Airman Daniel's Journal

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Airman Daniel's Documents and Journal was Greg's online journal he kept on his America's Air Force website. He writes about his time in the military. The first version was kept on the homepage (Source), but he claims it was hacked by communists. (Source) He eventually drastically changed the site so that all photographs of him were gone and his full name was blocked out. (Source)

Greg would also include entries written supposedly by other people.

Journal

The following is a documentation of some of the significant moments in my life thus far in the Air Force ~ it should be updated on a regular basis, so be sure to check back soon to see what's the latest in the life of Gregory J. Daniel and his venture throughout the ranks of the USAF.

The First of Many

Posted on: 03-02-2005 @ 05:34 pm

Hello Everyone,

This journal will soon document the future of my life in the United States Air Force. I, in specific, am I USAF enlistee currently active in the DEP (Delayed Entrance Program) ~ Yesterday I was given a call from my recruiter saying I may have a position soon depending on current circumstances (I was told there is a position available, after only a month of waiting, but I am the number 2 position, so it is a wild card).

I actually do not expect to get the position, and anticipate further waiting ~ we shall see ~

Regardless, please expect further updates to take place, right now I am going to work on this template, as I am a web designer ~ :) Until then...

Called In

Posted on: 03-03-2005 @ 01:22 pm

Once a month my Air Force recruiter has all the applicants come in to Round Table pizza.

There they talk about what the benefits of joining the Air Force are, and what we should expect in the future. Really, every time we go in, we are supposed to have someone with us. But this time around, I really don't have anyone to take, so I am going in alone [crosses fingers]

Every two weeks in the Air Force DEProgram we are weighed and asked if we are still eligible to join the USAF, I of course always am as my weight limit is 190lbs and I am at 155lbs ~ The minimum weight (yes, there is a minimum) for my height is 130lbs ~ so I am somewhere in the middle.

Last time at the meeting, the recruiters were asking if anyone had any questions, I had nothing, but seeing everyone else sit there with a blank stare, I decided to raise my hand and ask away. I think I asked about 7 questions, and the other 20 people in the room collectively asked about 4. It was kind of sad, especially when everyone acted like me asking questions was suddenly a bad thing... :)

Well, at that meeting I had taken my friend Skye to Round Table (where we got free pizza, fruit, etc, etc) with me. She learned a little bit, but regardless of her temporary ambitions I think she is swaying towards not joining due to the difficulties of Basic Training.

Those of you who are thinking of joining, make sure you can meet the standards of Basic! It might be scary, but the strong survive, you know? Strength is in the heart & mind, not the arms for that will always come along with the two other elements.

Alright, at 3:00 I'll be at the Round Table pizza place, wondering if it's even ok for me to be there alone... arg.

DEP Meeting

Posted on: 03-03-2005 @ 09:02 pm

I found out something new today at the DEP meeting. The Air Force recruiters do not receive any commissions for the amount of people the recruit.

I was really impressed by this considering in translation that means that in proportion to the other sectors of the Military, the Air Force really does only let the best in.

The recruiters at the meeting made it clear that we were unique in a sense that approximately 85% of the people that go into the recruiting office are sent home, as they did not qualify.

A few words to the now wise: If you have extensive law violations, use drugs, are overweight, did not graduate High School or have been to a psychiatrist for personal problems, you are probably not going to qualify for the Air Force.

Knowing this makes me even more proud to be a part of an already great military power.

Another Day at MEPS of Seattle

Posted by Gregory on Tuesday, March 08 @ 23:40:13 EST

When I first found out about my appointment to participate in the MEPS program I went to About.com and read the experience one recruit for the National Guard had on his course to join up with the United States military. This story helped me to a great extent in telling me what I should expect, and in this memory, I wish to repeat the favor. I now assist all those who are wondering themselves what MEPS should be like for them if they are to go.

Before I ever went to my MEPS date I took the ASVAB, which is a test that all branches of the military require potential-recruits to take in order to have a good chance of enlisting. Foolishly, I chose to take the ASVAB on a computer, instead of on paper (the ASVAB on computer adjusts itself to your level, however contains flaws, in my case, repeating the same question over and over, which is terrible if you don’t know what the answer is). Because of my decision, the 15 hours I studied & the 3 practice tests I took prior became useless data. This is considering the fact that I had studied for what I expected to be a near-replica of the paper version, but ended up being much more complicated, containing questions I had never seen before.

[Entry possibly cut off]

Chance Gone ~

Posted on: 03-08-2005 @ 12:08 am

As stated before, I was recently offered a number 2 position for a Loadmaster position. When the recruiter asked me if I wanted to have the number two position, I paused, he chose something that was not on the list I made...

I previously found out that I could select more than 5 jobs to place on my options list, so I chose to add 10, making 15. Knowing this, I was shocked to see a new offer come up, one that I had looked over/turned down prior.

I told him I would take it, as he mentioned how I would travel often ~ I am very interested in traveling. The hours also fell within my range, 8-12 and the job did not involve attacking others (I do not favor a job in which I will attack, I'd rather defend. I don't want to be the guy who has to decide whether or not to fire on a civilian out of suspicion alone.).

Seeming relieved to have the decision made, the recruiter closed the conversation on a pleasant note, only finding out later that the position offered to the number 1 & 2 (another recruit, a female & myself) had been taken by someone else. The recruiter seemed very stern in saying he was going to fight for her to get that job as he had been waiting a long while to get into the USAF training program.

This of course means, no go for me, which is totally fine. It just says I am not taking a job that I am not entirely certain on, and that I have another chance to get a job on my list. I hope to be a pilot, but we'll see... honestly, I want to serve my country over personal preference... what else should I do for the country that practically gave birth to me?

I'll put my life on the line for my mother, I'll put my life on the line for the organization that made my mother, her mother/father and so on possible ~ the US. If I have to take a job not on my list, I will, but I'll do better in an area of interest, as I am more inspired to learn.

Thank you for reading.

Security Forces

Posted on: 03-08-2005 @ 10:20 pm

I read a couple articles on Security Forces enlistee experiences & looked over job profiles today. After thinking about it, and speaking with my Sister (who is already enlisted in the USAF) I decided defending bases is something I would like to do, the same goes for planes & supplies.

Before I objected to the option as I had thought Security Forces were people who ran in and out of buildings in IRAQ blasting like mad... [rolls eyes]

I realize the requirement for Security forces is a full 20 points below my ASVAB test score (which means I might be paired up with people who barely passed the test... it could be a bad thing if they are my backup), however to me it is not about what jobs I am overly qualified for, it is about which job will fit me best ~ I have a desire to prove I am a survivor... I imagine I will make it through this will flying colors, but we'll see...

Coming up on the 15th, I'll be headed out to Ohio for two weeks... I suspect I'll have a job by the time I get back ~ We'll see, we'll see...

Thanks for reading friend.

Newark

Posted on: 03-17-2005 @ 06:08 pm

I’m currently inside the Newark Airport, my second destination is Cincinnati, OH. I most recently got off of a flight coming from my home, Lakewood (SeaTac Airport) — I imagine these are some of the last days in which I will have my future stand in question, as my recruiter is bound to find me a position in the US Air Force by the time I have returned, two weeks from now.

On the flight over we watched “Friday Night Lights” another football movie, and in it, the team you’re rooting for, keeps losing... they director & editors I guess decided to just ignore the victories with a score board summary and skip right to the emotional areas, where they lost... “Friday Night Lights” is a really pessimistic and overly dramatized movie, why? On top of what I mentioned prior, the only time the movie did show dialogue in a victor game (sequence longer than 15 seconds) was when their star player busted his leg... the last time I thought about it, I was certain movies were supposed to entertain, inspire and uplift their audiences... all I felt was that I had not wasted my time watching it, yet somehow felt less happy than when the movie had ever reached my eyes... ra ra football.

Another side note: from what “Friday Night Lights” had suggested, Texas is certainly a crazy football state which has fans who put their entire life’s purpose on High School games... Ahh!

