Friday, May 27, 2011

Squadron Change of Command

I went to the Havoc troop change of command ceremony a few months back and it was not at all decked out like it was for the squadron commanding officer change of command that happened yesterday. The 173rd Airborne brigade commander was there to speak, their was a band, and caterers for the reception buffet. I also took a video of 'The passing of the colors' which is a ritual in the US Army for when the commander gives his command to the new commander. The former first lady (Commanders wife) was given red roses and the new first lady (incoming commanders wife) was given yellow carnations.

The band

incoming commander speaking

outgoing commander speaking

 You can watch the Passing of the Colors when you click here

Memorial Day

We had a nice little ceremony for memorial day! We all sat around the main flag on post while it was at half mass. The garrison commander and a few other people spoke and the boy scouts put reefs next to memorials. A few photos...

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Steve's 22nd Birthday

Stephen will be 22 years old tomorrow but since he has to work, we decided to celebrate it this weekend.. pretty much like we did last weekend for my birthday! He didn't want to do anything but relax and stay home so that's what we did! I think he is still recovering from last weekends trip to Munich for my Birthday, Haha!  But I did make him a cake... What do you think??

For his birthday I got him some Oakley sunglasses (his favorite designer) and I also made him a slide show of a few photos from the deployment he went through last year! Its not as long as I wanted it to be.. I wish I had more photos to put in it but he enjoyed it. There is a few misspelled words, that's what happens when I try to rush. Watch it on our Youtube channel here- Deployment slide

Sunday, May 15, 2011

21st Birthday PART 3

Well this is Part three and also day 3 of my birthday weekend! Steve baked me a cake. How sweet, right? White with white frosting! My favorite!

He also got me my birthstone (Emerald) with four diamonds on each! I LOVE IT!!!  Isn't it beautiful?!
How many Americans can say they celebrated their 21st birthday in Munich Germany?? So blessed and fortunate to be able to have all the experiences I have while being here in Germany.

Hubby is on CQ so I went to go take him lunch as I was coming back on to Askren Manor, the gate guards were inspecting my Military ID hard and then all of a sudden they were gathered next to my window singing Happy Birthday!!! I had no makeup on and my hair was a mess!!! It was so sweet of them but I am a wreak today! But its my birthday! I should be able to lounge with no makeup on.. right? It was so great, though.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

21st Birthday PART 2

Munich was AMAZING!!! I had a total of 475 photos after the trip but I was able to choose my favorites to narrow it down. Celebrating my 21st birthday in Munich Germany was so fun and memorable.

We left home at around 06:15 Saturday morning and took a taxi to the train station. We took a train to Nurnberg where we switched trains to go to Munich! Well, the train that we switched to was packed! There was not one open seat so we, and a lot of other people, had to stand/sit in the little box right next to the train bathroom. This is pretty common in Germany supposably! They don't sell tickets for just the amount of seats on a train. They expect people to stand in the rows and where ever there is space! People were even sitting under baggage racks and in the middle isles between seats. Steve and I were literally cramped against the wall and other people.. not even enough room to sit down! We stood there for 2 and a half hours! By the time we got off our feet and legs were already sore.

We finally got to Munich and ate some lunch, walked around downtown for a few hours then decided to take a two and a half hour sight seeing bus tour! On that we saw it all!! It was so much fun! You can see the slide show of all the photos at the bottom! We went past the Palace, museums, the Englischer Garden, old churches, statues of kings, gods and so much more! Our tour guide talked about everything we went by but I can't remember it all or else I would put captions to the photos on the slide.

On the train ride back, we did get seats which was so nice since our bodies were DONE!! We were both just exhausted! Munich is claimed to be the most expensive city in Germany and they weren't kidding. We burned through a little under 200 euro which is about 300 American dollars in one day. WOW!!! But we are going back in October for Oktoberfest! Really looking forward to that!

A few facts about Munich Germany that interested me!
Munich- means 'Monks'.
Capital of Bavaria.
Its where Oktoberfest is every year which is the largest festivity in the world!
Has the best beer (Bier) in the world.
Its the Soccer capital.
Munich is the second most-popular German city travel destination after Berlin.
Its has a population of 1,300,000.
Munich is home of the BMW and is home to the BMW Museum.
Most expensive city in Germany. -now you know why we only stayed a day!
The Englischer Garden, close to the city center is larger than Central Park in New York.
Munich has 10 Universities as well as 45 Museums and Collections.
During WWII over eighty percent of the city was bombed!
Munich is home to the Bavarian Film Studios which are the biggest and most famous film production studios in Europe.
Weird fact: The local name for Munich is "Minga" although the proper high German name is München.
Munich's most famous soccer team, FC Bayern München, is also the most successful club in German soccer. (we got to see a lot of these players on the train! They had a game in Munich and took the same train as us!.. maybe that's why it was so packed).

