Insults from a limited view

Insults from a limited view
I wear the boots, they don't wear me

Monday, February 13, 2012


mama's new set of combat boots!


Roadtrip with McQueen

It's o dark 30 the next day. Everything I was told to bring, fit in my North Face backpack. Too tired to want to talk, I take my commands from the sergeant in charge. After another urinalysis (to ensure no one had fun the previous night) and the sorting starts. There were 50 of us shipping out that day; only 3 were heading to Fort Leonardwood Missouri. Myself, Steve McQueen and David Sanchez. I only remember Sanchez because his name appears on the set of orders I still have, but other than that I have no memory of that man; but I never can forget  the trip with Mr McQueen.

I was chosen to be the group leader (don't know why but I have a feeling it was because of the ABC's) which mean I was responsible to make sure everyone got off and on the plane, buses and whatever modes of transportation they arranged to make sure we got to our destination. I really didn't want to be any one's babysitter, but at least Steve made it easy.

On the van ride to the airport, we talked about the unknown and what it would be like. We talked about why we were going in to the service and where we came from. When we didn't talk we laughed and when we weren't talking or laughing we slept. I don't know know why but it's so much easier for me to talk to other service members that are complete strangers than to people I've known for a while that attend the same church. It's not that I don't talk to others; I am a very outgoing and friendly person, but you connect on a level that not many people get the opportunity to experience. Everyone can experience something of a spiritual nature. But there are few that commit to something that is bigger than you and the person next you. You step into it and world looks different afterwards.

When we arrived at the USO in Missouri, we naturally stuck together, even though my official duties as babysitter had ended.  We learned the term hurry up and wait, a phrase that I would become very familiar with over the course of my military career, while waiting to board the bus that would take up to the reception battalion at Fort Leonardwood.

We arrived at 1:30 am, and were divided into men and women. The female specialist (and she made a point of saying she was a specialist) instructed us that we were to be silent and stand in the position of parade rest. After an explanation of what parade rest was, she marched us into a great hall. On both sides of the hall were 10 phones. We were told that we had to make a phone call. They didn't care  to who but we had to pick up the phone and dial a number. I realized at that moment that I didn't have anyone to call. My father was in Texas with his wife and I couldn't remember any one's phone number. I started to get a little teary eyed but I just couldn't come up with the energy to cry. I quickly picked up the phone, dialed the number to my father's house and hung up. I went to the next line to wait in and thought, "I am really on my own".

Monday, January 9, 2012

6 April 2001- Part 2

After the urinalysis confirmed that I was not pregnant or under the influence of any drugs, I was brought into a red velvet room with other people enlisting in the service. The MEPS station commander entered the room. She had us raise our arms to the square and repeat the following:

I, Feeleece Mahalia Mobley, do solemnly swear that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; and that I will obey the orders of the President of the United States and the orders of the officers appointed over me, according to regulations and the Uniform Code of Military Justice. So help me God. 

I wonder if anyone realizes what they're swearing...I'm a fiercely loyal individual. An oath, covenant, vow or promise are the same thing to me. When I commit to something, or someone, it's 100%. There are no degrees or levels of a commitment. You are or you are not. Simple as that. I knew by joining, I was committing myself to putting myself in harms way. I've heard the oath before but as I repeated the oath with my hand raised;  what was just a bunch of words became a lot more real to me. Maybe I'm just a sentimental person, but saying the oath brought a tear to my eye.

retrieved from

Thursday, January 5, 2012

6 April 2001

Journal Excerpt:

"Well, I did it!! I signed my name to a contract that officially enlisted me in the  United States Army. I've just committed 4 years of my life. I leave for Missouri in 11 days for basic training!!"

Even though I did not enter it anywhere in my journal, every time I read that entry I always think about the events surrounding that day and how stress I was feeling.The 4 months prior to that entry were the longest 4 months of my life. 75% of it was spent running. I ran 7 miles before breakfast, I ran  5 miles before lunch and 9 before dinner. In order to make sure I was running, either my dad or my step mother would take me to the track every Saturday morning to time my run. No improvement = no running in their eyes. I was accused of trying to look "cute" when I ran. I don't know how I managed that, but back then I was accused of a lot of things back then.

I REALLY hate running, but it is one the only ways I can stay in shape. One of the more ironic things in my life, but I would have run 30 miles or more in order to get in the service. I really needed my own life; fast.

When the recruiter picked me up to go to the MEPS Station in San Diego, I felt pretty confident about passing the height and weight requirements; I was more worried about taking the ASVAB. I bought a book from a Barnes and Nobles and studied in between work outs. The test was scheduled for 3 hours; but I was done in 45 minutes. I felt like a lot of it was fairly simple and  used the process of elimination. The Army requires a score if at least a 32.  I wouldn't know my score until after the physical the next morning (we stayed at the Ramada overnight).

