From the Pointy end

Well, I’m back from a week in WESTPAC, the Western Pacific for those who aren’t Navy oriented… Spent some time talking to the Sailors who are spending time in the Gulf both on deployment and Individual Augmentee (IA) duties. I gotta say what I am hearing from these folks is pretty much directly contradictory to what most of the media is saying. These folks are proud to serve, believe in what we are doing, and see the positives of the situation in Iraq and Afganistan both. They see improvements we (the Coalition) have fostered, schools, water, power, hospitals; but agree there are not enough due to politics and the local infighting. To a person, they all agreed we should stay the course.

This makes me wonder even more about the media and today’s crop of politicians… I thought I had seen it all after Nam, Grenada, and the first Gulf War, but these folks just leave me speechless… I’m for, but I’m against, but I was for… timetables for withdrawl, but I support the troops, but I want to take away their money and ability to do anything… Does this make any sense?

Not to me- I am to the point that I believe the pols are posturing (posterioring?) to try to be on both sides of the war. I guess they think we the people are too dumb to remember the last thing they said, or hope we will “only” remember what they say in the sound bites.

If you have the time, take a minute to thank those reservist, Guard and active duty folks you know. These are the folks who are on the pointy end, doing the best they can with what they have. It behooves us to support them in any way we can.

Passports are a pain in the A**

Welcome to passport hell… (well that is what the sign SHOULD have said)
To make a long story short, I sent my passort in for more visa pages 3 weeks ago, as I have a trip this Friday. So yesterday I spend, off and on, 7 hours on the phone trying to get into the system and actually talk to a live body… Finally succeed, and guess what- Passport is not done, not sure where it is, etc… Bottom line, I get an appointment for 0800 this morning at the Washington Passport Office in downtown DC. So….

Early get up, run in to the office, jump on Metro, hike four blocks, get there at 0745, and I’m number THIRTY in line…

Stand in line for an hour to get to the appointments desk, only to be told, “Well you don’t actually HAVE an appointment, I don’t care what your paperwork and email says, so you will have to see a Supervisor. Got sit down and wait.”

Oh okay… geez, what is this little number beside wait time printed on the ticket? Hmmm… ONE HOUR AND FIFTY TWO MINUTES!!!! What the? So I go corner the supervisor (nice lady by the way), to whom I explain the situation, she says, “Oh you will definitely have to wait at least that long. I only have two supervisors working today.”

Two and a half hour later, I finally get to the window, only to be told, “Well, since your passport is still in our system, I can’t do anything until tomorrow, so if you don’t receive it by tomorrow, come back and we will help you then.”

It’s now 12:30, I’m back in my office with nada to show for the entire morning…sigh…

AND I’ll probably have to do this all over again tomorrow.

Testing… testing…

I’m new to this whole arena, but thought I’d give it a try. I guess I fall in the “silent majority” as we have been deemed, I’ve never sought publicity, sued anyone for spilling my coffee, sure as hell ain’t a movie star; well, you get the drift…

I’m mid-50’s have a decent job, two decent kids trying hard to make their own way in the world today, and a lot of frustration with what is happening to the US of A. Being from the South, I hunt, fish, and shoot guns; so that immediately makes me one of those “rabid rednecks” to quote some out there. I did have a pickup, but it’s hard to park it where I work, so I drive a Pontiac… sure do miss the truck though… sigh…

As a retired military type, it really hurts to see the crap we are putting the folks in service through today. I lived through that in Vietnam, and I take the time to thank every Soldier, Sailor, Airman or Marine for their service when I get the chance. Most of the kids (I’m Southern so I can say that) are doing the best they can with what they have. They believe in the job they and others are doing in the Sandbox, and are pretty upset by the media coverage they get.

Anyway, I’m going to try this for a while and see what happens… thanks for reading and commenting…

Old NFO