Soldier's Tour in Korea 

June 25, 2005

Habitat for Humanity

Today started of at 5:30 A.M. I woke up and made sure everything was ready for out big trip today. Well, as I was packing everything up I noticed that I had forgottten to buy ice, so I had to drive all over Korea looking for ice. I found one really nice lady who sold me some even though she didn;t open her store for another hour. At 7:30 I got everyone on the bus and we rolled out. The place we were going to be working at today was about 1 1/2 drive away.

I was bored on the way up there and had forgotten to pack my MP3 player, so I took a few self-pictures.

We got there and got our equipment and the first thing they had us do were some wierd streching exercises. I just kept thinking how funny that would look in the states seeinga bunch of construction workers doing jumping jacks and whatnot. I could just picture my brother now! Hahaha.

This was one of the building we were constructing, There were two buildings, so I took the group and split us into two teams. I took one and Jung took the other and we went to work.

A lot of the people that came out to volunteer have no construction experience. I am no carpenter myself by any means, but at least I know how to build a house. We mostly did easy tasks like having everyone nail up the plywood siding to cover the frame of the house and whatnot. It's a little hard to mess up nailing a board to a stud.

Here is Jung and PFC Kim taking a break. It was incredibly hot out today and I was sweating like crazy.

We always have a lot of females who like to volunteer too. It's not all guys out here doing all of this. This is our S-1 clerk out sweating away with the rest of us. After a few hours we split for lunch. They tried to feed us some white rice and leaves and bean sprouts with very spicy hot meat strips. I think that was just about teh worst thing I could have tasted in the heat that day. I didn't eat any of it. Lckily we brought a bunch of food with us, so I wound up having a wholesome candy bar and soda for lunch. Mmmmmm!

Another strange sign I saw. I have no idea why there is a rabbit sitting on a toilet with a plunger stuck to the back of it's head, but I found this on the toilet paper roll in the bathroom.

This is a group photo of all the people that came out today to help. We had almost 30 people come out today, which is a little smaller than usual. I haven't done any construction work since I was a teenager working for my dad and doing roofing. I forgot how tiring it can be. I was really worn out at the end of the day and my wrist hurt like hell form pounding nails all day. I just kept thinking about my brother all day and wondering how he does it every day. I definetely have respect for him. I think I'll relax with a cold beer and watch a movie for the rest of the day. I have to go to work tomorrow too. I'm working at the chapel from 7 AM-3 PM, so I don't get a day off this week either. I can't wait for the Chaplain to get here, so I can finally take a day off. Working two jobs sucks! And especially when you're not getting paid any more money for it! Well, toodle loo. Until next time....

June 24, 2005

Today I had to give a breif to all the new soldiers arriving in Korea. I like to do it. The first few times I got in front of a large group of people I was a bit nervous, but now I'm comfortable doing it. There were about 30 poeple there today.

After lunch I had the rest of the day off, so I decided to take a stroll through Itaewon. I came across this odd looking totem statue.

My movies that I ordered finally came in today. I got a movie called Running on the sun, which is about the most grueling marathon imaginable. It is held every July in Death Valley where 40 people are chosen to run in 130 degree heat from 280 feet in Death Valley to 8,000 feet at the top of mount Whitney. The total length of the race is 135 miles, and you must complete the race in under 60 hours. It was a very inspirational movie, and made me want to go out running right now, but I need to get some sleep for my big day tomorrow. The other movie is a older movie called Chariots of Fire, which everyone has probably seen.

I have been taking a lot of pictures of the great signs I see in Korea. For example here is one. It seems that they can never really get English right here.

I haven't run int eh rpast 2 days and I am starting to feel a little guilty, so tonight I laced up my shoes and went for a 6.5 mile jog. This is still going to be the best month of the year so far. I'm shooting for 140 miles this month. That would be 5 miles more than my old personal record.

I talked to my wife on the phone tonight. She was on her way back from a show she did. She was a valet at a wrestling show. She said she had a lot of fun and enjoyed it, but of course she enjoys every show, so that could mean anything!

Tomorrow, I am taking a group of about 25 soldiers with me to a site where we are all going to help build a house for some homeless people. It should be a lot of fun. The organization is called Habitat for Humanity. They are located all over the world. They also work you to DEATH! It's going to be a long, hard day tomorrow, so I want to be sure to get a lot of sleep tonight. I already packed a bag with some gloves, a shirt to change into, a hat, sunscreen, etc. I'm going to get a little taste of what my little brother does every day for a living. I'm looking forward to it. Plus it's for a good cause. It beats just hanging out at the house and getting drunk with everyone else.

