Monday, January 31, 2005


Well...I finally got this to work. This is a photo of me in Kuwait, before we went north into Iraq.

This is pretty basic, and I hope to get a bit more creative, but this is all I have time for right now.

To all my friends at finally have proof that I'm actually here and I haven't just been goofing off for the past six months.

February 1st

Wow! That got a lot of response.

I really appreciate all the encouraging notes. I know a lot of you are checking the blog regularly, and I want all of you to know that I do the same. Your words of encouragement are a real morale booster, and they are the first thing I look at when I boot up my computer in the morning(most of you post as I'm sleeping since we're 9 hours ahead of Central).

This has become my hobby while I'm here and I really look forward to putting more effort into it. Just know that all of your comments are deeply appreciated and are sustaining me while I'm here.

I am determined to "thrive" and not just "survive" during this deployment and become a better person in the process.

Thanks again to all of you.



Blogger Amy said...

Ummmm . . . . honey, are you eating?

9:46 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Looks like a nice vacation spot...but where is the water??
THANK YOU JOHN! You are a awesome MOG! You are making a difference. May you allways feel His Angels by your side! Some may even be wearing armour.

1:01 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Man, thats good camo I can't even see you. Nice picture of the camels tho. I've heard that camel meat tastes a lot like chicken. Hey, great job on the election sounds like the turn out was better than expected. Who got elected? Can you imagine a ballot with 120 choices, no wonder the lines were so long, and the hanging chads must have been unbelievable. Oh well I'm sure Jeb will get that straightened out. Take care of yourself and if that sand gets too dirty, someone said something about Baths and Kurds, I always though milk was better for your skin. God bless and Psalms 91 " D "

1:09 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Clint from across the street here. I ran into Amy and the boys at Great Clips this afternoon while getting my hair cut. I told Amy I'd read your blog this morning and she told me you had posted the camel pic. Watch out, they spit, but not that far. :-)

Your blog is reaching out to a lot of different people and inspiring them in different ways. Personally it’s made me realize I should appreciate the daddy “wessle” time more… and a few other things, but that one most of all since it’s easy to neglect after a day at work. Keep up the great work and God-Speed to you.

2:35 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey Daddy, Jess here. That scenery is amazing!!!! (oh wait....what scenery?) Those camels in the back are pretty cool though. See you soon.

I love you,
Baby Girl

2:47 PM  
Blogger Rebecca said...

Hi John,

What an exciting time, we have been watching the news and it is so amazing the success of the election. Wow 60% of Iraqi citizens voted and you were a part of what took place! Caleb came home from school the other day and told David "Dad you know 100 years from now, Iraqi students are going to be studying about George W. Bush and how he helped to give them freedom just like we now study about how George Washington helped us to have our freedom" of course David and I were amazed at what he said. It is so true.

I also read your comments from Friday about missing your family, I can't imagine (you made me cry). I just want you to know that David and I are praying every day for you, that God will fill your heart (and your family's heart) and give you and the family strength during this time of seperation. I know we often take each other for granted, reading your comments makes me be aware of how very precious our family is and our time together is.

Amy and I are doing the day spa thing on Friday so I am taking her to have a "calgon" day maybe it will help get her mind off of you just for a few hours and have some much needed R&R.

We miss you and wished you were here.

Love you very much.

3:14 PM  
Blogger liluppy said...

hey there bagdaddy! hope ur doin' good over there. i'm doin' fine and i have an A in history(i'm not sure 'bout the others). i already told u over the phone that we tried to "high-light" my hair and that it didn't work too well. but we did color it, it dosen't look that different but it's a lil' darker. i'll try to send u a picture. how do u do that any way?:-sun <- get it?

jess- I'M baby girl 'cause u were had the privelage of being born 1st, i have the privelage of being called "baby girl". :-)

3:57 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Where are those camels going? Someone once told me Camels naturally migrate towards Bars. If you followed them and I was wrong, dont stress, there are 2 Margarita machines waiting for you here.