Alright, off topic, I know.

So I expect my recruiter to call me while I’m in Ohio... maybe the second week, by the way he had spoke of my new job selection, I do not have long to go. Boot camp will no doubt be a worthy challenge to me... I did 50 sit ups in 56 seconds a couple nights ago... I think I am getting to the point where I am ready to take on this great responsibility...

My mother is encouraging me to graduate with honors... she says that she is going to buy a plane ticket for the day I am intended to graduate, the day those with honors should graduate... pressure, but it only helps.

I am to silence my mouth, open my mind, and work as a tool for the US Government... right?

I believe I will do fine... but I also believe I might be a changed man when it is all over, we’ll see.

Now for what I see right now... I see... Delta Airlines... with their astoundingly par plane qualities & destination times... why do I say this? Continental Airlines just got me from coast to coast of the USA in 4 hours! While to get from the New York area to Ohio, it takes 2:30 for Delta?

[laughs] Also, their seats stink... heh... it’s so very true.

For some reason a Continental Pilot (clearly eager to get places today) made me want to vomit for the first time in my life (due to a plane), left right left up down right gag gag vomit... no... I held it in, but wow ~ I realized there is no pain like that of an upset stomach... seriously, I’ve had shin splints and I’d take that over air sickness...

Why am I getting into the Air Force? Well, maybe it is to show other pilots what smooth flying is all about... no no no... it is to serve my country.

What is your purpose?

Until Later ~

To Come

Posted on: 03-17-2005 @ 06:11 pm

My sister is visiting from North Carolina where she is currently stationed. She told me a lot about the things I should know before going to boot camp, and a lot of things I didn’t need to know... :)

I’ve been a little “down on the weather” as of lately though, mostly due to the flight over, but I’ll be fine.

I expect to be 100% by tomorrow ~ we’ll see...

[sighs] Another USAF personality might be significantly contributing to this site soon, just watch, and look out for what will soon be, AAF.

The Call

Posted on: 03-22-2005 @ 03:52 pm

My recruiter just gave me "The Call" ~ He asked me if I wanted a "cop" position, which is translation for "Security Forces" ~ I said... "Um... Sure." rather calmly, but right after I hung up, a nervous wave hit me.

[answers phone] Alright, so that was the recruiter again... yes, I did literally just answer the phone while typing this. He said it's "official" I ship April 12th... [sighs] I mean YES! ROCK ON... kind of.

If I won the Lotto (I don't play, but lets pretend) I would react the same way... I have a blank expression, and a little kick inside...

It looks like I'll be defending bases & planes for the next 3 years, which then I can request a second job.

[looks around] My life is about to be stripped away from me, quickly being replaced by an entirely new one... I realize this is huge, and yet my life has not changed dramatically, I sit in the same room, doing the same thing... [sighs]

I have to graduate with honors, I must...

Wish me the best of skill, all of you.

Training Info

Posted on: 03-24-2005 @ 03:16 pm

This is the training information I have for being Security Forces, this is what I will be a part of.

Step 1: MEPS Duration: 2 Days Date: April 10th - 12th

Step 2: Basic (BMT) Duration: 6 1/2 Weeks Date: April 12 - May 27

Step 3: Tech Training Location: Lackland AFB, TX Duration: 9 Weeks & 1 Day Date: May 30th - August 2nd

Step 4: First Assignment Date: Varies & Unknown

---------------------------------

"In the heat of summer, I will train for me, I will train for you, in the heat of strength I will work for me, I will work for you, in the heat of war, I will fight for me, I will fight for you, and if the time comes, I will have lived for me, I will die for you." - Gregory J. Daniel

Letter To Family & Friends

Posted on: 03-24-2005 @ 03:38 pm

This is something I wrote very recently in regards to BMT ~ I anticipate all said below will be true once I am in the training. We'll see.

----------------------------------

Hey, I want you all to know that there is no pressure in writing me via post mail while I am away at Basic ~ I already told someone directly not to write me as I feared mockery and distraction due to the others at BMT (Basic Military Training)

If any of you do anything for me, to show your support, to help me along my way, please put your efforts towards my site: http://www.AmericasAirForce.com

I have a journal on the site which I will update at every given opportunity, right now it documents exactly what I have gone through since the point I began my interest in enlisting.

It would mean a lot to me if you all took the time when I leave to browse the site and explore any interests you may have had in the field of the United States Air Force & myself ~ I built the site from the ground up content & design-wise (coded by another), so you can be sure everything is updated & generated by me.

I aim to ship outside the US so I may explore different cultures and lifestyles, I also want to take some amazing pictures to post on the site & share with all of you.

Like I said, it would mean a great deal, and if you do want to write me, do so through this email address or Gregory@AmericasAirForce.com so no one else may observe it but me.

When I am at boot camp, I want to be focused completely on being the best in the camp. Stories of home only hurt me, as they contribute to thoughts outside the objective and success, having the potential to generate home-sickness which I want no part of. I will have already met peak physical standards by the time I get to the training camp in Texas, and I will not let anything get in my way of graduating with honors.

I realize many cry and complain for being so emotionally abused in boot camp, yet I am convinced no such tears will reach my eyes like the others often have ~ I am full of Jackson strength, and devotion to my cause, you can all have faith in that.

Feel free to comment on each entry as you please, I look forward to reading from all of you if you feel up to the task ~

Thanks for your time everyone, I’m very happy to be going into the Air Force, it is something in life I am actually interested in & I am certain gritting my teeth through the physical stresses to come will help me succeed much farther than any trainee before.

Try to have a good day, it’s not an impossible goal for us, there are so many people in this world who wish it weren’t for them either ~ remember that.

Sincerely, Gregory J. Daniel

Physical Stats

Posted on: 03-24-2005 @ 04:13 pm

Right now, on this date, I can do the following in under two minutes:

Push Ups: 59
Sit Ups: 75
Pull Ups: 11

In order to graduate basic, I have to do at least the following by the sixth week:

Push Ups: 45
Sit Ups: 50
Pull Ups: 0

This means I am well over the standards already, but what most people won't tell you (unless you ask) is that you can graduate with honors in basic, which only applies if you meet the following standards:

Push Ups: 62
Sit Ups: 70
Pull Ups: 4

It is always best to shoot for your own high standard, which is exactly what I am doing. By the time I leave for boot camp, I want to be able to do the following:

Push Ups: 100
Sit Ups: 150
Pull Ups: 30

I will be able to do these, I won't be satisfied with anything else.

Count Down to BMT

Posted on: 04-01-2005 @ 07:11 pm

They had advised me to be part of combat controller… I declined saying “I don’t want to kill people in an attack format, I’d rather defend.” ~ They nodded, continuing to play cards, & even broke a few rules according to the UCMJ (Uniform Code of Military Justice) ~ such as swearing and even gambling… the wager? Respect.

I then asked them all about boys crying in boot camp, they all went strait faced, one saying “That’s because they’re home sick.” ~ I guess this means they too cried…

I wonder… will this be me? Will my tear soak in my sheets? Or will they be clean of such emotional dirt?

[smiles] I leave on the 12th of April, but my MEPS date is scheduled for the 10th ~ and coming up on the 7th, I have a DEP Commanders Call meeting to attend in which I will be given another briefing ~ until then.

11 Days

Posted on Friday, April 01 @ 19:07:28 EST

On the 29th I had made it back to Washington coming from Newark, and originally from Ohio. The next day I worked on getting my car back in line with running condition status ~ And luckily, my Mom’s husband did indeed do this for me… (I know little about the mechanic of vehicles.)

But what happened before I got my car fixed is exactly why I am posting now… My recruiter gave me my first basic training/pre-Air Force employee orientation. I saw pictures of what boot camp will look like, and I signed a few do*****ents swearing that I have never used drugs, that I have no medical conditions that would hurt my career, and no legal issues that would also deter me from my job.

