Friday, December 30, 2011

Recap of the Year

For me I started 2011 out in Iraq in support of Operation New Dawn.  I had been there for just over a month.  For being a combat zone, it hadn't been too bad and we were preparing to move to another base.

As March came around it was time to go on leave.  I chose to go to Italy instead of going home, a tough choice, but it was well worth the travel.  I had an amazing time and the Italian Brethren were very hospitable.

It took me a few days to get back to my guys in Iraq thanks to a nice little dust storm that swept through Kuwait.  Once I was back with my guys I went back to my normal routine of 12 hours on shift, 12 hours off shift.  My days were fairly boring interrupted by the regular incoming rocket/mortar attacks. After a few months, my routine was fractured by getting sent to another base to assist another unit as an Instructor.

After some weeks I was in the midst of trying to get back to my guys, but Mother Nature decided to hinder me day after day. Finally after some time and 6 other bases later, I made it back to my guys.  A few months go by, a new unit, a change of base, and we're ready to head home.  After some hitches in the plan, the wheels of the C17 I was riding finally left the sands of Iraq.

As a little treat we got to stop through Rota, Spain, which was an amazing time and for the first time since leave, I felt safe and with the feeling that I did not have to return to Iraq.  I had fun, but it was time to get back home.

After a week of de-mobilization in Ft. Lewis, it was time to go home and see my family and friends for the first time in a year. I was so excited and so glad to be home.  To embrace those who I loved and missed so much. My friends took me out for a great night out on the town.

At the end of September I finally did something I was wanting to do for years...I went and had LASIK surgery done. Hopefully in the end this will save me some cash as I would regularly break my glasses.

Now my focus was on one of my best friend's weddings.  I threw a killer Bachelor Party (as the guys all enjoyed themselves and the bride was pissed after hearing some of the stories of the entertainment :D).  The wedding day came and it was amazing.  The wedding party all looked great and the ceremony was amazing.  I was honored to be the Best Man as Marcus and I were Pledge Brothers in Kappa Sigma, we lived together when him and his wife met, I raised him as a Master Mason, and we were both in the Idaho Army National Guard.

The rest of October was filled with hunting or Masonic events such as the Northwest York Rite Conference or going through the Scottish Rite Reunion.  To cap it all off I decided to go to Pennsylvania to attend the Academy of Masonic Knowledge where Brent Morris and Cliff Porter were speaking. The time there was amazing.

Once I was home I moved into a new place with an old high school friend.  She is an amazing friend and roommate.

December came and with it I was finally able to attend my first York Rite College meeting since I was initiated. Now I spend my time getting ready to go to Boise State University.  It was a roller coaster year, but now I'm ready to go back to a nice, easy life.

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