Sunday, September 7, 2008

7 Sept 08 - Jimmy


I hope you have a great 3rd birthday! I'm sorry I couldn't be there in person with you, but know that I'm thinking about you on this special day. I look forward to the pictures (hint hint mom!) and I hope you get some cool toys. Watch "Cars" for me and here is an "Atomic Kiss" for you! Love, Dad

07 Sept 08


Howdy - I hope all is wekk and you are safe and having fun. Before I get going with this letter, I'll say 2 thing.

I wouldn't hold my breath on a phone call from me. By all means, keep the phone on you, just in case, but the other platoons in our company - and even other companies who I've talked with at church - all have received additional phone calls. Our particular drills don't seem to have personal sympathies in this way. But you never know. Also, I wouldn't figure it to be more than 3 mintues. It won't be much longer and we'll talk in person! Having said that, I'm always prepared for a phone call, as I have my phone card at easy access.

BTW, Ft. Knox is known for being a tough, strict BCT site. So those other women who got calls on Labor Day probably had husbands/boyfriends who were at Ft. Jackson. It is known as "Relaxin' Jackson". It is an easy site to go for BCT because it is COED training. BTW, what does DH/DB stand for? "DH" to me is designated hitter. Anyway, just curious - I figured it had something to do with husbands and boyfriends (It's Dear Husband or Dear Boyfriend).

Second point, I hope hope hope by now you have found that research for me & sent it. I only have 2 - maybe 2 1/2 weeks of possible paint time. Wtih the week of BIOVAC - that will only be a matter of days prior to graduation. So here is what I need (as of this day - saturday night) I have not received it from you if it is coming.

*All the Army Branch Insignias - Just their design - likely be black and white.
*A wolf, (2) poses, (A) lying down - prone - mainly a front view if possible (B) a side or front standing pose
*A pit bull (A) frontal - running if possible (B) close up of head - frontal
*A bull dog (A) frontal - running if possible (B) Close up of head - frontal
*The 3 sisters mountains from Melakwa side.

By now, I got the rest in some way or another. Sounds like it may be tough to do unless you have put together the scanner/printer to your computer. I guess you cold just get the research done up and sent to Fredy's and done in the form of a photo. But please, so I can finish these murals, do the research. I am at a standstill on what I can do now.

I'm glad to hear that church goes smoothly for you now with all the adults around. I appreciate the talk recap - That is nice. Tell Aunt Sue thanks for getting the kids church bags. That's real nice.

Onto some points from your letter - Wh wait. I'll tell you the mural of me is looking pretty good. I'll probably enclose the sketch so you can get an idea. Basically it is life size of me flexing and then 4 PT vinegettes with the discipline quote to suggest that PT is a great aid to discipline - anyway, hopefully you'll see it in person. Now onto your letters.

Glad to hear weekly scripture study is going well. Maybe you can read a highlight verse daily before school and discuss for a minute or tow before everyone has to go.

Red Phase - Yes, we're in White phase now for the last week or so, but the only difference now is a bit more "student leadership" with a platoon guide, still 4 Squad Leaders and then 2 Team Leaders per each squad. I'm one of the Team Leaders. I don't have a ton of responsibility, so that's nice. Frees me up to do these murals on the little spare time I have. Other than that, White Phase isn't much diffeent than Red Phase in my view. And Bue Phase is basically the FOB week and gear turn into heading into graduation.

Glad to hear about the house - that is great news and a great relief! Keep me posted.

Pics of the plane and such were cool - I'm sorry it was so tough for you.

Wow - 149.6! Outstanding! Keep it up - You're almost at your goal. Use some of the $250 separation pay (acutally they gave us $275) to buy yourself some new clothes. You need and deserve it!

Too bad about my computer. PLEASE back up the memory somehow. If we have to - send it to fan so he can retrieve it. He can then part it out and eventually rebuild something with. Also we have that new DVD drive. Have you put the DVR drive on Jake's yet? But I really need it backed up - way too much family history to lose!

Yes, the emails came through - thank you much! I figure I'll have some saved up for next Sunday. today I painted murals as it was "battlecross" Sunday - no church services - only bands and such.

Glad to hear your trip is reserved - and less than what you though it was going to be. BTW, it appears we'll have 10 hours for a pretty fair radius of area. I know we can go to Elizabethtown and another one in the area, but I don't know yet. Apparently, you should have a letter from the battallion or company soon. Please let me know what it says. Also share it with my mom and dad and my brothers. I plan on spending almost all that Family Day with you. Well see how it all shakes out. Yes, I miss you terrible - Wow! It is tough! Amazing how much we take for granted in life, eh?!!!

