Sunday, December 25, 2005

Merry Christmas

I wish everyone a Merry Christmas and a Happy New years!

My hubby made it home yesterday with a few delays and some choice words I will joke about later. I will see you all in about 2 weeks.

Be safe and love one another!
Household6

Saturday, December 24, 2005

Merry Christmas eve!

Christmas is coming, the goose is getting fat. Please put a penny in the old man's hat. If you haven't got a penny, a ha'penny will do. If you haven't got a ha'penny, God bless you! - An Irish rhyme -

Friday, December 23, 2005

With Friends like these....

The list of crazy innuendos my neighbor and workmates have been throwing at me this week:

1. Dang that’s a big pickle…can you eat all of that?
Well no, hey Household do you want some of this giant pickle? …Oh wait never mind you’ve got one on order.

2. So remember what the briefing says and don’t attack him until at least one day after he arrives.
Oh and (says the other) isn’t there a law or something about not destroying government property?

3. So you are more than welcome to walk over here for Christmas dinner…but that might mean you would actually have to put some clothes on…..and uh, your bathrobe does not count.

4. Well, when my spouse comes home for R&R I plan on having my 12 year old make Ramen and leave it outside the door. Do you think they can teach the dog to make Ramen? (Friend of the neighbor)

5. Well you know what I would have told the two guys in flight suits for snickering when you told the cashier, “Uh yeah I’d like a bag” for the box of condoms? “Umm well guys see, my spouse will be home in a few days for R&R and um well, we will need a second box. Too bad they don’t have a Costco around here, didn't they have a 100 pack?”

6. So do you have all your stuff together?
Um, no I don’t need all that, it never stays on long anyways.
Oh I see, now we know what kind of slut you are you don’t even want to bother with clothes. (co-worker down the hall)

Thursday, December 22, 2005

Frog Girl and Secret Squirrel

The duckling has hatched and has made his first flight - yeah, yeah that's the secret squirrel part and I can't sit still. My handy has been plastered to my hand every where I go including into the ladies while at work. I hope he makes another attempt at flying soon and makes it farther this time around.

As for frog girl I had a queer dream about Cameron Diaz this morning after a 1am phone call to give me an operations update from agent duckling. Some how for what ever goofy reason I was excited at the thought of her calling me but then didn't believe that it was her when she called. I started getting demanding of my friends to prove that it was her and she pops around the corner waving like a nutcase and laughing that snorty, Horseshack kind of laugh. I have no idea why her, not at all. She is not my favourite actress by anymeans. Oh and its frog girl because if you look at her mouth and cheeks they look like a frog's mouth and cheeks!

Homebase of secret squirrel out!

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Left a message

I left a message this morning with the Patient Rep requesting the proper procedure for making a comment in regards to provider care. I am hoping that she is not on vacation but then again it is so close to the holidays that this may not be resolved until after the new year.

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Bombs away...

I am trying to remain calm, but the Irish in me wants to take my size 8 boot and shove it squarely into the opinion of the Head of OB/GYN. In case you couldn’t figure it out, even after the secondary consult put in by my PCM, OB/GYN said that I do not need to be seen by them.

I called OB/GYN, let the Airman on the phone know that additional info was placed into CHCS and that my PCM was requesting that they take a look at me, specifically at the spot on my cervix. She asked if I could call back in about 20 minutes so she could talk to the doctor and have him look at my info. I called back spoke to the Airman again and was advised that because the lab results came back clean I did not need to be seen by OB/GYN. I warned the Airman that I was going to ask what sounded like a smart arsed question – “If one doctor is asking that a second doctor take a look as something, especially something like a lesion on my cervix, why in the hell won’t he see me?” She responded sheepishly that she didn’t know and that she told him specifically that my PCM wanted that lesion looked at. The Airman then finished up with an upbeat tone in her voice that she changed my consult to a deferred status so I could go and get a referral off post. I get the feeling that maybe the Airman didn’t have to or wasn’t supposed to do that last bit, but I thanked her profusely and asked the name of the disapproving doctor.

I then called my PCM, spoke to his nurse and gave her the lowdown. She was a bit slack-jawed from the sounds of it. I started to get teary. I always do that when I get angry. I don’t scream, I cry. Reeling myself in, I told her about what the Airman did and that I am filing a complaint. I have rights as a patient for a second opinion but apparently the head of OB/GYN won’t be the one to do it.

