Wednesday, March 26, 2008
Specialty Summary: Services and maintains, or supervises these actions on missiles, unmanned air vehicles (UAV), boosters, payloads, research and development (R&D) systems, environmental blast doors and valves, associated subsystems, components, and support equipment (SE). Launches, tracks, and recovers UAVs. Operates and maintains related equipment. Designs R&D systems. Performs acquisition and activation activities. Related DoD Occupational Subgroup: 163200.
Duties and Responsibilities: Performs missile maintenance actions at flightline, railhead, support base, and launch, launch control, and storage facilities, and insures compliance with international treaties. Inspects, repairs, adjusts, and replaces, or supervises these actions, on components and subcomponents. Mechanically or electrically connects or disconnects reentry systems, guidance and control sections, missile stages, propulsion systems, and secondary ordnance devices at the launch facility. Prepares missile and launch facility for simulated launch and follow-on test and evaluation. Performs preventive maintenance inspections and electrical tests on missiles; missile components; launch and launch control facilities; support vehicles; hydraulic, pneudraulic, and pneumatic systems; and SE. Initiates unsatisfactory reports, failure reports, or proposed modifications. Performs intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) coding activities.
Supervises transportation, assembly, and inspection of booster and payload functions, their subsystems, and SE. Directs and controls activities of contractor personnel during space launch activities. Supervises loading, transportation, unloading, inspection, assembly, and hoisting of boosters, payloads, component parts, and satellites at space launch facilities; preparation of space launch complexes; and erection and mating of booster sections, payloads, and SE. Supervises or performs preventive maintenance inspections. Practices and supervises safety procedures when handling nitrogen, liquid fuels, oxidizers, and ordnance devices. Uses technical publications to evaluate malfunctions, and recommends corrective action.
Performs and evaluates laboratory R&D activities. Assembles, installs, and tests R & D systems such as laser, electromagnetic launcher, energetic materials, propulsion, high powered microwave, satellite, telescope, and pointing and tracking. Maintains and resolves SE problems such as data acquisition, fiber optic, instrumentation, wind tunnel, high and low pressure gas, propellant mixing and molding, and exotic fuel storage systems.
Tuesday, March 25, 2008
Even though her security clearance is still in-progress, she FINALLY got her job today! My baby is headed for Vandenberg AFB in CA for Tech School. This is a huge change from everything she'd been thinking, but she's delighted with it. Her job is going to be (dig this): Missle and Space Systems Maintenance (AFSC 2M032). Basically, my kid (heaven help us) is going to be working on ICBMs. Look out world!
I took the advice of my list and found out which flight she'll be in parade with (250). I also asked her to pick up her pictures. Then she volunteered to get us flight Tshirts, wahoo! Can't wait to see them.
V had a list of things she wanted from home for Tech: comfy PJ pants and tank tops were high on her list. She is desperate for anything Soft and Cozy!
Guess there's not much more to do now but GET THERE and HUG her!!
Thank you all for the love and support. I'll tell you all about it while we're there and more when I return too!
I never realized how impractical and cumbersome a women's wallet is! I have used a purse with an organizer and a inner pocket for cash and change for many years now but this one wasn't set up that way and I really like it so...
After getting everything into a wallet, that I actually own and was able to find, I decided I hated it! Ugh, what a pain! Grabbed this gorgeous leather man's billfold I got at a garage sale to give to Joshua (he prefers his duct tape wallet) and slid everything in. Voila! Accessiblility without more zippers and snaps than a pair of "date pants"!
There's no milk in the house. Today is trash day so that will be done. Mooch will be well cared for. Joshua has new sunglasses. All is set for tomorrow's departure.
Last but not least, I will change my beloved AF Moms and Dads list to "Digest" setting, generating only a couple posts a day (vs - well I won't even tell you how many, it's shocking). They really are the most supportive group imaginable. If your child ever undertakes the dream of serving our country in the Air Force, I cannot possibly recommend them more.
