Thursday, July 30, 2009

On his way...

Where to start...

Well Mark has just e-mailed me and his fam to let us know how he is doing. He left Indiana on July 28th, and he is currently in Kyrgyzstan. He actually called me from there- it was nice to hear from him. If you have ever had a phone conversation with someone in any country ending in -stan, they aren't the clearest conversations. He will say something, which is super soft, I say "what," listen to my voice echo in the phone, wait a couple seconds and he responds. It is the most challenging, but exciting phone call.

Since I don't exactly know how to paraphrase what Mark wrote to us in his e-mail, i'll just let you read it for yourself...

"Just writing to say hi from Kyrgyzstan, we are at Manas Air Base. We arrived here about 1:00am your time which put us at the 24 hour mark of traveling time. We had to unload all of our gear and make a 72 hour bag beacuase we will not have access to our bags again until we fly out. It is hot, you get sweaty from just stepping outside and we are sleeping in huge 400-500 man clamshells (basically a huge tent on a concrete slab) the lights stay on 24-7 because units and people are constantly moving inand out based on flights and they have AC but it only works well enough so you don't sweat as much as you did being outside. The food is good, since we are on an airforce base, chow is open 24 hours a day with 4 hot meal times. You can get full sized candy bars and a bunch of other snacks and what not for free and the hot meals are pretty good, something we won't enjoy at Leatherneck i am sure. Well, I will keep you guys updated and I will see if I can call home. Love you guys and talk to you later."

When I talked to him on the phone, he said he was good. I asked if he was tired, he said he was "ok." It was about 9:30pm there when he called me at 10:30am MN time. He was just going to get "dinner." Poor guy has all of his times messed up. He did however, buy a watch with two time zones on it, so he would know what time it is in MN, and whatever-stan he is in.

There is a lot Mark can't tell us right now about his travels and such, but we do know that he is just stopped in Kyrgyzstan as one stopping point on his way to Afghanistan. He did want me to tell everyone who has skype or would be interested in getting it, that his contact name is


He told me that after he gets settled in Afghanistan I should get a microphone and a webcam so that we can talk, as if he was in my living room with me. Haha, not quite the same, but i'll take it. He isn't sure he will have internet in Afghanistan right away, so i'll let you know more about that too when he gets there.

I was talking with a couple of people who seemed interested in the idea of having a "Care Package" party. I also ran the idea past Mark, and he got really excited. He said the packages don't just have to be for him, but for other people in his unit who don't have family/people who send them much. I think the idea of the "party" is just getting together, eating of course, keeping me company :), and bringing just a couple of things that we could put into a box for him/others. Im guessing if there were like 15 people, the idea is to only make like 3 packages or even 2, and to get together often to do it througout the year. We all know I like to stay busy, and let me tell you, this deployment is not any easier than the last- harder actually. I support him 110%, and would not have wanted him to chose any other profession, because this is where his heart is, but it is sometimes hard to be his cheerleader with a smile on my face all the time, but thats why we have ALL OF YOU GUYS!! :) Good news is, on Aug 14th, we will hopefully only have 10 more months of this!

Last thing about the "Care Package" party, if anyone really wants to do it, and get together sometime, let me know! When I have his address, i'll post it on here, and anyone else who just wants to do their own thing, that is ok too.
This may seem obvious, but this is what you cannot send:
-pressurized items
-chocolates (it's too hot for them to make it in solid form)
-any pork products
-dirty magazines

When I get his address, i'll put ideas of things to send, as well as things he likes. Also, you can leaves notes on the blog if you want too, i'll read them and pass the msg along to Mark if need be, or he can read them when he gets online.

And one tiny thing about me, and I suppose it has to do with Mark a little bit...I GOT A JOB! I'm keeping my job at the hospital I work at now and just staying there on the weekends, and will start a job in Sports Nutrition Research and Development soon, just doing part-time until December when I can go full time. Exciting.

I've made this way too long already, so long story short- he is good, on his way to Afghanistan, and misses everyone!


Thursday, July 23, 2009

Aloha from the couch

This is Heather (and Mark!) writing to you from the couch. No better place to be. Mark got back safetly Tuesday's so nice to have him back, if even only for a couple of days. We are doing nothing but relaxing and he is "catching up on the interwebs," as he says. (They didn't have much internet down in Indiana- and if you know him, his computer is his child.)

We have nothing planned for these couple of days except laying around, enjoying our family's company and eating out everywhere Mark wants to go before he can't eat "good" food for a year. It's hard to be able to see everyone during these couple of days, and Mark has said most of his "good-byes" before training, so we are just getting our family time in.

He got to go "home" yesterday (where you can find the Pound parentals) to see his gutted house (they are remodeling the whole upstairs pretty much). He is excited to see what it looks like when it's finished. For now, we are staying at my "home" (with the Trefethren Mama), which she loves. She likes our company! He also got to play in a Covenant softball game yesterday, which was fun- they won both games and did good! (well, from what we could see standing under a covering- it rained good a couple of times.)

Mark wants to thank everyone for your support and prayers, it means a lot to him that he has people rooting him on for a safe return, and a sucessful deployment.

The next time you hear from me, he will be at Camp Leatherneck in Afghanistan. Pray for safe travels for him, it takes quite a while to get there!

H & M

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Home Again

Well, it's almost time for Mark to come home again. He will have been gone for 2 months July 14th. That means, only 11 months left!

He will be back July 21st-25th. Last deployment, I went to see him for a couple of days, so this time i'm really excited he can come home! We aren't planning much but relaxing, and celebrating my birthday a little early.

He will return back to Indiana the 25th, and head out to Afghanistan shortly after.

Other than that, just enjoying summer and looking for a full-time job sooner than I wanted.