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"January 24, 2003 - Holly is Deploying from Dobbins in the
Morning... It was announced on the local news tonight ....She will
be in KUWAIT on the front line......"
I had the honor of meeting a new chatter here online Sunday morning.
It was nice to visit with HollyUSAF for a little under 2 hrs. I
asked if I could interview her and she agreed, said that she would
write something and send, she hasn't as of yet. I suspect she is
very busy as she told me she was being deployed very soon. For security
purposes, I won't reveal much more then to say that Holly is stationed
VERY near to where I live and most of you have seen me complain
about the constant flyovers from the Air Force Base here, Holly
is stationed at that base. She is within 10 miles range of me. Just
talking to her, she became one of "my own" and she certainly
is one of our own here in the News_Garden. Instead of my telling
you what Holly said, I'll just let you read it. This is an "in
her own words" with some editing and omitting of confidential
information. It is at times funny, silly, touching and poignant.
I'm not ashamed to say there was a tear or few, especially after
re-reading it. In her own words, HollyUSAF:
Session Start: Sun Jan 12 06:25:18 2003
Session Ident: HollyUSAF
<NewsGarden> I see...well Holly we will be keeping you in our
<HollyUSAF> thank you very much :)
<HollyUSAF> I appreciate that, I am christian but all prayers
<NewsGarden> I'm a Christian, too....but I don't support the
war.....I support you and what you do....
<HollyUSAF> war is not necessarily definite yet
<NewsGarden> yes, I know....
<HollyUSAF> and as airmen soldiers and sailors we don't
always agree with everything either
<HollyUSAF> but it is our job to follow the chain of command
<NewsGarden> I'm sure....
<NewsGarden> yes.....it is
<HollyUSAF> my mother is not so thrilled with it either
<NewsGarden> I'm sure....I wouldn't be either....
<NewsGarden> where are you from here originally?
<HollyUSAF> I am from <deleted> originally
<HollyUSAF> now my parents live <deleted>
<NewsGarden> Cool....love <deleted>....
<HollyUSAF> but they are coming for my birthday and taking
my dog home with them
<NewsGarden> awwwwwww....sorry holly
<HollyUSAF> <deleted> is great :)
<HollyUSAF> It is ok, he is 6 months he will adapt okay
<deleted> sure is....
<HollyUSAF> they are going to take over my car payments
(I just had bought a new car) so I am blessed with wonderful parents
<NewsGarden> Yes you sure are..
<HollyUSAF> I guess a little spoiled being an only child
<NewsGarden> So am I, an only child....
<HollyUSAF> but I will pay them back over time when I get
<HollyUSAF> awesome :)
<HollyUSAF> I got an ipod for Christmas from them because
I kind of knew it was coming anyway
<HollyUSAF> So now I have 20gb of mp3 to keep me occupied
<HollyUSAF> Once I get over there so that worked out well
<HollyUSAF> And as long as there are no chemical surprises
I'm not that worried about it.
<HollyUSAF> sound convincving enough?
<HollyUSAF> convincing , rather
<NewsGarden> That bothers me alot....
<HollyUSAF> Me too but I don't intend to show it to my mom
<NewsGarden> Good, no need for her to worry....
<HollyUSAF> Plus its my first deployment other than a 2
week training in Texas
<NewsGarden> How long have you been in?
<HollyUSAF> So I have a duty as an officer to keep worries
inside :) or they infect others.
<HollyUSAF> 17 months
<NewsGarden> yes, what's your rank?.....Capt?
<HollyUSAF> I entered OTS 3 weeks before 9/11
<HollyUSAF> Some timing, huh?
<HollyUSAF> No I wish!
<NewsGarden> wow....3 weeks before....
<NewsGarden> ahhhhh cool....
<HollyUSAF> I should be 1LT by now but with the drop in
discharges promotions have reciprocated in dropping
<NewsGarden> I see.....
<NewsGarden> Whats your specialty?
* HollyUSAF must seem chatty , I guess I am , maybe nerves but
nice to have a Sunday off anyway
<HollyUSAF> Airfield operations and logistics.
<NewsGarden> oooooh nice.....
<NewsGarden> On the ground?
<HollyUSAF> Contacts :)
<HollyUSAF> Basically we set up forward air fields and maintain
the equipment the rest of the time.
<NewsGarden> I see....
<HollyUSAF> I have an industrial engineering degree so it
was basically the best spot for me.
<NewsGarden> OOOOOH cool, my son is a ceramic engineer.....
<HollyUSAF> And I liked it because it puts you close to
the action, I just never really thought there would be so much
<HollyUSAF> Very cool ;)
<NewsGarden> I don't think anyone did, Holly.... (edited)....
<HollyUSAF> I went to Auburn
<HollyUSAF> but were both tigers
<NewsGarden> GO TIGERS!
