So I am not really sure how to start this entry considering the rather long, though unintentional, break I took. I don’t really want to go through a run down of the past few months, but I don’t think I can just start right back into it as if I’d been blogging regularly.
Basically, there were a few reasons I stopped updating. Mainly, I was distracted and lazy. There was also the issue that I actually have soldiers now so I was more hesitant to blog about day to day life (especially the way I like to critique everything). My chain of command actually found out about my blog from a source in Ft. Eustis, so my second or third week in the unit, I was already in the colonel’s office briefing him about Army policies on personal websites. While he said he had no problem if I continued with the blog, the timing just coincided with the other, already mentioned reasons.
The first few months were incredibly busy due to the preparation for the deployment. We had two field exercises soon after I arrived, both a week and half to two weeks long (I spent my birthday in the field). We were also dealing with soldier issues and sorting out who was actually deploying vs. who was staying on rear detachment due to medical issues. My life became a lot easier the day rear detachment became an actual platoon of its own. After we were certified for deployment during the field exercise, things started slowing down some, but there were still quite a few small details to take care off. It wasn’t until block leave that everything completely calmed down. I only took a week of the available four week time period because I didn’t have that much leave saved up, but the three weeks I wasn’t on leave were very nice. PT in the morning, browse the Internet in the morning (after taking care of any work of course), long lunches, and another hour or two at the gym to end the day.
As far as traveling is concerned, I haven’t done nearly as much as I was hoping I would have done by now. I went to Brussels in March, and used my week of leave to go to London. I absolutely loved London and would move there in a heartbeat if I ever had the chance. I also finally made it to Dresden, but other than that, I’ve mainly revisited German cities (although, I also made it to Salzburg - at least Austria is a different country) I used to like. A friend of mine is stationed in Bamberg so I’ve been up there quite a bit, and some of the other LTs in my battalion and I had just started going to Regensburg more right before my unit left.
Germany isn’t bad but Grafenwoehr is definitely not the place to be stationed. They are building it up, so in the next few years it should get a lot better but right now, it’s not so great. The new PX and commissary are scheduled to open in the fall, and several units in Germany are moving to Grafenwoehr so that should encourage more development in the German town as well. It’s actually kind of sad, but apparently the base we’re going to in Iraq is going to have a lot more facilities than the German base. They even have coffee shops and a pool out there. Yes, I realize that Starbucks does exist in Germany but once again, I’m at least an hour away from any city that has one in it. As far as bakeries and cafes are concerned, Germans and Americans have quite different definitions of mochas (in Germany, it’s much more like an espresso) so they don’t help me too much. Of course, that’s probably a good thing – I think I put on about five my senior of college after discovering that I actually liked mochas and lattes despite the fact that they had coffee in them.
Anyway, I hope to start updating again on a somewhat regular basis now since I'm expecting fewer distractions (though probably a busier work schedule - I'll find out soon).