Colleen with Cherry Pie after the show on October 22, 2005; less than three weeks before shipping out.

COLLEEN'S IRAQ JOURNAL

Waukesha native Colleen Evans has been a friend of Cherry Pie from the band's early days when she started taking guitar lessons from Dave at the age of 16. After graduating high school she joined the Navy as a construction specialist. Since the fall of 2001 she has been stationed at several locations in the line of duty. She has always kept in touch and has attended Cherry Pie shows whenever she has been back in Wisconsin. In November, 2005 she deployed to Iraq for the first time. This journal is a document in her own words describing not only her experiences in this military operation, but also her general background and interests including her love of music which is what brought us to know her. In this way she helps us relate to and further appreciate those in uniform who risk all in service to our country. Hopefully it also helps keep Colleen connected to the support network she has in her family, friends and musical community here at home as she works and lives so far away. She plans to update this journal regularly throughout her deployment.

You can contact Colleen at colleen@cherrypie.org

or by snail mail at
  Evans, Colleen, N.
  Seabees NMCB 133
  APO AE 09391

  • November 5, 2005
  • November 22, 2005
  • December 6, 2005
  • December 24, 2005
  • January 1, 2006
  • January 15, 2006
  • January 22, 2006
  • February 2, 2006
  • February 11, 2006
  • February 28, 2006
  • March 5, 2006
  • March 18, 2006
  • April 2, 2006
  • April 6, 2006
  • April 12, 2006


    November 5, 2005
    Gulfport, Mississippi

    It's currently 12:34pm on Saturday November 5, 2005 and I'm sitting here at the computer writing up my first journal entry, gearing up for my 5-6 month deployment to Iraq, A.K.A. "the big sandbox", "hell hole", "purgatory" etc........ I officially leave on Tuesday the 8th and am supposed to be due back sometime in April next year. Got most of my shit packed, right now I'm copying most of my metal videos on the computer so I can burn them to DVD and take them with me. Got this little device the other day that connects my VCR to the computer through a USB cable so I can record everything on the computer. Amazing how far technology's come ain't it? When I bought these tapes I never imagined of being able to transfer them to DVD with out going to a shop somewhere and paying them to do it. But hey....that was 5-6 years ago, things have definitely changed since then.

    Hell, back then I didn't think I was gonna be where I am now. I'd thought about joining the military but never really considered it. My Dad was in the Army during Vietnam (voluntarily) was stationed in Korea, with the 1st Battalion, 31st artillery, 7th infantry. My Grandfather was in World War 2, I also have Uncles that served in the Army during World War 2 as well as during Vietnam, not to mention a cousin that's over in Iraq with the Army right now, he's due back before Christmas.

    So, what made me join the Navy when the majority of my family has served in the Army? For one, the Navy got to me first. I have an interest in construction, some people might think thats an odd career choice for a female, but that was something I wanted to do, I've known how to swing a hammer since I was 6 or 7 and I've always had an interest in building things so construction was a good opportunity. The Navy was more involved in the construction field than the rest, and in the Navy the construction comes first, not the other way around like it seems to be in the Marines and Army where combat comes first, career is second.

    Colleen and fellow Navy SeaBees Terry Grace and Joesph L'Heureux managed to haul in some big Wahoo fish from the Indian Ocean during their deployment to Diego Garcia, July 2004.
     
    My other reason for joining was getting a jumpstart on my life after highschool, I probably would have the same opportunities had I not joined the Navy, but the advantages are amazing. The job opportunities I have when I get out next year are looking a lot better than they were 4 years ago.

    I joined the Navy on April 23, 2000, but didn't ship off to bootcamp until September 18, 2001, coincidently one week to the day after September 11. After 9 weeks in bootcamp, I went to Gulfport, MS for 3 months of school, and in March of ‘02 I went to my first command NCBU (Naval Construction Battalion Unit) 411 in Norfolk, VA. I stayed there for 2 years and presently I'm back in Gulfport, MS with NMCB (Naval Mobile Construction Battalion) 133, which is were I'll be until I get out in September next year. I've already completed one deployment which was to Diego Garcia from June to December of last year.

