Thursday, March 31, 2011

Bennett's Spontaneous Birthday Bash

Thursday we celebrated our Bennett's big TWO birthday. Before we decided to come to Rexburg, I had considered what I would do to help this day be a special one for Bennett. I came up with a few rough ideas, including:

cute little invitations...

some amazing decorations...

a small, casual birthday party with our friends from play group...

a fabulous birthday dinner, complete with all of Bennett's favorites...

a few fun games...

a birthday cupcake cake...

and some awesome presents, including something I know Bennett would die over...

A real "big-boy" slide. Bennett has a thing for slides.

Cute, huh? But then we ended up here in Rexburg, so all of those plans sort of changed on the fly. At first I wasn't going to do anything. He wouldn't know the difference anyway. But then I decided I had to do something. You only turn two once, for crying out loud. But I still wanted to do all the cute stuff I had planned, so maybe we would just have two parties--one here and one when we got home. But no, that's ridiculous. What two-year-old needs two parties? So then I decided I would just throw him one party, right now, and make it work in a "spur-of-the-moment" type of way. And that's the decision I made the morning of Bennett's birthday.

My cute little invitations ended up being text messages sent out only hours before the party started. They went like this:

You are cordially invited to Bennett Wayne Hargrave's second birthday!
Held March 31st, 2011
at the Rexburg McDonald's play place
from 5:00-6:00pm.
Ice cream cake will be provided. Feel free to bring your own money for other food if desired. Please RSVP to Haley Hargrave no later than right now.
See you there! :)

The decorations were all purchased within a ten-minute period as I literally ran though the dollar store.

The guests list was made up of my family, two of my friends from high school and their families, and whoever else happened to be in the McDonald's play place between the hours of 5:00 and 6:00pm. It was a very exclusive party.

Bennett's birthday dinner was not a home-cooked meal, but still consisted of all of his favorites in the form of a Happy Meal. Here I am cleaning up the mess that was left behind.

Party games included playing on the "bue side" and the "ed side" (the blue slide and the red slide) and generally annoying the other McDonald's guests who were trying to enjoy their dinners.

Bennett's cake was delicious, purchased from Dairy Queen and lit with two left-over candles my mom had laying around the house.

And his presents were two very small, very inexpensive things Bennett picked out himself from the toy isle at Wal Mart. He chose them, I wrapped them, and then he got to play with them. SURPRISE!! (We will still get him the slide, but we'll have to wait until we get home.)

So that was the party. Despite the crazy spontaneity of it all I couldn't have asked for anything better. I thought the location was great, the company better, and even though Bennett didn't get the dream party I had planned, I think he had a ball. We all did.

Matt woke up at 2:00am Iraq time to be there via SKYPE as Bennett blew out his candles and opened his presents. Afterward I made the comment that he must be tired and he could go to bed now if he wanted, since all we were going to do was eat cake and play some more. But Matt said he would sleep later because he was busy "watching our boy turn two." It makes me sad that Matt couldn't be there in person, but Bennett will always know that his Daddy loves him very much and he'll be there next year.

Here's Bennett in his birthday shirt Maimie and Pop sent him from Texas. I love this shirt, and I love the boy in it even more. I cannot believe we have such a big kid!

Bennett himself absolutely LOVED turning two. Mostly he loved the cake and candle part. When we got home Bennett found two decorative candles in my mom's bathroom and spent the rest of the day walking around with them singing, "Haaa-peee brrrrr-deeee Bunnnautt!" with dramatic hand gestures to himself. Then he would "blow" out the candles and clap with great joy each time. What a good little boy we have. I feel so blessed.

Happy Birthday Bennett-Boy!

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

My Birthday Stuff!

I am officially in the DIRTY 30 CLUB!!

Just because your half the world away doesn't mean you have to change how you celebrate your birthday...for those that dont know I usually like to have a really good BBQ with close family and friends...I'm talking nice, fat, juicy steaks with all the trimmings! So why not in Iraq. I BBQ'd for the whole Company on Sunday and it turned out pretty well. It was one heck of a big grill!

So the guys got me a pecan pie and sang me happy birthday. It really meant a lot to me. I must of had some residual smoke in my eyes when this picture was taken...I wasn't crying or anything! That would be crazy!!

