11 November 2010

Thank you.

Have you ever been out somewhere and spotted someone in a military uniform? Whether it be in a restaurant or a grocery store? Have you thought about going up to them and thanking them for their service?

I cannot begin to express just how good it feels to hear a total stranger thank me for what I am doing on a day-to-day basis. When I was stationed in North Carolina, I heard it at least once a week. Since I've been here in California since October 2006, I've heard it twice. I understand that this state is very liberal and that northern California has even made headlines about their feelings towards the military, but damn. Where would you be if 1.3% of the American population didn't volunteer to serve you?

Yes, the military has steered away from calling us service men and women and we are no longer joining "the service" but rather the military and the specific branch that we have chosen to sign up for, but the majority of us that did sign up to join the military are proud to be serving our country.

Whether you support the war or just support the troops, if you see someone in uniform, it doesn't hurt to simply say thank you.

This veteran's day, I'd like to share with you what POW/MIA bracelets are.

They started off in the 1970s by a group of college students that wanted to remember the POW/MIA soldiers during the Vietnam War. People wear them now to keep the memory of those POW/MIA alive and the hope that their bodies may soon be recovered and returned to their families all these years after. Servicemen from WWI, WWII, and the Vietnam War, the name, rank, and date MIA is engraved on a bracelet and usually worn until they return.

Army SGT Gregory A. Antunano was an observer on an OH6A "Loach" observer helicopter. On July 24, 1971, his helicopter was shot down in Cambodia by enemy fire while they were on a recon mission. The other two crewmembers on the plane were still alive when the helicopter went down. SGT Antunano was already believed to be dead. A rescue team came in to help the crew evacuate the area. The gunner, SP4 Dalton stopped breathing and was pronounced dead. That left the pilot as the sole survivor of the helicopter crash. Enemy soldiers started to enter the area and the rescue team and the pilot left the area, leaving Antunano's and Dalton's bodies behind. They were never recovered and are still missing today. Because their remains were left on enemy soil and not found, they are listed as MIA.

SGT Gregory Antunano was only 22 years old when he died. His home of record was San Francisco, CA. He was a member of Troop A, 3rd Squadron, 17th Calvary (Air Calvary), 12th Aviation Group. I wear his bracelet in memory and in honor of him and his service.

memorial bracelet

Happy veteran's day. I leave you with a painting that touches my heart and always brings me to tears when I see it.

Reflections by Lee Teter

06 November 2010

Enough to make me...

want to switch occupations. Sebastian is finally here. He made his debut a whole 9 days passed his due date on October 18th at 1741. It was a semi-difficult labor that ended with a last minute c-section since his huge head wouldn't come down any further down the birth canal.

I haven't worked since the end of September and I'm on maternity leave until December. I plan on taking additional time off after a couple weeks of work to help accommodate my troops to take time off during Christmas. With our baby boy finally here, I wish that I was saying that I wasn't going back to work. I've mentioned before that I have changed my main goal in life and will hopefully be able to separate from the military. Boy, do I wish I had pushed the button with this pregnancy.

Having Sebastian here has only confirmed my feelings about being a SAHM or a WAHM. It's funny because if anyone told me in high school or as I was starting out in Air Force that my views would change by the time I hit twenty-five and that I'd want to be a SAHM to take care of my family and household and have a big family (more than two kids), I would say you were crazy. Here I am, twenty-seven years old, and I am content with not working another day-outside of our home. Gone are my desires to retire after 20 years or more in the military, I no longer want to strive to go as far as I can up the ranks, and I wish even more that cost of living in this state was reasonable enough that I didn't have to put the uniform back on and worry about pumping at work.


Alas, I'll enjoy my time off with my son while it lasts. When I go back to work and he has to go to daycare, I will suck it up and put on my uniform and put my 100% into my job while missing him. Hopefully soon, in the not-so-distant future, I'll be able to push the button and just stay at home.