Alexander Palace Forum

Forum Announcements => Forum Announcements => Topic started by: grandduchessella on June 09, 2013, 07:05:51 PM

Title: Off the Board for 2 weeks
Post by: grandduchessella on June 09, 2013, 07:05:51 PM
Hi Everyone

Just a quick notice (this will be removed after the 2 week period) that I will most likely not be on the board the next 2 weeks. My hubby is coming home on his midtour this week and will be home for 2 weeks. We have our daughter's graduation and a family vacation during that period. I only put this here because, as a mod, I can sometimes get 2-3 PMs a day about various issues. I don't want anyone thinking I'm shirking or ignoring them! :)  I will be back at work while he's here (lack of vacation time--boo) so I may try and drop in then. LOL Other than that, Bob will be my primary focus before I send him off for another 6 mos.

In the meantime, keep letting me know of anything I need to address, just know that I may not be able to get to it for a couple of weeks.
Title: Re: Off the Board for 2 weeks
Post by: blessOTMA on June 09, 2013, 09:33:36 PM
oh my lord have a great time , I know you will
Title: Re: Off the Board for 2 weeks
Post by: edubs31 on June 09, 2013, 11:26:50 PM
oh my lord have a great time , I know you will

Seriously! Sounds wonderful and I wish you and your family the very best of times together. See you soon :-)
Title: Re: Off the Board for 2 weeks
Post by: Forum Admin on June 09, 2013, 11:30:14 PM
GDElla so deserves this time off!  Please don't hesitate to contact me if you have any problems while she is off. I don't want her to even think about us while she's off spending quality time with her family.  It's the least I can do!  Have a great time!!
Title: Re: Off the Board for 2 weeks
Post by: Jen_94 on June 10, 2013, 04:41:52 AM
That sounds wonderful! Enjoy yourself!
Title: Re: Off the Board for 2 weeks
Post by: TimM on June 10, 2013, 05:55:03 AM
Have a great vacation.
Title: Re: Off the Board for 2 weeks
Post by: Carolath Habsburg on June 10, 2013, 08:37:22 AM
Have fun and enjoy your well deserved vacations!!!
Title: Re: Off the Board for 2 weeks
Post by: grandduchessella on June 10, 2013, 10:22:00 AM
Thanks, everyone! And thank you, FA for the kind words. I've so enjoyed being a mod here--it's no hardship. :)  He's on his way to the airport now and should be home about 9:30 am tomorrow. I'll be on half-days at work Thurs (my own Ella's elementary school graduation--she was just a baby when I started here and now she's going to middle school!) and Fri (Kate's high school graduation). We leave on Sun for Phase 1 of the Great Family Vacation. I'll be back at work the following Mon (6/24) and he leaves on Thurs (6/26). So I'll be able to check in while I'm at work. Then he'll be gone for another 6 mos and then we'll move (parts unknown until Jul) in Jan.
Title: Re: Off the Board for 2 weeks
Post by: edubs31 on June 10, 2013, 11:13:07 AM
Thanks, everyone! And thank you, FA for the kind words. I've so enjoyed being a mod here--it's no hardship. :)  He's on his way to the airport now and should be home about 9:30 am tomorrow. I'll be on half-days at work Thurs (my own Ella's elementary school graduation--she was just a baby when I started here and now she's going to middle school!) and Fri (Kate's high school graduation). We leave on Sun for Phase 1 of the Great Family Vacation. I'll be back at work the following Mon (6/24) and he leaves on Thurs (6/26). So I'll be able to check in while I'm at work. Then he'll be gone for another 6 mos and then we'll move (parts unknown until Jul) in Jan.

Is Dover, DE still a possibility?
Title: Re: Off the Board for 2 weeks
Post by: grandduchessella on June 10, 2013, 12:39:01 PM
No, Dover isn't because of his rank and career field. The only spots for a Lt Col would be squadron or group command and he's not eligible for those. We're really hoping for Europe and that's what he's put on his preference sheet. Doing a 365 unaccompanied is supposed to give your priority in your selection. The list came out in May and there are 11 spots in Europe (8 Germany, 2 Belgium, 1 Netherlands) and he listed all of them, followed by Hawaii, followed by Japan. This is probably his last assignment before retiring and we want to go out big! :)  If he could, he would love one final assignment after overseas and that would be heading up the ROTC detachment at the University of DE (our alma mater) but that could hinge on the timing.
Title: Re: Off the Board for 2 weeks
Post by: edubs31 on June 10, 2013, 01:29:03 PM
Very cool and I like your attitude. I wouldn't think most families would want to uproot and go abroad but if the opportunity is there and you have the job stability, why not? Go big as you say...any of those options are a heck of a lot more interesting than Dover, lol.

