Happy Veterans Day!
From sea to shining sea, all over our great land;
To the backside of the world, filled with desert sand.
From ages past and times so long ago;
To this very moment of life's ebb and flow.
You find a Soldier standing guard, burdened by his pack;
Defending the right of man to live while never holding back.
Upon a ship amongst the seas, a Sailor mans the helm;
Ready and waiting, keeping poised, defending all his realm.
In the sky of blue and white, an Airman tips his wing;
Defending his brothers on the ground while watching and waiting.
In the air, on land and sea, you find a warrior unafraid to tread all three.
The Marine leads the charge and takes the fight wherever it may be.
Such bravery, skill, and selflessness in life.
These men of courage war and fight.
Not asking for much, they do their task.
What could we give them if they even asked?
What could replace the time lost at home;
of the footsteps of young ones as they begin to roam?
What can we give in exchange for a life?
What do we do for a family that must now bear such strife?
It is not money or riches that they seek;
Nor, is it fame or possessions that drive their feet.
It is simply the sincere, heartfelt gratitude of the Nation they serve.
A warm handshake, a smile, a 'thank you' unreserved.
Thank you, to all Veterans, past and present, wherever you may be!
You truly make our Country great from sea to shining sea!
May today be the day, when as a Nation, we, with one voice will say,
To all who have served and serve right now, "Happy Veterans Day!"
November 11, 2011
Happy Veterans Day!
Posted by Cpl Cuestas, Joseph at 10:18 AM
May 16, 2011
It's hard to believe that it has been three months already. Time here is really flying by. I suppose it helps to stay busy during my twelve hour shift at night. The work is not hard but it can get busy at times and it helps to be able to multitask. I hesitate to go into specifics on what we do and I'm sure you all can understand why. There are so many facets and parts to make things work that it is a little overwhelming to really grasp the big picture.
There is a lot more that I would like to say; but I don't know that I can. I will say that I have no reason to complain given the fact that each and every day that I have been here...I wake up.
The same cannot be said for some of my fellow Marines. Though, I do not know any who have fallen personally, it is known throughout the base when one of our own is seriously hurt or killed. I don't often voice how I feel to those around me. Anyone who knows me, knows me as the quiet one. But in my mind I imagine that halfway around the world, parents, wives, and loved ones will soon learn some terrible news that will change their lives forever. I imagine how my own family and friends might react and it saddens me. I see this in my minds eye, and I realize, that no matter how frustrated I get; how tired I feel; how annoyed others may make me, that I cannot, should not, and as much as it can be helped, will not complain about my current situation.
I challenge all to realize how fortunate we are to live in the country that we are in. Be thankful for the freedoms that we have. Be thankful that as you live and go about your daily tasks you do not carry the burden of fear as so many people in this country bare. Each and every day that you yourself rise and wake...be thankful; make it a point that no matter where life takes us...be thankful for that very thing...life!
Posted by Cpl Cuestas, Joseph at 10:14 PM
February 6, 2011
It has been a little over two years since I have joined the United States Marine Corps. All of the time and money that has been invested into me will culminate in my first deployment to Afghanistan. It's funny how people ask me how I feel, and quite honestly I don't feel to bad. Yet, at the same time there have been moments when I can't help but cry knowing I will be so far away from the people and the things that I love. On more then one occasion people have thanked me for my service to this Country, and I never quite knew what they were thanking me for. I haven't really done to much...yet.
Two years in this gun club and I'm starting to see a glimpse of what their thanks are all about. As I sat in my barracks room during the holiday season away from my family wishing I could be with them, I thought, "Well, maybe this is part of that, 'sacrifice', they speak of?" I think of fellow Marines who for several months will miss out on precious moments with their newborns and the companionship of their wives to be in a place that is so far away and so troubled. I think of families, mothers, fathers, brothers, and sisters who anxiously await the day when their Marine returns home.
