Sunday, June 29, 2008


Hey everyone. Well I made it to Kuwait, but I had some not so luck of the Irish during my layover in Ireland. We were only supposed to have a 2 hour layover, but it ended up being closer to 10, and I didn't even get to see anything other than the airport parking lot!
We finally left and landed in Kuwait around midnight. It was a crisp, cool 102 degrees!!!
For those of you interested in the heat in this part of the world, here's my closest comparison.
Have you ever stood next to a campfire on a hot summer day and felt the heat from it blowing on you? Well magnify that about 10 times and that's what it's like here ALL DAY LONG!!! When Survivorman Les Stroud (yes, I'm bringing him up) was in the Kalahari Desert of Africa, he said he felt like he was being pressure cooked and the wind just sucked the moisture right out of him. Well, that's how I feel here too.
Oh, and the sand! It's always blowing in your face, getting in your ears, mouth, nose... everywhere!
It's good that I have a few days here because getting used to the weather, as well as the time change is important in getting a good start on my time here.
Hope all is well and thanks to all of you for your words of support and encouragement.
Take care!

Thursday, June 26, 2008

My Long Road to War

Ok, so we're starting to get to the main reason that I created the blog... the deployment. Getting to this point in the process has been long, at times mundane, but things are bound to be eventful in the near future.
For those of you interested in the flight process, I can't divulge much information, other than to say that the itinerary is tumultuous and everchanging, and there is still no guarantee that I will even be on it! However, I was able to spend much of this week with my family who drove over for some last minute time together. Moreover, my beautiful wife Leslie and I were able to spend our wedding anniversary together for the first time in three years. So, I have been blessed with some pre-departure quality time and am very thankful that the Lord provided us all with time to say our temporary goodbyes.
My hope throughout this journey is to provide my readers with a well-rounded understanding of what it is like to be an American, a Soldier, and a Christian in the midst of Operation Iraqi Freedom. Obviously there will be some, maybe many, things that I will not be at liberty to discuss; but to the best of my ability I will try to provide an objective, in other words a truly Fair and Balanced, opinion of life in a war zone.
Please feel free to leave comments, questions, disagreements and the like should you so choose. Pending my departure in the very near future, I should be able to write my post from somewhere in the Middle East!!!
Take care 'til then.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Double Entrendre (Sort of)

For those of you not familiar with the great state of Tennessee, or with me, here's a little background information about my blog name.
Tennessee has always been known for having such a large portion of its citizens volunteering to fight in virtually every war the United States has been engaged in since its inception. Below is a link to more information about those who have gone before me and whom I hope to emulate during my tenure in the Armed Forces.
On a similar note, because I grew up near Knoxville and the University of Tennessee, I've been inundated with the Big Orange Volunteer culture. What is more, since my post-graduate education comes from the school, I have a deep affection for the school and proudly proclaim my allegiance and loyalty as a member of their Alumni.
However, being an alumn from the University does not make one a real volunteer. This right is reserved for those who helped give the school its name. Not to knock those University Vols, because part of being a product of the University is what drives me to serve my country and my state and I am very grateful for many opportunities that have been offered to me by being both an Army and University volunteer.

Thursday, June 12, 2008


Hello and welcome to my blog. I'm pretty new to the blogosphere, so it might take me a little while to get used to writing down my thoughts for others to see.
The primary reason I've decided to do this is based on the fact that I am about to deploy to Iraq for the rest of the year and several of my friends and family have expressed a desire to learn about my experiences and to understand more about the Army and its role in the War in Iraq. For many, especially my family, I am the only person they know who has served in combat, or the military for that matter, while others really just want to know what it's like to be surrounded by another culture. I am sure that my time in Iraq will suffice both scenarios and hopefully provide a well-rounded understanding of the lifestyle our men and women in uniform lead on a daily basis.
Unfortunately, I am about leave all the things I know and love for the uncertainties of war, but the good Lord has truly blessed me with family and friends who are supportive of the commitment I made to service my country.
For those of you who do not know me or are not aware of my current status, below is a little more information about myself:
- I am married to Leslie, whom I met while in college at Carson-Newman College. I transferred to Maryville College in 2000, but we reconnected during my last semester and have been together ever since. We married on June 26, 2004 (happiest day of my life) and both started working on our Master's degrees at UT only a couple of months later. We completed our degrees in 2006, but I decided to continue my studies and am currently workingon my PhD in Political Science (however I've had to put that on hold for the most part while in the Army).
- Despite leaving the comfort and beauty of Knoxville, TN, Leslie and I are only a couple hundred miles west at Fort Campbell, KY. I am currently assigned to the 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault) 2nd Brigade Combat Team. For those of you unfamiliar with the organization structure of the Army, I will hopefully be able to provide some insight in the weeks and months to come.
- For the past 4 years, Leslie and I have been members of Providence Church in Knoxville. We continue to maintain our membership there because we hope to return home after my time in the Army is complete and plan on visiting our church family as much as possible. Leslie was active in the worship team and I hosted Kidstuf, a service designed for families with small children, and Married Life Live, a quarterly ministry for married couples. If any of you are looking for a church in the west Knoxville area, please feel free to visit their website for more information.

Well, I guess that's enough information for now. I will hopefully be able to update this blog with plenty of information (unclassified, of course) from every aspect of my time spent in Iraq. If any of you have questions, please do not hesitate to ask and I will do my best to answer it in a timely, suitable manner.
Take care!