Well guess what Mister, you Sir are an Asshat. Yes I know and understand maintaining mission as well as being able to service the dependent population who are about to give birth, I have thought of that really I have. But, what if my PCM did not collect the smear well? What if I really do have an illness? Cancer? STD (albeit VERY unlikely – duh deployed husband here)? Does it need to be removed? Does it stay? Will it affect me being able to carry kiddos? It is quite obvious that my doctor who went to medical school would like a second opinion, so what, you are dismissing another professional?

I am really unimpressed and quite angry about this (hence calling the man an Asshat). It would be different if I was just asking on my own without any medical info backing me up, but another medical professional wants someone to take a look as well. How long out of his busy day would it really take to complete an examination and collect another PAP sample? Really? So yes, once I am fully calmed down and can stop calling him an Asshat, I will make a formal complaint. I am sure there will be some general placating and they will tell me that the end result was just that he couldn’t see me because the clinic was full. I hope that it’s not the case but I am sure that is what will end up happening.

I need to give it a day or two before calling for my off post appointment. I already have the name of a great OB that several other people I know have recommended to me. He can take a look, as well as probably tell me if genetic testing for my sister in law’s disease is possible and reasonable. I am happy that I will get seen by someone, but I am completely unhappy with the quality of care provided by OB.

That's Marley Man, Marley!

The cold weather, the Christmas music I brought (to keep my co-worker from singing on her own – again) and the impatient angst I have waiting to hear from my spouse that he is in country and ready to be picked up for R&R got me to thinking about Christmas three years ago. Well actually it was “All come all ye faithful” ala Shaggy style that got me to thinking about Christmas in Africa.

Three Christmases ago we peeved off his parents and spent two weeks in Africa (Tanzania) instead of flying home to see them. His mom was ticket at us for I don’t know I think at least two weeks. We left his phone at home and only Top had my cell phone should there be a recall or true emergency. The flight was eight hours long, with a little problem along the way. One of our bags was a whopping 2 kilos overweight. The KLM check in girl was nasty and said we either pay the fine or pull clothes out and put it in with another passenger’s. They wouldn’t let us just “count” it as the other lady’s who was underweight. That incident was funny to look at now but was an ugly start to the holiday at the time.

The Tanzanian people were wonderful. Everyone we met, regardless of status were so friendly, kind and greeted you with a gigantic smile. I had seen poverty before in other countries but here was different. Most whom I saw or met, would have still given me the shirt off their back if I had asked for it. If not that, then they would have offered to break bread with us and invite a complete stranger into their home. My husband and I found that you sometimes get a better or richer experience when you spend a little time with the guide or the drivers when they aren’t on the clock. This trip was the same.

On Christmas day, the resort we were at served a feast that would impress Wolfgang Puck himself. Some of the plate presentations and buffet designs were spectacular. Of course we both tried almost all of the traditional dishes while many others stuck with what was “safe”. We ate and laughed and talked amongst our group as well as some other Americans who were there. One couple had brought their parents over from the states and worked in the Foreign Service. As things began to quiet down the employees started filtering into the bar area where a live band was playing.

The guys were pretty good doing cover tunes of different genres and generations. Most folks seemed to really be enjoying themselves and you could even catch the bartenders softly swaying and moving to the music. Our nature guide had wandered in and we asked to buy him a beer. More and more the room started to get crowded with resort staff all listening or dancing to the music. As the evening went on they started to play Marley. Tune after tune he sang the words of freedom and the voice of the people who desired nothing more than to end apartheid and give back to the people. I’ve listened to Bob Marley since I was probably 15, maybe it’s a California thing, maybe it was a surfer thing but I knew and sang every word swaying and grooving atop my barstool.

I guess a few of the women were watching me, when the band started to play “No Woman No cry” they swooped in grabbed my hands and drug me to the dance floor. So here I am, this little (5’4”) American chick, sunburned twice over, out on the floor in the middle of all these Africans (most much taller than I) singing, dancing and feeling the song. This is my favourtie Marley tune, and it has special meaning for me as my spouse has always provided for me, for my mental or physical well being. I always think of this line and what he has done for me and our marriage:

"Then we would cook cornmeal porridge,
Of which I'll share with you;
My feet is my only carriage,
So I've got to push on through.
But while I'm gone, I mean:
Everything's gonna be all right! "


I think I spent a half an hour out there dancing to the rest of what Marley tunes they knew. Finally the guys took a break in their set. As we started to walk off the floor several of the women gave me a hug (more like a bear hug) and wished me a Happy Christmas. The love and kindness, the karmic good feeling permeated every corner of the bar, it would have been impossible to not leave there feeling happy.