Train station in Schweinfurt


a Demonstration (protest rally)

On the tour bus

Train station in Munich

Friday, May 13, 2011

21st Birthday PART 1

 Today is Friday! My actual birthday is Monday but since Steve has to work and I have school, we decided to celebrate it this weekend.

I don't drink alcohol... at all! But since it is my 21st birthday, I had my first glass of Champagne. Since I don't drink, it was kind of a big deal for me. I wasn't sure if I wanted to do it at all, alcoholism runs in my blood, I grew up thinking of it as evil.
  I mixed it with Sprite so the alcohol taste was minimal. I really don't know what the point of alcohol is but people seem to like it. I read that people having a glass of wine, champagne, spirits ect a night have healthier livers compared to those that don't drink at all or drink a lot. So I may or may not drink more because I am a health freak.. well sorta! I am always doing things to avoid getting sick and if a drink here or there helps then so be it. But in all reality.. I doubt I will ever drink again.
TOAST.. to us!


The topic I am about to talk about is a sensitive one. Its about a man named Patrick McIlvain. He was in C Troop (1-91 CAV of the 173rd Airborne Combat Team) and was deployed to Afghanistan along with Steve! C Troop is an Infantry troop and was put on COP Kherwar. They were the ones out there fighting the good fight against the Taliban. Steve and Pat were very good friends! I think everyone that you fight next to becomes a brother to you!

Well, Steve was eventually hurt by tearing a ligament in his ankle while on patrol so the end result of that was him being put in Havoc troop permanently which is Headquarters. Havoc Troop is on a FOB which is the safe posts where all they do is paperwork, communications and other things of that sort. I knew for the rest of deployment that he would come home safe!

Since he was now on FOB Altimur, he was watching cameras and doing a lot of other things. Well COP Kherwar was starting to make contact one day with the Taliban and all Steve could do was watch it on the cameras... then he saw Pat get shot in the head. Sure, there has been other people he knew that had been killed. They are all Combat Arms but this was different, this was Pat, his good friend. They had plans to go to Penn State together.

God gave Pat the gift of life. He did not die from that shot to the head. Yesterday was the one year anniversary of this incident. He still isn't the normal Pat and it isn't certain that he ever will be the same again. He is walking with some help and can now give a 'thumbs up' if you ask him to.. I think he can now even stand up on his own. Last night C troop all got together at the Irish Pub for the remembrance of Patrick McIlvain. Steve and I also went. Steve got to catch up with all of his brothers from C Troop. Adam Andrade and Josh Tweet were there and kept me company! They were two of the four boys that came over for Thanksgiving last November.

We are praying for you Pat and hope that he is able to make a full recovery! I really do hope for that! I never did get to meet him in person but I did talk to him on facebook when they were still deployed and he was always such a nice guy! He even started a fund with a few other friends of Steve's to save up money for me to fly over to Germany since the Army was taking their sweet time on getting me over here and almost didn't make it to deployment homecoming. He also started the fund because when my father passed away, the Army wouldn't let Steve come on emergency leave and I had noone for a little while until I moved to Spokane WA to be with my Mom. My Dad was who raised me and when he died, I really did lose my rock and foundation. It was a bad time in my life. He passed away Christmas Day, I was 19 years old.
  But the Army did pull through right at the last moment and got me to Germany right in time for homecoming.- but its just the thought that he would do that for me, a stranger! I know he is a great guy! I really want him to get better. 
Pat closest to the camera and Steve in the back! -While on Patrol in Afghanistan.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Garrison Spring Cleaning

Garrison means the whole Army post! Schweinfurt Army Garrison (where we are stationed) has a Spring Cleaning day. The building leader of all the housing areas get to assign everyone something to clean such as stairwell, laundry room. pulling weeds, ect! Since Steve is the building leader for our building, he was out there with all the husbands cleaning and mowing, and all of us wives were planting flowers for our balconies, putting together the racks that they hang off of, and just hanging out watching the guys! It was a lot of fun! I'm so excited to finally have flowers and now Tubbles can go play in and smell them! We finally got the balcony cleaned and got some patio furniture.. Its so nice to just sit out there at night and enjoy the warm summer weather.
Cris Ponder sweeping

Steve with the weed wacker

Planting flowers for the balcony

Tubbles helping pat down the soil

Liz Adams (our neighbor)

Steve scrubbing the balcony and Tubbles hating the view.
Our balcony is finished!