Merry Christmas

Christmas 2013

Christmas Day 2013

Christmas Day 2013

The season of Yuletide and birth of Christ…Merry Christmas!

The preparation of buying and warping of gifts is complete, a nicely decorated tree is done, Christmas cookies are baked, food for dinner planed and in the ready. Yes, put that stress behind and be ready for the real meaning of Christmas. The most special day of the year….
Christmas is energized by church, friends, family and being with people who mean most. Christmas is about giving and staying with the family basics. We think of those who nurtured and trimmed this holiday of past traditions we so willing emulate and work hard to pass to our children. Make it a real Norman Rockwell moment, if you will; play card/board game with the kids, bundle up for a walk, climb little black mountain (right T&R boys, Rachel?), visit friends, strap on your skis, have eggnog, enjoy Christmas dinner, or plain hunker down as a family and do little or nothing all day.
I’m not embarrassed to confess, here in Kuwait will be lonely to be none with family. There is no place like home for the holidays and being separated from family is hard. I surrender to this being a common emotion for most soldiers here. But for me being advantage over other soldiers is consequence of holding out for the February Turner Family Christmas in Vermont!
As a soldier serving and being far from home during the holidays, I admit our material needs are small. What we want most is to be remembered in thought at your festive holiday gatherings. It is with great admiration that accompanies my sincere gratitude to those who bring holiday cheer to a deployed soldier or their families. If you know of a family who has a son, daughter, mother or father serving, make today very special by reaching out and wishing a soldier’s family a “Merry Christmas”. It will mean more than any gift under the tree.
My calendar has now reached a close18 days and a wake up before boarding a plane out of the Middle East! I’m restless for this one year deployment to come to an end. I look forward to being reunited with my family/friends and know my experience of living in Afghanistan has changed me for the best. Merry Christmas and a happy, healthy and prosperous New Year!

Special thanks to the many who have written. Please know my lack of response is tribute only to my inability to have time to respond appropriately. It is with no diminutive appreciation, but instead of how charming it was to receive your letters/emails/FB.


Thanksgiving Read:
My deployment has helped put focus on what’s important in my life and it’s all there today in RI, in one room, around one table (with Greg, Rachel and Grossi at our satellite locations). I don’t mean to pull a Mom (okay not entirely true), but it’s all about family and good friends are the icing on the cake. Today I will eat in the dinning facility where staff has worked hard to decorated toward every tedious detail of Thanksgiving, and same holds true for cooking the meal. It will look nice towards the occasion and taste good too! But where’s the family, kinda like “where’s the beef?” Sorry, marking my age on that one. I go to the table alone, no familiar cars parked in the driveway, no hugs at the door, no holding hands in our family circle of prayer around the table before digging in, no hot tub, no laughter, no exchange of smiles, no games, no sitting outside under the stars singing campfire songs, no snuggling half asleep full and content on the couch watching a movie ( football game (s) more likely), and most importantly no family. After saying all that, I must confess, I feel so very blessed and will go so far as to contribute this to be the best Thanksgiving of my life. How can this be, you ask? Ah, well it’s actually a simple explanation. I’ve been fortunate to know that each of you sitting around this table today, holding hands, offering prayer and thanks for being drawn together as a family, is repetitive of what I have experienced every year of my life! Not many people can say that. When you think it can’t get any better than that, it does….being six thousand miles away wearing my uniform for our country has only deepened what my family means to me. Now how blessed is that!
In prayer: Today I get to shine over you, as if I were the voice from heaven speaking for our loved ones that can no longer be at our table, but are in our hearts. Please bless and watch over my family, whom I love and thank you every day for giving me each and every one of them. I can’t physical join them today, but with a happy heart share with them an even deeper meaning of family and Thanksgiving from Kuwait. I will be home soon and look forward to collecting my hugs. A special thank you for bringing me Cooper, Logan and Godfrey and help them be patient upon my return, as I know this deployment has not be easy on them. I miss and love them very much. Please warn them I will expect to give and get more frequent hugs! Have a nice Thanksgiving day and know how happy it makes me feel you share it together steeped in Turner family tradition.
Mom, Christie and Auntie

Just as I hoped and knew, Donna and Scott set the tone for such a wonderful day. Everything was full flavor of fun and love, giving way to good spirits, laughter, and sanctuary to family connection. That was the best and most valuable gift and resembles in perfect form “family”. From Kuwait I felt I was there and will warmly and light heartily look upon that day to help me through the duration of my deployment. To my family, Thank you very much.