Would be nice to come back to UD before calling it a career. Sort of bring things full circle for you! I'll be in Newark, De tomorrow night with a friend or two actually.
Title: Re: Off the Board for 2 weeks
Post by: grandduchessella on June 10, 2013, 01:49:37 PM
We were in Germany from 1999-2002 and LOVED it. Kate was 4-7, Drew was 1-4 and I was expecting Ella when we left. I would love to take them back at the ages they are now (18, 15, 11). Kate would only be there during college break unless she took some time off. I was a European history major in college so I was happy as a pig in slop. LOL Bob loved it too. We missed family but some came over to visit. We've tried a few times to get back but, with the preferential follow on, this is the best chance. If the USAF decides to mess with Bob, there'll be hell to pay! LOL It's supposedly guaranteed but the military does what it wants--we've learned that.

We are at Dover AFB from 1996-1999 (that's where Drew was born) and it was fine. It was cool to be by family but we'll be retiring in Newark (we are in the process of trying to obtain a mortgage for my grandparent's house--fingers crossed) so we'll have the rest of our lives to be in DE!

So, this time next week, we'll be lolling at the beach. :)  We've never had a deployment this long (12 mos) so I've never done a midtour. I hope it doesn't feel like going back to scratch when he leaves again. We did a calculation and between his deployments and the geographic separation during his Pentagon tour, he's spent more than half his time away from his family in the last 8 years. We've all kept busy and, as usual, the Forum and my buddies here help me out when I'm blue. :)  I think I ever became a mod during on of his prior deployments. But we're looking forward to be a united family again--well, semi-united since our eldest will be at college.
Title: Re: Off the Board for 2 weeks
Post by: Veronica on June 10, 2013, 04:46:13 PM
All the best for you and your family during your vacation!
Title: Re: Off the Board for 2 weeks
Post by: TimM on June 10, 2013, 05:18:08 PM
Does the U.S. still have that big a military presence in Germany?  I was just wondering, since the Cold War ended more than twenty years ago.
Title: Re: Off the Board for 2 weeks
Post by: grandduchessella on June 10, 2013, 05:53:18 PM
Not nearly as sizeable as the 80s-90s but Ramstein is still a large base--it's the main European hub and is also where one of the NATO facilities is. A lot of bases were closing even when we were there and more have closed in the decade since. I don't think Ramstein will ever shut down though. Of the 8 jobs listed in Germany, I think most, if not all, were at Ramstein or Stuttgart (USAFE command and Special Ops Command). Stuttgart has EUCOM and AFRICOM and thus has been identified as one of the few "enduring communities" where the United States forces will continue to operate in Germany. Stuttgart is still Army but is increasingly joint.

There are 21 altogether but the majority are pretty small. There is 1 joint base, 2 USAF, 17 Army, 1 Marine. Some of these bases are broken down into subsidiary ones--many of which are scheduled for closing this year through 2016.

If you look at this link:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_United_States_Army_installations_in_Germany

you can see the dozens that have shut down. Almost all the closings happened in the '90s through now.
Title: Re: Off the Board for 2 weeks
Post by: TimM on June 11, 2013, 02:31:09 AM
Well, since by the mid-90's, the Russians had withdrawn from Eastern Europe (the Warsaw Pact itself was dissolved in 1991), there really wouldn't be a need for so many U.S. troops in Germany.  I suppose some U.S. troops will be there as long as NATO exists.
Title: Re: Off the Board for 2 weeks
Post by: Kalafrana on June 11, 2013, 08:09:00 AM
British troops are pulling out of Germany as well. We are now on the final run-down.

Ella
Hope you and your family are enjoying themselves, and good luck with the move. Having an RAF father I know all about this sort of thing!

Ann
Title: Re: Off the Board for 2 weeks
Post by: grandduchessella on June 11, 2013, 11:53:13 AM
Well, since by the mid-90's, the Russians had withdrawn from Eastern Europe (the Warsaw Pact itself was dissolved in 1991), there really wouldn't be a need for so many U.S. troops in Germany.  I suppose some U.S. troops will be there as long as NATO exists.

Yes, exactly. It was part of the 'peace dividend' of the Cold War ending. I would imagine there will always be a base there--at least in my lifetime. Between NATO and the new AFRICOM (African Command--designed to respond to threats, etc...in Africa) as well as being the mid-way point for transport to the Middle East, there is still a need for some presence.

I picked Bob up from the airport this morning. :D  Of course, now I'm back at work until 7:15 tonight. LOL Our time together will kick in this weekend but it was great just to see him in person again. Skype is a good thing but nothing like the actual person. It was a surprise to the kids (who are off today) as they were expecting him home tomorrow. That was a wonderful scene. :)
Title: Re: Off the Board for 2 weeks
Post by: TimM on June 11, 2013, 12:01:39 PM
Have a great vacation with your family.
Title: Re: Off the Board for 2 weeks
Post by: grandduchessella on June 26, 2013, 06:01:18 PM
Vacation time is over. Back to work (my actual job and my mod duties) as my husband leaves tomorrow.
Title: Re: Off the Board for 2 weeks
Post by: Dru on June 26, 2013, 06:14:35 PM
Vacation time is over. Back to work (my actual job and my mod duties) as my husband leaves tomorrow.

