Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Honouring the heroes

I just watched a report on BBC World news on the repatriation of eight young soldiers, all killed in Afghanistan on the same day. In contrast to our own secretive and exclusionary arrivals at Dover, the arrivals were filmed, in silence, the only sound was a trumpet call and the slow march of the bearers. The families were not filmed. They then had a private service at a private chapel, and all eight hearses set off from the base. They were escorted by police and the route was lined, through the town of Wooten Bassett all the way to Oxford. The town shut down. All the way to Oxford, the route was lined with veterans groups, families, strangers and friends. Flags were dipped as the hearses passed, veterans and current soldiers saluted, children stood with their hands over their hearts and roses were flung to land on the hearses and the road before them.

The entire country paid respect to those young men, to their families, to their Regiments. Respect. No paparazzi dashed forward to take pictures of the widows, no disrespect or protesters were seen. Dignity and respect, sadness and loss were the only emotions I saw on the faces of those standing on the route. As it should be.


Monday, July 06, 2009

Now THAT was quite a weekend!

Three days of fun, fireworks of all sorts, low humidity and high drama - quite a weekend.

I was lucky enough to be invited to a friend's apartment in Rosslyn, with the most amazing view of DC and the Maryland suburbs and down the Potomac to the airport. The river was packed with boats, the roads were shut down and huge groups of people clustered on the bridges and through Arlington Cemetery and clambered on the Iwo Jima Marine Memorial. The fireworks were fantastic! and watching them burst over the Washington Memorial and the Capitol... amazing! We turned up the music on the TV coverage, after all, what are fireworks without Souza! The trip home was the usual in DC after an event. I waited for about 45 minutes (when the flow of people had backed off to a trickle coming off the bridges and Arlington) and went to the Rosslyn station. And then I waited another hour, but not on the platform, that was way too crowded and dangerous. It looked a little bit like pictures we have seen of Tokyo, people trying to shove onto already crowded trains! but the system was working, and I got home safe and sound.

R&R aka Mid Tour Leave is coming up fast. The suitcase is up in the bedroom and I've started prepacking, pulling together what I think I want to take, pulling together what Chief wants me to bring,(yes, dear, I have the recharger for the camera) The cat met his new friend, who will be staying with him and took to her immediately, plunked himself in her lap and proceeded to demand her attention. That's a plus, having him content with her and not hiding under the futon which is his usual station when meeting new people.

The house disaster is coming together, my handyguy is a miracle worker, got the paint off the kitchen cupboards and spent at least 30 hours sanding the paint off the wood throughout the house. A realtor we had been talking to about listing has said he wants to now that a couple of things have been done or are being done, so keep the fingers Xed. We have renters, who will be moving in at the end of the month, wish us luck there too. The best part? The insurance company is 99.9% certain they are paying for the repairs, which is a HUGE weight off our shoulders and means that we can take our MidTour Leave.

Not to say there hasn't been drama - after all, this is MY life, so there HAS to be drama! The caretaker drama has kept me awake, reduced me to tears more than once, and I've chosen to back off, to respond strictly in a professional manner and refuse to respond and feed the circus.

The Palin drama was and is a feast for anyone on the Internet, that rambling wreck of a "speech" (I put it in quotes, because speeches are usually understandable, and I've heard it at least 6 times in it's entirety, but I still cannot figure out what the hell she said!) and her ongoing "what do you mean you don't understand, you are picking on me, leave me alone/pay attention to me" blathering - well y'all, I just shake my head in amazement.

Hope your weekend was a good one, if you were spending it without your loved one because of deployment or other duty, I hope you had good friends to spend it with.


Friday, July 03, 2009


She is quitting, Sarah Palin is Quitting! If she can't handle being governor, how the hell would she handle being in National Politics?? oh, this is so bizarre, so absolutely her way of doing things... Bye bye, Alaska Barbie.