Tuesday, September 27, 2011

A Thousand Words

This is the face of a boy missing his father so much it hurts my heart.

He sat there forever just staring at that photo.  I asked him what he was thinking about and he said he just like to think about Dad and remember him.  I think my heart just broke.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Army NTC

Gunnar is spending the month over at Ft Irwin California in the National Training Center (NTC).  It's designed to be sort of a mini-Afghanistan to simulate what a deployment would be like.  It's hot and in the desert and they have a mock village set up and battles etc.  His unit gives us cheerful Facebook updates so we know they are all doing well and working hard.  Here's the link if you want to read one for yourself. 

The only problem is that it's all bullshit.

They aren't doing fine.  They are sick, sunburned and shitting in buckets.  They don't have enough facilities for the number of people that are there.  They aren't being fed for days at a time. 

This is worse than a deployment.  It cost $22,000,000 to send the guys there.  This is the National Training Center and this is the best they can do.  Seriously? 

I certainly don't appreciate being lied to, especially by my husband's employer.  I'm not big into conspiracy theories either, but it's a fair warning to say that you shouldn't believe everything (or sometimes anything) that you read.  I've been able to get only bits and pieces of info since Gunnar's been over there but hopefully he'll be able to give me the full picture when he gets his phone back.  All of the soldiers had to turn in their phones over a week ago and aren't able to communicate with their families. 

The purpose of this training is to make the soldiers ready for a deployment to Afghanistan.  I'd just like to point out that soldiers that have already been to Afghanistan do not benefit from being treated like shit stateside.  They certainly haven't forgotten what it was like to be out in the desert fighting.  Gunnar was deployed already without any of this fancy desert training so it's not an actual requirement before a soldier is deployed. Not feeding people or not giving them places to poop doesn't build a team, or teach them a damn thing.  It breaks down their motivation and their spirit.  Is that what we really want to do to the people we send to war?  I am realizing more and more that while I still support our troops, I have very little support for most of their leadership.  This stuff is pissing me off.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Fayetteville, NC: A Photo Tour

I spent some time a few weeks ago snapping some photos in and around Fayetteville, NC.  It's the "city" most closest to Ft. Bragg and where you go for Applebee's, Chili's, Target and not a whole lot more.  It has a disproportionate amount of tattoo shops, strip clubs and pawn shops.  More than I've ever seen in my life.  And obviously, the only way to set your aforementioned business apart from the others is with an extra catchy name.  Here's some of my favorites.

One of the gates to enter/exit Ft Bragg

One of the bridges at the Cape Fear River Trail.  Beautiful.

I'd just like to point out that it's virtually impossible to read street signs that are BROWN and in between bright lights.  No wonder it took me a year to find my way around here.

Another entrance/exit gate.

Leftover tornado wreckage.

Lots of businesses were flattened and the piles of debris are still there.

The Pearl Necklace.  Awesome.

It is located directly beside a fantastic sandwich shop that makes one of the best cheesesteaks I've ever had.

Balla World.  I believe they do haircuts there.

"Men's Fashion, Scooters, Phones, Ladies Fashion".  One stop shopping at it's best.  In an old gas station.

Sonny's Gold Teeth.

The sign on the door reads "Solicitors will be shot on site".  Sounds serious.

I just thought this was a cute anti driving and texting message.

Downtown Fayetteville, one of the more appealing sites around here.

Bottom's Up.  The name says it all.

Sharky's.  They have military discounts and you can still smoke there.

"Shady Lady" What a great name for a strip club! 

Another gem:  "30/30 Grown & Sexy".  Obviously geared toward a more mature crowd.

I think this is a car dealership.  All I know is it's really strange-looking.

"Knokkers".  Very Kreative.

The previous four photos comprise this whole strip club plaza.  Interestingly enough, soldiers are banned from most that you see here.  They have an approved list of places to go.  Really.

It's the Tramp Stamp Studio tattoo shop!  Who would ever go to a place with a name like that???!!!

Getting Jiggy wit it.

That's right, Dirty South.

I hope you enjoyed your tour of Fayetteville as much as I did.