Nomadic Dreamers
...our unschooling journey

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Location: Fairbanks, Alaska, United States

Sunday, July 30, 2006

No homecoming for us

Jody was due to leave Iraq today, after a grueling 12 month deployment. Instead we got word late Wednesday night, just days from our homecoming, that his brigade was being extended in Iraq for up to four months. We're heartbroken, angry, frustrated, defeated, and feel deceived. After enduring so much, we hoped that this nightmare was finally over for us.

The command didn't even have the decency to notify us first. Most of us discovered this painful news through the media!! There were reports that Strykers were headed to Baghdad. We were all certain, however, that it was the brigade that was set to replace Jody's. Because, of course, they would never extend a brigade that is in the process of leaving; the first soldiers had already returned to Ft Wainwright the Sunday prior. Boy were we in for a rude awakening. The Strykers the news talked about included both the new unit from Ft Lewis and the 172nd, the unit Jody belongs to.

Emotions are running raw throughout the post. We went to a brigade briefing, and it turned into an episode reminiscent of the Jerry Springer Show. Wives shouting and screaming at each other, and there were reports that things actually got physical at one point. Instead of the families coming together during a time of great need, they went at each other like animals.

Kids are faring terribly through this mess. Mothers have ended longterm friendships between kids over the silliest of things. Two moms on our street have become invisible, shutting themselves into their houses, and allowing their very young children run wild and destroy property. When they happen to be outside, you hear swearing and threats being shouted at the kids. We were told by the medical command to bring our kids to their pediatricians if necessary to be drugged. These poor kids don't need drugs, they need a stable and nurturing family environment. The troubles run so deep in these families, and this deployment just adds another layer to the problems.

As for T and I, we'll continue to plug along just as we have these past 11 1/2 months.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Close Encounters with Extreme Makeover Home Edition

The TV show "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition" is filming this week in the Fairbanks area. It's made headlines in the paper, with daily updates on what is happening with the home. Numerous businesses and over 1,000 volunteers have come together to build a home for a deserving family in just a week. It's amazing to read about the generosity of so many in our area.

Today Tristan asked to head over to his favorite antique shop. I think the owner and her daughter have a soft spot for Tristan. They know of his love for all things World War II and have his name and phone number in case anything relevant is brought into the shop. They'll point out possible things of interest to him, give him discounts, and talk about what a "cool kid" he is to other customers. They are really great folks that take so much time with Tristan, where as many adults would not give him the time of day.

At any rate, we headed over to the shop this afternoon, and when we entered the owner came bustling over with a really excited look on her face and quietly exclaimed "GUESS WHO'S HERE?!?!? EXTREME MAKEOVER!!" A second later we see the camera guy behind her as he's looking over the shop for possible shots. We then saw a few of the folks from the show, including
Michael Moloney, the main interior designer. He was looking over various pieces of furniture for the home.

Tristan and I decided to look around and headed for the back portions of the shop. We did our usual poking around, trying to guess what various tools were used for, etc. Tristan decided to buy an old small animal trap. When we went to pay for the trap, we realized that they were about to start filming their spot right next to the store entrance. So we hung around the counter with the owner while Michael Moloney called the family and inquired as to what antique piece their mother would like (they captured this whole conversation on camera). After filming, I said a few last words to the owner and turn around to see Tristan just chatting it up with Michael. He was really nice to Tristan, asking to see what Tristan had bought, if he could see it, etc. LOL

This episode is supposed to be the season premiere on September 24th. Tristan is so anxious to watch!!