So General Nasir is a pretty eclectic guy. He likes to accumulate items and things that represent power and strength so why wouldn't he have his own personal zoo (in his compound)and why wouldn't the crown jewel of that conglomerate be an Iraqi Golden Eagle! (yes, I didn't know they had eagles either)

So that is General Nasir right behind the eagle and on the far side of the picture that is half my face. The eagle was tethered on a 6ft string. I conveniently sat on a chair 7ft away. Momma didn't raise no fool!

So a little incident that I thought was pretty cool. You see General Nasir was part of the Old Republican Guard under Saddam Hussein. Every now again he talks about the things that he did and saw during the invasion of Iraq. So we are sitting around talking about maintenance request, Soldier training, whats good and bad and what needs to be fixed, you know the usual Soldier stuff. So General Nasir asked us if we want to hear a funny story, we of course say sure. So he commences to tell us that when American tanks had rolled into Baghdad communications between the Iraqi army was totally trashed. Gen Nasir was a young special ops officer and his superior came to him and ordered him to secure the Baghdad airport. They had received intelligence that the American Army was going to air assault and take over the airport. Gen Nasir's superior told him if he failed he was going to be executed, if he didn't obey orders immediately he would be executed (we didn't think this was funny but he thought it was hilarious) So because Gen Nasir is still alive and we didn't air assault into the airport, no worries. So it was just weird to think that here, sitting in front of us was a man that not 8 yrs ago was literally trying to kill us and we were literally trying to kill him. Now we are sitting around drinking tea together. Kinda like history in making. Pretty cool and kinda humbling to think that I get to be a witness to it. Anyway the best part of my birthday is the picture below!

Callaway Golf Clubs! Ever since I started playing golf I have dreamed about owning a pair of these. So my dear sweet wife knows that I have wanted these but we, of course could not afford a new pair of clubs like these. But thanks to some great family members :-) Here they are sitting in my house waiting for me when I get back. Thanks Mom, Dad, and Haley for everything! Thanks everybody for the well wishing, means alot to know how many people care!

Monday, March 28, 2011

Happy Second Birthday, Bennett-Boy!

March 31st marks the day that our lives forever changed for the better.
Happy birthday to our TWO YEAR OLD Bennett-Boy!
We love you very much!

(P.S- Please pretend like the previous video ends with one of these pictures of Bennett instead of the one of him sitting on the potty. That was just as far as I got before we left for Rexburg...)

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Happy Birthday, Mattie

Happy Birthday to my bestest friend in the whole entire world. Here's to a GREAT 30 years!

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Copy Paste

Well, as you all know Bennett and I are still in Idaho. And because I have lived almost the exact same life as my parents lately, and because I forgot my camera so all my pictures are the same as theirs, and because I am really, really tired right now, I am simply going to refer you to my parents' blog post this week (I am getting good at this plagiarism thing). So here is my mom's post about the last week. It has truly been full of blessings and miracles, and I feel lucky to have been a tiny part of it all. Enjoy.


This is a very long post and I apologize in advance. You may want to read it in shifts!

Last week at this time I was lying in the hospital in a drug induced sleep after having half of my intestines removed. It had been a week of daily discoveries, all of which included words like "tumor" and "cancer", and culminated in a body-changing, yet successful operation. I had Greg by my side every step of the way and Allison and Courtney came as much as they could. It was not the most fun week I've ever spent, but there were definitely some things that turned my gray skies blue, and that's what this blog is about.

First of all, Greg blogged a little about all the love and support we had from everyone. At the time he wrote about it we had no idea just how much more was coming. That counter with the flowers on it from the last post eventually become so crowded with flowers that we couldn't get one more on. Every time a new nurse would come in to start her shift she would literally gasp at the sight of "my own floral shop". They made the room so bright and beautiful and smelled so good! Greg asked me one night which one's were my favorite, but how could I choose just one when they were all so gorgeous? It made me happy every time I would look at them.

