5 Year Recap

Hello friends.
Happy Monday bleh Mondays!

Today is my 5 year mark in the US Army. Just wanted to share a brief recap of my time in the Army thus far

I went to Basic Training in July of 2010 and graduated September 2010. 
It was 9 weeks of craziness and the start of my new life. 
I suffered through what is now known to be the start of my Fibromyalgia with the stress fractured foot and hip, sprained ankle, and busted up knee. I made it through several PT tests, crazy smoke sessions, several field exercises, and a crazy experience with the gas chamber. 
I made some cool friends there that I kept in touch with for a while, but we've all eventually lost touch. Kind of makes me sad because we went through hell together.
Those of us that made it through our last PT test got to go see the Kid Rock concert on 11 September of that year, he was playing for the troops on base and that was one of the coolest experiences ever!
This picture isn't the best, but the was my family on Family Day, the night before Graduation.

After that I went to Alabama for school training for my MOS from September 2010 until March of 2011. I made some friends here that I still keep in touch with to this day, like the girl pictures here, Kristal. I was with my main group for the first 4 months, and then I got moved to another group. I had 5 teeth removed, for the first time in my life and we liked to hang out in town on our free time. We were bound together by the crazy pace of learning our jobs. I miss these peoples.

This was my unit before we deployed in 2011. The guy in the red shirt was getting ready to leave the unit shortly before we deployed to Afghanistan. Several of these guys became like family to me. In this picture I had just started to get to know everyone. I wasn't supposed to be at the motor pool that day, hence the red beret and not the patrol cap like everyone else. I arrived there in March of 2011 and we deployed in September of the same year.

This was my platoon on deployment, September of 2011 until 2012. We were a very close group of crazy people. We went through the most crazy amount of incoming rounds together, a vehicle born IED that shook the whole base, a crashed C-17, and lots of time spent at the MWR just hanging out. This was the longest year of my life, the start of my blogging adventure, and where I started crafting again thanks for a need for something to do. I was promoted to specialist while deployed.

This was my first unit again a year or so after deployment. This was on the last day of  a field training exercise we did near base. Most of this group was who deployed together, although there were some new faces, but we were like family. I was really sad to leave this group of controllers and maintainers. I spent about three years with this group in total, and I miss them all the time. I miss the real Army, I miss the tactical life, I miss being treated like an adult.

This is my current unit, here in Germany, just not the same chain of command that I started with. For the first almost year, I was quite miserable at work. I was treated no different then a private straight out of the school house, despite my time in service and my experience. It wasn't until I moved to my new section that life got any better on the work aspect. I had always dreamed of going to Germany, part of the reason that I joined the military, I just expected it to be different then how it has turned out. I've made some new friends that I hope to keep in touch with throughout the future.

A lot has happened in 5 years.... I went to Basic training, went to AIT, was engaged for over a year thanks to a deployment, deployed to a base in the middle of a dust bowl where we were constantly under attack, started college classes, went back to the States, and ended that toxic engagement, started my love of tattoos, learned to cook, owned my first car, my first apartment, and my first dog, moved to another foreign country, and here we are. I've seen castles and history from World War II, I've met a female veteran from the same war, joined my local VFW, started learning parts of another language, started my photography business, was finally diagnosed with Fibro, rode on a C-17 from Germany to the States for a Christmas adventure, went to Oktoberfest and several Christmas markets, met some awesome Peace Greeters, and made some new friends. 

Most of my friends from high school had graduated college last year and were starting a new chapter in their lives, and this is all I have known my entire adult life. My experience with college is online 8 week classes, working 8 sometimes 17 hour days at the same time. All my friends are married and having babies and I am just waiting to be able to go home and be a civilian again.