On this day, I also met three young men who had recently graduated from BMT (Basic Military Training) and tech school.

They had advised me to be part of combat command… I declined saying “I don’t want to kill people in an attack format, I’d rather defend.” ~ They nodded, continuing to play cards, & even broke a few rules according to the UCMJ (Uniform Code of Military Justice) ~ such as swearing and even gambling… the wager? Respect.

I then asked them all about boys crying in boot camp, they all went strait faced, one saying “That’s because they’re home sick.” ~ I guess this means they too cried…

I wonder… will this be me? Will my tear soak in my sheets? Or will they be clean of such emotional dirt?

[smiles] I leave on the 12th of April, but my MEPS date is scheduled for the 10th ~ and coming up on the 7th, I have a DEP Commanders Call meeting to attend in which I will be given another briefing ~ until then.

- Gregory

3 Day Briefing

Posted on: 04-09-2005 @ 02:16 am

Thursday I received my 3 day briefing, but in all actuality, I leave in 3 days from today... yesterday was a DEP Commander's Call meeting, so it was more convenient then.

I was basically asked to sign a form I had already signed the previous briefing (15 day) which also was not on the exact date... then I had to initial another form repeatedly to assure the government that I have not been in any disqualifying incidents since I signed up.

Coming up this Sunday, I will be headed to the Holiday Inn again, this time I am not driving as I will not be coming back. There I will spend the night, and the next day they will do a final review. If there are any problems (I can actually be disqualified if my heart rate is too high, or if I, at the time, have a wound) than they will leave the extra day for me to settle things.

I imagine everything should go extremely well, but I'll prepare myself for a shocker if I must... for some reason I think I'll be nervous making my heart rate too high, but really, last time I was nervous and I did fine... [smiles]

Regardless... this is the last note I will leave for a while, please feel free to comment one what I have written so far, and give me a warm welcome back when/if I graduate basic on the 27th ~

Thanks everyone for showing continued interest in this site ~ feel free to write me any time through the contact form on this site.

Graduation: Letter To Family

Posted on: 05-29-2005 @ 05:45 pm

Hello everyone, This is the first time I have really gotten a chance to sit down and use a computer with ease... I graduated the US Air Force's Basic Military Training Friday, and soon I will be taking on the potential occupation of, SERE ~

Everything I do should soon be documented at AmericasAirForce.com, as well as a few stories regarding BMT ~ I want to thank those of you who have supported me... the positive energy and even prayer, all helped...

I am now working to protect the freedom of the United States, soon I will be teaching others how to survive when behind enemy lines... but first I must go through intense and painful training, that of which I welcome.

I will work every day looking towards the time when I can visit home for Christmas, for all the faces that will smile when they find how far I have come... how strong I will become.

For those who have faith in me, for those who trust my will, thank you, continue to send your positive intentions, thoughts ~ and I will continue working each day to its end, and waking again the next.

I hope to see, speak with all of you soon ~

Best wishes to your future ~

Please visit AmericasAirForce.com to keep up with the latest information ~ thank you.

Sincerely, Gregory J. Daniel

Graduated Basic Training

Posted on Thursday, June 02 @ 08:37:44 EDT

I have officially graduated the United States Air Force's Basic Military Training program. The times became very tough once in a short while, many of my friends were lost to bad behavior, failing PT, and for medical reasons... but amongst the 28 that graduated, I was there, on the parade grounds.

I am now venturing towards the S.E.R.E. occupation ~ the trials to come will undoubtably be very challenging, however, most people fail the trials due to quitting... I am not one to give up ~ I will give it every element of my effort, my strength...

Please, all of you reading this today, send me your positive energy, even your prayers ~ I know alone I am strong, yet with others supporting me, I can only do even better... strive even further.

Thank you for your support, all is well ---> To the future I will always look towards with promise, as long as I have the Jackson family on my back, cheering me on... as long as I have my friends to fight for.

Please, all of you reading this today, send me your positive energy, even your prayers ~ I know alone I am strong, yet with others supporting me, I can only do even better... strive even further.

Thank you for your support, all is well ---> To the future I will always look towards with promise, as long as I have the Jackson family on my back, cheering me on... as long as I have my friends to fight for.

To learn more about the S.E.R.E. program, please visit: goSERE.com

Letter To My Ma

Posted on: 06-03-2005 @ 08:23 pm

You should ask Skye about what I've been going through ~ SERE is Special Operations for the Air Force... there are so few of them because so few make it... they keep telling us it's ok to quit... because so many people do, and they tell us, "You volunteered for this, that alone I respect." ~ but that's not good enough for me...

Deep down, I am not just a Jackson, I am the son of a great woman, she is the true Jackson I see, that and her father ~ the two people I respect most, one because I know her well, I've seen so many honorable things... and two because the one I respect looks up to another, and no doubt, if the one I look up to looks up to another, than I can easily call such a person also my superior, my idol.

[sighs] Your strength gives me a plethora of energy ma... never forget, I am likely to rely on your positive energy to get through these hard weeks I have ahead of me... send me all you have, I need it... tell my sisters send me all they have... I need it.

This is my life's greatest physical challenge...

Though my family is far from me, their memory alone, the positive energy they send my way, that is enough to live day after day, strong, willing, capable.

Until later.

- Gregory

Death of The Rabbit

Posted on Saturday, June 04 @ 12:03:20 EDT

I experienced something rather graphic Friday, the 3rd of June... the end of this story will tell you more of this.

In the SERE Indoc course, we are pushed physically and mentally to many breaking points... the number one reason people fail is because they flat out give up. The entire purpose of what I am going through now, is to widdle out the weak ones...

I beyond many, am somewhat lacking when it comes to cardiovascular activities... bluntly, my arms have a hard time holding up my body weight, this is despite the fact that on my last physical training evaluation, I pushed out 62 complete push ups... 25 pull ups...

The SERE Indoc is no doubt, no joke... every day I find those who quit, or were booted from the program telling us all that we would be joining them soon. Then I hear our MTL (military training leader) informing us of how respectable we are all for volunteering, for trying... and that we can quit with honor any time... no... I don't see any honor in giving up, no matter how hard the task is.

We were told that we were above and beyond the others in the Air Force as Gatorade and water was poured all over us during cardio, 1am in the morning... I did not feel beyond or above, nor do I feel I deserve such a feeling until I graduate.

Many of the boys here are already planning for the end, what they will do if they fail... some say they'll be cops, others say they'll try out foranother special operations position... I say... there is no end, just a beginning, and what I make of the time I have to prove myself worthy.

No matter how many times I fall, my arms have been able to lift me back up... I'm sticking with it... I have to, this is my life... this is the life I chose.

Yesterday, I witnessed three rabbits dying due to snakes, very large snakes, eating them whole... after we had worked out all morning, we were told to switch out on watching this anaconda-like snakes... to make sure they did not escape while the other members of our SERE-trainee group cleaned out the rancid place of stay for the snakes.

Our boss came out, bunny after bunny, feeding the snakes, while a select few went into the woods and released an oposssum... I had never witnessed such loss of life as I did today, I am rather... inexperienced with such things ~ but as others laughed and pointed, I stood still, valuing both the life of the snake, and the life of the rabbit...

Our lives are all as valuable as the rabbits that died that day, I do not smile, for I realize we could all go just as easily... if I laugh today, who is to say that when I die, people will not laugh and point at me...

To live a respectable life is to grant oneself a respectable death.

May I be strong in the future, I ask you all to send me your best thoughts, words, hopes... your strength can be my strength, and I will prosper knowing of those who support me.

It Continues

Posted on: 06-02-2005 @ 02:18 pm

Today I continue to experience briefing after briefing in regards to most everything you could think of related to safety and human relations... it is rather uneventful and bland... but this is fine, because I know some people out there are actually learning from them. In this, I can only applaud.

