Thursday, January 05, 2006

Welcome 2006

Happy 2006! Hopefully this year will be better than 2005, although it isn’t starting out that way. The mine accident in West Virginia is really a tragedy. It takes a special breed of person to go into a tunnel beneath the Earth and work for 8 hours a day. I know I could never do it, which is strange seeing as how my grandfathers and uncles were coal miners. May God bless those who lost loved ones and may He grant a speedy and full recovery to the gentleman who survived.

2006 is an anniversary year for me. It will mark my 15-year high school reunion. The reunion is already in the works. I don’t want to accept the fact that it’s been 15 years since I left MHS. It seems like yesterday we were flicking pencil into the drop ceiling to see if they would stick and playing spades in study hall. My receding hairline and the fact that some of the kids my mom babysat back then have also left MHS tell me that it has been 15 years.

2006 will also mark the 15th anniversary of my graduation from US Navy Recruit Training Command Great Lakes. That’s boot camp for the less literate of you. In July 1991, I was sent to St. Louis then flown to Chicago to start my naval career. I was planning on four years, but that doubled later on. I remember that first night, scared because I didn’t know what was next. I remember the mid-point and having survived the worst. I remember going to chapel services on Sunday to catch an extra 45 minutes of sleep. I remember graduation day and everyone who made up Company 91-230.

I was stationed in Great Lakes from 1995-1998 before I got discharged. I’m going back to Great Lakes in late spring or early summer to visit and see what’s changed since I left. I know things are different, but I am really excited to be going. I’m sure there will be lots of pictures and stories.

2006 will also see me, barring anything unexpected, in Washington DC for the first time since 1998. There is a wedding in the planning stages out there, so I’ll use that time to do the tourist thing as well. I’ve got old Navy friends from Virginia, so I might look them up as well. 2006 will also be the 15th anniversary of graduation from Storekeeper “A” School at NTTC Meridian, Mississippi. There might be a trip to the South this year as well.

2006 is an election year, so everyone is handicapping the outcome. I’m going to do some predicting as well. I predict that Rod wins the Democrat nomination and Judy Barr Topinka wins the GOP nomination. The GOP will win the Governor’s Mansion in Illinois with a Democrat General Assembly. Nationally, the Democrats pick up a few seats in the US House but not enough to take control. The Senate races will break even this year with no changes in control.


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