    Colleen at a Cherry Pie show with Nick (above) and Shane (below), March 2004.
     
    Anyway, enough about the military shit. For those of you that don't know who I am or have recently met me, music plays a big part in my life, its something I can't live with out. It's what gets me through the day. Many people are surprised when I tell them I'm into all of the old school ‘80s metal and classic rock. Go figure, I'm only 22 years old. I have an older brother and sister who were middle school and highschool age back then, what do expect? My favorite band is Def Leppard, ask anyone, they'll tell ya, I'm a Def Leppard freak. LOL

    I've been a Cherry Pie fan since shortly before they were Cherry Pie, back when they were still Hit Squad. Although I didn't get to my first show until after the name change. I first met Dave in ‘99 when I started taking guitar lessons with him when I was 16. He told me about the band and gave me a copy of a CD by Beyond the Mirror which is one of Josh and John's previous bands. If you haven't heard this cd or would like a copy, I'm sure if you talk to Josh I'm sure he can get you one, you should definitely check it out if you get a chance. Later on, I got in contact with Josh when, after several failed attempts at creating a website, I came across his personal website.

    Colleen on stage with John, August 2005.
     
    In May of 2000 is when I finally got to see Cherry Pie a few miles from my Dad's house, at Rooters in Waukesha. After some convincing and a little bit of begging, I managed to get my Dad to take me, since I was 17 at the time. I've been to many shows since then, and they keep getting better each and every time.

    Till next time,
    and there DEFinately will be a next time....
    Colleen


    November 22, 2005
    Undisclosed location in Iraq

    Its currently 7:48 pm on November 22, I'm about 8 hours ahead of you all in the states, its almost noon where you are. Just got done with a work out at the gym. Did about 45 minutes on a treadmill, walking at this point. Would be running but with my work schedule and what I'm currently doing....I just don't have the energy for it right now. Wish I could tell you all what I'm doing work wise, but its a top secret project. Meaning the only people that know whats going on with it are those working on it and our supurvisors. Can't even take pictures of it, thats how top secret shit is over here.

    (Click for larger image)
     
    I'm officially in country now, had a week of training south of here, where I'm not allowed to say either but there's only 2 countries south of here so, that should give you an idea. Been here for exactly a week. 4 1/2 months left to go! Yay! So far things arn't too bad, not as bad as the media makes it out to be, but it all depends on where you go and what you're tasked with. All the media seems to show is all the combat, that seems to be whats important, but it'd be nice to show something other than that, it'd be nice to see some of the good things going on here rather than giving all the credit to the bad, at least in the eyes of the media. Thats the main reason I've never paid attention to the news, the way I see it...if its something I need to know I will hear it at work or from another source, not the BS media, they rely too much on politics I think, but thats just my opinion.

    'Can't think of much else to say right now, I'm doing good over here, keeping busy and working hard. Looking forward to coming home, back to civilization, and rocking out with Cherry Pie once again. Wishing I could be at the upcoming BuBs show on December 2nd. Been waiting for CP to play a show on my birthday, and they finally do and I'm gonna miss it. Damn it! Oh well, I'm sure the first show after I get back will be one hell of a rockin' good time and then some. :D And they're'll be plenty more chances for a CP birthday party. BTW, Dec. 2nd will be my 23rd birthday. I'm sure I make some of you guys feel old now don't I?? ;-P lol

    Till next time, and they're will be a next time,
    Colleen


    December 6, 2005
    Undisclosed location in Iraq

    It's just after Noon on Tuesday December 6. Got the day off yesterday. Well desearved I might add. Been busting my ass out there as always. Well, last deployment I pretty much slacked off most of the time, but its a little hard to be working hard when you're doing nothing but BS work and being certain people's "bitch" all the time. Oh well, ya learn to deal with it.

