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Like a virgin…

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Just 51 dollars to buy four hours of great memories. That is a great way to spend some money. From right to left. Dave W, Air Force (Desert Storm Veteran), Roger C. Army (Cold War Veteran), Bert C. Marines (World War II Veteran), Roger M. Marines (Vietnam Veteran), Rob Akers Air Force, kneeling Will M. Marines (Clinton Era Veteran). No war/deployment virgins in this picture. photo from rob akers Veterans Day 2014.

 

Hey Y’all,

 

Just re-reading the next three articles is taking me down memory lane. This is a long, three part story about a 22 hour first flight. It just makes me laugh, even more so when I think about my age. I am turning 50 on Saturday and should be getting close to the same age that Jimmy “Two Balls” was in 2003.

 

I cannot imagine having my identity so wrapped up in my rank that I couldn’t begin to see the bigger picture. Sixteen years ago, I thought he was a jackleg. Today I actually feel sorry for him. It is pitiful to be as old as me and to be so incompetent and ego-eccentric, thinking that the world revolves around them. I guess I am mellowing in old age.

 

By the way when I wrote this post, Jimmy  worked at USAA Bank. I dont know what department but it left me with a sickening feeling because I thought that USAA was a good company. Since then, we have left USAA because they failed to reimburse us following an electrical fire and improper wiring in the current house. We never expected them to pay the full amount, but we did expect them to help out with the electrical upgrades that we made to bring the house up to current codes. Of course they refused and we figured that they should not get the benefit of the upgrades without having to share in the expense. No idea if Jimmy Two balls was involved in this or not. Most likely not, but it felt good to leave a company that would hire him.

 

So three relatively long stories so I will link them all on this one and then one each day.

 

Until next time, keep on rockin!

 

https://robakers.wordpress.com/2013/04/01/flight-onepart-one/

https://robakers.wordpress.com/2013/04/04/flight-onepart-two/

https://robakers.wordpress.com/2013/04/08/flight-onepart-three/

 

 

 

Just one of many…

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Arm full of puppies. Magic has her head on my shoulder. Legend is looking down for food. They have both passed away, along with my brown hair. photo from rob akers.

 

Hey Y’all,

 

Preloading the next story time. My wife and I have been married since 2002. When we met, she had no idea what a life as a military spouse would be like. In fact, it was her first marriage so she had no idea of what being a spouse would really be like either. She had her preconceived ideas and unfortunately for her, she choose poorly. I made it my mission in life to shatter all the dreamy thoughts of what her life would be like. Fortunately, she stayed with me until I got the wheels put on.

 

 

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Donetta and the guy she let get away. She prefers her men short, fat and gray…ha ha. photo from rob akers

 

As the years went on, the deployments occurred and the reunions happened, she loved to hear the stories of all the nonsense that went on while we were “Over There.” I started to write in 2008, partly because I was dealing with a touch of anxiety. I never intended to write about my experiences in Iraq and Afghanistan but she encouraged me to write them down so the kids would know what it was like.

 

I did write them and you are reading them as they were first composed. The problem is that I wasn’t planning on sharing them with the world. But as I was also learning to write and I wanted to write a novel, I needed to have an author’s platform. Meaning a blog. And after a year or two of writing for it, writing these stories and writing my novel, I was beginning to figure out that I was spending a lot of time writing stuff that no one would ever read.

 

So that is when I started to combine the story time and the blog. Knocking out two birds with one stone. So here we are a lot of years later. I am still working on the number one novel (ugh!) and now I am on Facebook (not as bad as I feared) and I am combining story time and social media. I might not be better, but I am more efficient.

 

I wrote all that to say this. Way back when I wrote all these stories, I really never intended that they would be seen by anyone other than my kids. My stories are about real people. I write about people that I know and that know me. I have never asked anyone for their permission to write about them and I have never asked anyone if I can share their stories. If I ever write anything that is less than flattering, I am sorry but I promise that I always portray myself as accurately and honestly and unflatteringly as possible, warts and all.

 

Finally, these are not their stories or their version of that time in life or their perspective of any event. It is written exclusively from my memories during a turbulent period of my life therefore if anything I wrote in 2012 is not accurate, the blame lies with Donetta. Ha ha!

 

 

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Without Donetta, this family wouldn’t exist and none of these stories would ever be written. photo from rob akers

Until next time, keep on rockin

 

https://robakers.wordpress.com/2013/03/28/heroes-all/

If the tent is rockin…

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This is from the site Twisted Sifter and their 15 ominous Photos of Dust Storms. They said this is Al Asad in 2007. The guy you don’t want to be is the guy on the bottom right of the picture. Walking to the bathroom tent totally unaware that he is about to be stuck. It really is amazing how something this big can sneak up on you. photo from yahoo.

 

Hey Y’all,

 

This episode of the trip down memory lane is one of the longest days. Not because something happened, but because nothing happened. Literally nothing.

