California

0430 (4:30am) and we’re at the drill center waiting to load vans for the Greenville airport. I’ve been up 24 hours and counting. The marines and I delay the airplane and load up for the long ride across the country. We are going to California.

We are back at the Ontario USO after two weeks of training in the desert sands of 29 Palms, California where we lived at the FASP (Field Ammunition Supply Point) and ran operations in support of other reserve units training alongside us. Many marines of old have told me that 29 Palms is just like being in country (Iraq and Afghanistan) and I definitely believe them. The desert is nothing to mess around with. The heat is unbelievable and the sun beats down differently than it does on the east coast. It’s dry as a bone and there is sand everywhere. With all that aside, this has been some of the best training I have ever done with this unit. I am learning how to properly perform my job in a field environment and I have become proficient at it. Of all the other training we have done this is the first time that I have gotten hands-on training with live ammunition. Stuff like this makes me want to get deployed even more. I love the Marine Corps! 

If anyone has tried to contact me the last two weeks then I will make my apology here. Verizon has no service at our location and so my phone has been on airplane mode since we arrived. So if anyone from Verizon is reading this then you need to talk to your people and make a XXLTE or something so I can have service next time. Being in the desert with no connection to the social media realm and virtual world has made me love life even more. I have extra time to dwell on the goodness of God and His creation. People, the mountains over here are beautiful! Sure, it’s really hot but it just amazes me how different it is over here and to know that God created this place just like He created the mountains of North Carolina and He cares for it all.  There are creatures over here that I have never seen and to think that that is just a small portion of the vast sum of creation is astounding. 

Now that my AT (Annual Training) is complete I have July off and will drill again in August. Until then I am still at the Wilds cooking for all the kids who come see us. I will be getting back to work at the tail end of Week 3 and then going back at it all the way to Week 11 (Family Camp). Looking forward to the ministry we have this summer and seeing our campsite full again. 

Some people ask me what is next after two years at the Wilds and all I can say is, “whatever the Lord wills.” Lord willing I will be working on a package to go into MARSOC and Lord willing I will be a part of that elite group of marines. Please pray that God would open and close doors as necessary and that I can go all the way with MARSOC. Why do I want to do MARSOC so bad? Don’t I want to settle down sometime soon? Don’t I love the Wilds and not want to leave? Common question I have been asked and all I have answers to. I want to do something even greater than what I have accomplished in the Marine Corps. When I grow up I want to tell my grandkids that I was a part of a great organization. Sure, I would like to settle down but I just have not found the right one and I have whatever life I have left to do it. Something I would hate to do is look back and wonder what life would have been like if I had tried. I would hate to later say, “I should have.” Let’s not live with regrets, people! Do I love the Wilds? Absolutely! Am I going to be there forever? Who knows… 

Thank you to those have been praying for my sickness, training, and life in general. Thank you to those who have decided to pray for my future with the Marine Corps and my future in general. I know the Lord is good and takes care of His own. Looking forward to what the future holds!

rejoice.always

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