Besides the flowers, I had lots and lots of visitors. It seemed like before one group would leave another one would come to take their place. We only had 4 folding chairs in the room and we had them set up most of the time. Everyone was so sweet and would all tell me that I was being prayed for, that they were fasting for me, that they'd put my name in the temple, that I was loved. It was so humbling to think of all these people, plus ones that I heard from but didn't come to visit, were all thinking of me. The principal of my school and his wife came to visit one night. They told me that my whole class was praying for me and reminded me of the power of a child's prayer. I also heard that Greg's whole department went to the temple together on my behalf. I have felt overwhelmed with gratitude as I've received sweet notes and phone calls from dearly loved and far away nieces and nephews, friends from our past, brothers and sisters, ward members, etc. I had no idea I even knew so many people! You know, when I first found out about the tumor I had decided to only tell people on a "need to know" basis, but to try to keep it as quiet as I could. A good friend advised me against it for two reasons: 1) If you all the sudden drop out of life for a long time like that people's imaginations start to wander and they might think I was having a boob job (which Greg was quick to point out that when I went back they would all think that I'd been robbed!), and 2) The more people who know, the more people can pray for you. As I considered this I thought that when people heard they would say, "Oh, too bad for Nancy." But I never dreamed I would have the outpouring of love and prayers and faith and fasting and support that we ended up with from all over the nation. I am still deeply touched, and cannot begin to thank you all for your part.

I (Haley) would also like to add here that we have received food up the wazoo. I told my mom that when I stayed here to help I thought I would be doing things like cooking and cleaning...but so far I haven't had to do anything! We have received cookies, cakes, rolls, snacks, and full out dinners in such a constant, heavy stream that I believe we now have enough food to last us several weeks. What an amazing effort on the part of my parent's ward, friends, and individual schools. They are very loved here.

I could go on and on about that, but there was another little plan brewing that just made my week so happy. Little did we know that this surgery coincided with Griffin and Ashland's spring break. As soon as they heard about the surgery they called and said that they were going to drive out to see us. We talked them out of it because it is so far and expensive, and I would just be in the hospital the whole time anyway, etc. etc. They said okay, but then went ahead and made plans to come. And not only did they come themselves, but they called Haley and asked if she wanted to come too. With only 45 minutes notice, dear Haley packed her car, threw her house keys to a neighbor as she was driving down the street, and started the 8 hour drive to Oklahoma with Bennett. She arrived at 2:30 a.m., transferred her stuff to Griffin and Ashland's car, and they were on the road by 3:00 a.m. They drove the 20 hours to Rexburg straight through and arrived at 9:00 Sat. night, totally unbeknownst to me. Imagine my shock when I heard a knock on my hospital door and there were Griffin and Ashland and cute baby Zoey! I just couldn't get over it. It was incredible to see them here when I had thought they were in Oklahoma. After hugs and kisses and squeals of surprise they said that they'd also brought another package. That's when Haley and Bennett walked in. If I hadn't been in so much pain I would've leapt from the bed and scooped the whole bunch into a great big hug. Haley walked in and said, "Mom! You look just like Mom lying in bed!" That's when I realized that it was good for them to all just see me and to see that I am still the same and I am okay. It was so fun to see Bennett and Zoey and I just couldn't get over how much they'd both grown just since Christmas. Bennett is talking so well now and Zoey's smiles can light up a room! We had a very joyful little reunion right there in the hospital room. Over the next few days I was able to spend some precious one-on-one time with each one of them and I will forever be grateful for the herculean effort they made to be there for me. As I write this Griffin and Ashland are in their second straight day of driving home and it makes me appreciate them even more.

I should say that this was also Logan's spring break and he had already arranged to fly to Spokane for interviews. He will be graduating from dental school in May and it's exciting that he is now at the point where he is moving on with his career. We talked to him almost daily and we would get updates on his interviews and he'd get updates on me. Rachel was so sweet to call and check up on me a lot too. We had support from everywhere!

Ashland is in nursing school and she was so excited to be in the hospital with me. The first night she was there she announced that she was going to wash my hair. It must've looked really bad! (
Just kidding, Ash.) She spent the next day hunting all over town for an inflatable sink and finally found one. That night they all showed up with a big basket full of hair supplies and got to work. This sink had an opening for my head and a little attached pillow inside to rest my head on and keep it up. My job was to just lie in bed, and everyone else had a job of either filling up the warm water, bringing the buckets over, pouring the water, and even taking care of the kids. Ash gave me two good scrubs with shampoo before using conditioner, and it felt so good! The nurses were so kind to supply us with lots of towels and buckets, and didn't even say anything about the chaos. In the middle of blow drying my hair more company came to see me, so the end result wasn't quite what I had in mind, but the first part was a lot of fun and I will forever remember the lift it gave me to just have clean hair again!