This time of year has always been the best time of year. It was (and is) always the time for family in our house. If we couldn’t afford to come home at Thanksgiving while in college, we always made it for Christmas. Being in Europe sometimes has made it a little harder for us to get home, I can’t always get leave and he isn’t always in country. But even through the miles I know that “everything’s gonna be all right” and he’ll be here soon. Now if I could only concentrate for more than a minute at work I might actually forget to check my phone 90 times an hour to see if he called.

Monday, December 19, 2005

Almost Normal

I spoke with my PCM’s nurse this morning and got a complete update of my test results. My PAP came back clear other than a run of the mill bacterial infection that can sometimes happen in women. I then asked about the spot on my cervix, it was found during examination and that the doc made sure that part of the spot was hit with the tool to collect a sample.

Even though the PAP was normal, my PCM does want OB/GYN to take a closer look at my spot. From the reading that I have done and the questions I asked it is possible for a false negative to occur and a second PAP isn’t a bad idea. You add a visible spot, 1 prior abnormal PAP test in 1995 (or 97) and a friable cervix, a lump in the groin area and well all of this can lead down the road to cervical cancer so having a specialty doc take a look is really what I would like and so does my PCM.

Per instructions, I will call OB/GYN tomorrow and request that I can make an appointment as my PCM is requesting it, period. The nurse pointed out that they didn’t refuse it so to try again. I let her know that I specifically asked if I needed to make an appointment with them at OB and the nurse at OB said no, I was perfectly fine. So If they refuse then I am supposed to call back to my PCM and I guess he will deal with it. Hopefully with the new consult request providing additional information this won’t be a problem.

Saturday, December 17, 2005

Oh baby, baby

So since we are looking at the whole baby picture we started tossing baby names around. Now just because we are both from CA doesn't mean we are naming our kids Moonunit, dwezel or apple.

Boys:
*Liam James
*Ian Mulholland (middle name is a family name)
*Eathan Michael
*Edward Grant
*Keaghan
*Aidan

Girls:
*Emily Rose
*Lorelai Catherine
*Grace Anne
*Charlotte
*Fiona Caitlin
*Meagan
*Maura

He's not crazy on Fiona and I have lost the fight to name a girl after my grandmother - Hazel, but mostly our names seem to run the Celtic route, the good of Irish decent little boogers we are.

What Monty Python Character are you?

rabbit
Mean lil fellow, arn't you?


What Monty Python Character are you?
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Friday, December 16, 2005

Preventative Medicine and the Military

Here’s the thing that is frustrating about the military medical system. First of all I’ve been waiting all week for the OB/GYN clinic to look at my consult sent over from my PCM so I can make an appointment with them. I called throughout the week and it hadn’t been looked at yet (found out later part of it was they were waiting for the return of the lab results). Finally, I call this morning and was placed on hold. Several times the phone was picked up and I was placed back on hold before I could even reply to the person talking to me. Then after 15 minutes on hold, someone picked up the line and then hung up on me.

Frustrated and irritated I called back and as soon as the person answered I asked to please not place me on hold until I finish talking first. I explained what was going on and I ended up getting the head nurse. She pulled up my results and asked if she could give them to the doc and have him call me back. About twenty minutes later she calls and says that everything is okay, the results are good and there should be no problems with family planning. Well wait a minute here, so why do I have the symptoms that concerned the PCM so much? I get my answer that it is just a friable cervix not to worry and figured that indeed nope, they won’t see me. She was really nice though and I appreciate that, even if the doctor was too lazy, busy (or just to important for him) to bother to talk to me personally like he should have instead of letting the nurse do it. Yes I know he has a patient load to see during the day, but technically when my record goes in as a consult I too become a patient to be seen even if only in cyberspace.

So what the hell? I have read several baby books and with the medical issues between both families I really should have a full workup but none of the military doctors seem to really care. My PCM knows nothing (correction - is not familiar) about the genetic disorder my sister in law has, but the OB/GYN won’t let me near them unless I am already pregnant or having a problem.