    (Click for larger image)
     
    Still wish I coulda been at Bub's on friday, but I was there celebrating my birthday in spirit and thats all that matters. Would've been nice though to be able to have at least one drink on my birthday, but nope, gotta stay dry for the next 4 months, damn it!! ArrrgggggH! I want BEER!!!!!

    Hopefully you all had a good time. It was cool to be able to play a game of "pass the cellphone" with the band after the show. Getting to talk to everyone was great, put me on one hell of an emotional high the whole rest of the day :D
    Happy Birthday Shane!!

    So, now I want to share some Seabee stuff with you all...

    WHAT IS A SEABEE?
    • Between a soldier and a Marine there stands an individual called a SeaBee.
    • SeaBees come in assorted sizes, shapes, and weights, but all have the same code, to enjoy every second of every hour of every day, whether at work or at play, and to protest by griping (their most beloved privilege) when issued an order.
    • SeaBees are found everywhere. On top of, inside of, climbing on, swinging from, running around, or more likely than not, turning to.
    • Mothers and sweethearts love them, fathers are proud of them, brothers look up to them, sisters admire them, airedales hate them, Company Commanders tolerate them, and Chief Petty Officers drive them.
    • A SeaBee is a composite. He has the appetite of a horse, the digestion of a sword swallower, the energy of a pocket-sized atomic bomb, the curiosity of a cat, the lungs of a dictator, the imagination of Paul Bunyan, the slyness of a violin, the enthusiasm of a firecracker, and the spirit of a fighting cock.
    • He likes: liberty, leave, holidays, weekends, girls, chow, beer, movies, gedunks, swimming, pin-ups, sleep, and comic books.
    • He isn't too hot for: duty nights, watches, taps, reveille, routine discipline, officers, drills, or secured heads.
    • Nobody else is so early to rise without actually wanting to get up. No other person gets so much fun out of liberty or shore patrol. No one can have so much fun on so little money.
    • A SeaBee is a magical creature. You can chew him out, but you can't get the work done without him. He is dirty, unpolished, unkempt, often over-bearing, and sometimes reluctant.
    • A SeaBee is a man of magical abilities. He can weld, build, drive, repair, and fight. He can wreck, or he can beautify. Work never scares him, nor does he ever seem to tire of it.
    • His motto is "Can Do", to which he has added "Has Done" and "Did". This frequently miraculous occurrence is recognized in the form of a "Well Done" by everyone from the Commanding Officer on down.
    • The average SeaBee is a thick-headed individual of a variety of nationalities. He won't admit it to anyone anywhere, except in the defense of his corps, that his job is the best in the Navy.
    • Without him, the Fleet would have nothing to gripe about, Marines would have nothing to talk about, and history would have nothing to write about.
    Till Next time and there will be a next time,
    Colleen


    December 24, 2005
    Undisclosed location in Iraq

    Its currently 1:05pm on Saturday December 24th, Christmas Eve. Doesn't quite feel like Christmas though, no snow, cold weather, not being home, etc... Tonight I would be going to church with my dad for the candlelit service. I can remember me and my brother and sister waving our candles around to see who could find ourselves in the big stainglass skylight first. That was always fun.

    Tomorrow is Christmas day, feels like just another day if you ask me. Like I said earlier, no snow, cold weather... But in all honesty I'd rather be stuck here where there's enough distractions than being back in the states somewhere with no chance of being home.

    Going to watch Dr. Suess' "How the Grinch Stole Christmas" sometime tomorrow. Bought it on DVD right before I left, doesn't feel like Christmas without it. I'm not talking about the Jim Carey version either, I'm talking about the original cartoon, which I've watched every Xmas for as long as I can remember. And I can guarentee I'll be watching it and reciting it almost word for word right along with it. :) lol In closing, I want to wish everyone a Happy and Safe Holiday season and a wonderful New Year..