 

In the US, we tend to live in our little bubble and only whine when the internet doesn’t connect fast enough, the hot water isn’t hot enough or the traffic is thicker than usual. I know all about first world problems and like you, I tolerate them poorly.

 

But imaging for a minute, you are a sheep herder, like David of Abraham from the Bible. You spend the majority of your life out in the openness of the wilderness guiding the sheep from watering hole to watering hole. Then one day a dust storm hits and there you are. Out in the open with no tent to dive into. If you do have a tent, you don’t have air conditioning or a sleeping bag to crawl into. Your only choice is to hunker down and wait. I am going to say the suck factor is relatively high.

 

This is a story about riding out the storm called a Haboob.

 

Until next time, keep on rockin!

When you gotta go…

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Just a trash can and not even close to being ready. photo from yahoo

Hey Y’all,

 

Another story for another day. This hopefully is proof that you all will know that I am giving you the cold, wet, nasty, waste that was our lives in 2003. Well, my actual memories have been repressed so other than still being able to feel the liquid envelope my entire posterior. The overflowing liquid splashing in all directions including running down the underside of my legs. Sitting there in the most humbling positions, all I could do was shake my head in a mixture of disgust and disbelief.

 

 

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MMM, chili dogs are tasty. It is getting there but still not ready. photo from yahoo.

 

 

My advice to anyone who ever reads these words is this. “Don’t try this at home!”

 

 

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Now we are talking. Filled to the brim. This is my kind of port-a-potty. photo from yahoo

 

 

Hope you enjoy the story. I forgot to mention in today’s storytime that I never got my tent building merit badge. There were giving those out when I was cleaning myself.

 

 

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I almost called this story, “Never play with fire inside the tent and other stories from our six month long camping trip.” photo from yahoo

 

Until next time, keep on rockin!

 

https://robakers.wordpress.com/2013/03/18/when-in-tabuk-be-a-tabukian/

I wonder if it still exists…

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I dont know if this was the golden arches that were seen from the ramp. photo from yahoo

 

Hey Y’all,

 

Sitting in Memphis tonight wondering if Tabuk still exists. According to the internet, it still does. I guess that I can cross that off my list of unanswered questions. 99.9% of the world has never heard the name, Tabuk but for about a thousand Americans, it was a two month long bad dream.

 

My good friend, Chris W. summed it up best when he described his first impressions of the butt crack of the world that the Pentagon decided to deploy us. “I didn’t know what to expect, but I never expected this.”

 

That comment makes me laugh as hard now as it did then because it was so true. Which always reminds me when I talk to survivalists and how they think they are going to thrive when the zombie apocalypse. They think they know what to expect, or maybe they think how “cool” it will be, or maybe it will be like something you see in a movie. I hope it never happens but if it does, the probably most common thought will be something along the lines like what Chris said and it will be like nothing any of us expected.

 

But, back to Tabuk. It was impossible to describe other than to say it was hardcore rehab. It didnt matter what your vice was back in the world. It did not exist and could not be found in Tabuk. Of course, there were the few exceptions but that is another story for another day.

 

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Just in case you didn’t believe me. Tabuk really does exist on modern maps. photo from yahoo

 

Next up is one of the worst experiences in human history. Until then, keep on rockin!

 

https://robakers.wordpress.com/2013/03/15/tabukan-introduction/

 

 

Going back to the Future…

Hey Y’all,

 

Welcome to our new Facebook friends and welcome back to our old blog friends. I am going to start a new (or old) series taking us back to why this site was started. Today is 7 March, 2019 and exactly 16 years ago, I wrote a post about how the Iraq war started for me and about 200 other friends. Our experiences all vary slightly, but in a very real sense we shared the same life. But our first experience of war was not the nations first experience of war. That war began on 11 Sept 2001. And today, 7 March 2019, that war is still going.

 

Maybe not as intense or involving as many Americans, but it is still going all the same. I have friends who deployed in 2003 and who still serve in the military. And in the very near future, their children will be eligible to serve with them in the very same war. Eternal War, Perpetual War or Constant War is not good or healthy for you and me. It doesn’t matter if you served or not. It is a thorn in the side of freedom and a drag on the nation.

 

I started writing these posts for my children so that they would know who Dad was before they were born. They are still not old enough to fully comprehend what I am writing but all of you are. I have lost touch with so many of you through the years, mostly my fault and many of you have asked what happened. Well life happened. No worries. But for four years of my life, 2003-2007, this is what I was doing. For many of my friends, they continued doing things like I write about as recently as six months ago. I am not a hero or anything more than a quitter. I walked away from the service in 2007.