Even then, as Marines we have trained for this moment. We are somewhat tired of sitting in garrison and are now ready to join our fellow brethren in accomplishing the mission. We have received our final training, all of our personal affairs are taken care of, our last good byes have been said, and just in case, our wills have been drafted. We are prepared! To leave all! To forsake all! To give all! Is it easy? No. I have yet to fully experience what it all entails. Yet, I choose to go! I was somewhat surprised to hear our Commanding Officer ask, "Who doesn't want to go? Let me know so I can find a replacement before it's to late!" No one raised their hand. So don't get mad at the good 'ol USA for sending us off to this place, we have chosen it for ourselves.
I thank you all who have offered prayers and wishes of safety. I apologize to those of you who have posted questions that I have not responded to yet. Some of them are a little thought provoking and I'd like the time to answer them as best I can. I hope to chronicle my experience of this deployment to help me remember this experience. Even then, there are somethings that I can not post in order to ensure operational security.
To all the Marines who will be coming home soon, thank you for the commitment and sacrifice you have made! I look forward to taking your place and doing my part! To my friends, I'm gonna miss the good times, and look forward to having some more when I get back! To my family, I love you all; know that I am safe in His hands! To readers of this blog, take some time and thank someone who is currently serving our Country; it means more then you think.
Wherever you may be, good night and good day!!
-LCpl Cuestas, Joseph
October 15, 2010
Question: When you received your orders did you get them on MOL first? I keep trying to access web orders but it says I don't have permission. Do they come in a message? Thanks :D
Answer: Every time that I have received orders I was issued a paper copy. The orders given to me from boot camp stated that I would have seven days of leave followed by seven days of recruiters assistance to help my local recruiter after which time I was to report for Marine Combat Training in California. Then I was issued orders for Marine Corps Communications and Electronics School in Twentynine Palms, CA for training as an 0651. After completion of school I was issued Web Orders (this is the first time I receive a printed copy of Web Orders, all previous orders were not web orders) for my present duty station in NC. I never have accessed or even know where to look up my web orders. If you need a copy of your orders you can visit S-1 or Ipac. They may be able to access the information you need.
Do you have a question too? Ask me at www.formspring.me/josephcue or use the box under my profile pic!
Question: How long do you go to training for 0651 Data Specialist?
Answer: Training for an 0651 during the time that I went lasted about three months. I was in Twentynine Palms for about six months because I had to wait for class to start. It starts with Network Fundamentals, then CCNA Modules 1-3 (4 is optional if you excel), and ends with Microsoft Server and Exchange.
Do you have a question about too? Ask me at www.formspring.me/josephcue or use the box under my profile pic! Answers to be posted later!
September 26, 2010
I wasn't aware it was even a problem until a reader pointed it out to me! Thank You!! You know who you are! Read past posts...tell me what you think!! Seriously...now...go read...and then POST A COMMENT!! Like now...RIGHT NOW!!
September 25, 2010
To all who may be following or happen to wander over this way, HI!! Its been awhile since I gave a personal status update so here it is! I have since taken the networking course for the SWAN-D Satellite System as well as the DMVPN (Dynamic Multipoint Virtual Private Network) course which will be phasing out the legacy way of implementing the SWAN-D.
After the course was done I had the opportunity to finally take leave and visit home for a couple of weeks. I drove the sixteen hours with great enthusiasm and excitement...for about the first four hours! After that I was just ready to get home. Although, the drive through the mountains is awesome and I do look forward to that portion of it. It was great being home and having the chance to visit family and friends and see how everyone is doing. I celebrated my 26th year of life while on leave and was once again reminded of how important it is to make every single moment with family and friends count! Many times we are to tired or distracted by other things when those close to us in our lives are seeking our attention. It is easy to brush them away, but when all is said and done, the time that we could have had with them is lost and we wish we could get it back.
After driving back to Cherry Point it was time to get back to work. We were preparing for WTI training (Weapons and Tactics Instructor course) at the Marine Corps Air Station in Yuma, AZ. Considering we are in Cherry Point, NC we had a long trip ahead of us. There was gear to be checked for operability, things to be packed, gear to be staged, loaded, offloaded, reloaded, and shipped off ahead of time in preparation for our arrival. I was selected along with others to leave a week early to help set up the main side site in preparation for the main body of Marines to arrive. On September 19, 2009 I awoke at 0200 to get ready for the accountability formation at 0300. We would be leaving on a commercial flight to Yuma, AZ later that morning. Once the planes arrived on the Air Station in Cherry Point we (the Marines) actually had to load our own gear into the hull of the planes. So many different things you get to do being a Marine...ha!
