Jordan is our oldest child. Not a child anymore, he will be 24 years old in February. He has been in the Navy for the past 6 years enlisting right after graduation. At first, I was upset. I like the idea of a strong military for our country, I just don’t like the idea of it being one of my children. I slowly came around, and although I worried A LOT, it wasn’t horrible. He spent his 19th birthday in Afghanistan but assures me he was not in any danger. I’m certain he was hiding in this hole for other reasons….
We did communicate via skype… that was interesting…. this is his version of how it went… (minus the “I’ll be over”)…. he sent this after our third video chat…Needless to say, over the years, I have gotten better. But yes… this was me…
Jordan is a mechanic. A very good one. He has been tinkering with engines since he was little, he loved to be out in the shop with dad. Then in high school he fixed all of the broken lawn mowers in the shop, and at 17 he made what we called his “mud dog”. He cut a lawn mower and a snowmobile in half, then welded them together in a kind of frankenstein mobile with rear tracks. The front was the lawn mower tires and engine (no mower) and the rear was snowmobile seat and tracks. It ran. Really well. He took it out on our back roads and got it up to 60mph. A farmer bought it from him that same day for $200.
He wanted to go to a trade school for mechanics, but decided the Navy was a better fit for him. In Afghanistan he was in charge of all of the generators that powered the base but also worked on the road equipment (interesting side note… do you know that after all of that “shock and awe” we have to fix everything we blew up?)After Afghanistan he came home to his base in California for just a bit, then went to Guam. Oddly, he liked Afghanistan better than Guam. The climate in Afghanistan is similar to our Central Washington desert (dry and windy) but Guam is 90% humidity with massive frogs and big bugs. He says he never got used to that moist heat and he found PT difficult – hard to breathe. His third deployment was to Japan. Which was his very least favorite. Too many people, crazy drivers (apparently not a stereotype – everyone is in a hurry and door dings are no big deal), and apparently they do not like the servicemen very much so he didn’t venture out too much.
So after 6 years, he is discharging…. and coming home to join the civilian work force. We are so excited we can hardly stand it. He has missed all of his cousin’s and his friend’s weddings, the birth of several family babies, and every holiday except one Christmas. I think he feels so disconnected. Even though when he does come home for a visit it is just perfectly normal and everything is as it should be.
He is leaving Port Hueneme in California today and it will take him 23 hours to get home. We are going up to our cabin for a long holiday weekend homecoming party. There is no cell service or wireless there, so we will have him all to ourselves!! Well, us and the rest of the cousins, and uncles, and friends and family….
We are packing today, heading up a day early to get everything ready. I have my Sue Spargo bird blocks with me and all of his favorite foods. I will take pictures and fill you in when I get back. I am so excited I am jittery!!