I'm sure you'll have a calling soon. I know that's frustrating, but I'm sure you'll be official soon - in some capacity.

Not sure who the other counselor is, but I know Bro XXXX is basically Anti-Scouting. At least the way it is organized currently. He is so much smarter than the General Authorities and National BSA Leadership. Anyway, I woudln't bet on that. Pack 777 is way a ton of fun, and a much better experience for Tom. But, I wish the Pack would start up again. I'm sure there hasn't been one since I left Chinook/Wacoma!

tell Joe I'm glad he has a new bike and helmet. That is cool. Don't let Eme use training wheels too much. She'll remember quick how to ride. Just remember how to off set the wheels so they aren't flush on the ground. She can do it!

Sonds like the power supply wen on the computer from your description. yeah, just send it to fan when you can - when money frees up a bit.

Actually, I think the longest we've been apart is 2 weeks - and never with no phone contact.

Wow! you are doing great on your WordArt. I'm very proud of what you are doing - making a little bit of cash while having so much fun doing something you are so good at. Keep going, baby girl!

Poor little Jimmy. His is the saddest story of them all, I think. He just doesn't understand. How I wish I could just hug him and let him know it's ok and that I'm still around. Please show him pics of me and let him know I'll be there soon and that I'm still around. Give him Atomic Kisses. Sing him my 3 bedtime songs. I'll be able to talk to him soon.

Nice Labor Day qoute - and of course, good WordArt!

I love you more than I can say or write...And the kids too! Take care, my sweetie, your devoted and loving husband and father, Brent.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

6 Sept 08

We learned and fired the 203 Grenade launcher and the M182-AT4 (antitank) (normal infantry cary (36) 203Granades). Acutally, both were firing dummy rounds, but we got the idea. The 203 (just like in AA) is very similar to the experience in the game, except it is mounted on an M-16 for us. Good fun. And were getting paid for it! Of course, it is jub training, but it feels like a lot of fun at the moment. It reminds me of the quote from Col. Jeffers..."It's great fun now, boys, until we start stopping bullets." and as the author of the article noted, it made the hair on the back of his neck stand up. And while I didn't feel that way today, I surely looked around and realized that the majority of the nearly 200 will be engaged in combat soon. And surely, while there is much to learn and much discipline that needs improvement on most of these young men - you surely have to admire their pluck. We represent 1 out of 100 American men. Only 1% serve in the US Armed Foreces - and it makes me proud to know I'm counted with that group!

The BIOVAC went well. We slept on gravel with our PT mat. 1st time I've ever slept on gravle. It had rained the better part of the day yesterday. So i guess it was deemed that the dirt was just too muddy. But i got pretty good sleep. we didn't set up our "hooch" as there was nothing to bungee the ponch to. It misted most of the night. I stripped down to undershorts and stayed very warm in my sleeping bag. as our instructions said to do. My ACU's which were damp from cathing early rain and the day's exertion - I put them in my sleeping bag and the dampness was petty much gone - cool stuff!

Well, i'm out of paper and will stop for today likely. I do have a bit more paper I can use - we'll see. The time going well. we have 2 weeks much like today and then 1 week of FOB (short sleep) and then the last days of sept and early october to close up and clean up. I love you all so very much - your loving and devoted husband and father - Brent

Friday, September 5, 2008

5 Sept 08

Well, we're at the big caliber rifles classes. They are very boring. Imagine 200 guys sitting shoulder to shoulder on covered bleachers with rain gear top, LBV, & IBA - it is quite crowded. Tough to say awake. But it should be a ton of fun shooting a 44 lb machine gun! The 50 cal. has been around since WWII. the other 2 rifles are the M-240 B and M-249 or "SAW" that we often use in America's Army game. we also fire the M-203 tomorrow, I believe. But the breifing classes are tough. Especially to keep 200 young men awake at the same time. If there is an issue with sleeping or dozing off, the whole company can be punished or "smoked". This is exercise until your muscles are "smoked" or pushed to fatigue. I'd much rather smoke myself!

I did have time last night to go outside and run on the PT area with just a few of the guys in the platoon. that was nice. I'm hoping to be able to get my AFPT scores to 90% in each category by the 12th. That is 65 Pushups, 68 Situps in 2 minutes, and then the 2 mile urn in 14:24. The run and sit ups I feel I can get. The Push ups, too, but they weill be a challenge to perform them cleanly. I'm generally doing 200 pushups a day to build the muscle memory. I do sets of 40 and try to get those very tight. Apparently, my form slips around 30 reps. As has been emphasized, PT Studs get the best assignments.