Much love to all the moms and dads, step and adopted too.
I'm taking you all with me tomorrow!
Monday, March 24, 2008
Sunday, March 23, 2008
My lovely cat sitter, Cheryl, offered up her brother Don's services as a button-maker to make squadron buttons we can wear to support V on Grad weekend (NEXT WEEKEND!!!!!). I sent him a picture of the squadron crest and also attached a .jpg of the pic to an e-mail.
These very cool buttons, with the 324 crest on them, arrived in my mailbox yesterday. Quick delivery too! (Yes mom, I got one for each of us!) :)
On the back of each button is a sticker "Buttons by Don, Any Quantity, 989-843-7336" so I know he won't mind the free advertising here. His e-mail addy is: firstname.lastname@example.org I can highly recommend his button-making service. Thanks Don, we'll wear them with pride!
Be forewarned, he may send a pic with him dressed as a *shudder* clown. :( (Yes, I'm Coulrophobic.)
Saturday, March 22, 2008
Friday, March 21, 2008
No outdoor marching allowed, it's that dangerous to the trainees. Hydration there is paramount, especially when running or doing other PT outdoors. (I'm not sure what they have for indoor PT/drill, she didn't say.) Hydration is a lesson they learn early on at BMT. Even when it's not that hot... it's that physically demanding! V said they are required to have a minimum of three glasses of unsweetened, uncarbonated beverages with every meal. Heck I have enough trouble committing to one glass of water with every meal,
Given the temperature difference between here and there, I have started to delve through my summer clothes a little early. What happened to Spring?! It'll be here when I return. Yay.
It's a little disconcerting that I have changed sizes again and may have to look in the storage bins in the garage for things that fit. (up and down... and up :( once more) On the other hand it's motivating too. I'm anxious to be outdoors again, in my garden and walking around the neighborhood. I'm even looking forward to getting back to learning to golf! :)
So - thinking about the sweat box that I know San Antonio can be (been there a handfull of times before) I went looking for the forecast this morning. After all, even the 7-day forecast goes to the time we'll be there now! YAY!
Imagine my surprise to find that it's going to be AMAZING while we're there. Temps from the high 70's to mid 80's. Maybe one day of rain (Charles, can you fix that, please?). Of course, it'll feel warmer to us coming from the fridge, but in reality it will be simply gorgeous.
5 days til we leave... LET THE EXCITEMENT BEGIN!!!
Wednesday, March 19, 2008
Tuesday, March 18, 2008
Also today, a warm welcome to friend and fellow blogger Di, whom I have been blessed to have known for... wow... is it 10 years now?! eek!
Monday, March 17, 2008
Sunday, March 16, 2008
What I didn't tell either one of them is that Rebecca is standing in the exact same spot as Avivah did just three weeks prior. *sniff!*
So that's my funny story of serendipity. I feel like the list 'matchmaker' LoL I know I'll meet Cheryl in person this week and I intend to meet Jackie and Ken soon, if not before V's grad then just after. Can't wait.
And just for Cheryl, I'm signing off with a picture of Mooch today!
Saturday, March 15, 2008
It all starts with measuring the bottom of the suitcase...
Joshua designed the letters using a can of Monster energy drink as his font inspiration. It was pretty remarkable.
Totally glued, assembled and silver glittered (around the V).
And to top it all off... She called!
"Hey, V! How are you?!"
"I'm GREAT!" and so it went.
She LOVED FTX though it was really hard in many ways. Nothing was said about any physical pain or problems (yay). Her wingman that wasn't getting any mail is loving hearing her name read at mail call. (Thank you, AF MOMS!) She actually thought the Gas Chamber experience was "cool" and said that their group of females did just fine... it was the males that had a few wimp out! LoL
She loved firing the M16, though through her scratched and foggy used chem suit mask she didn't do as well in evals as she wanted. I loved that she then used 'my line': "It is what it is." Yep, true. Always is. :)
As she spoke they were on pins and needles waiting to see who made top AEF (I don't know this one but I'm assuming F=flight).