<HollyUSAF> He was career AF until he retired when I was
<HollyUSAF> And went to work there
<HollyUSAF> He is kind of proud that he was in Gulf War
1 and I am involved now.
<HollyUSAF> My mom doesn't seem to get that feeling though.
<HollyUSAF> I feel bad about it but I still am proud of
what I do.
<HollyUSAF> I just wish it didn't upset her.
<NewsGarden> Yes...hard for a parent....
<NewsGarden> There's no way around that.....
<HollyUSAF> She keeps bringing up 16 hours of labor!
<HollyUSAF> I said you have me killed off and I'm not even
out of the country stop it!
<NewsGarden> Hard for us mom's...my son is 28....
<HollyUSAF> I intend to have 3 myself :) 2 boys and a girl
<HollyUSAF> Or vice versa
<HollyUSAF> God willing
<NewsGarden> <smile>....yes god willing
<HollyUSAF> Just need to find a husband first :) because
I agree with you what you said in the other room
<HollyUSAF> I usually don't talk this much, sorry if I'm
abusing your ear :)
<NewsGarden> not at all....
<NewsGarden> if you want to talk real time, here's my cell number.....I'm
<NewsGarden> 770/XXX-XXXX.....my real name is Pame, too....
<NewsGarden> Anything you need a motherly ear....
<HollyUSAF> I wrote it down, I might actually give you a
car this afternoon if I still feel so weird about my birthday
<HollyUSAF> My name is Holland but my friends call me Holly,
so call me Holly
<HollyUSAF> All day I was like thinking back on all my past
birthday parties as a kid
<HollyUSAF> Because this birthday just feels bad, or different
<NewsGarden> That's fine Holly....
<NewsGarden> Yes, I know....I'm the 31st this month, I'll be
<HollyUSAF> Happy Early Birthday since I probably won't
be here to say it on the 31st
<NewsGarden> Thank you Holly....
<HollyUSAF> I hope I don't sound melodramatic, I don't feel
like its my last one or anything
<HollyUSAF> I don't think anyway
<NewsGarden> Holly anyone of us is vulnerable at anytime.....life
holds no promises and we do the best we can....
<HollyUSAF> That is very true
<HollyUSAF> And I tell it to people and I believe it...it's
more dangerous to drive 285 than be deployed overseas
<NewsGarden> I lost 3 people I knew at the WTC....one was a close
friend....his brother in law was the air traffic controller that
saw the plane go into it.....
<NewsGarden> 285 is wicked.....
<HollyUSAF> I just don't like the chemical aspect after
seeing those pictures of the Kurds
<NewsGarden> Yes, I know....
<HollyUSAF> I am very sorry for your loss
<NewsGarden> Thank you....
<NewsGarden> It still hurts....
<NewsGarden> brb.....I need some coffee.....
<HollyUSAF> I feel about like having a second glass of wine
since I don't have to report today
<HollyUSAF> That's awful , I never ever drink. My ex boyfriend
left this bottle 5 months ago and didn't open it till tonight
<HollyUSAF> But it does stop the dwelling on things
<NewsGarden> awwwwww.....that's ok Holly, do what you want right
now within personal reason....
<HollyUSAF> I did
<HollyUSAF> I'll sip it
<HollyUSAF> are you married?
<NewsGarden> I'm widowed, first day of the Gulf War, Jan 17th....he
had a fatal heart attack at home....
<HollyUSAF> Oh my, I'm so sorry
<NewsGarden> I'm not remarried....doubt I'll ever be.....
<NewsGarden> Thank you....coming up to 12 years....time flies
<HollyUSAF> Yep, I was 11 when my dad was over there
<HollyUSAF> Now I'm going , doesn't seem that long ago
<HollyUSAF> I feel bab for asking now
<NewsGarden> No don't feel bad Holly....please
<HollyUSAF> I am not married either
<NewsGarden> I thought not with the boyfriend remark.....
<NewsGarden> That's ok Holly, you're doing just fine....
<HollyUSAF> okay Pame (omitted)
<HollyUSAF> Dang dyslexic fingers
<NewsGarden> Someone who loves you WILL wait....
<HollyUSAF> That's what I feel too (omitted)
<HollyUSAF> :) (omitted)
<NewsGarden> yes....this is true....very true
<HollyUSAF> I bought myself a birthday present Friday
<NewsGarden> what did you buy?
<HollyUSAF> I went and browsed the Shane company and they
had this beautiful sterling silver ring in a braided rope design
with just very tiny diamonds across the top, total of like 1/8th
KT but it looked really pretty
<NewsGarden> awwwww sweet.....can you wear that with your uniform?