With that hurdle behind me, I just had to go through the physical. Easy enough. I went through all the stations with no issues until I came to the weigh in. The staff member who was taping me calculated my measurements and told me that I was over by .25%!! I could not stop the tears that followed in addition to the word vomit that revealed the nature of my family "dynamics". The staff members at MEPS are trained to disqualify as many people as possible for the littlest things and weight was always a deal breaker.

As I wiped away my tears and tried to recompose myself to deal with having to come back in a month and TELL my parents; the staff member, for what ever divine reason, said " If you can promise me that you can lose at least 3 lbs in 2 days, I will pass you. Can you do that?" Dumbfounded and grateful,  I shook my head and squeaked out a yes and hugged her.

I kept my promise by running in a bag to increase my "sweating" which help me lose 5 pounds (added 2 for good measure). To make sure I didn't gain any weight, in my infinite wisdom, I decided to get some exlax to ensure that there was nothing sitting in my stomach. 3 problems with this genius idea; 1) I never used it before, 2) I really like chocolate and 3) I can be an impatient person at times. You figure that one out; but needless to say I did not get any sleep that night.

As expected, I passed my weigh in with flying colors. I wanted to find the staff member to thank her but I was not able to. When ever I read this entry, I always think about this stranger's kindness and how it could have changed the course of my life.

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Silent Night

I wanted to write this blog in chronological order; but this particular Christmas stands out in my mind more than any and I don't really know why but I wanted to share it now rather than later.

Schofield Barracks Hawaii- 2300hrs
24 December 2004

Since I had no family and my then fiance was deployed to support OIF II, I volunteered to take a battle buddy's 24 duty. He had a family and his holiday would be more enjoyable if he were able to stay awake. The NonCommision Officer (NCO) that was on duty with me had just left me to go get the bikes he wanted to set up for his kids before the awoke that morning. It was a clear and starry night. There was a slight chill in the air (keep in mind this is Hawaii and 60 degrees is chilly for someone who has been there for a while). It was 2 in the morning on a Sunday and the night was still. I walked out on the lanai to prevent myself from falling asleep and couldn't help but noticed how bright the stars were.  I thought about the night Christ was born and if the night sky was this clear. For no reason at all, I started singing O Holy Night and I didn't care who heard me. I was alone, but at the same time I suddenly felt at home. When the NCO returned, I helped him assemble his bikes and we finished right before our relief came. I had purchased gifts earlier in the week for a fellow Soldier's kids. I knew that she was having some financial struggles but I didn't want them to think that the gifts came from me. When I arrived at their home I fibbed and told the family that I was instructed to drop off some packages for Santa. Watching the kids react to the toys made my Christmas; knowing that I could do a little something to brighten someone day. Maybe that's why that Christmas in the military sticks out in my mind; the joy I received in serving someone else reminded me of why I joined in the first place. Maybe it's just me.

Friday, December 23, 2011

December 2000

Sitting on a couch in my dorm, I was struggling with decisions that I was running out of time to make. days ago my father informed me on the phone that I couldn't stay home for long. My father's wife had expressed her feelings of me living in her house for an extended period of time. I had a few days to present a plan to them in addition to a timeline of how long I would be home.

Do I stay at school and deal with the pressures of trying to continuing to pay for school on my own (long story) or run off into the sunset and get married (which was out of the question). I know I wanted to experience life and become the person I though I wanted to be. ( I use the term thought because I was 19 and not many 19 year old kids know who they and if they say they do, they're lying to themselves). I knew myself well enough that if I stayed at school I would have gotten married to someone that I was settling for to keep myself from returning to my father's house.

It had been 3 weeks since I had that conversation with dad. The snow was softly falling that night, I had a ton on my mind; I needed to get out. I decided to go and practice from my final for my piano course. Music has always been a source of comfort to me. It doesn't matter what I'm feeling, I can let it all go by banging everything out on the piano.

The song I selected for my final weeks ago was entitled "Onward Christian Soldier". The song is about Christians battling with the growing immorality in the world and standing as an example. I played it some many times, I didn't need to look at the music any longer. As I played, I started thinking about the lyrics of the chorus in a literal sense:

                             Onward Christian Soldier,
                             Marching off to war,
                             With the trump of freedom,
                             Going on before.

Soldier, marching, war, freedom.... the military!!! I grew up with a Marine Corps dad, I couldn't be better prepared!! My Grandpa and I talked about me going in the service during my senior year. We also talked about genealogy and all the members of our family that served in the military.  I can still remember the peace and clarity that came to my mind. I felt confident with my choice and went back to my dorm to work on my time line for my dad. It was a week before Christmas and I was excited and scared to  pursue this new pursuit. During the long walk back in the snow, a thought came to my mind;  this would be my last holiday I would spend with my dad. I didn't know why, but the feeling was so strong and real I couldn't stop myself from crying.