They speak often of all the things tech school-ers like myself can get into hard situations, like contracting STD's and even sexual violation-related incidents... I also had a 3 hour class on traffic safety, also on how to be polite, pay respects, manage my money, etc.

Repeatedly the Air Force experiences tech school-ers getting out of hand... they say this is not only because we are young but because we all graduated from and atmosphere of oppression & pretty much continuously degrading treatment... I feel boot camp broke many down, however, it taught us all a lot.

We all appreciate freedom more, we all enjoy life more... or so most of us do...

I do...

The Air Force, military, it is all a decision that you should not just whim by. Think about it, everyone, think really hard. Do you research, learn all you can about what you will undertake before you get on that bus.

I do not regret joining, it was the better of many options, however, seeing how many people broke down and cried while I stood tall... it was discouraging ~ and as I plan to remind all of you repeatedly in the future, there is no doubt, the Air Force boot camp is only shorter than the rest of the branches entry programs ~ it is no easier ---> Marines have experienced boot camp (well, they never graduated Marine boot camp, but still), and all they had to say was how hard it was... I saw a former Marine trainee get recycled while saying such things.

I'm now in SERE tech school... I have many hard days ahead of me... however boot camp still feels like a triumph ~ and I appreciate all the support I have gotten for graduating from it...

Letter To Ma: This Week In SERE Indoc

Posted on: 06-11-2005 @ 11:45 am

This week we were put through many challenges... we've run further than I've ever ran before, we've hiked with heavier packs (65+ lbs) than I've ever carried before, we've done THOUSANDS of push ups, HUNDREDS of flutter kicks (basically it is kicking your legs in the air 3x for every one count making 75 for every 25... lets just say it gets rough), I've swam harder, further, stronger, than I ever have and overall just pushed myself further than what I've done in my past...

What I am saying is, I made it through pre-team, despite all my aches and pains, I keep pushing on, striving to be great ~

Next week and the week after the days will become so stressful that I might not even be able to post on this site. I've heard the stories of how complicated some of these projects can be, they say we'll be deprived of sleep, be sent on challenges that we have never attempted, nor have done anything relevant to it in our lives... we will learn constantly, we will stretch to our limits...

I love it...

In this last week I was elected team leader for two to three days... I was repeatedly hacked at by my team mates, saying terrible things to me, trying to bring me down while I only peered towards making the mission successful. Despite all the conflicts, and the negativity that was placed towards me, the spiral of ignoring rank, position-recognition radiated from my peers, I pushed on, and made sure everything worked out ~ this is all I can do... I screwed up a couple times, I said the wrong command once, I spoke to soon a few times... but overall, I learned, I pushed on ~

One of the pre-team members stated that I glorified myself, that I was on a high horse... I realize that I am often placed above others in my own mind due to the facts that I see around me... it's not that I want to be better, so I assume I am better --- being better in itself can often be an opinion, valueless at that ~ what I note is that I always follow the rules, even when the rest of the team does not, the only time I ignore the rules is when I find that it would greatly hurt the team, and when the leaders appointed over me command that I ignore that of the default written rule for the sake of our success in other fields, such as being on time, and for the mere respect of those set in command above ourselves...

I try to do what is right, and this week, me doing so only annoyed many of my group --- however as time pressed on, they have seemed to give me more respect, as every time they walk freely without doing their in's by me, they find that I am true to my word, for when they walk in, I am still doing my push ups, with my 65lb pack next to me... this morning I was told "Daniel, you are full of integrity, aren't you?" by my team leader. I looked up at him, still performing push ups, and I grinned...

Every day here at SERE, I fall asleep knowing I did everything right that day... I have nothing to regret as I did my best ~ it is not up to me to make sure others are following the basic Air Force core values, as I am not appointed over them, and every time I try they only respond with insults, and negativity ~ however it is my greatest task, no matter how much pain I feel, no regard to how hard each objective is... it is my greatest task, to assure that I am doing what is right, what is truly the best decision to achieve each mission.

I hope you, appreciated readers, all understand my position... I am often seen as egotistical, sarcastic, a smart-alick, and many other things, yet in the end, the final conclusion the score is pure and silver ~ This is my objective in life, to live free in my confinement of laws and moralistic limitations... I am not here to judge anyone, for I may change no one but myself --- and I respect all of your abilities to chose for yourselves as well.

The future of SERE, I will perform to the best of my ability, however cliché that may be, I must do so, and with excellence. I want to win the respect of my honorable instructors, I want to show them I am serious about this job, and I will not give up on them for as long as they let me perform ---> My ambition will not fail me, and I hope to soon make this a contagious factor of my life, so those around me will also find inspiration in constant pursuit of perfection.

Thank you reader, please leave feedback at your own free will. :)

Yes... we are somewhat, on hold... but most people quit during this process because it is so god damn hard... [sighs]

I know for a fact that I can't quit... it's just not my nature ~ but I sure do find my body quitting on me often... I've been very weak, which is why I ask for your strength.

The graduates woke us up at 1:00 am this morning... they had us do many push ups, many flutter kicks (painful) and mountain climbers... I was so weak... I had such a hard time doing them... I really hope this next week of "hold" will make me much stronger so I can better survive the real deal... what they call "Team" ~ My running abilities are far better than and equal to 90% of the people here... it's just my arms, they can't hold the rest of my body up... not after putting pressure on them for as long as they have us do...

[sighs] Anyway, it's Saturday, so I have a bit of a break...

I just look forward to the day when I can graduate, respect myself for what I have accomplished... I also hope the cadre (all of our bosses) understand how hard I am trying to succeed here...

I'm trying so hard... I find myself screaming back at the people on the track who can't keep up when we run... telling them they can do it, and that they should think of the team...

Now if only someone would do that for me, when I fall on my face because my arms give out... time, and time again...

I'm doing my best, and eventually, that will be good enough.

[sighs] I love you ma... send me your best.

Feel free to pass this message on to the rest of the family, I want them to know what I am going through.

- Gregory

Career vs. Rabbit

Posted by Gregory on Tuesday, June 21 @ 08:27:49 EDT

[Later named "The Decision" on the 2nd version of his site]

As of recently I was met with a major challenge... my entire life I have been free of death, chaos, violence & other negative elements... but as I said, just hours ago I was given a decision. Do I kill a rabbit, eat its eyes (no joke, it is part of the training, to test and see if you have what it takes, as they say, it's not for everyone), gut it, strip it of its skin, and do the same to the rabbit and many other animals throughout my career, or do I decide not to kill, not to take such a stride into an area of life I do not favor venturing into?

By these suggestive words alone you can find for yourself what I have done... I decided not to continue my training in SERE... it's a shame too, in ways, as my team mates just left for the woods only an hour ago... I passed every physical training examination, 89 push ups, 67 sit ups, 14:28 2 mile run, 57:14 4 mile ruck sack (65 lbs of rock on my back) challenge...

I passed it all...

Let me state here and now, I will not kill, I will not destroy, I am not a destructive individual (despite the fact that what SERE does is constructive in a sense that it teaches key survival techniques, I contest). I respect SERE, I love what they do in almost every aspect, and I understand why they do what they do as well... I just won't.

As for my future, well... my former Cadre is trying to help me with that ~ he, and his co-worker (former supervisors) are very positive individuals ~ they do their job well... it is sad that the best teacher I ever had probably won't teach another lesson to me again in the future ~ all we can do about the teachings of our past is carry on what we learned to benefit others...

I'm not going to tell you all I am strong for my decision, I just know I did not quit due to any physical pain, no matter how rough it became... the swamps we swam in, the miles we hiked, the hours we ran, the hundreds of push ups daily... none of that got to me like it did the seven who left prior... it was just... life...

My life is no more worthy of existing than that of a rodent... I don't believe any of our lives are more valuable in the ranks of who lives and who dies... not unless that life takes lives of others for an unjust purpose.

If what I say is true... the value of life, than how could I ever take that of any other away from them... power is a terrible thing if you mis-use it.