Throughout our whole preparation leading to our departure to WTI I kept thinking to myself, "Wow, this is really costing a lot of money!" We loaded several tractor trailers with Seven Tons, HMMWV's, and metal containers, we order tons of gear and supplies in preparation to go, as well as the commercial flights for hundreds of Marines! And I'm sure I have not even scraped the surface as to all the other cost related factors. All of this time, effort, and man hours in preparation for our deployment in the beginning of 2011.
We are scheduled to arrive in Afghanistan in the first quarter of 2011, although exact dates have not yet been given to us. There is a chance that I may or may not go as it has been stated by our First Sargent and CO that everyone from Alpha Company will not be going. The rosters for the deployment are being trimmed. I would hope that I am able to go and work along side the Marines that I have worked with since I arrived here almost a year ago. There is something to be said about an individual who is happy idling by while his brothers and sisters are in the fight. I hope to be right there along side them.
Well, as of now the first week of WTI is over. Main side is set up and Marines from Cherry Point start arriving tomorrow. Several other sites remain to be set up and gear still needs to be delivered to those sites. I have a feeling I'm going to be driving a lot of seven tons! I hope I learn and retain much experience from the training I receive here. I want to be useful to the Corps in service to my Country. I'm sure I'll have lots more to say about WTI once it's all said and over. One week down, six weeks left! Here we go!!
My name is Alex S. and I will be leaving to boot camp in February. I will also be a 0651 and was curious of what I can do in the civilian world with my mos?
The Data Network Specialist MOS is comparable to an IT job in the civilian world. There are several courses and certifications that you can receive that will be useful to you in your civilian life. If you work REALLY hard in MOS school you can leave with two certifications right away. Your Comptia A+ Certification and your CCNA certification. You will have the opportunity to receive more certifications throughout your enlistment. Take every course and get every cert they offer you. It's literally thousands of dollars worth of classes and testing fees. A job seeking a CCNA cert with experience starts out at about 35-40 dollars/hour. Not bad and it gets better with each higher level cert you get.
Do you have a question too?! Ask me at www.formspring.me/josephcue or use the box under my profile picture!!
Posted by Cpl Cuestas, Joseph at 7:17 PM
July 26, 2010
MMA Can Be A Great Self Defense Training Method
These situations are unexpected to say the least. They usually involve you minding your own business when the anger of someone comes out of nowhere to challenge you both physically and sometimes even emotionally. This is why it's best to know how to protect yourself because these situations are—as I said—unexpected. When an unexpected intention to fight presents itself it's best to be ready to defend yourself if need be. This is where a healthy dose of MMA fight training can do wonders.
MMA (mixed martial arts) is a full contact sport that teaches how to fight in a variety of situations. This is because MMA teaches different fighting styles, some of which are new and some of which that are as old as fighting itself. Grappling and submission moves all have their place in the training and can teach someone how to bring someone down without using an overuse of violence. This is not to mention that most altercations that occur in public end up with two people on the ground and if one is versed in MMA submissions holds (like for example the arm bar) then it's most likely that person is going to walk away from that fight unscathed or at-least the victor.
There are other various moves and techniques in MMA that would allow you to both subdue your attacker and protect yourself. For example, after a takedown a fight style called "ground and pound" is initiated in which you would throw hard hitting punches to your opponent once they are on their back and on the ground. If aggressive violence isn't what you're looking for, MMA offers submission grappling, which is also a great way to bring an end to the fight and to your opponent. When I speak of submission grappling I'm talking about being able to put your opponent in a chokehold or any of the following: joint locks, arm locks, leg locks, or pinning. Doing this submission style of fighting will allow you to end the fight more peacefully if that's the route you want to take.
MMA can also go down the avenue of fast fighting style in which kicking boxing and other techniques are used to keep you quick and hopefully end the fight even faster. Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, catch wrestling, Judo, Sambo, Shootwrestling, Pankration, and others can also be taught via MMA fighting methods. Each of these fighting styles are much faster than most and can easily bring an opponent down in most situations. If you're following the teaching of MMA then not only are you learning the styles of a growing popular sport but you're also learning how to protect and defend yourself in any unexpected situation.