What about preventative medicine? Doesn’t the military believe in preventative medicine beyond just giving me prenatal vitamins? I mean come on here, there are several things a woman of my age, and previous medical history (including anemia – which took 5 years to be diagnosed after all that complaining, got a little tired of hearing how I should just exercise more and it will go away) that would warrant a full workup of me and the “oven.” I just can’t stand the thought that their idea of preventative medicine is waiting until I miscarry for the first time or have a mentally deficient child before they will do anything about it.

So I guess I will have to pull out the baby book and take it with me when I have the lump in my groin that’s five months old and more in likely not a swollen lymph node like they said. With the book in hand I will point out this and that test and just get all demanding and make him test me for these things they recommend. I am a PITA (well will become one) and I don’t care.

UPDATE: This is not so cool. The family practice clinic called to say that although most of it came out normal I needed to be seen by the OB/GYN clinic due to one irregularity. I let them know that OB thinks nothing is wrong and won't see me based off of the test results. I can't say that I am thrilled at the thought here. Why the hell or more like how in the hell did OB miss the irregularity that FP demands that I been seen for? How do you miss something as big as that? On Monday I will have to call back and get a better description of what is going on. The dog is sick and I was running out the door as the Maj called me. I know that they are going to go to bat for me with OB, but I need to know more about my irregularity to get a better idea of what we are talking about here.

Thursday, December 15, 2005

What city do you belong in?

You Belong in London

A little old fashioned, and a little modern.
A little traditional, and a little bit punk rock.
A unique woman like you needs a city that offers everything.
No wonder you and London will get along so well.

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

The wonder drug

So WHY didn't anyone tell me that pre-natal vitamins were so cool? I must be deficient on several vitamins in my regular diet because I have not had this much energy for years. I have even had a more regular sleep pattern over the last five days.

So where's the catch? Why aren't docs given these out and calling them the 'Ranger Candy' of the homefront world? There has to be a catch like an overdose of a certain vitamin or something. In the mean time, look at me I'm an dancin' and going with all this extra "umph" this week.

Monday, December 12, 2005

5 Weird Habits

I haven't been tagged in a while so this one seemed like fun. An American in Italy hit me up to tell my 5 weird habits. Lets see how much of a nut you think I am after this.

1. I love to solve puzzles, any kind of puzzle. People love to give me the answer they can't find at work because I like researching and looking for the answer. I won't give up until I find it either.

2. If I am home alone and have been out for the evening, I go through the whole house turning on a light in each room and check the closets, rooms, nooks & crannies for the boogeyman.

3. I am like a mynah bird - I will pick up your accent, words you use or another language merely by hanging out with you or around the people speaking another language. I am also good at guessing where you are from by your accent as well.

4. I am addicted to caffeine. Coffee, Redbull, Mountain Dew it doesn't matter but you better not deny me my caffeine source in the morning or you will suffer the wrath.

5. My last weird habit would be that my food can't touch. If you were to look at my plate whether its at home or at a buffet somewhere there will always be one finger width of space between each food. I hate it when the sauce spills over into another section of food as well.

6. I will give you one more because it goes with number five, I only eat one food at a time as well. I start with the veggies, eat them all then move on to the meat or the starch depending on how I feel. I won't mix or match, I eat one whole food group at a time.

I got dogged the last time I tagged someone so I won't this time, but hey feel free to add yourself if you'd like. :-)

Joined the Ranks of the DDM

Finally I have joined the ranks of the Double Didgit Midget crew. Also only a few days now until the man gets to go on R&R. Yeah, yeah I know he's taking it late but Christmas time is the best time and will leave him with such a short time left upon his return to the sandbox.

Yeah us!(Doing small goofy dance at desk while no one is looking)

Plugging along

I’ve been quiet lately but I haven’t had much to say. As I thought my appraisal was a joke. It was as lack-luster as possible without having to document anything. See to give a lower rating she would have to have documentation of counseling statements that I am a screw up. She doesn’t have those since I am not a trouble maker just an agitator.

She did lie to me about a comment I made that was supposedly found offensive. Yes I made the comment but she claimed that two people were so offended that they complained to her. Of course being that my mother raised me right if I make a stupid remark and it hurt someone’s feelings, apologize! I did and the look on one of my officemate’s face was entertaining to say the least. After two separate but just as illuminating conversations with my officemates, neither one of them was upset nor complained about my smart remark. This goes back to the theory that all three of us have that she eavesdrops outside the offices. She’s lied before to one of my officemates about what I said and we figured that out when she asked me if I really felt that way (She claimed that I said I was forced to do some work when I was asked and happily obliged).