Thank you all for continuing to read of my journey, we will see what comes next...

Life As A "SOT"

Posted on: 06-25-2005 @ 10:04 am

As of lately I have become an SOT (students out of training) - because I chose not to kill the rabbit, I have obtained this status.

What we do on a daily basis is rather simple, clean bathrooms (latrines), mop hallways, sweep floors, shine chrome and pull CQ duty... which is basically us opening the door for people who need to get into the building...

A couple days ago I was chewed out by a Major in the USAF for joining up when I can't even kill a rabbit... I simply told him that joining the Air Force does not mean I will be killing anything, it simply means I support this country, and those who fight for it ~ most American's do this anyway, however I am more so physically assisting those who pull the trigger and even snap the necks of those rabbits... without me here? People would continue to die just the same, someone would fill whatever job I may take... the only place I could really stand out is by posting on this site, and telling you all of our lives here in the USAF...

Side Note: I find it funny to see posters everywhere I go saying "America's Air Force" ~ I tell people "Hey, see that poster? Just add a dot com to it and you have my web site." --- I imagine more of my former associates will stop by in the future... Life right now is on hold... I miss you, Mom, Joanna, Christina, Skye, Alicia, Sabrina, My Family... I miss you all, I will do my best to see you all soon ~

Goodbye ~

Airman/Webmaster

Posted on: 06-30-2005 @ 01:14 pm

As of most recently my life has really improved... things just seem to get better as time passes by.

The latest news: I just finished working on goSERE.com ( http://www.gosere.com ) - the official site for an amazingly respectable career field in the United States Air Force.

As most of you probably know already, from scanning this site, is that I used to be a SERE applicant, yet found out I could not be part of the career field due to my lack in willingness to take the life of animals (required as a survival training practice) - however when I was removed from the application process, I was found by one of my former cadre, at a public hang-out ~ he asked me to work on the web site, if I was still interested, and with a very encouraging response, I told him I was interested.

Since that time (Saturday the 25th, June) I had been working on the site, only finishing it yesterday, and uploading which you can now see by going to goSERE.com ~ Amazingly enough, on top of getting the mere honor of designing the site, they have informed me of their appreciation for my deeds, and are writing a letter of recommendation & another letter to commend me for my efforts.

Three of my former cadre have informed me that they will do all they can to get me a job in computers, working for the Air Force - I’m amazed by how fortunate I am...

I find that every day I wake up now, I’m not moaning about how miserable it will be, but I am anxious to get the work started...

Thank you Cadre ~ I appreciate this all so much...

The only thing I really have to worry about now (which is no big deal) is when the work is completely done, I get to wait for the paperwork to make it to me so I can start my new job... what will I be doing while waiting? Scrubbing toilettes!!!!

Woo!!!!

[grins] Alright...

Until later...

The Reality That Is: USAF BMT

Posted by Gregory on Wednesday, July 06 @ 19:03:39 EDT

Before I start, I’d like you all to know that I do not regret joining the Air Force, it has benefitted my life thus far in various ways, but it is a job everyone should take... less than 1% of this country is enlisted in the USAF.

In order to be a part of this force, you must be brave, you must be strong, you must be able to persevere through hard situations - it’s just not for everyone, so before you consider joining, ask yourself if you are really ready to go through what I have gone.

I have faith in the Air Force, and its cause — this is just an honest report of my experiences.

[Entry cut off]

The Jerks

Posted on: 07-05-2005 @ 07:15 pm

I saw something really offensive today... I'm going to be very inspecific because I don't want to get anyone in trouble however...

An unsupervised group of young men were told to feed a reptile, I was in CQ, answering phones and working on a web site, when they were instructed to grab a rat, and toss it in to be fed with the snake... to do this they would have to kill it first... though I have never killed anything other than a few bugs to my knowledge, I felt extremely encouraged to volunteer for the death blow as I foresaw the mornicism that was about to take place.

One of the young men picked up the rat (no matter what creature it is, if it has never hurt a soul, it deserves a painless end) and flicked it on the back of the head, assuming it would kill it. NO! I knew it would no doubt injure it, and to every extent, it would continue to live if he were to keep that up... AND HE DID! As the other young men laughed around the rat dangling helplessly by it's tail fearing what might happen and wondering violently why such things were happening to it, the young man flicked it again, in the same manner, with no avail! No death, just more pain!

Glaring deeply and furiously I scanned the room full of these boys laughing, hysterically so at the rat's pain, at the idiocy that bloomed from the abuser. Realizing, finally, that the rat was not going to die if he were to continue flicking so gently, he changed... no! He did not change anything, he only flicked it harder, and this time the rat SCREAMED in pain.

MORE LAUGHTER!

These "men" Where were they raised!? I wonder... by WHO!? Clinching my fists, pulling away from my lap top mouse I could only witness this take place as I could see no resolve as the rat was too far gone for repair, and I could not help but feel a continued stray in me from death by my hands...

Another young boy, child, old in age, young in mind, took over, he tried to kill it, and only ended up flinging it against the wall... for what reason? I'm not certain, at that point I was too far gone in my breathing, my upset...

When they threw the twitching rat into the snake container, not even yet fully gone... the snake lashed out, and strangled it, finally, the pain had ended...

Finally...

I then gave the boys a stern speech, a loud speech, a clear speech... I told them that their behavior was inexcusable. I told them that if they were going to do that again, kill the animal right, or have me do it instead. For although I would suffer a guilty conscious at least I could eliminate the life with much less pain... a better, less-terrified transfer to whatever realm a rat would go to after death...

It's all such a pity this happened, and the boys did not understand my concern. However they do know I cringe at the thought of harmless animals receiving harm...

I hope you are all with me in my upset, for if you are not, you are truly removed from what respect for life is, and in this, I am saddened by your mistaken eyes.

[sighs] Other than this event, my day went well... I just don't know why they laughed, I don't understand how someone can be so moronic as to find enjoyment out of another creature's pain, or realize that it feels pain... and it should be respected... no matter what its purpose is here, in this world.

We are men of prehistoric minds in a world of advanced technology... nothing has changed but our tools.

What Happened?

Posted on: 07-06-2005 @ 06:54 pm

Alright... so this is somewhat weird... coming back from the Skylark (a hang out, specifically, where I get internet) ~ I saw a Security Forces car parked out front of my squadron. I didn't think much of it, so I signed back in from being on Lackland (away from my base, Medina) and spoke shortly to the people in CQ (behind the desk of the sign in sheet).

They said "it's best to just go to your room and lock your door" - I laughed, and they responded "we're not kidding" ~ laughing again, I walked up to my room, and did not lock the door... after watching a little bit of a crappy movie, a green rope walked right in the room, looking for knives my room mate owned...

Now a few days prior I was looking for some cool DVD's to watch, I found the case, and found a DVD, but in the process, I also saw a stack of knives... I did not think much of it other than "Wow, that's a lot of knives" - so when the green rope asked me where his knives were, I just told him where I saw them, but also told him I did not know which bag it was as they had all moved, and I did not think much of it...

Finding a couple knives, the two who had walked in went back down stairs. Moments later the same green rope came back in the room, with a newly promoted Staff Sergeant, he said hello, and then asked me more questions, like what kind of knives I had seen around... [sighs] They found a few more... totaling five, and a lighter (not allowed in this building, and that was the end of it, they left.

I'm not sure what happened, I had wondered whether or not to say anything for a moment, but immediately after the fact that I am in the Air Force, the fact that I am always supposed to do the right thing (both in and out of the force) came into mind, and I answered everything honestly...

I just wonder... last night, my room mate said "I just want you to know, whatever happens, I'm an idiot." I responded "What?" - he then said "I'm an idiot... ok?" - I answered with a slight smile "...um... alright."

Is this what he meant? What did he do?

Chest Pains

Posted on: 07-18-2005 @ 07:37 pm

I went to the doctors office recently, on Saturday actually, I had experienced chest pains Saturday morning while sitting on some stairs, the Wednesday prior while running, and various times before that in related scenarios...