Another big plus for the week was that I finally got to experience the wonder of an epidural and had very little pain compared to what it could've been. They gave it to me before my surgery and left it in for 5 days! No wonder people would walk in and exclaim that I looked so good. I was so spoiled, but it helps a lot in the healing process to have your body relaxed and comfortable. I was able to get up and go on walks and go to the bathroom much faster than I would've otherwise. It was wonderful! Where were those things when I was having babies?

On the last day I was there they took the epidural out and it was a rude awakening. It was a long hard painful day, but at the end of it the Dr. came in and gave us the long awaited pathology report. We'd been waiting 6 days and I was nervous for what they would say. I knew that I would be needing chemotherapy, but I didn't know how much or for how long. As the days went by we got more and more anxious about it. The dr. didn't come in till after dinner and by then I was in a lot of pain. He talked to me about the pain for awhile, and then said that maybe he could cheer me up by telling me the results of the pathology reports. Even he was surprised as he told me that the tumor, which had been 4 cm. long, had NOT entered the intestinal lining, as he had thought, and which would've made it much worse. Also, out of the 37 lymph nodes that he'd removed, not one of them was cancerous! It took awhile for what he was saying to sink in. No cancer?!? The tumor was cancerous, but it is gone, and there are no traces of anymore anywhere else! We will still be visiting the oncologist next week to see what he says, but it will likely not be as bad as what I thought, if I even need to have chemo! It is nothing short of a miracle and if I could've moved I would've jumped out of bed and kissed the Dr.! Instead I started to cry, which hurt just as much, but I couldn't help it. And then all of a sudden I remembered the blessings Greg had given me and all the sweet people telling me they were fasting for me, praying for me, putting my name in the temple, and remembering me with good thoughts, and I could hardly contain myself! I truly am so humbled and so grateful, and so overwhelmed by it all. It is probably the most significant thing that has ever happened to me, and certainly the most faith promoting experience I've ever had. There was absolutely no luck involved, but a most miraculous blessing, and I am so, so humbled to be a part of it. The Lord truly does hear and answer prayers! I am so grateful for His infinite goodness!

The day before I came home Haley called and asked me what room I wanted to be in when I came home. I knew I didn't want to spend all my time in my room. We don't have a tv in there and I would be away from all the action, so I suggested we get the trundle bed out from under the daybed and set it up in the family room somehow. I gave Haley free reign to make it work. The kids all went to work rearranging the furniture and getting rid of stuff and when I came home and walked in I felt like I was in a room on HGTV. The room is set up so the bed looks like it belongs there and I feel so very cozy by the fire. I am facing the tv and I have a table next to me that has everything I could possibly want on it. Haley told me when she first got here that she has no life anyway
(thanks, Mom) so she will stay here to take care of me. It's such a great set up for me and she is the most efficient nurse I've had so far. Bennett helps keep us all entertained and I couldn't be more thrilled to have weeks ahead of me with nothing more to do than enjoy these two.

If you are still reading this you should be rewarded somehow. I wanted to write it all down mostly for me, but if you're reading it it's probably because you were one of the people who cares about me. Thank you for everything! Life sends us some twists and turns along the way, but we can always find reasons to put on a happy face!


It really has been amazing to be here for all of this. Bennett and I are planning on staying to help my mom get back on her feet until April 8th, at which time we will all drive down to my cousin Colby's wedding in Denver. From there we will hitch a ride back to Oklahoma with Griffin and Ashland (they will be at the wedding, too) and then get in our car (which we left at Griff and Ash's) and drive home to Texas sometime around the middle of April.

It is great how well this entire thing has worked out. The timing of it all, and the financial and physical abilities Bennett and I have to spend this much time away from home. I would also like to take the time to say thank you to all those who called, texted, blogged, and facebooked me personally to make sure I was doing OK. Honestly, I have felt pretty good throughout this entire experience. Chalk it up to faith or denial, I'm not sure which at the moment. What I do know however, that I am truly grateful.

