believe I've outgrown all that junk, but the movie rocked.  GOOD MOVIE.

I didn't realize this until just tonight when my mother reminded me, but this past Saturday, the 21st of May, was my 7 year anniversary in the Army.  That's right, 7 years ago I was on my way to Basic Training at Ft. Sill, Oklahoma.  Drill Sergeant's Prince and Julianna weren't the nicest dudes in the world, but whatever.  Gotta start somewhere, right?

So that brings us to the rest of the weekend.  Erika and I drove to the Canadian side of Niagara Falls and camped out at a KOA site 3 miles from the falls.  Instead of trying to put into words how incredible it is there, I've made a separate page complete with tons of pictures to check out. 

NIAGARA FALLS

-Tom

 


 

May 18th

Let's see...  Good day today?  I'd say so.

Took the last exam of my college career and did rather well on it.  I am s-m-r-t and soon I'll have the diploma to prove it.

Picked up my new suit  from the tailor.  With the shirts and ties I got It looks REAL good.

Found out my car will be completely done at the mechanic tomorrow and that it's only going to cost me $1000 instead of the $2000+ I was expecting.  On a side note, you should still stay the hell away from Mr. Transmission in Vails Gate.

Got two skydives in with Jason and finally got all the requirements finished for my Class A skydiving license. 

I can now legally jump out of a perfectly good airplane anywhere I want.

I believe I can fly...

 

We had some riots here two nights ago.  Here's a compilation of emails and messages I found that were sent out the next day. 

I am sending this email out as a word of caution.  The last couple nights have seen (and been videoed) some rather inappropriate behavior.  Besides the rather comical, and usually harmless co-ed nakedness, there were reports of fireworks, smoke grenades and other objects being tossed or fired from various barracks.  The Superintendent, Commandant, BTO, RTOs and everyone higher up in my chain of command are aware and taking action.  BLUF is that the next couple weeks will see a lot of TAC presence in the barracks at night, possibly MPs.  Cadets caught doing things that are illegal or against regs could face severe punishment.

The kids in 3rd reg that face the area had to go out in the hall for the last 15 min before taps.  If that's what it takes to keep retards from inciting riots and throwing flaming wreckage out the window and lighting fireworks and setting off smoke grenades and MRE bombs?  Hell yeah, do it.

IMPORTANT:  READ
NO MORE RIOTING…if it continues there will be consequences.  Remember Cigar smoking on the Plain???  And yes…I'm talking about revoking privileges, TEE/Grad Week Privileges.
From now on there will be guards posted in all Sally Ports to stop naked men/women.  You will get caught.  Don't be that guy that damages his ____ b/c he was tackled to the ground. 
There will also be NO throwing of items out of windows.  Circus, this probably doesn't apply to us since we're on the 1st Floor, but it just makes it that much easier for them to track you down.
CDO's- you will be held responsible
Warn your friends.

 

They may be fun to watch, but losing your privileges is SO worth it.  Yep. 

Please don't riot, fokkers.

-Tom

 


 

May 16th

One down, two to go.  Mil-Art is done, but I've got Law and Diplomatic History of Europe coming up.  Easy.

I wish my car was done so I could drive it.  STAY THE HELL AWAY from Mr. Transmission in Vails Gate.  Wow.

I got some more fan mail this weekend.  1LT Neil Prakash, the owner of ARMOR GEDDON, dropped me a line and today the daughter of a '41 Navy grad named Helen Richardson sent me an email.  Very cool.  I guess people are spreading the link to my site around which is pretty cool.  Just please wait till the 28th of May before you send it to my Tac.  Shhh...

 

There's not a whole lot going on here so I do believe it's time for another story. 

Plebe year you don't get out of here very often.  You're only allotted one weekend pass per semester so you have to get creative when you want to leave.  WP has weekend excursions for their different clubs once in awhile and if you're in the club, whether you're a plebe or a firstie, you can go on these trip sections, as they're called.

One day my good buddy Jason approached me and asked if I wanted to go to DC.  I had never been there before so I told him it sounded like a great idea.  He told me to write him a check for $121 dollars for the hotel payable to some guy whose name I don't remember (it was over 3 years ago that this happened) and that we'd be all set to get a ride to DC.  Sounded great to me.  We'd get away from here for the weekend, get to see the Swiss Embassy, the French Embassy, and hang out like somewhat real people instead of sitting in our rooms back at school bored out of our minds.