 

They are the real heroes because they could have left with me but they didn’t. They stayed in, they served their country with honor and dignity. They deployed time after time. Month after month. Year after year. And they still do it today. I have been out thirteen years and they are still fighting for us. I have about two years worth of stories that I am going to start re-blogging. In a few months, if you are still reading, please know that you are only about a third of the way through my war experiences. And you are only about a tenth of the way through their war experiences. Perpetual War lasts for a long time, almost like forever.

 

So please excuse me if I laugh when a Republican tells us that we need to start another war. Please excuse me when I cry when a Democrat tells me that we need to send in a peace keeping force. Please excuse me when I don’t vote how you think I would or how I don’t get worked up over whatever the topic of the day is or how the best time of my day is when I don’t watch the news. I only did four years of war and I have been out of the Perpetual War business for thirteen years and I am still tired…

 

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That guy does look tired, maybe his son’s soccer team is losing a playoff game. Photo from Tom Statig Photography

 

 

Wow, I had no idea all that was inside me but its out now. I promise that I will try to not be as political next time. Also, I read this post and I really think my writing has greatly improved. I hope you enjoy the journey.

 

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This guy looks much happier. I choose to be him. photo from rob akers.

 

 

 

https://robakers.wordpress.com/2013/03/07/it-is-0036-estdo-you-know-exactly-where-you-were-ten-years-ago-this-very-second/

WHY NOW…?

 

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“What Rob is on Facebook!? photo from yahoo

 

 

Hey Y’all,

 

Some of you might know and others wont until you read this but last Thursday, I created a major tremor in my little side of the world when I suddenly joined Facebook.  My phone started blowing up with texts telling me that I had been hacked. When I told them it was intentional, several of my friends were very worried that there was a sudden change of relationship status or another life-altering event.

 

The purpose of this article will be to begin to set the record straight and to answer the many questions that have been flowing in since Thursday.

 

QUESTION #1. Is there a relationship problem between me and my wife?

Answer. Nope. We are as right as rain. Donetta is my bestest friend ever and we are as solid as a rock.

 

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She actually said “If you embarrass me, then I will slap you so hard that Google will never find you.” photo from yahoo

 

QUESTION #2. Have you been reported to Facebook yet? Does Facebook know about what kind of commentator you are? Are you worried that you are going to Facebook jail?

Answer. Nope. Why would I be afraid of a all intrusive, all knowing, corrupted mega-corporation that has demonstrated the ability to hack into ever facet of my life?  What could possibly go wrong?

 

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“Yes Janet. Ms serious if your nasty.” photo from yahoo

 

QUESTION #3. Where have you been the last 30 years?

Answer. I replied to this friend saying “Sending smoke signals.” So, I guess that smoke signals aren’t exactly the best way to communicate anymore. It worked in 1718, I thought it would still work in 2018. That’s on me.

 

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No comment but so true. photo from yahoo

 

QUESTION #4. You have lived your life on the philosophy of not mixing your worlds. Facebook is the ultimate blender. Your worlds will never be separate again. How are you going to handle this?

Answer. I don’t know. If I am honest, it is slightly uncomfortable but I need to shake it up a little. I really have tried my entire life to be the same person in every group. This leads to me being slightly lame in some audiences and slightly inappropriate in other groups. Depending on which side of the world you fall into, get ready for more.

 

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Naps make everything better. photo from yahoo

 

QUESTION #5. Why did I sign up now and not ten years ago when all the cool kids were doing Facebook?

Answer. I can’t give the exact reason of why because I am learning about how to operate Facebook so I can use it for some other projects I have concurrently ongoing. I didn’t want to experiment on those sites so I am using my personal site to learn how to do things on Facebook. That partly explains why I’m doing this post on the blog. I want to figure out how to link all this together.

 

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I was the coolest kid in high school. photo from yahoo

I have always thought that I was better off mentally by limiting my exposure to social media. I still believe that and while I am going to be relatively active on Facebook for a while, I will have personal limits on how active I check in with Facebook. I guess I am saying that if you hit me up on Facebook, I will reply just maybe not immediately.

 

QUESTION #6. This will be the last question. What is going on that is making me sign up on Facebook?

Answer. I’m not saying yet. But will announce it in the next few weeks. Kind of cool. Or at least I hope it will be.

 

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If you know me, then you know it is true. photo from yahoo

 

So there you go. I would like to invite anyone who has been with me on the blog to reach out to me on Facebook. It is very possible that we are already friends on Facebook though. Every time, I log onto Facebook, they have at least a hundred people that I know out there in the world. Ironically, I don’t recognize their faces but Facebook says I know them. I don’t want to be rude, so I have asked to be their friend. As of right now, I have 147,926 friends on Facebook. That’s only after four days. If I would have known that I was a real social monster, I would have done this years ago.

 

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Im looking to pack the funeral home. How else will we put the fun in funeral? photo form yahoo

 

Until next time, keep on rockin!

 

Vern Norrgard

Agile Coach, Photographer and Video

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