    Till next time, and there will be a next time,
    Colleen

    PS: Here's my mailing address over here, wanted to share it with everyone. If people don't want to send anything specifically for me but have stuff they want to send in general to support the troops I work with they can address it to me as well and I will make sure it gets distributed to those that need it.
      Evans, Colleen, N.
      Seabees NMCB 133
      APO AE 09391


    January 1, 2006
    Undisclosed location in Iraq

    Happy New Year to everyone. It's 9 am here so its around midnight at home. 2006 already, 'can remember 5 years ago when I joined the Navy thinking September 2006, which is the end of my enlistment, was a long way off. Well, 'hard to believe its practically here. 9 1/2 months to go till September 17, 2006. Have quite a few people asking me if I'm gonna stay in or get out. My intentions are to get out and go back to being a civilian. But, there is a small part of me that wants to stay in not sure if I'll be able to handle being on my own. But mainly I want to get out to get away from the BS that goes on. The way I see it, if you screw up and get in trouble, you should be delt with accourdingly. After that, if you stay out of trouble, and make improvements in work performance and what not, people should be able to look past your wrong doings and see the improvements, at least thats my opinion. Unfortunately, thats not everyone's way of thinking, and there are those that think in the past and don't even look at what good things you've done since then. I could keep going with this subject, but I'll change it before I wind up writing a novel.

    On a better note, I've found out that I am eligable for the 3rd class exam in March. For those that are military inclined, 3rd class translates to an E-4 or a Petty Officer Third Class. Any rank above E-3 an exam is required to advance to that rank. The reason I'm happy about being eligable for this exam is obvious, higher rank means more money. But the other reason I'm happy about this is because this time last year I was a 3rd class Petty Officer and in March I got into some trouble and was reduced to an E-2. I've come a long way since then and that explains part of the reason I'm debating on whether or not to stay in the Navy. But I've got a while to decide on that, we'll see what happens.

    Till Next Time,
    Colleen


    January 15, 2006
    Undisclosed location in Iraq

    Hey all of you out there in Cherry Pie Land, or "The Real World." Just another day in paridise over here, got the day off today so thats good. Been working hard as always, long hours, long days, can it get any better than this? 3 more months, thank god!

    Spent most of last weekend re-building my Def Leppard website. Some of you might remember it under it's old address of defleppardtribute.net. Well, shortly after the hurricane, I missed a payment somehow for my domain name and with the lack of internet and phone service I didn't catch it in time. Lost the address as well as all my files. But it's up and running once again. Check it out!
    www.geocities.com/lilphil2

    Got some exciting news the other day, a band I've recently been listening to is coming to New Orleans in May. That band is Ministry. 'Discovered them last year when a friend kept mentioning them, and I decided to check them out one afternoon, and downloaded a song or 2 off my friend's computer. Sounded pretty good from what I heard, bought "Animositinsomnia" a few days later and have been hooked since. The early shit is horrible, 80's synth pop, sounds like crap but anything late 80's till now sounds awesome.

    Speaking of new bands I've been listening to. There's a really cool band from Finland that I've been listening to for a couple of years now, just never mentioned them, Stratovarius. Hard melodic storytelling rock, can't ask for much more.

    Well, thats all for now, sorry there's not much to report this time around. Can't wait to get back home and rock out with the Cherry Pie family.

    Till Next Time,
    Colleen


    January 22, 2006
    Undisclosed location in Iraq

    It's currently 2:30am Sunday morning, January 22. Why am I up so late? Got the day off, that's why. Writing this from a friend's laptop, just sittin here shootin the shit with some friends, listening to some tunes, got a little bored with the conversation so I'm deciding to write this now and save it to disk and upload it when I get on the internet in the morning.

    Had a long day today, morning was pretty relaxed, got the job done and the afternoon was spent working my ass off getting things ready for Monday morning. Not sure what it is lately, but in the mornings... I don't have a lot of energy, I slack off as much as I can and still get away with it, but by about mid-afternoon... I'm busting my ass getting shit done. I think I'm catching my second wind combined with the fact that there isn't much for me to do in the morning compared to in the afternoon I have a pretty tedious and boring job come to think of it, but its shit that's gotta get done. That, and I know a bit more of what needs to get done during the afternoon.