Welcome back, grandduchessella; we've missed you :)
Title: Re: Off the Board for 2 weeks
Post by: edubs31 on June 26, 2013, 10:19:20 PM
Vacation time is over. Back to work (my actual job and my mod duties) as my husband leaves tomorrow.

Sheesh that went fast! Hope you enjoyed your time away and welcome back!
Title: Re: Off the Board for 2 weeks
Post by: grandduchessella on June 26, 2013, 10:52:50 PM
We had a really good time. I am dreading tomorrow though. At least I'll have plenty to keep me busy and out of trouble. :)
Title: Re: Off the Board for 2 weeks
Post by: edubs31 on June 26, 2013, 11:09:12 PM
We had a really good time. I am dreading tomorrow though. At least I'll have plenty to keep me busy and out of trouble. :)

I hear ya there. Can't be fun to wish him that lengthy goodbye. Seems like you have a pretty good game plan worked out for the future though and (just as importantly) have made the most out of your past and present.
Title: Re: Off the Board for 2 weeks
Post by: TimM on June 27, 2013, 02:26:18 AM
Welcome back.
Title: Re: Off the Board for 2 weeks
Post by: Kalafrana on June 27, 2013, 03:11:48 AM
Hello Ella

I hope you, husband and family enjoyed yourselves.

Ann
Title: Re: Off the Board for 2 weeks
Post by: Carolath Habsburg on June 27, 2013, 09:23:07 AM
Welcome Back!! and im glad you had lots of fun!!!
Title: Re: Off the Board for 2 weeks
Post by: Jen_94 on June 27, 2013, 11:59:22 AM
Welcome back Ella!
Title: Re: Off the Board for 2 weeks
Post by: grandduchessella on June 27, 2013, 10:05:39 PM
Thank you, everyone. I saw him off today (and then had to go back to work--red eyes, blotchy face and all--it's a good thing I didn't have to work the Circulation Desk today or I would've scared the customers!) and he made it safely to Dulles and is now midway over the Atlantic. He'll finish up his last legs about 12 hrs from now. Luckily, he can fly as a regular passenger and not go via military flight. When he was deployed to Afghanistan, it took almost a week to get in and out via military airplanes.

On a positive note, we received his next assignment notification this week! We are going to SHAPE HQ NATO in Mons, Belgium! We loved our time in Germany and have been dying to get back. Of course, we'll be short one child as Kate will be in college but she can come home on each break--she'll have high priority when taking Space-A on military flights and they fly right out of DE (and she'll be going to college there) and into Ramstein, Germany about 3 hrs away from us. And I've made so many international friends through my time here on the AP Forum since I was last in Europe. Now maybe I can meet some in person! :)  Plus, I am going to totally gorge myself on royal sites and, since I'm not planning on working during those 3 years, I plan to actually put all those plans to work on books into operation. So, needless to say, we're very excited. When he wraps up in Jan-Feb, that's when we'll head overseas.
Title: Re: Off the Board for 2 weeks
Post by: blessOTMA on June 28, 2013, 02:06:07 AM
Thrilled about Belgium!  and doing books! Best of luck!
Title: Re: Off the Board for 2 weeks
Post by: Kalafrana on June 28, 2013, 03:20:10 AM
Sounds great! If you fancy visiting Plymouth, I would be delighted to meet you!

Ann
Title: Re: Off the Board for 2 weeks
Post by: TimM on June 28, 2013, 10:12:26 AM
Quote
We are going to SHAPE HQ NATO in Mons, Belgium!

That was the site of a major First World War battle, I believe.
Title: Re: Off the Board for 2 weeks
Post by: grandduchessella on June 28, 2013, 01:26:09 PM
Ann--that would be great. :) I definitely intend to get over to England--more than once!

Tim--yes, it was a major battle site. In some of my googling, it appears there will be a large commemoration in 2014 to mark the 100th anniversary of the beginning of WW1. I always feel WW1 is shamefully overlooked by history given it's tremendous influence on world events, so I will be interested in the various commemorations that I'm sure will be taking place all over Europe as well.

Since I've been collecting images of royals from roughly 1860-1940 for almost 20 years now, I am beyond excited to get back over to Europe. When we were in Germany from 1999-2002, we didn't have that much money given that I was a stay-at-home Mom with 2 young kids. Now we will have those kids plus one but I've worked again for several years and my husband makes more money. LOL I definitely want to go postcard hunting throughout the region. Plus, now I can buy from some of the ebay sellers who don't ship to the US! (And I can have any US-only sellers send stuff to my daughter in DE). There have been so many cards, photos, magazines, etc...I've had to pass on because they only ship within Europe. And Hoogstraaten's in person. :)  So I'm getting more and more excited about the move. :)
Title: Re: Off the Board for 2 weeks
Post by: TimM on June 28, 2013, 05:16:29 PM
Quote
I always feel WW1 is shamefully overlooked by history given it's tremendous influence on world events

No doubt because of World War II (or The Sequel, as TV Tropes calls it).