Saturday, July 04, 2009


SFC McG and I discovered on Thursday morning -- after we'd lugged all of our gear to the Transportation office and basically had an old-fashioned 'sit-in' there -- that we had missed the flight the Transpo people had booked us on for the day before.

No one had let us know of the reservations, despite our having written down our cell phone numbers for the NCO who had taken our other information on Wednesday. No one could find our cell phone numbers on Thursday morning.

Oh, and I forgot to mention that the reservations that we'd missed had us leaving for California from South Carolina, though we were in Mississippi.

While we waited for our tickets, we returned to the headquarters building to get our orders amended (because otherwise we'd have lost a day of leave),. Fortunately for us, there weren't many other Soldiers going through admin stuff Thursday morning, so it didn't take very long.

We loaded our gear onto a school bus around 1100 hours, for the one-hour trip to Gulfport. Because of a problem with that vehicle it took us about 90 minutes to get there, however. It turns out that we had nine pieces of luggage to check, when the airlines would only check four per passenger, so I was able to consolidate a rucksack and tough box (bringing the latter to the limit of 99 pounds!), so we got all our gear checked to Sacramento.

SFC McG and I wore our Stetsons as we deplaned in Sacramento late Thursday night -- but we neglected to get any photos! Rats. The Battalion Commander and Command Sergeant Major, as well as one of the First Sergeants from our parent unit were there to greet us. So was a Chaplain (and his family) and Chaplain Assistant (and his wife) from the State Chaplain's office.

More importantly, though, SFC McG's wife and parents were there to greet him. Hooray!

They drove back up north to their home for the night, about 90 minutes away or so. The Guard got me a room at a hotel near the Armory where SFC McG and I had to turn in gear and do some paperwork on Friday.

It's great to be back in California!

Independence on Independence Day.

Blessings and peace to one and all,

Fr. Tim, SJ

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