July 12, 2008

And now... The Actual Deployment

My previous update was about the beginning of mobilization. This is a process were all US armed forces members are prepared to fill a position in their respective Areas of Responsibilities (AOR) in a given theater of operation (for example, Iraq, Afghanistan, Bosnia, etc.).

The preparation usually involves attending a 2.5 to 4 week long training at a regional training center. Here the service member learns and practices combat skills, law of armed conflict, concepts and principles relating to the rules of engagement, first aid, land navigation, and much, much more.

Since I belong to the United States Air Force Security Forces, I also received training on many small arms as well as the qualification that is required before being armed with them. Lots of emphasis went into recognizing the threat that Improvise Explosive devises pose on our forces and the civilian populous.

I also got a lot of drive time with a number of tactical vehicles like our 5 ton truck and our uparmor HUMVEEs. We also received a number of immunizations and performed our physical fitness test.

We also received a ton of equipment to use while at the AOR. The down side to all of this cool gear (special uniforms, boots, ballistic helmets, body armor, cold weather gear, field mess kits, etc) is that it makes for some very heavy bags to drag around airports. But better to have it and not needed than to need it and not have it. ;)

All in all, I feel that I am now as ready as I can be to deploy to Iraq or anywhere else where my service could be used to protect our men and women serving our county.

The military has done their part to get us ready to go, but one can not say enough about the many other folks that make it all possible.

I would start by thanking my wife Maria and my beloved Monica for all of the sacrifices that they have already made and for their willingness to do much more. My two girls are truly my reason to live and the most important reason for me to remain alive and anxious to return home. My mother Mimi Martinez, my sister Maricarmen and her two sons Christian and Ryan also commit to do without uncle Paco for six months.

Then there is the members of my local community. Monica's School, Temple Christian School and their great staff and students, our favorite Pizza parlor, Charlie's Pizza in Fort Worth, as well as our local TV station, Fox 4 news, NBC 5 and Telemundo. Important to include the staff at the Shooting Gallery on Lancaster Ave. Fort Worth for all their support during my training sessions.

I thank the members of the Mono and Open Source Community who keep putting out a superb product and always have words of encouragement and strength.

I want to also give a big embrace to my friends and their families. Matt Gutierrez, Jay Dugan, Dan Garvin, Rino Amenta, Raymound Cheung, Heath Mitchell, Jose J. Cruz Falcon, and Harry Burgess.

Last night, For 4 News our local Fox affiliate aired a small piece on my deployment and my family's reaction to it.

I don't want to close this entry without thanking Chris Vaughn, Tom Pennington, and The Fort Worth Star Telegram for a very beautiful piece that appeared in yesterday's paper. The article honors my family and the sacrifices and efforts of so many reservists and their family members.

Posted by martinf at 08:43 AM | Comments (6)