Nutshell version? Although she has a very intense week coming up, with a lot of classes, tests and her run eval... she's having the time of her life!!!
So to pretty up the blog a bit, I present to you my friends Stef and Rob!
Friday, March 14, 2008
Ooo, I am so tempted to use them, but I know that I really can't be sending those to BMT. The wrath V would endure would be so not cool. Can you hear it now? "Who do you think you are? You THINK you're an Airman? Well you're NOT!"... and on and on and on.
I have to admit... there's a teeny tiny evil streak inside me that wants to do it anyways. ROFL!!! Baaaaad Mommy!
The 3 of us (I'm still getting used to that) went out for our favorite dinner salads (Hellenic's Chicken Greek, OMG) where the funniest discussion of shampoos manly-men find acceptable ensued.
Nothing fruity, or girlie-scented, but the bright-green-bottle kind of fruity (turned out to be Garnier) is ok. Some that smell good just aren't good enough quality and I was informed of the 'rule' that you can't mix Old Spice body spray with Axe shampoo or vice versa (he has both).
I gave up.
Since he and I wanted to get the supplies for the Airman's Run sign we're designing together, we made a plan to go to Target so he could find whatever hereby dubbed ManPoo he wanted and get poster board too!
He ended up getting the Garnier ManPoo he wanted (not the upside down stuff, that was 'weird'), I got more Ricola (did I tell you I'm STILL coughing?) and we found the black and white posterboards. They didn't have Neon Pink (V's least fave color, LoL) or any silver glitter so I'll head out today to grab those.
At home, J got down the suitcase I'll be taking to TX (in 12 days!) and we started measuring and creating (bwahahahaha!). I'll post the whole sign-making process complete with pics soon.
Oh! And school for him is good, Econ is boring. He's wrapping up the testing he's been taking so he hasn't had a full normal day yet. So far so good.
On another topic...
V FINISHES FTX WEEK TODAY! Not sure if phone time is something they will get after completing FTX but my phone is charged and ready. I'll ask for an exception to carry my phone during work later today. Don't call for fun... I'll jump right out of my skin! :-o
Thursday, March 13, 2008
Another night, as a part of the Troy Police Explorers, Joshua and his friend Ryan helped run the annual fundraiser hockey game that pitted the Troy Police Hockey team against the Red Wing Alumni team. This is the RWA line up. I wrote down the last names of the players but most of them meant nothing to me. Sorry!
And this is the color guard in full dress. I was impressed!
The game itself was fun. It was exactly like you'd imagine it'd be to watch a Harlem Globetrotters game! Trick shots, comaraderie, terribly non-kosher plays that cracked us up and they slaughtered the Troy Team 9-2 (or was it 3? It didn't matter, that wasn't the point.)Ah... da BOYZ, in their official TPE jackets just after the game.
You only Rabbit Ears the ones you love... RIGHT!?
Joshua started his third Trimester yesterday but I worked a double, J worked til 7 and I went to my friend Lorie's for dinner and a much-needed, hour-long hot tub, so I missed seeing him last night. I'll catch him today and check in on how it's going. I know he's really excited to go to TX in... 13 days! :) Me Too!
Tuesday, March 11, 2008
Monday, March 10, 2008
Sunday, March 9, 2008
AF mom Lyn's son came home from Kuwait! In fact, Lyn's son is safely back in Oklahoma on his base already. That was fast!
*Shout outs to Deb, Mom, Shar, Mark, Lolly & Brenda 1 who all need light and to be returned to good health. I send you a wish for R'fuah Shlema (complete healing).
And to my son, Joshua. Finals are over and he thinks he did pretty well. He has Monday off for records day, but takes the ACT and other grade level testing on Tuesday. Besides, he's a terrific kid. LOVE YOU!
I stole the idea of sending 'shout outs' from my friend and celeb uber-blogger Trent . So HA! There's a shout out to YOU!
Friday, March 7, 2008
I wear my AF "wings" pin every day; Ssgt. Marunick gave them to me afer I helped with recruiting at V's HS and they're very special to me. I actually feel closer to Avivah when I wear them. Today I added my safety pin flag too. To make a point? To see if people would comment? I'm not certain. It looked good so I wore it.
Add to that, that I saw around 100 people between 10am and 3pm (our store has a HUGE sale going on) and I ran errands after work too so I think it was a decent 'sample'.
Survey says: I felt nothing different today vs. when I wear red shirts (I do it a lot, it's a good color on me) on any other day of the week. I didn't feel as though I was supporting my daughter or our troops. I didn't feel a part of a larger movement or noble statement. No one said anything or looked twice. I was a woman wearing a sweater that may as well have been olive drab.
I'm giving it another week or so and then I'll try doing it again. Maybe it's habit-forming?!
My experience has been a little different.
You see, Avivah called again.
It's the middle of the morning, with me in the middle of Michael's, buying ribbon for the tables at Stef & Rob's vow renewal this Saturday, and off my phone goes. I just about dropped all the stuff I was carrying when I saw area code 210.
This time there was no tact to be had... "OMG V. Are you ok?" I said.
"Umm, yeah Mom. I'm ok. I'm ok, but are you sitting down?"
Oh crap. My heart took a dive and I lied. "Sure, lay it on me."
"I'm in an office building most of the day today. The jobs I want need me to have a security clearance so I'm testing and working on that today. I need some numbers from you so they gave me a phone pass. There's no one around me here and I can talk!"
This is what I heard: Everything's fine and they want to give MY daughter a high security clearance! Eek!
Here's more of what I heard after that... her MTI went ballistic after their limited base liberty (the Subway feast) because SOME trainees did things they weren't allowed to do (not her), the MTI got taken off their flight for a day and apologized when she returned, there's another inspection coming up (isn't there always?!) which is very important (isn't it always?!).
This security clearance testing includes things like "fear testing". Is she afraid of guns, of combat... Sheesh, do I really want to know??? Ok, yes, you're right, I do.
They're getting ready for Field Training week (Warrior Week) which means a "bay" of them (about 22 girls) will be putting up a huge tent. In her words: "This is a HUGE tent, Mom. And I'm in a SHORT BAY!" I cracked up. Her wingmen aren't much taller than she. Not sure how they're going to solve that one, but I have faith that they will.
She's having a little trouble with her left knee but is doing all she can to take care of it while still keeping it strong.
At the end of this week is a Blue (rope/line... i dunno what) where they line up as a flight and, if they're name is called, they step up and fall back... which means they're being recycled. Oy.
"V, is there any chance that you'll be called?"
"I don't think so mom. I'm doing pretty well as long as my run time keeps improving."
Ok, breathing again.
OH! and since this is a really long post titled "Not what I expected"...
I got home from work around 7:15 and was greeted by Tim saying "V CALLED!" This time it was dad's turn to be flabberghasted.
She put him through his paces though, LOL. She needed something from her bedroom. Now if you remember back to my description of this war zone she calls a room you'll have some smidgen of an idea what a big request this was. But we're parents and dumpster diving (homage to Hallie ) is what we do if asked. Avivah needed her passport number as part of this security clearance process.
Well Dad faithfully tried for about 5 minutes while holding the phone with V guiding him in one hand. I can't imagine how funny looking that must've been. V was called away and Tim gave up but we still needed this number for her.
It was a good thing he suggested going out to dinner before diving in. I needed the fortitude! In the end we came home, dove and found it. So now both of us are walking around with this number in our pockets for the next time she calls.
So... Who was it that prepared me for not hearing a peep?!?!? :)
Wednesday, March 5, 2008
Of course I had to make an AF parent stamp for letters I'll send after BMT. Can't use anything now that will attract attention! I used a graphic another AF mom sent me that I really like.
Here it is! I ordered a sheet (20) of my own custom-made, .41 stamps.