4:57 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey dad. Alex here. Where's all the ladies on that beach? Everything is going good here. I leave in a week for my golf tournament in Phoenix. Mind if i come over and practice some sand shots? I'm so proud of what you are doing over there. The Iraqi's are one step closer to being a free country and you were a part of that. Luv ya and miss you lots.

6:41 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

hey bro, your lookin kind of skinny, start shooting the camels if your hungry and if you dont come back with a tan im not going to feel sorry for you either, just wanted to let you know that i painted my bathroom downstairs blue and grey, joan said i put alot of thought into the colors and i said not at all its the
"Dallas Cowboys" colors and the best thing is she helped me pick out the colors without even knowing what i was up to


7:09 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

hi just checking in with u. i'm @ school and i got on ur blog and clicked on the pic u posted and noticed there were some camels in the background! thats cool!

6:20 AM  
Blogger rmiller said...

Hey John, your comments "The hardest thing I have ever done" really got me. I am amazed how, as scripture states, the cares of the world (our own little world) keep getting in the way of what's important. Our comfort level is usually defined by how many things we can set on auto pilot and forget about (family, friends, good jobs, good churchs, etc). However, when these things are removed, or at minimum changed, the other things we though were priorities begin to fall off the list.
You're doing a great job and Claire and I am praying for your safety every day.

P.S. Chrissy and I had a latte and a mocha for you yesterday. BTW, do they have any Starbucks near you? If so, I'll send you my 'frequent flyer' card for some free lattes.


6:44 AM  
Blogger Junkpoet said...

Remember the idea I talked to you about....the military style weight loss camp. I think you've found the perfect location!

Actually, you look the same to me you stud muffin you.

Been checking many times a day. Thinking of you more than that. Good to know you're doing well.


3:31 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi son, Just letting you know I read your posts daily,and share them with my Hallmark girls.They ask how I got such a great son. Your Dad gets all the credit for that. I know you never mention Megan, but she is so excited about seeing her big brother. I am so proud of both of you! I know it doesn't compare to how hard this is for you, but it's the hardest thing I've ever had to go through as a mother. Love you so much. Love, Momma

5:59 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Amazing-that place hasn't changed a bit in the last 14 years! :) Joey's Desert Storm pics look exactly the same!
But maybe in the next 14 years the scenery will change because of what y'all are doing. The response to the election was amazing. The press is of course down playing the monumental and absolue historic value of what has just occurred but most people here, even the children, get it! Caleb Contreras is right!
I hope all the soldiers are standing a little taller today, as you have all been a part of bringing FREEDOM to a people who has never known it!
God bless,

8:45 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey John Boy,
Just want you to know that Charles and I read your comments and pray for you and your troops. I know you hear that from everyone, but the more prayers the better, right? Steve Briscoe has his blog going, too. He has some good stories on it, in case you haven't checked it out yet: Your post from last week had Charles and I in tears. We all feel what you are going through, but he and I have no idea what it truly feels like. When he went, all he left behind was me, not a whole family. We can probably guess what it is like, but we don't know. Signing off for now, Carol.

7:00 AM  
Blogger JR said...


It's great that you have so much support from family and friends. Your comments about missing your family blew me away and put a tear in my eye. You are a true MOG. Vulnerable yet tough as nails.

John Riddick

8:56 AM  
Blogger Jeff n Marcy said...

Hey John, Good picture of you and the camels, next time I want to see you riding one. I bet sandcastle sculpting is huge over there!

Anyway, keep posting pixs and keep the entries coming and we'll do the same. You wrote that you want to thrive and become a better person through this experience, I know you well enough to say that will undoubtedly happen. I am sure you are also a good source of encouragement to the guys in your unit.

We'll be praying for you,
Jeff 'n Marcy

5:02 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey John
Your staff buddies have been wondering where you have been for the last several months. That picture looks just like the painted desert in the southwest. Are you sure you aren't just trying to take a sabbatical for a year and saying your in Iraq?
Good Blog site. Hope your Dell buddies appreciate your service and understand what a great job you do over here.

12:17 AM  

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