But, wait.  The only club either one of us was even remotely affiliated with was... oh, wait.  We weren't in any clubs.  How were we supposed to get a ride to DC with a club if we weren't in one?  I asked Jason what the deal was and he smiled and told me he found a way to go with the French Club.  That's all well and good, but, uh... we don't speak French.  We didn't have any intention of someday joining their club.  We were going to sneak into their field trip to DC and screw them if they didn't like it, haha.  I said, "sure, why not?" and gave him the check and we counted down the days until we left.

The morning we were supposed to leave we showed up at CGR in uniform and stood in formation with the rest of the real French club as the Officer in Charge went down the line inspecting uniforms and speaking something other than English to the members of her club.  She got to me and Jason and with a look of confusion on her face:

"Bonjour!  Etes-vous prêt à aller?"

"Uh... Ma'am, I don't speak French."

"Oh.  Well, are you sure you're in the right place?"

"Uh... Well, ma'am, we paid our money to the guy and we're really interested in this club so yes, ma'am, we're in the right place."

"Ok, then.  Let's get going"

Strike one.

Jason and I looked at each other with grins on our face like "what in the hell are we doing?"  Ha, oh well.  We're on our way now.

We got to DC after riding the bus with a bunch of French club geeks and checked into the hotel.  Great, we've already been assigned rooms and he and I are a few floors apart.  Whatever, it's cool.  I can get along with most anyone so I headed to my room and racked out.

The next day we were supposed to meet downstairs at 8:00 to get on busses to head to the different embassies.  We took off and got to the Swiss Embassy and took a little tour and they give us little Swiss Army knives (seriously).  The German club kids were also with us and these kids were having entire conversations in German with the Swiss people.  Cool stuff.

Jason and I got a picture with some super old Swiss dude.

We, the Frenchies, split off from the German kids and went to a ridiculously expensive restaurant.  We sat down, the 12 of us, and this ritzy waiter came out and started speaking, you guessed it, French.  Of course, Jason and I are sitting there with dumb looks on our faces because we have no idea what he's saying, but the rest of the kids are listening intently as he explains the specials and all that.  I just pointed to something and he mumbled, "Oui, monsieur."  Whatever, French dude... 

We sat there trying to be as social as possible, but we weren't really impressing anyone with our complete lack of knowledge about anything French.  The food finally came and the waiter started handing everyone their lunch.  Jason got his and started digging in because we hadn't eaten breakfast and we were ridiculously hungry.  All of a sudden someone at the far end of the table said, "Excuse me, I believe that's mine."  Jason looked up from his half-eaten lunch and saw the kid staring right at him.  My good friend had done the same thing I had and just pointed to something and then didn't realize the waiter had made a mistake when he gave him the wrong dish.  There was a rather lengthy uncomfortable silence as the kid just glared at poor Jason and finally the waiter said he'd get a new dish for the guy.  Hehe, uh... 

Strike two.

We finished lunch, paid the way-overpriced bill, and walked down the street a bit until we came to the French Embassy.  I didn't see what the big deal was, but whatever.  At least we weren't in the barracks back at school.  I just wanted to stay off the radar for the rest of the trip and get back to school without Major Raymond writing us up for sneaking into her trip section.

We took a tour of the embassy and then went into a conference room to receive a briefing from the deputy ambassador from France.  It's a good thing we were sitting in the very front because the guy was ridiculously boring and we had just eaten lunch and, well...  Someone started to get a bit sleepy.  I kept nudging the poor guy to get him to wake up, but after awhile the ambassador dude started to get upset.  Major Raymond got up out of her chair, walked to the front where we were sitting, tapped ole boy on the shoulder and told him to stand in the back of the room if he couldn't stay awake.

Strike three.  We're out.

When the briefing was finally over we didn't say a friggin' word to anyone.  We just followed the crowd around the rest of the day until we got back to the hotel.  Major Raymond was mad as hell, but what could she really do?  I figured we'd be ok as long as nothing else happened so we minded our P's and Q's the rest of the night and that was that.  The next morning we made sure we weren't late getting downstairs and we were pretty much ignored by the rest of the group on the bus ride back. 

We didn't want to be in your stupid French club anyway...

-Tom

 

 


 

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