You read the end of the blog post yesterday where I said Joshua was taking more of his Finals today??? Well we got whalloped by snow over night (between 6-8" + blowing and drifting) and voila - SNOW DAY!
So now there's no school today and there IS school on Friday when they were supposed to have had it off.
Those parents who had plans to go out of town are probably freaking out. The kids are freaking out because it's Finals week. The Administration's freaking out because they now need to change everything... they're giving the kids MONDAY off now - which will be records day for teachers (as opposed to Friday). And the new Trimester will start a day late. Sheesh!
Me? I have a half acre long driveway to shovel before I can leave for work! Got to be there for 9:30. Heck, I'm off to wake "Snow Day Boy" to help!
Big thanks to AF mom Brenda for the smiling snowman graphic!
Tuesday, March 4, 2008
THIS is what Joshua and Hunter looked like for most of the time he and my sister Karen were visiting (from MD). There's a computer, on YouTube no doubt, in the cabinet!
And now, as promised... a pic of my nephew, Junior Civil Air Patrol Cadet Airman Hunter B., in his dress blues.
Impressive, eh? We're incredibly proud of him and I know he's just as proud of Avivah. I can't wait to get a pic of all our kids in their uniforms. Joshua will be getting his Police Explorer uniform soon. Too cool.
Back in the time warp... My sister Julie had a family lunch at her house just before V left. This pic is from that day. My neice Hannah (not the little one pictured, that's her sister Tillie) took pics for a "magazine" she wanted to create titled Boys In Barrettes. Lucky Justin got selected for the cover.
Are you cracking up yet???
That's it from the mayhem for now. Joshua is taking one final today and the rest over the next two days. Wish him luck!
Monday, March 3, 2008
Awesome news from her - V's flight passed an inspection and did so well they made HONOR FLIGHT! Because of that they earned long showers, a trip to the mini mall and patio time, which means phone calls.
Classes are going well. She loved self defense (helps that she was a third degree Green sash in Wushu Kung Fu) and is looking forward to more of that. She still rocks with her M16. She got her official ID card. It's one of the first official things that says AIRMAN on it so she was tickled.
She mentioned that she got to open all of her letters today. She says thank you so much to everyone who's written so far.
Drew, She was THRILLED that you wrote. Do it again!
Trills, you sneaky blessed people. I love you all soooo much. I had no idea you all wrote to her last weekend. Guess what? Yours was the only letter that made her cry. Thank you for touching her heart (and mine) so deeply.
Mom, Deb, Corinne, Debbie and everyone else, she says that the support you've sent means so much to her. She feels the LURVE! :)
She got to talk directly to Joshua for the first time since 2/12 and she thanked him personally for his letter. Gosh, the two of them miss each other so much. It was cool that it was Joshua who got to tell her that we had just made our reservations for graduation. She told him how many days until their reunion. He really got a kick out of her countdown.
She also gave me the name of one of her Wingmen who gets very little mail. You can comment or e-mail me for the information if you'd be so kind as to send a note to this young female trainee.
The most telling part of the conversation was that today in Chapel they did a guided meditation where they were to "go" to a place where they were safe and happy. When it ended they shared a little about "where they were" and why. She said, "Mom, I was right here." I just about cried to hear her this proud of herself and the teamwork of which she's a part. THAT'S the pride in herself I've wanted for her all along.
Here is it, Day 1 of Week of Training 3. This is almost it. Almost "Half Way" through BMT.
To celebrate, today Tim made our plane/hotel/rental car reservations for graduation. YIPEE!
We got a very good deal as far as I can tell. Huge thanks to a BMT Grad wife (Barbara) and an AF Mom (Peggy) from my beloved list. They both suggested Expedia and to look for (air/car/hotel) package deals. Another mom from the list (Judy) suggested the hotel we've booked. We were able to get cancellation coverage for the whole package through Expedia too so now we're pretty much set.
Have I told you how thankful I am for these amazing AF Moms & Dads and BMTGrad people?! Mucho!