The doctor suggested I was trying to get out of the Air Force, I guess because he gets it a lot, but I condemned the thought and told him I was serious, and it was an issue he needed to look into.

After that, he asked me questions, such as, did I feel any tightness when I got the chest pains "No" did I feel a lack in breath when I felt them "No" did they feel sharp "Yes" did anyone in my family ever have asthma "Yes" (I had only recently found out my Aunt had Asthma, and my mom recently developed it as well) ~ after hearing just that, he stated I had to take an asthma test... which I hear no one passes ~ but he said "First we need to get you tested in cardiology" ~

On Wednesday I should be headed over to the hospital for just that... hopefully they can find out what is wrong with me, as the three tests that I have taken so far are either pending, or negative on heart trauma ~

People keep saying I'm going to get kicked out of the Air Force... [sighs] Then they ask me if I even want to be in it ~ despite the MTL's yelling at me, despite the temporary assignments of scrubbing toilettes on a daily bases, despite them not caring or listening to what job I wanted for my future ~ I don't want it to end just yet ~

I will find out everything soon... it's just a waiting game...

On Friday I found out a SSgt hates me... pretty much despises me, he accused me of having an air gun in my room, which I had never even seen any evidence of or thought of having one ~ so I made a weird face when he suggested this, then stated I had called him a liar based on my facial expression alone ~

I was yelled at for a long while just for a facial expression ~ though despite this, I went to his office later on, and explained in more detail as to what I had made the face for ~ and he seemed ok there after ~

Today I was called to his office to explain a waver that I had received for my heart issues... he then asked me if he had told me to do something that morning (as I did not do it) ~ and I replied to him after a short pause "I do not want to contradict you..." of course meaning, "No, you never told me that." ~ He then called me a "piece of work" ~ and asked about my appointment "Did you at least get separated from the Air Force?" which was when I flat out found out he wanted me gone...

I don't know what I did to this man... I offer respect to everyone who outranks me beyond BMT ranks ~ I treat them accordingly, I've tried to do everything right, and when the right thing is not available, I do what's next in line and ask for help... he does not agree with any of it... it's sad.

I'm trying to meet an impossible standard, when someone does not like you, when they despise you like this, I don't see a light or solution. I can only avoid the issue, and hope it passes ~

Until next time, thank you all for reading.

Today I pulled CQ all day, so basically I was sitting in a chair watching a door for 12 hours... what is today? Oh, it's Saturday! Yay! No weekend for me!

It's really not so bad, I have a warm bed and warm food to eat (yes, I eat beds) ~ however my air conditioner has gone out and it is the middle of summer... in Texas... grrr!

I started a brand new web site: http://www.gregoryjdaniel.com ~ I hope you all like it, I should be working on it for... so long... garsh.

Anyway, these days, it's kinda hard, because the MTL's are becoming more hard on me, on everyone ~ and it does not make sense as we are just SOTs... we serve little purpose, and now we are miserable at times, insufficient at who knows what, and for that we get punished... gosh... boot camp continues in building 121 of Medina AFB...

Another Lunch Break

Posted on: 07-22-2005 @ 12:40 pm

Right now I am on my lunch break, I should be catching a bus soon to head back to Medina where I will endure a few more hours of random detail work (cleaning) ~ then embark upon the journey that is the weekend ~

I just came back from the Hospital where they performed hours of scans on me, and my heart... I rand on a treadmill, and also laid on my side for a couple hours as they bounced sounds around to develop an image of my heart...

The results for the heart images will not come back till Monday, but we'll see where that goes ~ for the most part they tell me I'm fine, I really think the sound scan will show them exactly what is going on, especially considering how many chest pains I experienced just lying on my side while they were scanning...

Regardless, hopefully they do not take away my weekend like they did last week... I could use one day to myself... I hope it all works out...

I wish things would go my way, but it's just not the way this world works... or so I am realizing this now more than ever ~ you don't know what I am talking about because I have not publicly mentioned it yet... it's not about my heart, but is, in a small way...

I'm going to deal with these issues the best I can, I will accept them... [sighs] They think I have asthma still, when I ran on the treadmill, I was so winded, and I was not even running fast or anything... I also found out I'm Lactose Intolerant... it's a day for good news...

Until later... I'll keep living...

Wedding In San Antonio

Posted on: 08-05-2005 @ 23:20 pm

In the San Antonio Court House I married Skye [...] ~ you can read more about this at GregoryJDaniel.com ~ thank you to all those who support us ~ unlike many weddings in Tech School, this was not an impulsive decision ~ and for that & many other truths, I am even more grateful to have Skye in a greater part of my life ~

Security Forces

Posted on: 08-08-2005 @ 19:23 pm

I've joined up with Basic Trainee grads, and one person from EOD school to eventually accomplish graduating Security Forces tech school in San Antonio, TX (Lackland AFB) ~ I was finally medically cleared, and sent over to begin my training as of today ~ which me the best of skill and luck. Thank you.

Hard Day

Posted on: 08-26-2005 @ 20:15 pm

One of our MTL's called us a bunch of pansies today for finding her swearing offensive, as well as our student leaders. I informed her that swearing was against the UCMJ, she told me I was wrong, and I again stated the contrary - she gave me an assignment, tell her what article states that we may not use profane language ~ Article 117 is the answer of which I will inform her on Monday about.

I've been having a lot of problems with the Green Ropes as of late. I've been telling them that all they have been doing is destroying student morale, when they call us pathetic, idiotic... for such silly things as asking a question in formation, or looking around when a siren goes off... I know much of my team members tend to move at attention... but I simply do not feel any degree of insult should be directed at those out of line to such a minuscule degree... [sighs]

I wrote a long section on the front page about all the issues... the one's I am desperate to cover, and I can only hope that the right eyes are laid on it, so we can possibly discover a change for the better...

All I really wanted to do for the Air Force was design sites --- Now I will be sent off to take lives of America's enemies, which I will do... regardless of whether or not I could serve our country better in other areas...

It is not that I ever wanted out, it's that I don't want anyone else to go through what I have ~ I don't want anyone to feel cheated ~ abused, or in some people's cases, suicidal. No job should make a person want to end their lives, and yet because they are stuck in a life they wish they had never chosen, they see no greater way out ~ not because they have failed themselves, not due to any weakness, but because they thought the Air Force was everything their recruiter said it was... and it is, with one exception ~ the Air Force is a wonderful place conceptually ~ but no one ever tells recruits that they may one day find themselves cursing the days they wake up because they have to deal with the same trigger-happy, gung-ho, careless individuals they call co-workers, "defender buddies"

Some are this way because they let the grain of the hypothetical bricks sand away their true personalities, and in that, replace the gaps with harsh, unfavorable perspectives to which they enforce and impose on others.

I've always said I would not change, but I have changed one significant thing, my perspective ~ the Air Force never let me down... I believe in it, it is the people beneath it, the bottom-feeders who ruin the overall identity.

I will go on living my days as I have... but I will not stand back and be abused. I will always stand strong ~ and let the world know of how the others have fallen... and what sadness I feel for their loss.

I envision something great, I can make it all better ~ with your help, write a letter, start a petition, participate & interact with this site, to make a better future for us all. The Air Force is a great organization, lets make it better.

Controversy

Posted on: 09-03-2005 @ 08:11 pm

Well... I recently said a word regarding to something of preference... it was not a cuss word, nor was it slang, but because I said it, I was written up, and might receive further punishment for it all because one individual found me talking about it offensive (someone told a lame joke, and I told them that the joke did not make sense, while using the same word they used in the joke to describe those involved) ~

So basically, I was not the one who brought it up, I was not the one who pushed the issue, and I am being punished for it ~ garsh... sorry I cannot be more specific ~ my other site gets into more detail... I just can't say much here as this site needs to remain entirely professional.

