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!!


LCpl. Cuestas, Joseph said...
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