By: Brent Jacobs of MMA Industries, distributor of extreme MMA Gear and MMA T-shirts.
It is no surprise that an individual would want to know how to protect themselves physically. Considering the world in which we live it is not unwise to actively learn how to keep yourself and your family safe. More important than being prepared physically for attacks that may come our way, is being prepared spiritually for the attacks that will come our way.
“For For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places (Eph. 6:12).” We are commanded to, “be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour (I Peter 5:8).” It is no secret that the devil and his minions seek to destroy, in the most literalistic sense of the word, every faction of our lives. And it all starts on the spiritual front. The unuttered thoughts that we harbor and fester on; the root of bitterness springing up in our heart; the lack of faith that discourages us from obeying the will of God or the self absorbed attitude which seeks to gain and never to give are all weapons used against us.
It is easy to recognize an attack when it is waged from a distance and the enemy is clearly approaching. It is far less easy to see that attack, let alone fight against it, when it is an attack from within. The thoughts of our mind and the desires of our heart if unchecked will ultimately lead us away from God and his will for our lives. Therefore we must not only be prepared for the physical battle but the spiritual as well. MMA is a good tool to know and use when fighting the physical battles. There may be other fighting styles which can accomplish the tasks as well. Let it be known though, that in order to win the spiritual battles in our lives the weapons are few but entirely necessary.
The only offensive tool that we as Christians are armed with is the Sword of God’s Word. It must be used to effectively deter the attacks on our minds and hearts. It must be used both actively and passively in our lives. There’s an old saying that says, “You are what you eat.” Spiritually this is true. The Bible teaches “that as he thinketh in his heart, so is he (Proverbs 23:7).” This may be a simple statement but its truth has yet to be learned by many people. If you are constantly thinking and dwelling on that which is corrupt then you will become corrupt. Yet if you are thinking and meditating on the Truth of God’s Word and what He is trying to teach you through It faithfully, then you are passively using God’s Word to fight off attacks by building up your moral wall to defend against attacks.
We must also prepare ourselves to be able to actively engage the enemy when spiritual attacks occurs. When confronted with a temptation to steal or cheat we must poses within our arsenal the Truth and scripture that directly applies to that sin in order to defeat it. The Lord Jesus when tempted by the devil offered nothing more than God’s Word to deter his attacks and send him fleeing. If the very Son of God avails Himself to such methods, we must learn from His example and do the same. I do not cheat and steal because one, God is Truth (the principle or truth that applies), and two we are commanded not to bare false witness (lie, or the scripture directly applying to the topic). We are told to hide God’s Word in our heart that we may not sin. To live a life of sin is to be destroyed and to lose the fight. The spiritual battle must be won or else the physical life which we live will also be destroyed. Be prepared…not just physically but spiritually as well “for bodily exercise profiteth little: but godliness is profitable unto all things, having promise of the life that now is, and of that which is to come (I Tim. 4:8).
July 17, 2010
Thanks for the Q/A section!- Were you able to get your CCNA certification at MOS? if not do you have a chance now in the field to get it?
No problem...I'm surprised how many questions I get! You will have the opportunity to get your CCNA Cert. in MOS school if you excel in the first three modules. There are four Modules to CCNA and after going through all 4 you have the opportunity to take the certification test. When I was at the school house the class for Module 4 ran during Microsoft Server and Exchange. So you were basically taking two very accelerated classes at the same time which makes it very difficult. If you do not get it in the school house that is fine, you will have the opporunity to take additional classes through the CTC (Communications Training Center) and recieve your certification through them. You will take these courses either on base or at another base close by. Since I have been in the fleet I have since recieve by Network+ Cert (Recieved A+ Cert. in MOS School) and am now working on my SWAN-D Cert (USMC Satellite System) and am slated for a Security+ course later this year. I'm hoping to take CCNA Module 4 and recieve that Cert as well but my plate is pretty full right now.
Do you have a question too?? Ask me www.formspring.me/josephcue or use the box under my profile picture.