Well, ti is the back end of the day. After lunch (the day revolves around when and how much and how good our chow is, by the way) we got to shoot the 249 SAW (same ammo as M-16), 240B (.762 mm) and the .50 CAL - big machine gun- large ammo! Big bang! We also looked thru a night vision thermal scope. Pretty neat stuff. Oh, we also saw the claymore mine. It is real cool! Basically a "grape shot" effect. But it isn't used much in today's warefare. Bit Explosion!

Thursday, September 4, 2008

4 Sept 08


Howdy! I hope all is well with you and kiddos. Are you hanging in there? things are not too rough at your parent's house, I hop. I think in many respects, you have the tougher "row to hoe". Hange in there - I have a deep, admiring respect of you, my queen! We are a great eternal partnership, and that only increases with time.

Well, sweetie, I just got through chow here at lunch and time on the BRM qualifying day. I made a go the first time!!! There are 3 levels (4 counting no-go): Marksman, Sharpshooter, and Expert. I was shooting well and thought I had Sharpshooter, but must have came up short. 23-28 is Marskman, 29-35 is Sharpshooter, and 36-40 is Expert. There was one guy in the compnay who hit 40-40!

So, I got a nice little medal for my dress class A uniform that wi'll be getting next week. Just a side note - The army just announced that in Winter 2010, there will be a new Class A uniform - back to the blue! And it will have a more Athletic cut to it instead of looking like a "civilian suit". I also heart all the services will have the same Class A. But I'm not sure about that. But there will be only one official A Uniform.

So qualifying was the last big hurdle to overcome to graduate. the only test left now is the AFPT, and I've already scored a 233. I'm looking to get over a 270 on the next one. That will get me the Presidential Fitness Award or something.

We have really only 2 more "standard" weeks of BCT. We have full week out at the FOB (forward operations base). To the time is clicking off. As the Drills say, BRM qualification is the pinacle. After that, it is a cruise to graduation and onto the "fun stuff" like shotting 50 cal and saws and seeing the AT4 - Tank killer.

I'm using all my extra time on the murlas. They look pretty good - all things considered. Hopefully you can take pics whne you get here. I have one logo copmlete, the "Army-discipline" mural about 1/3 of the way, and the american flag/branches murla drawn in, minus branch insignia. I hope you've sent the research by now, or otherwise I'm sutck. I also have fairly complete sketches for 2 more murals, but again, need research.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

02 Sept 2008


I got 3 letters from you today and one from your mom. That was good! It sounds action packed. Much of this in your letters is duplicated in your emails.

Jake cannot play football without cleats. Please get him some ASAP. I can't run effectively on grass w/o cleats. I'm sure he is the same. Cheap ones from Walmart are just fine. You've probably already got them....

Tell Eme thanks for the pretty pictures. Tell her to keep it up.

I would think my calls will only come on a Saturday or Sunday. We're too busy elsewise.

I love the pictures. It was neat to see my big kid among those tiny bosy. Very neat. I like how Eme drew me with Camo! Very cute. I very much love looking at that pic of you with Joe and Jim in front of your folds house - black t-shirts. You look awesome!!! I can't wait to see you again. Wow - 150 - 202!!! Great job - keep going!

Again, absolutely confirmed, Oct 3rd is graduation, Family day is the 2nd. So, get here on the 1st that evening. You can get the room for the 1st and 2nd, checking out on the 3rd. Possibly we could be in the airpot at the same time! Well, get those tickes - make it happen (don't forget the rental car).

Please send me a pic of you! I'd like to see how you're looking. Also, send me one of Jake in his gear - maybe in action - Tom @ football or Scouts, Eme in her cheerleading gear. Also ,the two little boys. And on of them all!

Hang in there, sweetie ... we'll be together again as a family soon. There will be tough times and easy time. We're moving in the right direction!

By the way, I think how awesome you are each day! Say your prayers for help. Also, call on my dad - he'll be glad to help and listen.

Love you beyond words or storeis or any kind - your devoted husband and soldier - Brent

2 Sept 08

Sweetie Pie

I hope you're doing fine - I sure miss you and love you so very dearly! In the coming days it is going to get real busy. The days, as you noted, are slipping fast. There will be one week at the FOB (forward operations base - I believe) which will be a BIOVAC. I'm told we will get short sleep - much like we would in the field. It should be fun and challenging.