We are very blessed.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Mortar Live Fire

So wrap your head around this one. Now, we are in a "War Zone". We carry over 200 rounds of ammo on our person when we leave the base. On base we carry a couple mag's and a loaded pistol at all time. So, stay with me. I'm about to blow your mind. We just completed a "live fire exercise" in a war zone. Now before we get into these cool pictures let me give you the layout. We had the entire scout platoon with snipers occupy the range prior to our arrival eliminate any threat that could pose a problem. We had 2x Kiowa helicopters fully loaded with rockets, hell fire missiles and 10,000 rounds of .50 caliber machine gun rounds, and then we roll up on the AO and begin setup for our "practice range". I just really get a kick out of thinking about this whole thing. Anyway enjoy the pics.

Inside the back of a MRAP. The government has spent of 40 billion dollars on MRAP's since the war has started. Saves lives. If you look behind me you will see ropes. The seat is actually suspended in the vehicle. Not bolted down at all. Absorbs the shock of a blast better without breaking a Soldier in half.

So we rolled out about 0430 (a waited a bit to take a picture). This is a pretty common view for us. You can see the dust off to the left. Its always there, never ever goes away!

Like I said we had 2x Kiowa helicopters pulling coverage on us during the "mission". They have a really cool camera on top of there blades that can do some really cool stuff that I'm just not gonna post right now.

Pretty typical Iraqi town we passed through on the way to the range. Really not much to them.

Driving in my HAGA. We have some pretty cool intercom system in the trucks so we can talk to each other over the noise of the vehicle and all the systems we have inside them.

Setting up at the "range". Now, we had some Paladin's shooting from Marez, they are on the right side of this pics, on the other side of the mountains about 35 kilometers away. Lets just say that they didn't hit in the safety box every time. The concrete pad the tracks are on used to be a building that the US Army blew up during the beginning of the war.

Getting the mortar tube set up in the back of the tracks.

Getting ready to lob some rounds. Ya'll know me, any reason to shoot something or blow something up I'm there!

Successful completion of 2 mission sets. (a successful mission means no one got blown up, I tried putting a video in but it didn't work, go figure)

My medic and I. they let both of us hang some rounds. Sometimes I really like being me.

Here is one decent one that shows you the tube and the 120mm mortar. These tracks are surrounded by a cage that allows an RPG to detonate before it hits the actual track. Anyway another successful "Garry Owen" training event in a "war zone"! Go figure.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Life Comes At You Fast

Friday afternoon I got a call from my brother telling me they were going to drive to Rexburg that night, and me and Bennett were invited to come along for the ride if we wanted to. So we packed our bags in under 45 minutes and jumped in the car for Oklahoma. We arrived at Griffin and Ashland's home around 2:30am, and by 3:00am we were all back in their car, driving straight through to Rexburg.

Why the sudden rush, you ask? Well, there is no easy way to really put this.

My mom has cancer.

Needless to say, it was a shock to us all. Rather than write it all out though, I am going to take the easy way out and hijack my sister Courtney's blog post, because it explains it all very well. She is a great writer, and she was here in person while all of this was going on. I will add my own views in as we go.


As I write this post I am sitting in the corner of a slightly dark and awfully quiet room. My dad is sitting next to me, and my mom is lying in a very deep sleep on the hospital bed in front of us.

Life comes at you fast.

Yesterday at this time everything was normal... I went to classes, talked to friends, and texted my mom during Old Testament. She told me to head up to the house for our Thursday lunch. I went, and, of course, ate an unhealthy amount of Eggo waffles as I talked everyone's precious ears off with my pointless stories. A few minutes after finishing, my dad casually sat down and said, "I'm glad you're here because me and mom have something to tell you." Despite his calm approach, I immediately knew it was something bad... and I immediately panicked.

"This morning mom went to the doctor and they found a mass about the size of a clementine in the caecum of her large intestine."

"The doctors aren't positive, but they are pretty sure Mom has colon cancer."


Alright...let the water works officially begin.

(When my dad called me (Haley) he said almost the exact same thing in almost the exact same way. I was in the car with Bennett, on the way to get it washed, and I just remember thinking that he must be kidding. I mean, other peoples' moms get cancer, not mine. But once I started asking all my questions--When did they find out? How far along was it? Had it spread, or was it confined?--I realized that this was really happening. I didn't cry. I just kind of went numb and started focusing on the facts instead of the "what ifs." After I had hung up with my dad I pulled into an empty parking space at "The Wash Barn" and called Matt (in the middle of the night for him) in Iraq to tell him the news. And then I cried.)