June 23, 2005

Today was Thursday and we have Sergeant's Time Training every Thursday. Today was incredibly boring. Jung, a few other chaplain assistant's and myself went to Oasis, a mexican restaurant for lunch today.

Here I am feeding my face. Afterwards I went back to work for a little while and then went home. That was the extent of my entire day. I told you it was boring. I donm't even have any other pictures to show you. Sorry.

June 22, 2005

tn_DSC02113.JPGhere we are all in line at the range waiting for our turn to shoot. Every 6 months we have to fire our weapons to maintain our qualifications.

It was a long day. We picked up our weapons at 5:30 AM and I didn't get my turn to shoot until around 1 P.M. Here I am waiting my turn to fire.

We fire 40 rounds and have to hit a minimum of 26 of the targets to pass. If you don't pass you have to keep coming back to the range every month until you do. The first 20 rounds they give you are fired with a sand bag to rest your weapon on. This makes it much easier because you can steady the barrel and not jerk the weapon as much. The next 20 rounds are from what we call the "prone unsupported position." This is just a long word for on the ground. There is no sandbag and you have to prop the weapon up using your elbows to fire. It's much harder to keep the weapon steady like this and a lot of people fail here. Above it a picture of the soldiers shooting to adjust thier sights.

I think every range in the Army is dedicated to some dead soldier. This one was no exception. The last time I qualified I failed to make the minimim 26 targets and failed. They let me fire aagain that day and I managed to barely get just 26 to qualify. I wanted to do better this time, so i took my time adjusting my sights this time and managed to shoot all 40 targets! That was the first time I ever got perfect since I came in the Army. I had the highest score on the range that day.

When I got home, I went to the local corner grocery store off post. Korea has the best Ice Cream I;'ve ever had and I wanted to try a new floavor today. Well, I couldn't decide, so I bought one of every ice cream bar they had. They had this awesome one that was cantaloupe flavored. That is the best ice cream I've ever had. I went out and bought 5 more of them, they were so good. I normally am not a fruit guy. I like chocolate a lot better, but this is seriously some good ice cream. Way better than baskin robbins or Ben and Jerry's. I know what you're thinking. It's just Ice cream for crying out loud! Your right, but trust me, if you have ever tried it you would understand.

June 21, 2005

Well here I am getting ready in the morning to head to a weigh-in. The new First Segeant wants to weigh everyone to make sure that they are not over their weight limit. I of course have always had a problem making my weight. Ever since my first day in the Army, every time I have had to weigh in I have starved myself by not eating or drinking for 2 full days before the weigh in. I have eeven gone to such extremes as sitting in a sauna to sweat out the last few ounces of sweat, taking ex-lax to get rid of any waste in my body, cut my hair and trim my fingernails, even sucking on the most sour candy I could find and spitting out the saliva to lose a few more ounces. The Army has rediculous standards that are impossible to meet for some soldiers. Take me for instance. Look at the picture above. Would you consider me to be 10 pounds overweight? Well the Army sure seems to think so. For those people who cannot make thier weight they are given what is called a "tape test," where they take the measurement of your neck and your waist and calculate how much of your weight is fat. If you are over 22% body fat, then you are overweight. Well, according to the Army, I am a whopping 24% body fat. Yes that's right, 1/4 of me is solid fat. I don't know how they figure that, but I fail every time. However I have a friend who is the same height as me and a full 80 pounds hevier than me and he has never failed yet. How can that be you ask? Well his neck is 2 inches bigger than mine, Of course his gut is 15 inches bigger than mine too, but he still manages to pass every time. The Army has been using the same technique for about 30 years and refuses to update it, so they just continue to allow those soldiers who truly over weight to saty in and those who aren't even close to be forces to starve themselves for a few days so that they can stay in the Army. And they wonder why a lot of soldiers complain about the physical training in the military.

Anyway, sorry for the complaining. I just thought I'd share a little insight to the military with you. So after work today I went to the gym for a lttle while and then walked off post to buy a few movies. Nothing really looked that interesting, but I bought a movie anyway, just for something to watch. I don't have any television, so I just have to watch a movie every once in a while. I got a movie called "Sisterhoof of the traveling pants." I know it sounds stuoid and in fact it looked pretty stupid. But the old adage never judge a book by it's cover works for movies as well. It was a "chick flick" but it was a good movie none-the-less. After the movie I emailed my wife and went to bed early, I had to get up early to go to the firing range the next day.

