***written on the flight to Cali for the wedding***
Life has been going 300 mph and I have been holding on trying to enjoy the wild ride. Usually brides spend the weeks up to their wedding primping and tanning and facialing and getting their hair done. But that would be normal. As Erin reminded me this week, I am not normal. So here are the things I have been doing leading up to the wedding.
Let’s get the serious stuff out of the way. As the base Mortuary Officer, I am in charge of the Search and Recovery team that recovers Airmen and personal effects from aircraft. A plane crash has been my worst nightmare since I got into this job. Then, without warning, on 3 May, The C-130 went down in Savannah. I called and asked if Charleston AFB needed help. Less than 24 hrs later we were on the road south to help bring get the fallen heroes home to their families. There were 9 souls on board. It took 5 days to get them home. I can’t get into much detail, just know our procedures involve lining up and taking a step at a time to find anything we can to get back to the family (a watch, a name tag, etc). We sifted through the wreckage, walked through the woods, construction zones, and through the smoldering areas to find anything we could.
My nightmare came true and my team and I made it through it and most importantly, accomplished the mission. We helped drape the transfer cases with flags and I led the ramp ceremony while my Airmen helped carry the fallen onto the plane. Apparently I am stronger than I thought. Thank God I had the world’s most amazing team out there to lead. They crushed it. I appreciate everyone who has been so supportive through all of this madness. I would be lost without you. Also, huge thank you to London and Lace and Fine Tailoring by B. I had to miss my final fitting and they worked it so I could get my dress when they were closed.
Scott came home with all his pieces after 6 months in Afghanistan and all is right with the world. I got four days off to hang out with him. I am so lucky.
Myrtle Beach (cool stuff you should do)
One of the cool things about being a Personnel Officer is we own Outdoor Recreation…they have cool trips in the local area for a decent price. We had a trip for Single Airmen and they needed someone to go with them. So Auntie Judy came in from Atlanta and off we went to Myrtle Beach to go zip-lining at Radical Ropes Adventure Park. I am so proud of her. She was nervous but took the leap of faith and went anyways. She wouldn’t do any of the crazy fun stuff (like fall off backwards), but by on the last one she gave herself a little momentum with a kick off…I could build an adventurer out of her yet. The course stopped being fun for us when we went to the ropes course. It was like the one I went through in basic and was not any kind of fun for me to try and balance my way through. And Auntie Judy suffered her way through it. It took a lot of balance and more strength than expected. Let’s just say she got in a better workout than anticipated and we only did the lower level of the three hour course.
We hit the road for the real reason I was excited to go to Myrtle…this Asian ice cream place called Sweet Ice. So far off the beaten path you can’t even see it…it’s nestled in a Japanese grocery store. They pour cream and toppings onto a frozen slab and roll it up for you. Absolute heaven. I got the birthday cake one…which was mind blowing but was blown out of the water by the salted caramel pretzel one Auntie Judy had because there was caramel in the rolls. My only regret is I didn’t ask for fudge in mine.
We walked on the beach for a little bit and soaked in some sun.
Then, because I love food tourism, we to a recommended place by a coworker called Fire & Smoke. This one is located on the road less travelled and the shopping center was so questionable, I asked to see the menu and doubted Jack’s taste pallet. We sat down anyways…looked safe. We ordered a bunch of pupus and went to town. I haven’t had this good of food in a while. It actually forced me to say oh my god it was so good (get the truffle fries, short rib papparelle, portabello formaggio, and the wood grilled caesar…thank me later).
✨We had more Readiness PT. It was a culminating event for everything we have been learning. My Airmen rucked a little over a mile, an explosion went off followed by small arms fire, they had to run into a bunker and take accountability. I had people come out that we moulaged and gorey…even a bleeding robot. They had to do care under fire and get all the injured to safety. They did great and I was so proud how everyone wanted to help out on base and get my Airmen good training.
✨I lead a last minute visit of USAFA cadets. It is so refreshing to see college kids so excited to come into the AF.
✨I participated in the TACP Association 24 hour ruck. I only went for an hour with a lighter ruck, but felt good to be back at it and help raise money for my guys from the Schoolhouse…although hopefully they will never need it. My friend was out there for the entire 24 hours. So impressive.
✨I took my office on a professional development outing. We went to Fort Jackson’s National Cemetery. We all work Mortuary and having a loved one buried in a National Cemetery is one of the options we talk to families about. I wanted them to see what it was. We brought roses and laid them on graves. We made sure to read the names out loud so the legacy continues.
Phew!!! Life is chaos!!! I am tired just writing about it!!!
I hope all is well. I am excited to FINALLY do some hands on planning and get to enjoy the wedding adventure. Can’t wait to marry my person.
Wish me luck!