I was an emotional bawling mess for a large portion of the day.

But that's ok. To be honest, I couldn't tell you why I was such a wreck. Everyone around me was telling me it was going to be just fine, including my mom. But I guess, for me, the tears just come naturally when I am worried.

Worried and frustrated at my lack of control.

Anyway, that all happened yesterday, March 9. The surgery (right hemi colectomy) was scheduled for this morning at 6:00.

It's behind us now, and thankfully everything went well. They got the baseball sized mass (which was cancer) out of her body, and I am now sitting with her in the recovery room... so jealous of her deep sleep and total state of oblivion.

So everything went well, right?

Yes. As far as removing the tumor, or mass, or whatever you want to call it. But that's not the end of the story. According to the doctor, there is still a possibility that some of the cells broke through the walls and spread to other parts of Mom's body. If that is the case, then there's a chance that she will have to undergo chemo therapy treatments.

We won't know until Tuesday or Wednesday, but we are hoping and praying that she is clear.

Please do the same

This whole experience was so unexpected, and it all happened so fast. But I can definitely say that in that short amount of time I have been so proud to have these two people as my parents. They are such great examples to me of love and support. I am also happy to see that so many in the community feel that same love for them. I have been amazed as I've watched visitor after visitor come to check up on Mom, card upon card wishing her a sincere "get well soon," and endless phone calls, countless emails, and even a few text messages. It is so comforting to know that both my mom and dad are loved and looked out for by everyone they know. They are always giving service to others, and I'm so thankful to see it come back to them during their time of need. It means a lot.

Right before mom went into surgery, she texted me:

'"You don't need to worry, you just need to have faith"
-Julie B. Beck'

It's quite ironic that she is the one that sent this to me, but it's no secret that she is a very strong women. And I am so thankful for that. There have already been many times when this quote is the very thing that has saved me and my worried self from, once again, becoming a mini Niagara Falls.

I have a feeling that I will continue to remind myself of this quote through this whole process. I am anxious for Wednesday to get here, but until then, there is no time to worry, just time to have faith that everything will work out...


So that's the story. We are now in Rexburg, spending time with my mom in the hospital and helping out with things at home while she is away. And even though the reason we are together again is not the most fun thing in the World, it is still great to get to see everybody. I'll do my best to keep you all updated on what's going on with my mom and with us being here in Idaho. As of now Bennett and I have no definite return date, so we'll have to see where life takes us.

Because that's the one thing you can count on in life.

It's always a surprise.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

BOB ON FOB and Stuff

All right So here is the latest "BOB ON FOB". We do have the luxury of having hot showers..(as long as the city of Mosul doesn't shut our water off). Really I just thought it was funny!

Some of the best medics in Iraq! From left to right...SPC Simite, 1LT Hargrave, SPC Crowell, MAJ Manson, SPC Mousseau, SFC Farmer, PFC McCorry. I currently have 32 medics that I control and we try to rotate them through the aid station to give them a little break from the line. I do have a great group of guys. If you add up all our deployments we have a collective 16yrs of deployment between all of us. People wander why Soldiers are getting out of the Army!

"Monopoly Deal"...Probably one of the greatest games ever invented. We usually play about 5-10 games a DAY! Its what we do when we aren't doing....

Yes feast your eyes on this little beauty! This little puppy was 3 days in the making. You could stick the swab in about an inch. Probably the worst case of mercer I have was a worst case but that story just has to be told in person.

This one is after the surgery. We had to take a pretty large chunk out of this poor Soldier. But hey there is more to being a medical officer than just going to meetings. Doc lets me help out and its a blast. (the smell was probably the worst)

We dont have much out here but we do our best to put on a little spread for our out going Doc! Thats right our fearless Doc is heading out of the Army and on to a life of no deployments, real food, his own office, and not having to worry about anything Army. (the Army did pay for all his schooling and training so really not a bad deal)

We bought Doc Manson a little crystal plaque. Just something he can put on his shelf in his soon to be new doctor's office in Seattle.

...and of course you cant be in Cav without a stetson. He really did like it.

We are defiantly going to miss MAJ (DOC) Manson. We are all jealous of him that he gets to go but he defiantly deserves it. He has done his time and is getting out and on to bigger and better things. We are on the down hill slope and cant wait to wrap up this "deployment" (if you can call it that)