    My back was killing me by the time I got off work today. Shoveled a lot of dirt this afternoon. But hey, gotta work hard and fast to get the job done and it definitely makes the time go faster too. Half the time I don't even know what day it is. The only time I look at my watch is first thing in the morning to see how much time I've got till I gotta leave for work and during lunch to see how much time I have till I gotta be back. Otherwise I hardly look at it. Most of the time I don't know what the date is or what day of the week it is either, most of the time I don't really care, the days seem to all run together after a while. Especially when you're doing the same thing day after day after day after day.

    Well, I'm at the half way point of this deployment. 2 and ˝ months left. Can't wait! 2 ˝ months till I can come home and rock out with the Pie again, I can only imagine what kind of night that's gonna be. It's gonna be fuckin' nuts I can already say that. I'm gonna be comin back "Cocked, Locked, and Ready to rock," if you know what I mean. lol Just being back in real civilization is gonna kick ass. Being able to get real food for once, not the mediocre shit they're serving over here, at least there's a Pizza Hut and a Burger King, but I rarely eat there cuz I don't get over there very often and the fact that I'm so used to the galley food that Real food don't agree with me at the moment, maybe it's the way they're cooking it over there I don't know. Most of all, I miss my alcohol. We've got whats called "Near-Beer" over here, Non-alcoholic beer. Tastes like beer, but its not the same, I only drink it after I've had a really shitty day and I'm about ready to smack someone. Had a few nights like that, but fortunately, not too many.

    Till Next Time,
    Colleen
    http://www.geocities.com/lilphil2

    P.S. I'm wanting to get a custom shirt made while I'm over here. I've got a design picked out just needing someone to draw it up. All I'm looking for is a Seabee logo with the Bee all pissed off looking and throwing his tools everywhere. Around the Bee is gonna be "Fuck It! I quit!" This was a shirt a friend at my last command had and I've been unable to find one so I'm gonna make my own. If you can help me out let me know. Email: lilphil2@yahoo.com as most emails (yahoo, hotmail etc..) is blocked by my military account.


    February 2, 2006
    Undisclosed location in Iraq

    *singing*
    "Great Green Globs of greasy, grimy, gopher guts.
    Mutilated monkeys feet, chopped up parakeet.
    Great green globs of greasy, grimy, gopher guts.
    And I forgot my spoon."

    Gee, ya think I'm a little bored??? Nah, not a bit. Ha Ha. For some odd reason I started singing that song while I was working today, don't know why, it just popped into my head, haven't heard it in years. Speaking of songs popping into my head outa no where, this one really surprised me the other day. It started about about 4 years ago was reading some parodies on the internet and started putting one together to the tune of Warrant's Cherry Pie, and you guessed it, it was all about the band, Cherry Pie. Here's what I've come up with so far.....

    "We are Cherry Pie
    A couple of guitars and some really hot guys
    Play so loud, makes my old man cry
    It's Cherry Pie"

    Just thought I'd share that with y'all. Not much else to report around here, just another day in paradise. Same 'ol shit just a different day.

    Till next time,
    Colleen


    February 11, 2006
    Undisclosed location in Iraq

    Whats up Rock fans? Just another day in "Paridise" as I like to say. Yeah right, Paridise my ASS!!!! Haha. 62 more days and counting. Working hard as always, had a bit of a break from the usual same ol' shit day after day, did some demolition and installing of some new walls. Now thats the kind of shit I enjoy doing, not the hard labor I've been stuck doing lately. Oh well, ya take the good with the bad I guess. At least I'm getting the credit I desearve lately. I know I work hard and do a good job most of the time, but at the end of the day to hear someone say "Good work today, Evans" makes all the effort I put into each day well worth it.