Last Of The Trilogy

Pictures I was unable to include in the previous post of time spent with family in Maine. The quality might be a little fuzzy as I took pictures of pictures. Miss you all very much and hope this finds you happy and healthy.

Your forever grateful Sister,

Friends and Family Trilogy

Friends and Family Trilogy:
I dedicate this entry to elements of my visit home, something I’ve described to myself as, Family and Friends R&R Trilogy. Three incredible events with profound affects welcomed me back home from Afghanistan during my short visit on American soil. I united with people loved, missed and needed to connect as criteria to carry me through the second half of my deployment. The trilogy went as follows; Greetings at Boston airport, Open house with friends in Vermont and a Turner family gathering at our summer home in Maine. These events I cherish in tribute to wonderful times spent with each of you. The flowers, food, wine, cakes and company at the open house were extraordinary. I gained much from the hugs and generosity bestowed upon me. The dinner shared at Fireworks Restaurant with those missed at the open house was equally as nice. At the restaurant I was serenade by some very nice new friends. Those memories I hold dear and have helped energize a more tolerable outlook to the second half of this exceeding long deployment. It takes my breath away when I think of love showered upon me in Maine by my family. The Turner family has grown into so much more than five young siblings living together in a household. You’ve got admit, Mom would be proud! Our family is my life’s most basic shared loyalties, importance for unconditional love and establishing most of who I am today. The seventy lobsters, multiple visits to Hout’s and days hanging at the beach made it surreal and all the more wonderful. It was nice to see the Hollis Turner’s, Shelby’s, Gore’s . I say with complete trepidation, will I be able to reciprocate the same extent of support people have showered upon me? But to each, I adorn profound appreciation for support and being there when I most needed you. Thanks to Cheryl and friends who helped at the open house. To all those who were able to visit me during my 15 days home on R&R, thank you. I had the most incredible welcome home from family and friends and look forward to seeing everyone upon my return in January when I return home for good!

Moving to Kuwait

American and Afghanistan flag in our courtyard at NKC

American and Afghanistan flag in our courtyard at NKC









Flag detail Afghanistan

Volunteered to lower the colors NKC, Afghanistan


My office is moving back to Kuwait and I can’t tell you what a relief that will be to leave Afghanistan. It’s my birthday and it’s the best news to celebrate and be happy about.  We had three situations that happened in Kabul city and other Afghan bombings….you can find details on news site. I really like what I do in Afghanistan, but right now tension are high with the insurgents and I need say I won’t miss that part of my job.

Some of you may remember a story told months ago about briefing General Stein on my mission to manage logistics in theater pertaining to specific  interests of his.  The meeting ended well,  winning his  approval, along with acolytes for my Colonel.  The General wanted us to stay in Afghanistan and continue to manage and watch over his interests. That being said, colleague’s lightheartedly called me a “rock star” for having a successful brief, and they not having to speak a word.  Staying in Afghanistan is real important for Active Duty Officers and my Colonel, specifically speaking, it enhances their careers. It was a victory for the home town team and more importantly, me as a Reservists.  This situation recently changed, we leave Afghanistan and will be stationed in Kuwait.  The explanation for this change is simple; We weren’t dropping our numbers in Afghanistan quick enough to get to 34K by Feb 2014 as outlined last January by the Commander and Chief.  Some difficult decision had to be made by the Generals, a 3 star got involved trumping a 2 Star.  The 3 star downsized our  Force Management numbers and is pushing us back to Kuwait.  ARCENT, whom I’ve been working for, owns kuwait and is we’re the ARCENT staff is located.  I will join 1,200 ARCENT people in Kuwait..  In Afghanistan there were only a handful of us ARCENT folks working here and I was one of them.  Starting next week, I will be doing the same job as I was doing just from a different country.