All else is going well, I purchased a new lap top thanks to the Military's entirely fair support for its troops, and am generally very happy ~ I just need to get this one ding out of my car or it will bother me for a long while.

Daily Tech School Stresses

Posted on: September 20, 2005

Mmm... today was like any other day in tech school, long, stressful, but reluctantly helpful. We shot the M249 this morning, getting up at 0630, loading the bus, and heading over to Camp Bullis (an Army installation) ~ as I always said, it's never the Air Force that stresses you out, it's the people... the only difference between regular life & the military (in regards to emotional states) is in the military, anyone higher-ranking than you is your mom & pop ~ they tell you what you can do, when you can do it, where, and so on... so it's always best to stay on the good side of everyone...

My word of advice, when you're in the military, follow the rules, keep your mouth shut unless you have something important to say, and expect to get shot down if you do speak up (just like anywhere else, but like I said, with a greater potential for a heavier punishment) ~

I've been having a problem with my pay as of late... but luckily, everything you need is all on one place, one base... so I'll be making an appointment soon ~

One thing I've wanted to tell you all is the difference between Military personnel and civilians. No, we are not robots, no, we are not always serious, we just know when to be serious ~ when to be in-line... it's like being a new form of adult... the military makes you grow up, if you're looking to join for that reason, than you are joining for the right reason. If you are joining for college, you're a fool, but that's just my opinion.

I joined to grow up, I joined to serve my country, and I joined to see if I am fit for this world or not... IRAQ will make that decision, as I hear we are taking over for the ARMY in some areas... I guess that's what I always wanted... to literally fight for my country, die for it, lose a limb for it...

I guess that's another difference too, we don't mind dying, we don't mind getting shot at ~ at least I don't, not yet... when the time comes, I will not run, I will not stop fighting till I and allies are the last men... or of course if they give up... I will not become a prisoner of war either, if I can help it ~ fight till the end, if you still have arms, swing, if you still have legs, kick... the Japanese had it right in that sense, no surrendering... it is part of the Code of Conduct, and yet the MTI's from my BMT squadron (324th Training Squadron) told us otherwise... to basically give up if we were out of ammo...

I won't do it...

I may be crazy in a few ways, lack in fear for death is a good kind of crazy when you're in my line of work ~ but it is this type of crazy that helps keep our unique society alive... I just wish there were more with my kind of mentality in tech school ~ too many Airmen seem to treat the M16's, M9's, M4's and so on like they are a piece of China ~ no, you latch on to that sucker, and you squeeze like there's no tomorrow...

I was told that we have only lost 2,000 out of 600,000 sent over to IRAQ over all? I wonder how many are wounded? 2,000 is still a high number to me... we need less...

Aches & Pains

Posted on: October 8, 2005

I haven't been this sore since being a plumber in training... yesterday we did a confidence-like course where we pretty much got our asses handed to us ~ when you look back, it seems easy, but when you're doing it, wow... it just sucks ~ we basically completed ITT, Security Forces Training of Dot 48, where we had to leap over a wall, drop and cover the guy behind us to do the same, then run 10 feet, drop, roll, get up, run 10 feet, drop, roll, while spouting commands, then cover ~ then next challenge was to crawl under fake barb-wire, about 70 feet, then again, cover your partner, and the last one, the most challenging, was to dig your head in the dirt, and push your self across the sand with only one foot, while still holding your M16 rifle ~ and when finished, leap over one last wall... we did that three times, cleaned weapons, and performed function checks etc...

On another note, I've past every test in Security Forces, so all I have left is combat training/desert-based training and I'm set to go to Oklahoma ~ hopefully my knee can hold up through that, because if not, I'll be in limbo for an unfortunately extended period of time...

Good Night

Posted on: November 5, 2005

Well, we started up MRA, which is basically translation for a "Pound the stuff you already learned back in your head because it could one day save your life" session ~ that's fine, I'll do it ~ basically in between that and briefings, we eat twice a day and get 6 hours a sleep... not terrible, not great... ;)

Anyway, I will be going home for a short vacation soon (a few days, then back to work on RAP, Recruiter's Assistance) then I'll be taking my wife to Oklahoma, Tinker Air Force Base to be exact... hopefully all works out well... what could go wrong? I could still get washed back, out processing could go bad, someone could lose my orders...

Gosh, I'm so tired...

Agh... good night.

Broken... Down

Posted on: November 19, 2005

Today is the 19th, just a few days away from where I hit the road, and head for Oklahoma ~ though sadly, it is right above Texas, the ole home of Lackland, (a training base almost any Airman will shiver when they hear the name) at least it is OUT of Texas... no offense Texans! ---> Regardless, eight days ago I headed home via Frontier Airlines, who by the way, supports military personnel ~ they waived my overweight luggage fee, and treated me VERY nicely ~ I hung out at the USO for a while ~ there was not much to do there, but I did read a few magazines, and I ate some cookies ~

After all the waiting, my plane was ready, and I was headed home... since the time I arrived I have been trying to shake off all the training, the instructors... the stress, the conflict ~ I've been trying to revert back to the old me... I mean, everything now feels the same, like I never went to tech school, or even Basic... it's just, now I have a tight hair cut, and stand up more strait than I had prior...

They say that whenever you get back from training, you look at the world differently... I do... but not in the "I pity you" way they suggested we would... the people I know have good jobs, they have a good lives... however the people I seek walking the streets, malls, stores ~ a lot of them look terrible ~ their hair is ungroomed, their clothes are torn, their speech is slurred... it just makes me realize how collected and secure military personnel are... and how confused some civilians seem to be...

Whether or not it feels like it, when you're in the Air Force, you've got something not many can have... you have respect, professionalism, and pride. That's worth a lot when you're looking back...

Though I do still miss the hippy me ~ I was once completely relaxed, easy-going most the time... long hair... I didn't have a care ~ now it's all about priorities, objectives... I guess it is best for me in this point of my life... but when I am old, I want to find myself again ~

I spoke to the recruiters I work for a bit about quotas and such... some may think the Air Force has to recruit a lot of people, like the Army does... there was actually a period of time where they had no quota, where it did not matter how many they pulled in because the USAF was already overstocked with Airman ~ well, they brought down that number, so now there is a quota, and that is [drum rolls] two people a month ~ that's it ~ please understand, the USAF is not desperate for people, they are however looking for the best ~

That alone seems very humbling ~ especially for those chosen to reenlist ~ I've seen people come in the office, and I've seen them leave just as quickly due to them not qualifying ~ it's a shame, but it's true, not everyone can serve this country in exactly the way they please...

Alright, that's all for now, soon I'll be driving 2,000 miles to Oklahoma... then starting my new job ~ :) We'll see how this all works out, and so will you.

The Road To Oklahoma

Posted on: November 23, 2005

Tomorrow is Thanksgiving ~ how fabulous! It just means the next day begins my road trip... woo! [rolls eyes] Once I get to my first base (when I "PCS" or have a Permanent Change of Station) I'll get a few days to find a place to live, I'll be temporarily living in the Airman's quarters... which are basically hotels for Airmen that only cost $20.00 a night...

Anyway, my wife and I are stressed out off and on, about things not even related to the Air Force (last names, bring cats with us, general bickering) ~ And now I see the light...

I'm sitting in the Air Force recruiter's office right now... I find the job is actually extremely relaxing at times, or so, compared to training... garsh, I've got to get a desk job ~ I'm not the gung-ho type, more like the "enjoy my life quietly, peacefully" ~ what? Is it weird that I'm in the military and do not want to take the world on in a gun fight?

It's all about personality, you don't lose it just because you join the Armed Forces... you'd actually probably be amazed by how nice some Air Force personnel can be... once you hit the active Air Force... not the tech school, or BMT USAF. :) ~ Anyway, I'm glad to of found out the Military was not nearly as bad as some of the media presents... bad? No... just full of reality ~

All Apologies

Posted on: March 9th, 2006

As of lately I've been pretty busy with work, this section in specific of the site I do not plan to update in the future, however the information I've gathered on the Air Force up to this date is really quite amazing.