    In a previous post I mentioned about my advancement status. Well, for a short time it was looking like I wasn't going to be able to take the exam for E-4 at the end of March, due to my current rank status. In order for me to be eligable for the March exam I'd have to be and E-3 by January 16. As of the end of January, I was still being listed as an E-2, I was supposed to be automatically advanced to E-3 between December and January. For whatever reason that didn't happen, and some people are looking into it to find out what happened and get that all straightened out. Either way, I should be taking the exam in March, and also with the fact that it is now February 11th, and with me supposed to be advanced to E-3 nearly 2 months ago.....that means they have to back track to whenever my advancement date was supposed to be and tack on the extra pay as well. Which means......More Money! But, knowing how the pay department can drag their feet at times, I probably won't be seeing that extra money till after I get back, I'll get it regardless, but I'd rather get it while I'm over here, cuz it's tax free. Which like I said, means MORE MONEY!!!! Not a whole lot more, but hey who doesn't want more money????

    Till Next Time,
    Colleen


    February 28, 2006
    Undisclosed location in Iraq

    What an interesting 2 weeks this has been. Thats how long we've gone with out a day off. Almost 2 weeks, had yesterday off, but it should've come sooner than that. When you're busting your ass day in and day out, a day off at the end of the week is always appreciated. Helps tell the difference between one week and the next. And even with that, half the time I can't even remember how long its been between certain events. Out here you loose track of time real easily. Every day feels just like the one that came before, not much exciting going on to separate them.

    So, what did I do on my day off? Lets see, stayed up till just after midnight on Saturday and slept in till 10am. Thats what I enjoy the most about a day off, being able to sleep in. They could decide not to give us a day off the rest of this deployment, as long as I get one day a week to sleep a few extra hours in the morning. Hell, start work after lunch time on Sundays, I work every day as long as I can sleep a little later in the morning. But, that ain't never gonna happen, the military is a 24/7 job, there ain't no off time, and there ain't no over time either.

    Played some volleyball with some friends, nearly hit one of my teammates in the balls with the ball. LOL, it was supposed to go up and over the net, not strait forward, oooops! Gotta work on my aim when we play again next weekend.

    The Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall in Washington DC
     
    Watched "Saving Private Ryan" on t.v. yesterday. Kinda weird how it affects you when you're a civilian compared to being in the military and with everything going on over here. I can relate to it a lot more now than when it first came out. The same thing goes for when I go back to the "The Wall" in D.C. after I get out. Went on a trip to D.C. back when I was in 8th grade and saw all the monuments, but the one that hit me the most emotionally was the Vietnam wall. Pictures don't do it justice whatsoever. Just standing there seeing all the names...it just takes your breath away. I'm planning on going back there right after I get out of the Navy in September. Going to do a road trip on my way home. Going to see Daytona and the Dale Earnhardt memorial out there, from there I'm heading north to Kannapolis,NC which is the birth place of my favorite NASCAR driver, Dale Earnhardt. Next on my list is Concord,NC which is the home of Dale Earnhardt JR, and the "Garage Mahal" known as Dale Earnhardt INC. And then I will head farther north to Washington D.C. And then I will head east back to Waukesha, WI. Sounds like a long trip, but it'll be well worth it.

    Till next time, and there will be a next time,
    Colleen


    March 5, 2006
    Undisclosed location in Iraq

    What an eventfull week this has been. Got an update on my whole advancement BS, still an E-2 when I'm supposed to be an E-3. Things are still being worked out, but on the other hand... I am officially eligible for the E-4 exam in 2 weeks, so wish me luck. I figure if I made it once…I sure as hell can do it again.

    As far as things going on here, there's the good, bad and the ugly as always. The good thing... I'm no longer up to my friggen eyeballs in concrete at the moment, doing more of the things I enjoy doing, wall framing, woodwork, etc. I love doing pretty much anything that involves interior work.

