Becky’s World

A Day in the Life of Becky

Coming Home: Expectations

It has almost been 1 year since since I have returned from Iraq.  Some days it feels like it’s been a decade, but most of the time it feels like it was only yesterday that we were greeted by the large crowd of family and friends at the Bloomington Armory.  I have learned a lot since I have returned and have spent a lot of time thinking and most likely over analyzing most situations and thoughts.

One thing I know for sure is that coming home is the hardest part of the whole deployment process. This does not mean that it’s not the happiest part in the end, but adjusting is a long, difficult process. They warned us not to have high expectations about coming home. They said it was going to be hard to keep your emotions from letting your brain from creating great expectations. And even then, I decided to start recognizing that coming home would be difficult, that the life you had before would be altered forever. When you are deployed and all you want to do is come home, you can’t think of anything better than so be with your family. However, what I didn’t realize then was that to expect things to be close to the same as when I left, was a high expectation. Nobody can prepare you for that.

Now, I am not saying it’s hasn’t been great to get to know my husband again. it’s been magical to almost re-fall in love. That part is priceless. But it’s been a long journey………..

June 5, 2008 Posted by | Iraq Deployment | Leave a comment

Home for Good

The time has finally come when I return home for good. We arrived at the Bloomington Armory yesterday afternoon to quite the crowd. It was such a great welcome. Then, Sean took me to Chipotle and Starbucks before returning to the house.
The house looks great and the hound was so happy to have another person to play with. Since then I have been getting used to ‘normal’ life. Thank you all for being there for me, and I look forward to seeing you.

July 22, 2007 Posted by | Iraq Deployment | 1 Comment

Pass was a success

Hookah bar/cafe, originally uploaded by beckydanaher.

Happy April Everyone,
As promised, I posted several pictures from the pass I just returned from. The rest and relaxatoin the Army provided was absolutely wonderful. Where to start?
First off, it is in a different country, which I can now add to my repertoire. It was pretty much a resort for soldier to get away and have fun. So, that’s what I did. The base has so much to offer, especially to those of us from this base. Many other bases have coffee shops, pools and restaurants, so it’s not as completely awesome for others.
My day consisted of working out (working out meant Orange Julius afterwards), then swimming in the pool until we got hungry. Dinner was great because there were options. It wasn’t just the mess hall; they had a Chilis hah! There was also a Subway, pizza place and two other restaurants. And it didn’t even end there because there was still the night of three beers to look forward to. If you thought I was lightweight before….watch out Twin Cities.
Actually, it was just so nice to do what you wanted, when you wanted. I wore ‘civilian’ clothes for the first time since leave and even wore my hair down. I didn’t think I remembered what that all felt like.
So, that was a normal day. Two of the days, of 5 total, were spent on venues. We (the five of us in the picture) went on 2 venues; Dhow Cruise and a Cultural Tour. The first was a big wooden boat that took us out into the gulf. It stopped further out at an island where we were able to jump off the boat into the water. Yep, did the back flips and what not – all the crazy stuff we used to do off the diving board at Terry and Karen’s. Had to show up all the boys too. After swimming some we ate traditional food; lamb, chicken and rice. If we really were to eat ethnically we would have all ate with our hands….but not all are too keen on that one. It was so tasty. Then, we returned and took pictures next to that big pearl you see in the picture.
The other venue was a Cultural Tour. We went to the fruit market and the camel market (picture). I have a picture of two camels that moved simultaneously. It reminded me of the California Raisins Christmas special (Bob should remember this one). We went to two malls (very similar to home); I drank 2 Starbucks that day (I miss that so much). We also ate at a local restaurant. This was followed up by tea at the hookah bar. That’s what is depicted in this picture. Flavored tobacco out of a hookah is ….. an experience – lots of fun, relaxing, good company.
And, that is pass. I am back, safe and sound.
This was probably the best thing I have experienced the military do for the welfare of soldiers. I was impressed.
Oh, and I had 3 desserts at Chilis.
My roommate, Lachele, was unable to come with due to a very painful muscle virus she picked up a week prior which immobilized her. She held out until the night befor in hopes she would feel better, but she is just now getting over it. She’s so strong though and is recovering.

April 14, 2007 Posted by | Iraq Deployment | 1 Comment

PASS

Hello Everyone,
I am elated to share with you the news that I am going on pass tonight. We were granted a few days of R&R to unwind and enjoy ourselves. I can’t tell you where I am going or when I will be back; however, I won’t be gone long. You won’t hear from me for a little while but “no worries” (per the Australians) – I will be swimming, tanning, drinking (alotted 3 beers/day), eating, and whatever else I can fit in. Mostly it will just be nice to get out of here. I delt with the extension by shopping online (hee hee) so the good news is that I have plenty of civilian clothes for pass. I rationalized all my purchases with the fact that I haven’t been clothes shopping in almost 2 years, good enough for me. I will post pictures upon my return. Until then, out having a good time. – Becky

April 5, 2007 Posted by | Iraq Deployment | 1 Comment

Helping the Children


School Drop – handing out supplies
Originally uploaded by beckydanaher.

The other week I had the opportunity to travel to a school in the surrounding area. We handed out school supplies to the children at a local school.
This was such a rewarding experience for me. It was great, actually helping out the locals personally. To see the smiles on their faces was priceless.
The picture you saw in the Stillwater Gazette, of Jim and I, was taken at this school. Jim and his section do this often, as well as many other missions to help the surrounding communities.
Just thought you may want to see some good things that are happening here in Iraq.

