Not that I ignore the Korean angle to hostilities on the Korean peninsula, or think the road to unification runs through Beijing, but developments like a new Chinese Anti-Ship Ballistic Missile (ASBM) capability will keep me awake at nights. Especially, that is, when Chinese hacks write with this kind of bravado.
Our two year adventure in Korea has come to an end. The family is now back in the US. My good friend, Lieutenant Colonel Samuel "Tripp" Blanton and I took over our commands two years ago on 20 June 2008 in a joint change of command ceremony - "joint" meaning Army and Navy. I'm of course with the US Navy and the Commanding Officer of MSCO Korea. Tripp is the Battalion Commander for the US Army's 837th Transportation Battalion. On that rainy day in 2008, the ceremony was held onboard the USNS POMEROY. Unfortunately, the weather wasn't great so we held the ceremony inside the ship on one of her decks. It was a very nice event even though we had to revert to our inclement weather plan.
Here's a recent article on our joint change of command ceremony held on 25 June 2010. This was also the 60th Anniversary of the Korean War. The weather cooperated in a huge way for the ceremony and reception. We had over 400 people in attendance onboard the USNS WATSON.
It's that time again. Like many deployable sailors, for a significant part of my Navy career, I live out of a bag. Whatever I can stuff inside a Navy-issued green sea bag, that's what will sustain me for that six month (or longer) deployment. Actually, we're able to take more gear than that but you should never let the facts get in the way of a good sea story.
The horror - a blog post with no pictures! I must remind you that our iMac is packed in a box on the way to the US so adding pics is a little more challenging right now. I'll fix that real soon though.
Well, the two year adventure in Korea is just about over for the Cruzers. On Friday, the movers came to take away the stuff that will be traveling back to the US via airplane. This is the stuff that will arrive first. In this shipment you should pack away stuff that will help you out the most when you arrive at your new location. Things like basic kitchen stuff so you can cook, bathroom stuff so you clean yourself up (hard to shower without a shower curtain), lamps so you can see at night, some bedding so you can have a pillow fight and a chair or two so you can stay in shape by doing dips. You get the picture. The chair thing is actually pretty important if you want to sit down. Not a big deal for Koreans. There's always the floor.
Warning: The second half of this blog entry contains info on certain body parts that might be considered graphic. Or funny. Or both. Either way, it's real. Can't make this stuff up. Maybe it's potentially graphic just cause I don't know what those body parts are that are mentioned in the documents below. I don't want to assume that the subject is okay with all parents and more importantly, their kids. Please preview before letting your teen read this.
Anyway, for my birthday she tiramisu'd me. I know. I'm butchering this whole grammar thing with my noun-verb usage.
Not sure what I ever did to deserve someone that can cook up a storm like Carol. Not only is her cooking incredible but its the heart that goes along with her cooking. For example, if she finds out it's your birthday, she'll cake you. Carrot cake, pineapple upside down cake, dump cake, angel food cake, etc. Her recent trend is to brownie people. See previous post.
The thinking went like this. What type of event would attract a lot of people in Busan? Beknownst to me (okay, I'm getting carried away with that word and it's derivatives), there's a large English teacher population here in Busan. We thought a toga party would be something the Busan crowd could sink their teeth into. And of course, the Naval Aviator in me thought what the heck - toga party!
Carol and I are pretty social creatures. We enjoy having people over the house and have been known to throw a party or two. Almost a year ago, I talked about throwing a toga party. Carol's response was, "You can't throw a toga party in Korea!" Those at my work know that you shouldn't tell me that I "can't" do something. The "can't" word is supreme motivation for me. Unbeknownst to Carol, the gauntlet was thrown down. And yes, I did feel a little funny about typing the word, "unbeknownst."
Well, the last two weeks have been incredibly busy. We've got our Navy Reserves in town for the Freedom Banner exercise down in Mokpo, another group of Reserves here for the Joint Chiefs of Staff exercise, Key Resolve and another group helping to support the many ships we have here in the Korean Theater of Operations (KTO). Been working the last couple of weekends.
I also had the great honor of preaching the sermon at our church here in Busan last Sunday. Definitely not the typical birthday for me. I thought it went really well. Something I won't easily forget. I'll be blogging on that one later. The latest event that's been keeping me busy was the big fundraiser we held this past Friday night.
I was gonna work out but decided to eat another chunk of Carol's tiramisu and blog. It's all about priorities.
fired on a North Korean naval vessel that crossed into southern waters
. Evidently the ship was heavily damaged and limped back into the workers' paradise.
This is the first naval skirmish in a few years, and undoubtably will raise tensions here. I'll be practicing my breast stroke in the meantime.
South Korean ships