    The bad... really not all that bad, lots of stupid, idiotic bullshit as usual. But the just plain downright ugly is just as its been for awhile. Sometimes it seems like this command doesn't want me to have any friends within the command itself. I've lost 2 of the greatest friends I've ever had thanks to them. And since then, nearly every friend I've had they've messed with in one way or another. Back in homeport is one thing, but over here, when the majority of the group you're with is guys, you can't expect me to not hang out with any of the guys around here, its almost impossible. Now they've issued a rule that females cannot be in males rooms and vice versa. Well, there goes most of my fun during my off time. I'm not saying I'm getting anything over here (*ahem*) No, none of that going on, I'd be in serious trouble for that shit, as in taking a chance at getting kicked out of the military considering my track record since January last year hasn't been all that great. Haven't gotten in any trouble since July, mostly minor stuff, some of you know about my major F-ups. But all that's in the past, but there's just enough that if I was sent to “Captain's Mast” that I probably would get a dishonorable discharge out of it. Anyways, what I was refurring to was usually I'm hanging out in my friend's room, who is my next door neighbor. We'll be in there listening to music, bullshittin' and what not, nothing wrong with that.

    But, now apparently some rumors have started, you ask anyone in the military they'll agree with me, it don't take much to start rumors about who's sleepin with who and what not. Hell, all I gotta do is be seen talking to a guy a couple of times or hanging out with a guy outside of work, and the rumors start, that's how simple it is, and that's what some people don't realize, rumors get started no matter what so I just simply ignore them, I know the truth and that's all I care about. The truth is all that matters, but unfortunately, that isn't always the case with some folks, speculation is enough for them to mention something to someone else and everything snowballs from there. Anyways, that's all for this session.

    Till Next Time,
    Colleen

    P.S. Today March 5, 2006 is the 64th birthday of the Seabees. Hoorah!


    March 18, 2006
    Undisclosed location in Iraq

    Another week done and over with. Been pretty interesting. Lets see took my E4 exam on thursday, won't know how I did for at least another month or so, didn't do as well as I hoped I would, at least IMO. But I'm keeping my fingers crossed for now. Hmmm, what else happened this week? *laughing* oh yeah, I had a near mis-hap on tuesday. In our supply/tool area theres a rope that's tied to a metal beam about 20ft off the ground. Apparently somebody got bored and thought it'd be cool to have a rope to climb once in a while. Well, up until a month and a half ago I couldn't climb a rope to save my life. Now I'll climb it from time to time when I go in there to get tools and stuff. Anyways, a couple of us were standing around bullshittin' and I decided to climb the rope, next thing ya know, everyone else is climbing it too. One of the guys went up that rope like a monkey, not even using his legs, only his arms. I found a marker and told him to go back up there and write his name on the beam. He wasn't able to do it, all he got up there was an "X." After lunch I decided to try writing my name up there myself. Got up there began writing my name, was almost done when I felt my hand slipping a little, so I started writing faster. Got as far as starting the diagonal line in "N" and my hand slipped and I slid straight down. I didn't let go of the rope or the marker I had been using either. Went down 20ft in about 2 seconds. I'm okay, just twisted my ankle a little when I hit the ground, but its fine now.. Hell, 2 days later I climbed that rope again.

    Now, on to the other thing I wanted to mention. Not sure how many of you have heard about the people protesting military funerals, to me this is just plain wrong. Especially the reasoning behind it. Read an article in a paper over here and finding out the orginization behind the protests had a website, I decided to check it out. For one, its a baptist church, can't remember where, but the reason they're protesting funerals is because they believe being gay is a sin and the military allows gays, not to mention we're defending a country (USA) that harbors gays. Not only have they protested the funerals of members of the Armed Forces, they cheered when 9/11 happened as well as with Hurricane Katrina. To them who cares about all the innocent people killed, most of the people killed were gay or related/friends with anyone that is, so they're going to hell. Like I said before, this shit is just plain sick. I'm gonna stop here before I write a novel on this subject, cuz I probably could.

    Till next time,
    Colleen


    April 2, 2006
    Undisclosed location in Iraq

    Well, Cherry Pie fans, this deployment is getting ready to come to a close. Can't say when I will be coming back from over here, but I will say that it is coming up pretty soon. Its amazing how fast this last 5 months has flown. Whats even more amazing is it feels like just yesterday, I was off to bootcamp and in a little less than 5 months, I will be on my way out of the Navy. When I joined up in September of 2001, I felt like September of 2006 was a long way off, and now its practically here. Holy Shit!

