It’s Liisa, SMSgt. Temple’s wife again. Rex called home for about 5 minutes last night and he’s now on the final leg of his journey to his Forward Operating Base. He likely won’t have connectivity much; the camp he’s headed to has no Wi-Fi but just a couple of phones and computers all the troops have to share. Sounds like the maximum time allotted to each military member for the phone and the Internet access is 10 minutes; Rex will try to write everything on his laptop and then just upload documents and photos when it’s his turn to use the computer.
Rex asked me to keep the blog “warm” while he’s on the convoy and I decided to write about what it’s like to be at home without him but still try to support him on a daily basis. Interestingly enough my husband really enjoys getting reminders from home. I was trying to limit how many e-mails and photos I send so that he wouldn’t feel so home sick but he actually likes exactly the opposite. So I’m getting into this totally goofy habit of running around town with our two dogs, Charlie and Sam, and asking random people to take pictures of us together so I can send them to Rex. I was just sending pictures of the “boyz” but was promptly told Rex also would like to see his wife. That really warmed my heart. (So far I have sent him photos of Sam stealing a cake and
snoring on his back in my bed the other night, a series of shots of me breaking down on Sunday and making eggs for the dogs –
this used to be Rex’s favorite hobby on Sundays – and some shots of the dogs getting absolutely filthy during a recent trip to the park when they played in some mud).
Besides spending my days sending goofy supportive e-mails to my husband, I’ve also started a letter writing campaign to say “thank you” to all the friends and strangers who have offered us a helping hand in the last few weeks. I spent an hour this morning writing e-mails to couple of local restaurants here in Tampa where the staff really were wonderful to us when they overheard that Rex was deploying in a few days. We never asked for any special treatment and were astonished to get two rather expensive meals at half price. So thank you very much Macaroni Grill on North Dale Mabry across from Best Buy and GrillSmith on South Dale Mabry where even our dogs were treated to special doggie treats.
And that’s not all. When I got the 24-hour flu yesterday our friends came and brought me soup and Sprite and took the dogs out for me. It very difficult to run a household all alone; my immediate family is in Europe so I have to rely on our close friends for support when Rex is gone. But I have to say everybody has been absolutely wonderful. I even have my own “support person” provided by the military and I got a special “speed pass” for grocery shopping at the base so that I don’t have to wait in lines.
I feel truly blessed with all these resources – I cannot even imagine how hard it was during previous conflicts when military families did not have the Internet.
When Rex gets to where he’s going he says it will take him a few days to get familiar with the camp. He says he will be arriving just in time for some celebratory event involving sacrificing a lamb and then they get to eat it. It should be a real cultural experience.I look forward to reading about that in a future blog post.
And I almost forgot – Rex’s will be writing a guest column for his hometown newspaper, the Daily American in Somerset, PA. Warmest thanks to editor Brian Whipkey for his interest in Rex’s journey!
By the way, Rex’s next radio appearance on WUSF radio should be this Thursday or Friday. I’ll be sure to post the link.
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