But that is a few weeks away. this week we qualify for BRM - the pinnacle of this training cycle, as our Drills have said. My rifle has been ID's as broken - it appears the tirgger spring is not engaging every time. Hence my issues. The company gunsmith was supposed to fix it today but he must still be enjoying Labor Day weekend. we got something of a break for Labor Day, by the way. It was much needed, combined with the break of Sunday and Monday.

Back to BRM. I believe once the rifle is fixed, I'll have no problems qualifying. But reguardless, keep me in your prayers that my eye sight picture will be clear, my grips and stock welds firm and my trigger squeeze smooth so that I will drop many targets. This is really the last large hurdle to overcome. The only other qualifier is the IV stick and of course the test. My AFPT score of 233 is well above Army Standard. As long as I stay healthy, all looks well.

The murals are coming along. I hope you have sent the research I have requested. I don't think I can count on DB because he just doesn't have the eye for it. and we are running out of time and he is stomped for time. I'll send the sketches to you when I can

I'll try to respond to your letters while I wait on the firing line today.

Jake in football - Awesome! how it pains me to know I can't see him in his first game, practices, etc. tell him to always go hard. as they taught us in high school, a mistake made at high speed is much better than being teneative about what you should do - where you should go. So always go hard, you will likely only run 10 yards or so anyway, so it isn't hard to go ard if you will it in your mind.

Also, keep your butt down and your head and shoulders elevated. this applies to your stance and when you go to tackle someone. Well, listen to your coaches, practice your stance and firing out at home for a few minutes each day and you'll do fine.

Tom in Flag Football 0 FUN! Again, I wishi I could see and be there to help. Enjoy it! It is really quite different from Real football - all in time. Have fun in Cub Scouts at pack 777. I doubt the ward will start it.

Eme in cheerleading - WOW! Have fun and cheer lots. I'm sure you'll have lots of friends and do well.

Neat to hear Solberg is spreading the word. And pretty cool you met the DE.

Sounds like you're gearing up to afford to be here. The cost is high, but I'm glad you're coming. Good job on your wordart. Outstanding! It will be goo to visit with you in person!

I'm sure you'll be used accordingly while there in the ward.

Yes, arrive on the 1st, get a hotel off base (you can't stay on base) and get a rental car. Then we'll hang out.

I do remember our time in nursery. That was probably my favorite calling in many ways. I guess it was because I got to serve with with you! But the children - they sure soaked up the gospel and reflected out the product - love. Particularly that of the Savior's love for us.

Yes, being at church on Sunday is such a blessing. I'd do near anything to get there. My feelings and sensitivities of the Spirit come back on line there. It is nothing liek a family ward, but it recharges the soul and allows us to feel the spirit. I also have met a few other guys who are going to OCS at the same time. So that is neat.

It is a long time to go without a hug, a kiss - just to see you and talk with you. It will be a nice visit. At least we'll be able to talk on the phone regularly and then I'll visit and Christmas (we'll have to pay for that, too - but we should get a military cut for that). And then you'll come out to the commissioning ceremony 0 and we can be with each other again! And then we should be able to go to our assignment and be together as a family. It will surely be sweet!

"Sacrifice bring for the the blessings of heaven..." we sang my favorite song at church Sunday. I lost it there. The sacrifice of being away from you all is sometimes very difficult. But I know that this sacrifice does bring forth the blessings from our father in Heaven. And I know that there are many blessings we don't recognize at this time.

That blog is a pretty neat idea. It will be easy for family to visit.

Hey, have you set up the other computers yet? In that way you can do things faster online. Also, I maybe able to have you send me the laptop for use at OCS. Not sure, something to think about.

I'm glad you all have fun at the airport. yea, I've been there. I didn't know you were afraid of airplanes! Anyway, glad you all had fun - even you!

Well, I'm not sure if you have sent that research, but please do! You can leave out the american flag, but please send the rest. I will need ti if I have any hope of completing the murals!

Babygirl, I love you more than my words can convey. And of course, each one of our children, too! I love and miss you. I look forward to my leave at Christmas. It will surley be good.

Take care - say hi to family and a "thanks" for allowing us to stay there! Love Brent

02 Sept 08

Here is a news article that I found on the bus Sunday. My pals at church are in the 1/46th but Golf Company. this article is about them, but I thought it was just as much about me. thought it would be a good thing for the scrapbook.

Make sure you give the XXXXX a call and see how things are going. And a "thank you" card to them would be great.

Well, gotta run!

Love from your devoted husband! Brent