    Over the last few days I've had a lot of people ask me whats the first thing I'm gonna do when I get back to Gulfport,MS? Not really sure yet, there's just too much that I want to do. From eating some real food, to catching up on some sleep, to drinking that first, real, ice cold beer, that I've been with out since November. The list just keeps getting longer. But one thing I do know is, that when I get back to the states...I will be coming to a Cherry Pie show as soon as I can. And its gonna be one hell of a party, at least it will be for me, cuz I'm defintately ready to fuckin rock!

    Till Next Time,
    Colleen


    April 6, 2006
    Undisclosed location in Iraq

    Yippie! Hooray!!! Good ridance sand country, won't be much longer and I'll be outta here! Currently in another location, a far safer location at the moment. Pretty much sittin on my ass all day waiting on everyone else to show up so we can start getting ready to head for home.

    This deployment has come and gone rather quickly. Seems like I just frickin got here and now I'm on the way out pretty soon. Can't believe it. Although, it wasn't anything what I expected it to be. But some places in this country are better than others, and I was lucky enough to be in a good place. Made a lot of new friends and got to know some current friends a lot better than I did before. In a way I'm kinda sad to be leaving here, most of the people I've gotten to know over the last 5 months I probably will never see again, but being in the Navy...thats something I've sorta gotten used to. It's difficult sometimes, especially when you just begin getting to know someone and then soon after having to part ways.

    Its been quite an experiance during these last 5 months. Theres been some good times, theres also been some bad times, and then theres been some down right, what the fuck were they thinking?, types of moments. But, ya learn to take the good with the bad, and try not to get too pissed off at some of the stupid shit, cuz ya might regret your actions later.

    Till Next Time,
    Colleen


    April 12, 2006
    Gulfport, Mississippi

    THE EAGLE HAS LANDED, I REPEAT THE EAGLE HAS LANDED!!!

    Yes, you read that correctly, CP fans I'm officially back in the states. Arrived in Gulfport,MS 11am yesterday morning. Halleujah!!!!

    This deployment's been one hell of a ride and then some. Wow! Had a lot of good experiences and few bad ones, my tactical slide down a rope being one of them. It was scary when it happened but now I look back on it and laugh my ass off. Learned a lot on this deployment, especially how hard I can work and that the military isn't as corrupt as I once thought. Having a chain of command that has faith in you and that is willing to put your past mistakes in the past where they belong helps a lot too.

    The plane ride back here was pretty fun, considering we made a stop in Ireland around 6am (ireland time) we were able to hit the bar in the airport and have a few drinks during our 2 hour layover. You're probably wondering what my first drink was, believe it or not it wasn't anything Irish. I had a shot of Southern Comfort and chased it down with an ice cold Budweiser. Then I got back on the plane and wound up in the middle of our battallion tradition, which is after the captain makes the announcement that were making our final decent into Gulfport, we have one big pillow fight. Those little pillows they have on the plane are just the perfect size for throwing. And when you've got an entire plane full of Seabees just coming back from a 5-6 month deployment, all hell brakes loose on that plane. Although somebody got a little ansy and decided to start the pillow fight about an hour early, as well as get the idea to tie blankets in knots to make them better for throwing. That lasted for about 15-20 minutes till one of our Cheifs told us to untie all the blankets before someone got hurt. GRRRRRRR!!! He got hit in the back of the head with a pillow as soon as he turned around to head back towards the front of the plane. He should've known better than to get into the middle of a bunch of seabees having fun.

    Now the countdown begins until I'm back for a Cherry Pie show to do some real celebrating. I will be at the show at Bub's next friday, April 22nd. And I absolutly cannot wait till then. Its gonna be interesting, considering I've not been to a CP show or really been able to let loose for the last 5 1/2 months. So, it might get a little crazy, but when hasn't a CP show been crazy lately?

    See ya'll at Bub's!
    Colleen




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