<HollyUSAF> I know I shouldn't have bought it right now
with all this but I wanted to treat myself just in case,,,,which
may means I'm not so confident as I tell myself I am
<HollyUSAF> Yes, its rather informal around here
<HollyUSAF> Unless someone is visiting
<HollyUSAF> Except for your cover
<NewsGarden> I see....
<HollyUSAF> I ran out of the assembly building chasing a
piece of paper the other day grabbed it ten feet from the door
and this imbecilic major huffed to get my cover
<NewsGarden> I'm not sure what "huffed to get my cover"
<HollyUSAF> He probably flies a procurement desk
<HollyUSAF> it meant I was outside without my cover(cap)
<NewsGarden> OOOOH ok....
<HollyUSAF> Its almost a written rule that the people who
are strictest about protocol ahead of mission are the ones who
have the least to do with the mission outcome
<HollyUSAF> So my direct superiors are pretty mission oriented
and easy going as long as everything gets done a little ahead
<HollyUSAF> But I couldnt pass up the ring because its the
first time in my life I actually purchased jewelry somewhere other
<HollyUSAF> I have gotten it for Christmas but this was
just for me from me
<NewsGarden> Holly, anything you want right now is fine.....dont'
<HollyUSAF> Hey can you view photos?
<NewsGarden> Yes ma'am! (omitted)
<HollyUSAF> I will email it
<HollyUSAF> I sent it
<NewsGarden> Let me check, hon....
<NewsGarden> Holly I forgot that email doesn't open gifs....but
send it here please firstname.lastname@example.org
<HollyUSAF> ok :)
<NewsGarden> Holly would you allow me to do a column on you....you
are a part of "us" now....I write the gossip column
for the news garden....
<HollyUSAF> I re-sent it
<NewsGarden> Thank you....lemme check it....
<HollyUSAF> If you would like to, wow that is so nice
<NewsGarden> You tell ME what you want my readers to know and
if you'd allow me to, I'd like to use your gif....
<HollyUSAF> okay :)
<NewsGarden> You're our first solider here....
<NewsGarden> We need to honor YOU....
<HollyUSAF> Most everyone was very nice
<NewsGarden> thank you.....we try
<HollyUSAF> It was evident that they don't support the policy
but they do support the troops
<HollyUSAF> And that's what counts to me
<HollyUSAF> Because I do not even support the policy
<HollyUSAF> I don't know what will work
<NewsGarden> I hate the administration....hate them, but I support
what YOU are doing.....
<HollyUSAF> But I do feel this was option z and they skipped
from a to z
<HollyUSAF> Someone said something that I did agree with
<NewsGarden> Which was?
<NewsGarden> Holly I'm sorry, my provider dumped me.....dialup
<HollyUSAF> oops I kept typing
<HollyUSAF> but I do feel this was option z and they skipped
from a to z
<HollyUSAF> someone said something that I did agree with
<HollyUSAF> If the Bush twins were in uniform, we wouldn't
be rushing so fast to this
<HollyUSAF> but I do favor a volunteer force, I just feel
if certain people had at stake what I do, they would take it more
<NewsGarden> No warning....
<HollyUSAF> It is okay I drop a lot, the lines are bad here
<NewsGarden> I know and no cable modems....
<HollyUSAF> I couldn't afford it anyway
<NewsGarden> Yes, if the twins were going it would be a different
<NewsGarden> None out here.....
<NewsGarden> I was promised one 2 1/2 years ago....
<NewsGarden> Holly I couldn't get it to open either said it was
<NewsGarden> Must be this system.....I'll get alllie
<NewsGarden> s addres and you can send to her.....
<HollyUSAF> I will brb
<HollyUSAF> Ok I am going to try DCC again
<HollyUSAF> First rule of military hardware...if it doesn't
work, kick it and try again
<HollyUSAF> So I logged off and back on
<HollyUSAF> And it worked :)
<NewsGarden> Yes, you're adorable....simply adorable....my heart
breaks here too....I'm a mother, I can't help it, I"m sorry
<NewsGarden> I know what your mother must be feeling....
<NewsGarden> Thank you and if you'd like, I would like to take
you to dinner before you go...
<NewsGarden> I would want someone to do that for my son as well....
<HollyUSAF> I would not feel right about that but my parents
will be gone on Thursday and I am sure I will have cried good
with my mother and maybe Thursday and Friday we can have dinner
together , but you can't pay for mine :)
<NewsGarden> Oh no, I insist!
<HollyUSAF> But the company would be wonderful
<NewsGarden> <smile> yes, it will be....
<NewsGarden> I don't drink but you please go ahead if you want
to....I'll toast you with diet ice tea....
<HollyUSAF> We have had about 4 alcoholic drinks in the
<HollyUSAF> I just got a little frightened tonight and needed
<NewsGarden> ahahah I'm a diabetic can't drink with my meds and
never really been one to....