On February 12th, 2006 I was promoted to A1C, and since then I've been working 13 out of every 15 days... but I have a bigger break coming up... I'm really liking Security Forces for the most part, it's all about perspective.

Volunteer Opportunities

Posted on: March 29th, 2006

I've gone to two concerts in the past month under volunteer status. The first concert was to see Kid Rock, where I acted as a ticket checker right next to the stage, and the second job was for a Nine Inch Nails concert insuring that no one jumped the barricade and entered the floor level. Every other day in guard mount (the section of the day in which they brief us about upcoming events and the daily tasks) they throw out some volunteer opportunities, I jump on a lot of them because not only do I want to do them for life experience, but I know they are good for my yearly review.

It's awesome how many opportunities I can take hold of just by raising my hand... I imagine by the time I'm 40 I will of seen more than people twice my age had.

Every time I go to the concerts the fans tell me I have one of the coolest jobs in the world, I tell them that I'm not a stadium worker, that I'm in the Air Force... it's interesting how people respond when they find out about your career in the Military.

Entries By Others

Military Mom

Posted on Saturday, June 11 @ 09:59:20 EDT

Comments Written By a USAF Mom Sent Via Email to The Admin, Gregory

[Admin Note: This is most likely written by Greg's mother]

Being a military mom is not a position I would ever choose for myself. I didn't raise my offspring to become human targets for angry bomb-wielding terrorists and I certainly never wanted any of them to get into a position where they might some day have to choose to either take another human life or risk losing their own. Yet regardless of how I feel about war or about the United States’ invasion of foreign countries, our military system still gives me plenty of reasons to bust my buttons with pride because both my middle daughter and youngest son have joined the United States Air Force and they serve with utter devotion.

I know it took lots of guts and determination for both of them to excel in boot camp and graduate on time. They were both so bent on joining the military that they defied my promptings for them to go to college and utilize their many creative talents as civillians. Now they both stand out as model Airmen, in the time beyond basic training.

As a military parent, the Air Force has swung my heart on a string like it were a mere pendulum vacillating first this way and then that. When the rules of boot camp dictated what I could and could not do (e.g., parents can seldom communicate with their enlisted children when needed or desired) I tended to feel grossly defiant – even while I exercised a great deal of restraint and did not buck the system (because that would have meant my child would suffer undesirable consequences).

When, for example, at my son’s boot camp graduation ceremony, I was advised that moms could not hug their Airmen for more than four seconds without the Airman suffering punishment -- and considering that such news came after a couple of months of absence from my son; and me knowing that he had just endured all sorts of physical and emotional abuse (as all new recruits must suffer) -- the first thing I wanted to do was to hug and cradle my grown child. Hell. I wanted to throw him on the ground and kiss his face all over just to show how much I had mourned and missed him.

Oh, I know the military’s job is to convert a bunch of sniveling pansies into strong killing machines; men and women who can defend our country without blinking an eye. But I also understand that the armed forces needs families, like mine, to offer the kind of emotional support that keeps our enlistees healthy and happy. Where would the military be with soldiers who have no supportive network from home or without soldiers altogether because there were no families to supply them?

I’m not willing to adapt to the idea that moms are second rate citizens who must now follow military orders. It wasn’t ME who enlisted in the military, after all . . . and yet, it was (vicariously) ME because my children are truly an extension of who I am. Everything they feel, I feel all the more. When they experience pain, I suffer it tenfold and when they overcome huge obstacles I feel just that much more pride for their success.

That’s why it seemed humiliating for me to sit through the Lackland Air Force base’s “parent orientation” before the boot camp graduation weekend could begin. There I felt reluctant to continually listen to the wet-behind-the-ears Airman-Training-Instructor who enjoyed ridiculing both recruits (suggesting they were all a bunch of outlaw teenagers) and mothers (who reportedly would be so intellectually absent they might kiss the first shaved-headed Airman they saw – mistaking a stranger for their son).

Realizing that the content of that two-hour orientation could have been much more efficiently delivered in ten minutes – and fretting about the way we parents, siblings and sweethearts were restricted to stand on the street corner where me might spot our Airman as s/he ran buy with his/her unit – not being allowed to talk to our loved one for at least a few more hours – it all seemed as though the USAF enjoyed being aberrantly cruel to families.

Since I longed to see my Airman with such a ferocious drive; I stood on that street corner, obediently, and my heart raced as if I were about to view a most exciting event or dangerous phenomenon. In truth, amidst the rhythm of so many military feet pounding the pavement and voices lifted up in such a unified effort to sing joeys, I strained my eyes to pick out which bald head belonged to my son. Then, when I did see him (running so seriously focused and strong and shouting the chants in a manly voice that had sounded so young just a few weeks before) a tsunami-size wave of emotion flooded over me. I gulped, repeatedly, trying to swallow so much salt and tears while I scolded myself for becoming so emotional. No matter how much I tried, I could not keep from smeaing my makeup.

Because of my silent crying, I felt relieved that my Airman-son could not look our way, or worse: stop to say “hello.” I would not have been able to talk to him if he could have stopped, not just then. And I wanted to be strong, for him.

Hours later, after much waiting and yearning for my son to be released so we could stroll the base together, I felt protective to watch him marched up to us, posture erect, neck straight, both hands in line with his hips. I wondered how he had faired, emotionally. One-third of his unit had been recycled (punished to start boot camp all over again) while my son and those remaining in his small unit had passed boot camp on schedule. It seemed obvious to me and his superiors that he had truly earned the right to stand so tall. How could I not feel so very proud?

I'm at the time of my life when even my birthday suit needs pressing.

--Bob Hope (paraphrased)

So This Is The Air Force

Contributed by Jackson on Wednesday, June 01 @ 12:55:54 EDT

Comments Written By a USAF A1C & AAF User, Not The Admin, Gregory

I will start this post with an apology. Once I had it in my mind to make post about life in the Air Force and made the attempt to write, this is all I could think of, so I am sorry for the short nature of it.

I love the Air Force. This is not a statement often heard from the people I see on a daily basis, but I can say it with a voice full of candor just the same.

Dozens of reasons exist as in why to not like the military; such as having to wear what they tell you to wear during duty hours.

What about those duty hours? They vary from job to job but it comes down to, you work a lot and even more than a lot when you are deployed.

So what about that pay check? I've heard many complaints. But to be perfectly honest, the pay is really good. Especially once you reach SSgt (E-5) and above.

Chow hall food: Now that is something I can say is awful. If I could change one thing about the Air Force it would be the food. It is definitely not catered to nutrition so much as to cost. It is cheep food. You can get a burger and fries at most any time, but what if you want a salad? The lettuce is wilted; the vegi's have been frozen, thawed, refrozen, and thawed again. But the worst part is the dressing. It tastes like watered down knock off brands. I haven't been in every chow hall but this is the food I am forced to eat at my duty station.

In spite of this, I love the air force. I love I get access to a free gym. I love that I don't have to pay rent, electricity, or any other housing expenses. Even though I'm forced to stay in the dorms for another 2 years it's not so bad considering I don't have to pay for it. I get to look forward to the extra $700 a month (dependant on my location, could be more) to live off base in at the end of those years too. That’s something nice.

I do not like having to stay and go where I'm told. I do like being paid close to $50 extra/ day to go to great locations like Florida and San Diego, Cali for "training".

Micro-managing is not fun either, but I keep my nose clean and don't get it too bad.

I like being able to depend on my supervisor and above to help with all my problems, including personal. I like that the Air Force has a support group for almost every crisis you can face, like getting drunk and stranded at a bar: AADD, got to love those guys willing to give up a Saturday night to pick your drunk butt up.

Mostly I like the people. Don’t misunderstand, I meet plenty of (for lack of better term) jack holes, but the friends I’ve made I can see having for life and they make every experience truly worth it.