June 19, 2005

Really nothing much to write about today. I woke up this morning with nothing to do. I put on some clothes and headed out the door for Electronics Market again. I tried to see if I could find a shortcut today and wound up on some subway train tracks (don't ask). So my "shortcut" wound up taking me an extra hour! I got to E. Market and bought a movie (Cinderella Man) and a few games. I also bought a DVD Burner program for my computer so that I could make copies of my movies. After walking around for a few hours I decided to head back to post.

I met up with Scott and chatted with him for a while. Him and Maxwell went to the pool. I didn't feel particulalry great today after my stomach ache yesterday, so i decided against going running. I tallied up my miles for the week and got 42.75, a fairly respectable distance for this week considering I took the weekend off. later Scott and I wantched the movie I bought at E Market. I tried to install the program I bought to burn the DVD's, but when I tried to register it, I was told that someone already had registered with my number. That means that the guy at the Market sold me a fake number. I'm going to have to go take one of the KATUSA's down with me now and have him get my money back from the guy now. I was nervous about buying from the guy in the first place and should have listened to myself. Oh well, you learn from your mistakes.

Tomorrow is back to work. I still have to prepare for my Bible Study tomorrow at lunch. I think I'll get to bed tonight early and call my dad in the morning and wish him a happy Father's Day.

June 18, 2005

One year left in the Army as of today!

Today started off not so well. I woke up this morning feeling aweful. My stomach was killing me and I felt really tired. I got up around 4:30 AM and drank a bunch of water and took an ibuprofen along with a multivitamin. I really wanted to run the 10K (6.2 mile) road race today. I went back to bed and slept until 6:30. When I got up I decided that no matter how bad I felt, I wasn't going to let it stop me from running this morning, so I threw on my running shoes and headed out the door. It was about 1.5 miles to the race, so I ran there. After registering and getting my running number (#400) I strolled over to the start line. There I met SSG Adams. She is always at these runs. Well the race started and I felt fine once I got going. I finished in 48:56, a respectable time for me.
Here is SSG Adams running to the finish line. She got a personal best today. Well I went home and my stomach really started to bother me. I ate a little thinking that I must be hungry, but after eating it just made it worse and my stomach started cramping. I went over to Scott's room and he gave me some Pepto-Pismol. I drank some of that and swallowed down some pudding thinking that it would coat my stomach and make it feel better. Well It's almost 8PM now and it's not getting any better. I don't feel like eating anything right now. I think it might have been some of that meat that I tried at the Korean restaurant last night. I don't think it was cooked all the way. It might have also been that wasabi that everyone put in my drink. Either way I'm, not in the best of spirits tonight. We had planned on going to see a baseball game tonight at one of the stadiums, but we decided not to go.
Last night we were walking around and this guy made this dog tag for me. I had a memory card with some pictures of my wife on my keychain and he was able to take the picture from it and put it on one for me. I thought it was so cool. I put it on my real dog tags chain and am going to wear it with me every day, so that I'll have a picture of my wife wherever I go. We'll, I think I'm going to take it easy tonight and maybe just watch a movie or something. I think some rest and relaxation will help me. If not, I'll wait one more day and then go to the hospital on Monday if it's not better by then. Say a prayer for me. Oh, one last thing- I found out this week that I am leaving Korea in September and I will be going to Fort Carson, Colorado. I don't know how that is going to all work out or what I am going to do, but I'll think about it for a while and decide what I am going to do. I don't have much longer left in the Army anyway. I have one year exactly as of today! Woohoo. Tomorrow I can say "I have less than one year to go!" It seems like I've already been in 50 years!

June 17, 2005

Today was a 5K (3.1 mile) race at the gym on post. I ran with Maxwell, Klopp, Jones, Clines, and SSG Adams. I wasn't feeling very well today and my legs were sore from my long run on Wednedsay. I could really notice the difference and my time showed it too. I came in 22:59; almost a full 2 minutes slower than normal. Maxwell beat me by 2 seconds.
This little boy ran the whole way. I was amazed. There are a few kids no older than 9 or 10 who are out here every weekend running.
This picture was taken during the race. That's Maxwell in front of me in the red shirt.
After the race I didn't have time to take a shower because I had to go buy a bunch of food for our office. We're going to take about 50 soldiers up to a construction site and help the poeple up there put up some homes for the homeless. I was shopping for some snack food for everyone to eat on the way up there.
After work Maxwell, Kim, Lee, Yoo and myself went out with Scott to have a party for him..This is his last weekend here, so we wanted to have one last party with him before he left.
Here is Lee with his face full of Kimchi (rotten, fermented cabbage). I hate Kimchi. It smells aweful and tastes as bad as it sounds. But the Koreans love it. It's like having water served to you in the states. They give it to you with every meal.
Max and I having our oats and barley for dinner. I was sooo hungry after we left the restaurant. There was no way in hell I was going to eat Kimchi and bean sprouts, turnips, and whatever the other crap was they were chowing down on. We left and I bought some M&M's at the grocery store and a snickers bar. That was about all I could handle.
I don't know what caused this, but Scott decided to get Lee in a headlock in the middle of the restaurant. All of the Koreans were just staring at him. You never see Koreans doing anything like that, so they were a little shocked I think. They just sit, eat, and leave. Nothing else.

