Before Alaska I never had to think about wildlife in my neighborhood. Yes, there was an aggressive duck once. And one neighborhood was right on the edge of mountain lion territory, but they kept to their side of the highway and we kept to ours. All in all, my kids and my dogs could play in the yard, and my family could take walks wherever and whenever we wanted without thinking about what we might encounter.
In Iraq they were inseparable, a daring duo whose mission was to seek out dangerous explosives hidden in the desert. But as often happens after a combat deployment, the two friends drifted apart. In the years following Iraq, new assignments and advancing age sent them down separate paths.
Hypochondriacs among us can rest a little easier today because of a service provided by the 673d Aerospace Medicine Squadron. The 673d AMDS is the only official government organization in Alaska that traps mosquitoes in order to have them tested for viruses and disease. From May through the latter part of September, Airmen set miniature light traps at various locations throughout Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson.
Today is the 4th of July. Independence Day is high up on my list of favorite holidays. I love the history of the American Revolution. George Washington, John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, and company all fascinate me. The odds were formidable. Yet they put everything on the line to try to secure a better life for themselves and those yet to come. No, they didn’t do everything right. And no, they were not perfect people. But they came together and did something huge. They fought for and started the United States of America. This day celebrates that achievement. Plus, there are always cool fireworks. To be honest, my love of the holiday is mostly about the fireworks.
Dozens of bloody bodies were scattered across the rocky ground on Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson. Fire engulfed a plane in the background. Smoke swept over some victims, so thick they were nearly camouflaged.
F-22 pilots and maintenance personnel from the active duty 3rd Wing and the Reserve 477th Fighter Group generated and flew nearly 90 sorties here June 11-12.
I must say that Alaska is a downright persnickety state. This state does things just to prove people wrong and “make life interesting.” In most places you know that when you wash your car it will rain. Well, Alaska goes above and beyond to prove that it is one contrary state.
In mere minutes, Army paratroopers recently turned a quiet, empty field into a battleground. The more than 500 paratroopers who filled the skies were members of the Army’s 4th Brigade Combat Team (Airborne), 25th Infantry Division, which dropped onto the Malamute Drop Zone on Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson as part of a massive three-day training mission designed to simulate the quick takeover of hostile enemy territory.
Every child has a hero or idol. At Providence Children’s Hospital, there are a handful of children who are fond of Air Force pilots in particular. These children were privileged to meet some of these individuals during a recent visit to the hospital by a group of pilots from the 302nd Fighter Squadron, the 517th Airlift Squadron and the 537th Airlift Squadron.
Austin, my younger son, goes off to camp this week, God Seekers camp at Birchwood Camp in Chugiak. I’m not sure I’m prepared for him to leave for three days. It’s not that he is going off without me, but that I’m sending him completely alone, without brother or sister as well. Whenever I leave them, I feel comfortable knowing that all three have each other’s backs. If I forget to tell the babysitter every rule, detail, or peculiarity about my children, the others will take care of it. They know just what to do to make each other feel better. They care for each other and look out for each other all the time. I never worry about a thing when I know they are together.