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These words are my diary screaming out loud

Monday, December 26, 2011

Merry Christmas!

I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas, or if you're not a Christmas celebrator, a wonderful last full weekend of 2011 :)

I'm not one to just post random holiday blogs, but my good friend Gil wrote an awesome post on his blog yesterday, and I wanted to share it. Gil wrote about how he and his wife Lee don't buy each other gifts for Christmas, and how he was explaining it to his kids when he picked them up from their mother's house yesterday. Then he talked about some of the things that he didn't get for Christmas, but that some of his friends (some of whom are also my friends) unfortunately did:
You see, this Christmas, I did not get news about headaches that are result of a brain tumor that requires surgery. I did not get more chemotherapy in an ongoing battle with cancer. This Christmas, I did not get reminded that I will not be sharing the holidays with a child that has passed away. This Christmas, I also did not get an ongoing dramatic saga with an ex-spouse that refuses to take ownership of her actions and act like a responsible adult. I look into my wife’s eyes and remember how this Christmas I was not giving an ongoing and aching tooth that’s required multiple visits to the dentist.
In the end, I look up to heaven and thank God for all the things He didn’t get me for Christmas. And that is the most blessed and humbling gift of all.
Gil has a wonderful way with words, and there's no way I could have said it any better than he did. No, I don't know everyone that he refers to in his post. But I can associate someone with just about all of the examples, as can, I'm willing to bet, most of us. So this Christmas season, I'm thankful for my wonderful family and friends, and for the life I've been so lucky to live.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Decade of Dominance!

For those of you that didn't already hear, Navy beat Army last weekend, 27-21. It was probably the most exciting Army Navy game in years, and just as cold as they always are.

Not too much more to share about the game, just wanted to share some pictures!

President Obama did the coin toss with a Reagan half dollar

Sister and I at the game

Pretty logo

Prisoner Exchange

President Obama is in there somewhere

Jet flyover

Huddle love

Apparently Lee Greenwood is still doing it

Final score!

The Army Chief of Staff. He lost the bet :)

Friday, December 09, 2011

In anticipation of THE football game

The fact that its been 10 years really just hit me.

Well, that's only half true. It hit me the week of 9/11 too. But tonight, watching the From Philadelphia to Fallujah documentary that my local CBS station aired ahead of tomorrow's Army-Navy game, and seeing the footage from that game 10 years ago, my firstie (senior) year, and realizing that I barely remember it, that I barely remember firstie year as a whole, it really hit me. It's been 10 years. It's been a lifetime.

Tomorrow I'm attending the Army-Navy game for the first time since 2002. That year, my other new Ensign friends and I were attending the Surface Warfare Officer School Division Officer Course in Newport, Rhode Island. Those of that were Academy grads were getting our first taste of real life, with help from our ROTC and OCS counterparts. The game that December was at the Meadowlands, just a couple of hours from Newport, so a crowd of us decided to drive down. We had no tickets and no plans, we just wanted to have fun. We were just over a year into this new post 9/11 world, and we still didn't really know what we were getting into.

Fast forward to today. Almost all, save for one or maybe two, of us that went that day have completed our obligations to the military and moved along. I don't think any of us could have had any idea where we'd be now, that we would have lost some of the friends we partied with that day, that we'd still be at war 9 years later.

I'm lying in bed after watching that documentary completely unable to sleep. The footage from Army-Navy 2001 looks so old and grainy. I remember more about the events surrounding the game than the game itself, but more is coming back as I think about it. I think I blocked out much of the fall and early winter of 2001 similar to the way that I blocked out plebe year. There aren't many halts things about that time, so I leave it locked away. For some reason, the documentary tonight stirred up some emotions that I just can't place. Theres some almost misplaced anxiety, some grief, but over what and for whom I can't say.

So for now I'm going to try to sleep and get excited about the only game of the year that matters. I'm going to get up tomorrow, get dressed, and cheer until I'm hoarse for my team from my school to whip the asses of the team from that other Academy, whose alumni I'm proud to call my brothers and sisters at arms.

After the game, of course.