<HollyUSAF> The bottle sat on the fridge for ever
<NewsGarden> I understand....
<HollyUSAF> My mother is also
<NewsGarden> You have given me a new perspective.....
<NewsGarden> ahhhhh then you understand....
<NewsGarden> My problems are so minute and trivial...
<HollyUSAF> I have always had a taste for diet coke because
its what we had growing up
<NewsGarden> I am ashamed now.....
<HollyUSAF> :) No
<NewsGarden> Thank you for that "gift"....
<HollyUSAF> I scared myself, it doesn't mean anything really
going to happen
<HollyUSAF> It will just be 4 to 6 months in the desert
<NewsGarden> I know that, nothing will....
<NewsGarden> and home soon....
<HollyUSAF> You went thru something far worse and survived
<HollyUSAF> It's never trivial if it upsets you
<HollyUSAF> Even if it's what ifs
<HollyUSAF> I learned that tonight
<NewsGarden> No....no....my problems are so minor now....
<NewsGarden> No there are NO what ifs you have to make it back....you
are our future.....we depend on you....
<NewsGarden> My time "in the sun" is over....good bad
or indifferent....you, my son, my daughter in law are our tomorrows....
<HollyUSAF> Believe it or not, I tend to feel motherly about
some of the 18-19 years olds under me
<NewsGarden> I'm sure...that's natural....
<HollyUSAF> They were on the footbaall team and cheerleaders
last year, facing this this year
<NewsGarden> Oh lord....
<NewsGarden> My mom is 91, she's seen every war since 1918....it
breaks her heart....
<HollyUSAF> I did not mean even that I would want to see
anything happen to the Bush twins I just think without something
to lose, some people (the rich/ceo's/politicians) are more liberal
with the risks they take with our lives
<HollyUSAF> Besides there is no alcohol in <deleted confidential>
<NewsGarden> I know...Muslim country....have to cover yourself
while you're off base....
<HollyUSAF> It is not nearly as bad as Saudi Arabia I have
<HollyUSAF> But off base all women get a marine escort
<NewsGarden> Holly please tell me what you want the people to
<NewsGarden> I want to write this column now...
<HollyUSAF> But its still a forward area so I doubt I will
be off base
<NewsGarden> I see...
<HollyUSAF> Oh my mind is so full and yet harder for stuff
to come out..Could I write some thing when my mind clears and
email it to you?
<NewsGarden> Of course!
<HollyUSAF> What was your take on Rep. Rangal's proposal
<NewsGarden> I liked it....levels the playing field....
<HollyUSAF> I did also
<HollyUSAF> I guess some of it was vindictive but noone
<NewsGarden> If everyone HAD to go, maybe there'd never be another
<HollyUSAF> It would be nice to see fat and sorority row
at auburn conscripted
<HollyUSAF> Well the main thing for me is it would even
<NewsGarden> yes....everyone would have a shot at it...
<HollyUSAF> When you go by our parking lot and the reservists
parking lot on base
<HollyUSAF> its filled with mostly older model cars (granted
I bought a Mustang but its got 90k miles on it)
<HollyUSAF> There should be Mercedes and Lexus and Buffy's
sweet 16 present there too (I feel that way sometimes)
<HollyUSAF> Logisticly not sure what we would do with 15
million recruits but the idea just feels so good :)
<NewsGarden> Make the rich fight for their money too...
<HollyUSAF> Just because they are rich doesn't make their
life more valuable
<NewsGarden> No, it doesn't Holly....no it doesn't...
<NewsGarden> I need to go for awhile....but I'll bbl....you have
my number....anytime....anything I can do for you just holler.....
<HollyUSAF> If it was an unjust war than maybe a few trust
funds that have to go unclaimed due to KIA would end it faster
than a few thousand people like me making 18k a year would, and
if its a just war, they should shed blood like everyone else
<NewsGarden> (((((holly)))))) May God's loving arms wrap you and
hold you tight.....
<HollyUSAF> Ok have a great Sunday
<NewsGarden> I'll be back a little later....
<HollyUSAF> I think I will try to go to bed for a while
then get up and write some things for you to look at
<HollyUSAF> I am so glad I met you
<NewsGarden> Excellent!....I want to get this out right away....
<NewsGarden> Me, too....God always has His plan we need to just
<NewsGarden> Sleep well...see you later
Session Close: Sun Jan 12 08:10:03 2003
My views on this war are well known, I make no secret of how I
feel. I have been very vocal in my opposition to it. When I look
at Holly's picture, I see Mom, Apple Pie and the Flag, but it isn't
without some profound sadness that I do so. Holly and all the other
troops are our hope and our dreams for the future. God's speed Capt
HollyUSAF. We'll keep your seat waiting for your return.
Until next time...