February 3, 2007 Posted by | Iraq Deployment | 1 Comment

Extended………………

Yes, what you are hearing is true.
We are extended. It’s all over the MN news, or at least it was….it’s funny how quickly the media moves on to something more exciting. Perhaps that’s not fair.
I can’t say too much on the website about timing. However, I won’t be making Anne and Brett’s wedding, but ideally will be home for Sean’s birthday, cross your fingers. After the denial, anger, depression, acceptance….I went through it all over again. But, now things have settled down. Soldiers have come to accept it and are now trying to make something of our time remaining. It’s no use in getting upset anymore. It’s not going to make it any easier or better, just miserable. So, Iraq…I am here to stay.
I appreciate all the support; Sean and I are going to need you more now than ever. I think it’s really tough on everyone…here and at home. But, a year from now I know I will appreciate every part of my life at home.
Please pray for us.

January 22, 2007 Posted by | Iraq Deployment | Leave a comment

Santa and His Elf, on Parade


New Year’s Parade
Originally uploaded by beckydanaher.

In an attempt to raise morale with the troops, the unit put on a parade on base. Many other countries got involved, and there even were camels and sheep participating.
Our section was represented by no other than your’s truely. I was voluteered. However, I had great company, since one of the best leaders here was also volunteered…and what the pair we made.
Sean sent the Santa outfit, which worked out perfectly. I had a make-shift elf costume, and we decorted the Polaris. We even had a full size Christmas tree in the back which lit up.
He was the crudest Santa I have ever seen; it was hilarious. Insulting and throwing things (apple sauce and tuna) at parade-watchers, he was a great Santa. It was a lot more fun than I ever thought it would be.
And that’s right, Santa and his elf have beers in hand (N.A.) and cigars. Staying classy!

January 13, 2007 Posted by | Iraq Deployment | Leave a comment

So, There I was……the Camel and I


Hola, from Iraq
Originally uploaded by beckydanaher.

HAPPY NEW YEAR!

I finally got the camel ride I have been waiting for. Five dollars at the market, what a deal. O.K., it wasn’t really a ride; the ride would have cost seven, but for five you can get up on the camel and stay there long enough for a few pictures. This is all I really wanted anyway. I posted a few other shot on the web.
Camels. I think I have posted in the past about the very interesting creatures. I would like to add to that how darn smelly they are. They stink! But, the locals were kind enough to put a clean blanket on for us. I guess sometimes you aren’t so lucky.
This little boy, and I believe his brother, bring their camel out everyday for rides, pictures, etc. Their family gets to take home the profits, which is just one very small way we are helping the people in this area. We have so many other large projects our soldiers are working on to help the people of this country. Some of them Jim Norton works with on a daily basis – Stillwater grad ’97.
Well, my goals are complete; I can come home. Hah! I wish it were that simple.

January 7, 2007 Posted by | Iraq Deployment | 1 Comment

HO HO Home Away from Home


Holi-trailer
Originally uploaded by beckydanaher.

So, here is the trailer, all decked out for the holidays. I posted a few other pictures for your viewing pleasure. So, that in the middle is our Christmas Tree Farm; it’s beautiful.
My collection of pictures is growing, thank you all. On the right wall are all my friend and family pictures, on the back wall are Sean and Becky pictures, against my wall locker are all the kids in my life, and on the ceiling is the picture the Soggy Bottoms Gang took on the jungle gym in CA.
No, I am not coming home for Christmas. That would not be a smart war plan, but I will be there in spirit. A few of us are going to watch White Christmas tomorrow night after attending a candle light ceremony at the post chapel. On Christmas there will be a large holiday meal, similar to Thanksgiving. However, everthing else is work as usual.
I have been holding off opening my Christmas presents. Sean, except those couple I already opened……oops.
Merry Christmas!

December 23, 2006 Posted by | Iraq Deployment | Leave a comment

Birthday Fun in the Desert

Thank you all for the birthday wishes. It was great to get all the emails, blog messages and gifts. I was sitting in my trailer last night thinking how this is the second year I have received birthday wishes this way….and the last.
My birthday was very nice and all my friends here made it special. The morning was pretty quiet, like any other day. Lunch time came around and I went to lunch with Crane like I do pretty much every day. I was going to participate in a going away pizza lunch, but was convinced to go to the chow hall. Lunch was normal, same stuff, same seating area, same same. About half way through I hear this ruckus from behind me – horns blowing and a large crown is making a scene in the back of the chow hall. For a second I thought it was so embarassing and started to take pity on the poor sole that was receiving this band of hooligans….until I relized…oh crap…they’re coming my way. I know these soldiers, these soldiers singing happy birthday, carrying cake with candle and each placing lays around my neck…each and every one. The entire room chimed in and sang…my face was beat red.
Beachem planned it and many were involved. It was all very sweet and well thought out. I then got to have lunch with everyone.
Later in the day, after Tae Bo, my team took me out for a dinner at the pasta place. It was so tasty, and I ate way too much.
What a surprising birthday. I feel fortunate to have people here and at home who care about me and my happiness.
Thank you everyone!

December 13, 2006 Posted by | Iraq Deployment | 1 Comment