Greetings, let me start off by stating that I have never done this before so please excuse any blogging faux-pas that I may make over the course of this endevor.
I am new to FMCA, having just joined, well, today. If you can't tell by my handle, I'm in the Coast Guard and have proudly served since 1998. Now after 3 years in my beloved Pacific Northwest, I find myself with a fresh (by fresh I mean it only took the Yeoman a month to type the orders out) set of orders directing me to depart and report to Norfolk, VA.
Not that I am complaining by any stretch of the imagination, but just once I wish my detailer would let me stay in the same geographic area for more than one tour. I've put as many ruts in I-90 as the pioneers did in the prarie going to the west coast. So now I gurd up for yet another trip across country. This will be my fourth.
When I graduated from the Academy I received orders to a Cutter out of Astoria, OR. So I loaded up my Dodge Ram (aka Helga)with a slide in camper and took off for the west coast. First trip accomplished. Good tour, fell in love with the PACNW, but I do have to say as a transplanted New Englander the pizza leaves a lot to be desired.
After completing a two year tour I received orders to Norfolk, VA as part of a navy exchange tour. So again Helga and I without the camper (which unfortunately rotted out on me despite my best efforts to save her) took off for sunny Virgina. There I was assigned to USS CARR, as navigator. After a six month deployment to the west coast of Africa in 2005-2006 I managed to get in the good graces of the powers that be and successfully screened for command afloat.
My detailer (aka Satan) emailed me while on deployement and said, "I've got one more boat for you and its your only change for command. She's the last in class, Coast Guard Cutter Galveston Island." I wrote back, I'll take her and by the way where is she located. My response... Guam. So this time I left Helga at home and took a 19 hour flight to where America's day begins Guam.
After two plus years there I received orders back to the PACNW. I had to drive Helga cross country yet again. Luckly this time I was joined by the love of my life Alissa, who I met in Guam six monthslater. I had a small little appartment that did not fit our needs and we needed to find a bigger place. While looking for a house to rent we found a 1984 Winnebago Chieftain 22 footer down the road. The price was right, and she was in outstanding condition. Following a call to Mom and Dad Family savings bank she was mine. We packed up out of the apartment, as the lease was up and moved into the Winnebago, who we affectionately called Spaceball 2, due mainly to the uncanny resemblance to Lonestar's ride in the movie. We meant to only be in her for a month at the most while we found a place... one month turned into seven. We finally found a place and started actually using Spaceballs for what we meant originally... traveling.
So my tour is now complete and I requested every billet open to an Senior Lieutennant in the PACNW. Satan called a few months ago and told me that there was nothing available for me, and he had a honey of a job waiting for me in Virginia. By now our family had grown, two sun conures (small parrots), two cats and one dog. Regardless of the space issues in our 22 footer, I had doubts if Spaceballs could make a 3000 mile voyage across country to our new duty station. That and I could foresee the fights that might occur between my better half about her two cats being in a cage all day.
So long story short, we just signed papers on a 34 foot 1994 Safari diesel pusher with 68K on a 5.9 cummins turbo diesel engine. We're just waiting on bank approval as it is a short sale. Hopefully we will get it, and with that I will start our fourth journey cross country.
I think I've taken enough time on this one entry. Wish us luck and I'll keep whoever's interested posted about our progress as the time grows nearer.
Semper Paratus (Always Ready)