Not sure how this will read grammatically but it’s 2AM…must go to sleep.

I will have a New Mailing Address and will post as soon as I know.  It will be Arifjan, Kuwait…known to us here in Afghanistan as Camp Cupcake.  The only shortfall to moving to Kuwait is temperatures are pathetically HOT. That being said, Happy, Happy, very happy  About leaving.

Boston Airport

A life time of love is a gift

A life time of love is a gift

Cooper and Logan were so good to me during my short visit home.

Cooper and Logan were so good to me during my short visit home.

Limousine ride holding my new URI shirt

Limousine ride holding my new URI shirt from Rachel 







Where do I start, realizing I had the most wonderful reunion with friends and family during my fifteen days  away from Afghanistan?  It began with an emotional welcome at the airport and me sobbing in the arms of my husband.  The vision of Logan, Cooper and Rachel stole my heart along with a loyal friend of Logan’s, Miss Maddie.  I treasured hugging Scott and Donna who saved me during my deployment by means of offering solid footing when I most needed it.  I know too, Scott and Donna represented the rest of the Turner family who desperately wanted to be there, but were faulted by my arrival a day early.  That being said, I got a hero’s welcome from the rest of the Turner’s with a limousine ride from the airport home and a lobster frenzies at our summer home in Maine.  A warm thank you to Debbie, Lorie and Claudia who brought it home for me, waving flags and representing a lifelong friendship between our mothers’.  Not to make anyone feel old, but we’re going on a third generation of friendship linking the two families.


Kandahar Hockey Rink

Afghanistan July 2013image




Hockey Rink







I did battlefield circulation flying to varies bases in southern Afghanistan and found it  true… Kandahar has a hockey rink!  I wanted very much to play but it was too hot with temperatures reaching 130 degrees by middle of the day.   When I was there they hit a cold spell of 117 degrees.

Rhymes With…

A must read and on NKC best sellers list

A must read and on NKC best sellers list

Here’s me at  my claimed corner of NKC where i’ve establish an early morning down time for myself of reading and sipping coffee.  No better way to start a day here in Afghanistan…I’m living large.  I read the Brattleboro Reformer, Woods Woman, magazines and Rhymes with Orange from our famous cartoonist-Hilary.  Hilary, stimulating laughter from this over worked soldier is greatly appreciated.  Whatever I’m reading, listening music or sipping on coffee is given to me from people who remember I’m here and far from any store!  All very healing…thank you.  Hope to see many of you during my short visit home.

Family, Friends and EUCOM

It goes without saying how much I miss my husband, Godfrey. The 5 months away from my children(Rachel too) has not been easy. The times spent away from my brothers and sisters at ski weekend and opening the cottage was an outer body experience, none of these I prefer to repeat.

World apart being in Kabul

World apart being in Kabul

The CENTCOM area of operation in SWA is a stark difference then what I’ve grown to appreciate about EUCOM. The above picture is life as we know it in CENTCOM and below is EUCOM.  I miss the “together strong” of EUCOM. The picture of us in Austria brings back memories of long 12 hours working days/nights, but always given a couple days to see the sights and raise a glass. Here I work seven days and don’t have much time off except a few hours in the morning on Friday. This makes it difficult to respond back to people on an individual bases, however, I read them all. Thanks for your posts from, husband and brothers and sisters, friends, BUHS staff, Libardoni’s, EUCOM, T&R staff, Cor @ BCTV, house call for planting flowers, flip videos from Newfane, Dummerston School and HS, Women’s hockey team multiple care packages. It keeps me going and takes some of the edge off being away from my family and far from the shores of home.  I miss you all And can’t thank you enough for letters, care packages, videos, music and emails.  Please stop by and visit me August 3rd 4-9pm potluck at our house during my one week home (second week will be with family in Maine and RI). It would be my honor to have you all there and thank you in person for your help to my family or support to a soldier stationed one year in Kabul Afghanistan. I need this day with you to carry me through the next half of my deployment!

My EUCOM buddies touring Austria famous Salzburg....Sound of Music!

My EUCOM buddies touring Austria famous Salzburg….Sound of Music!

A circle of strength

A circle of strength