Anyways because I have such a short time left I am trying to fly under the radar. I just don’t feel like dealing with her or her stupid antics. Her face was very amusing when she attempted to bait me into arguing with her over the appraisal – I was nonchalant about it and asked pointed questions about improvement. There are no technical things to fix but according to her my people skills suck (little does she know, that only my attitude towards her is what really sucks).

On a lighter note, I was checked out for the whole “so you want to be a mommy” deal. I did get to start on prenatal vitamins but ended up with a consult for a specialty doc, because “something just ain’t right.” My GP was so vague in his description and when I pressed him with some general questions that could allow him to expand his answer he just got these giant doe eyes and tried to run away. I think he knows enough about girly parts to know that there might be a problem but not enough to feel confident to talk in great length.

Leaving me with a partial answer is not a good idea. You (doctor that is) need to use your deductive reasoning techniques out loud so I can hear what you are chucking out as possible ailments. When you give these utterly vague responses, I am left with my stupid innate curiosity – this leads to Yahoo.com and 5 hours on the internet.

Unfortunately two of my symptoms are symptoms of cervical cancer. It could just mean that my cycle is off even though I’ve been tracking it for the last two months & I went to the doc at the wrong time. Lastly it could just mean that I have a sensitive cervix. Since the symptoms I have fall over several issues, I can’t get to excited yet. I had my small cow with my friend over the phone about all this and I am just waiting for the consult to be approved so they can see me.

I am glad that my GP had enough sense to know that he wasn’t experienced enough to be definitive in his diagnosis and sent me to a specialist. Not everybody can know everything and I am so happy he doesn’t suffer from a God complex. I had an ER doctor who did and tried to send me home so I could bleed to death. He thought it was a bright idea to mock the patient to her face and to the specialty clinic when all he could do was go down a checklist and I had enough symptoms to be declared normal bleeding for a tonsillectomy at my age. Of course Cpt Jackass as I called him to the ENT doc (I’m Irish don’t piss me off), didn’t do a good job looking in my mouth. He went solely off of his textbook checklist and missed the two large blood clots in the back of my throat.

Needless to say I am happy my GP is NOTHING like the halfwit ER doctor and knows when to send me off to someone who knows more than him.

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

The Uber twisted humor of Calvin & Hobbs

My co-worker sent me a ton of these.  I nearly spit out my RedBull.  My humor is so twisted that I think these are absolutely hilarious...

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I would soo love to do this to the neighbors (above), but I think the lady would have a heart attack.  She is one of those retired busybodies that seems to always be staring out the window when I come home from work.  I try to wave hello but she just drops the curtain back as soon as she is seen.

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I have had days like theses.  Not only Calvin being jerked around but the snowman's desire to go bowling with somebody's head!

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This is probably my favourite one of all.  I HATE shoveling the walk but we have to or by German law if I fail to do so and someone gets hurt its all my fault.  This is also my sense of humor of how I see my boss - a total slave driver!

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This is, well I don't have words to describe it but it makes my sides hurt from laughing to so much!

Monday, December 05, 2005

Its only temporary

That's what I need to tell myself over and over tomorrow morning during my official performance appraisal session. I know that I am only getting my 2 block because the boss is not fond of me & she knows that it irks that crap out of me. (Yeah for being an over achiever) I know how well I performed, I know that it was much harder than my co-workers of the same category as me. So knowing what I know it must become water off of a ducks back.

After some serious soul searching, I could take it above her and ask that my accomplishments be compared to others on the team. From what I have gathered intel wise, mine outshined everyone else's. Not sure how the senior rater missed that concept but I wasn't there to hear how the boss justified my 2 block. If I make a stink over what is still considered a good grade, I could be burning several bridges and making an enemy of my boss. In the long run, in a small world such as my job, its better to just let it go. I have 6 months left, until I am finished working for her & already have a job pretty much lined up once we get to his new duty station.

On the petty revenge front, I am sure she is expecting a fight. So if I say thank you, take my appraisal and go back to doing the same work I already do WITHOUT making a fuss - that will be a just dessert for her leaving her questioning why I am not fighting it, why I am so calm about it, what am I planning because it couldn't have ended so easily.

It will take the control out of her hands and place them in mine even if I am not doing a damn thing about it - she's a control freak and this will drive her nuts. