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This blog exists only as an archive. It is a journal that serves as a window into my life as a Marine combat veteran serving in Iraq and Afghanistan; it was written with no filter, no politics and no agenda. Please feel free to follow my journey from beginning to end. Welcome to my life.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

A Bad Week....Ends Up Pretty Good

Aaaaaand this dude is home. I showed up at Palm Springs Airport this morning thinking the Vegas line on me making it home tonight as scheduled were about 6 to 1. But, a small layover (and insignificant delay) in Chicago Ohare and here I am.

Overall the trip wasn't too bad. On my leg from California to Chicago, they did manage to stick me next to the only other person on the plane bigger than me. It's always one of those moments. Maybe you don't know what it feels like, when you have to duck to enter the plane, and 80% of the seats are already filled, and as you walk down the aisle people are looking up at you with this fear in their eyes, a fear that says "please God, don't let his seat be next to mine". It's a funny feeling. But then your eyes connect with that one dude that knows where you're coming from, because he himself just made the same shameful walk down Main Street. And then it happens. My eyes glance down to my ticket and then up to the numbers lining the storage compartments, and, at the same time, we realize. Fate has put us together. Right smack together, shoulder rubbing, knees banging together, and the next 4 hours the two of you are going to be like siamese twins.

Other than that I can't complain.

Well, except for the fact that I had to prepay for long term parking in Palm Springs. That price tag came to $186... if you read my previous post, you'll know that I showed up without any cash flow. I had $180 to my name, I had had my buddy Shawn cash a personal check earlier in the week and that was all that was left. Luckily the guy at the gate was in the Christmas spirit and spotted me the six bucks. So now I'm traveling halfway across the country with no cash, no credit card, and no checks...translation: recipe for disaster.

Knowing that I was not going to have any money for food I began devising a plan to steal a piece of cardboard and make a sign that read: "Marine Combat Veteran: Lost money and cards, need cash for food". Really? I was going to do that? Probably not. I mean, I have gone a couple days without food in my life (ie. Sniper school, Afghanistan, etc.), so I hope it wouldn't have come down to that. Luckily it didn't matter, because I hit up the USO at O'Hare. And, on a side note, if you don't know what USOs are or what they do, look into it. The sweet old ladies that spend all day baking goods just to take them to USOs at their airports so servicemembers have a snack are the best people in the world. I really do love old patriotic ladies, they might be the coolest demographic out there.

So, here I am. Rocking out in 3 degree weather, Bettendorf, Iowa style. Good to be home.


  1. Our PD tries to help with fundraisers for the USO. Most folks don't know how hard the USO works to help the Armed Forces personnel.

    Merry Christmas!

  2. so glad my hometown could help you out! and happy there wasn't any delays that O'Hare is so famous for. bet your glad to be home!

    Merry Christmas to you!

  3. Jake, Glad you made it home without any major incident. Have a Merry Christmas with your family! But please take time to check out your credit...take a lesson from my Marine son's problems after he lost his wallet on the way back overseas. He didn't have immediate problems; like people using his credit card. But after about a year, he started getting letters from credit card and cell phone companies about overdue bills. Someone had found his wallet and stolen his identity. Fortunately, because he was overseas when the accounts were established, he was able to prove that he couldn't have opened the accounts. It still took him almost a year of hassle and paperwork to get his credit cleaned up. It pays to check! Anyway, even with all that, have a very Merry Christmas!

  4. If you think USO is "old ladies baking cookies" you might want to check out the USO Girls in Dallas - usogirls.blogspot.com

    Have a great Christmas!

  5. WOW -- you mean I'm finally old enough to bake cookies for active duty personnel and the only thing they'll ask me for is a glass of milk? Sign me up! I'm only fifteen minutes from O'Hare.

  6. Merry Christmas, Jake. Here's to an excellent New Year!

  7. I was out at Camp Wilson when it started to snow, it sucked, hell must have been freezing over. Hope you made it home in one piece, I'd offer you a place to crash but I'm going to Arizona, not the neck of the woods.

  8. Congrats on finally making it home! You can totally sit next to me on a plane. I'm only 5'2" so I have legroom to spare.

    The weather up here in Madison is pretty wicked too. Snow upon snow upon snow, and this weekend we get freezing rain!

    I'm so glad you get to spend the holidays with your family. Merry Christmas!