After we left the restaurant we went to a bar. I went to the bathroom and when I came back they had a lemon drink for me. I drank it and everyone started laughing. They had filled it with wasabi, a very very hot pastelike spice. I didn't taste it, but I'm sure I'll be hurting tomorrow. After leaving there we went to a guy who made me a dog tag with Sherry's picture on it. We saw some fried bugs they were selling on the corner and we all decided to take the dare. I swear after leaving here, I'll be able to go on fear factor and eat anything they give me, Well, I got home safe and sound, but not feeling too well. My stomach is bothering me a little. Time for bed. Goodnight everybody.

June 15, 2005

Oooooh, there was a bad fire last night at our motor pool. Four of the Hummvee's caught fire and were destroyed. Luckily the entire motor pool didn't catch fire and nobody was hurt.
This is what sort of damage it did to them. One of the guys who was there at the motor pool said the flames were 20 feet high. It's a shame that my vehicle didn't catch fire. I hate working on that thing. Haha.
Well, I decided when I got home that I was feeling pretty good and decided to go for a long run after work. Every time I go running off post I always take a little won so I can buy some water on my runs, a subway ticket card in case I get hurt and need a ride back to my home, and my camera because I always see something interesting when I run. Well I spotted this poster for a WWE wrestling show that is coming to Korea soon. I think I might go to it if it's not too expensive. The shows and entertainers that come over from the states charge rediculous prices to the Koreans when they come. One friend of mine said that he went to the last show that was here and the tickets were $150.00 (US dollars). I don't care how great of a show it is; it's not worth that much money.
This is the first time I saw this on my run. I just kept running all night tonight. I took a picture of this because it said "goodbye" on it. When I got home, I asked Jung what it was and he told me that it was a sign saying goodbye because you were now leaving Seoul city limits. I ran a total of 13 miles tonight. I could have gone a lot further, but I was running out of time. I had to be back on post before midnight. The police lock the gates at midnight and arrest anyone who is not on post. It's just one of the laws they have here for the soldiers in Korea as some sort of agreement between the two governments. Anyway, I was too far from post to be able to run back in time, so luckily I brought my subway card. I just caught the subway back to post and made it back around 11:30. Next week I'll try to get further. Maybe I can leave work early and head out. I'd like to see just how far I can run. My furthest distance so far is 28 miles. That took me 5 hours to do. I know I could run much further though. Eventually, one of these days I'd like to enter the Western States 100, a rough 100 miles run over 4 mountains near Lake Tahoe in California. That is my ultimate goal.

June 14, 2005

Day at the Pool

I've been trying to take my days off that are owed to me for 2 months now. Well, today I had the chance to get a couple hours off. Scott is leaving to go to North Carolina (Fort Bragg) next week. He flies out of here on the 21st. He was going to the pool this afternoon, and I told him I'd tag along with him. We went around and I helped him get some of his clearing done, so that he could get out of here on time. Then we headed for the pool.
We got changed and swam laps in the pool. He helped me out wih some techniques to improve my swimming for the traithlon I have coming up. Scott really is a great guy. He'll be missed. Speaking of which, we're going to have to plan something for him this weekend, since it'll be his last one here in Korea. Maxwell and I will think of something.
Here I am trying to get some sort of color in me. It never works though. I just turn colors from white to pink to red. White to sunburned is what I get. Oh well, it was fun anyway. A nice way to relax during the day.

<< Previous 10 Articles  11 - 20 of 96 articles Next 10 Articles >> 

On This Site

  • About this site
  • Main Page
  • Most Recent Comments
  • Complete Article List
  • Sponsors

Search This Site

Syndicate this blog site

Powered by BlogEasy

Free Blog Hosting