Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Trip to Hiroshima

I took a trip to Hiroshima with a group of buddies the other day. The main event was a trip to see the Hiroshima Carp baseball team. I have never seen a Japanese baseball game before and it was a little bit different. The baseball was the same but the way the fans conduct themselves is quite different. All the ballgames I've been to in the States consist of everyone drinking beer, eating hot dogs, yelling at the other team and cheering when their team does something good. In Japan, they still drink beer (there are ladies that walk around with kegs on their back and poor beer for you on the spot), the hot dogs are not the hot dogs traditionally thought of (and are not the main food attraction), they don't taunt the other team (they will actually sit quietly while the other teams fans chant something in Japanese to root their team on, and they have cheerleaders in the stands leading chants and songs. These cheerleaders aren't like the ones we have in the States either. These cheerleaders are have whistles, bang plastic bats and clappers and lead entire sections of people in crazy chants. At the 7th inning stretch they entire crowd lets balloons go which go everywhere. It was a blast!

Also on the trip was a stop at the Genbaku Dome and the Hiroshima Peace Park which is a memorial to the A-bomb dropped on Hiroshima in WWII. It was my second trip to this memorial but the feelings where just the same. To see the pictures and the atrifacts at the museum are incredible. The magnatude of the destruction and thought that in a flash that hundreds of thousands of people were vaporized in an instant is just incredible. If anyone ever gets the chance to visit Japan, this is definately one spot you can not miss. Plus, you can see a ball game across the street.

Here are some pics:

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Off to Thailand!

Well, I am packing up for a month detachment to Thailand. I am looking forward to going to another country I haven't been before. It should be a fun trip. There will be a lot of flying and training but should be a good time to see the sites and experience the culture. Unfortunately, I may not be able to keep up on this blog while I am there due to the limited internet access/broadband. However, I am sure I will have plenty to write about when I do.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

The Journey Begins!

Well, my adventure started on 3/6/2008 when I left home and kissed my wife and girls goodbye at 0430. We flew half the day and eventually landed at Travis AFB. This so happens to be quite close to my hometown and I was warmly welcomed by my family (Mom, Dad, Brothers, Sister-in-Law, Nephew, Grandmother, and Uncle). We had a quiet dinner and I enjoyed being with my family again and catching up with everyone. The next day I stopped by my old high school and visited with some of my old teachers and coaches. My dad set up an interview with the local newspaper and received a little article in the paper. I would have liked to spend the day there visiting but was only there for 45 minutes before had to catch my next flight to Hawaii. We spent two nights there after a painful 8+ hour flight. The trip is so much longer because the F/A-18s have to stay fully fueled at all times in case for some reason one has to divert it will need all the gas it can carry. The process of getting all the aircraft cycled through getting mid-air refueled is quite impressive. The drawback is that we can't fly as fast as we would normally due to the limitations of the refueling equipment. The time spent in Hawaii was nice and the weather was great being that it was March. I was able to spend a little over two months in Hawaii last time we deployed to Japan. But, that is another chapter all together. From Hawaii we flew to Guam. Yet another painful journey. For those of you that have never been to Guam, it is quite beautiful. The people are friendly (lots of Japanese tourists). It is often called the Japanese Hawaii. The next step in the journey would take us to the Republic of Korea. We participated in a two-week exercise with the Navy and Air Force as well as the ROK Air Force. The nights were in the 30's and the days were around 60's. We all were quite eager to get to Iwakuni, to have our own living spaces, showers and a sense of normalcy. Living in tents in the freezing cold let us appreciate our ground brethren. Here are a few pictures of some of the stops we made along the way.

This picture was taken from my cell phone of Yosemite Valley from the cockpit of the KC-10 refueling aircraft on my way to Travis.

This is a picture of "my" jet. Notice the name painted on it!

Here is my attempt at taking a panoramic shot of the flight line on Marine Corps Base Kaneohe Bay.

These shots were taken from my hotel room in Guam on Tumon Bay.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Connectivity Problems

I would like to post more and more often but it seems as though my internet connectivity in my BOQ room isn't up to the challenge. I share a wireless connection with hundreds of my closest friends, plus, I have to have a signal booster installed in my room just so I can receive a descent signal. So, I am having to post from my work computer which I have loads of time to do. Not really. Anyway, sorry for the lack of info but I will try and keep this more up to date.

Saturday, April 5, 2008

Now a Private Blog

I've now made this blog private for the time being. I don't want to have too much info out there for just anyone to see due to Operational Security. Some of the posts I make concerning where I am, where our unit is and what we are currently doing may be used in a negative manner against my unit and or me and my family. But, I do want to share with you all the things that we are doing and experiencing here in the Western Pacific Theater.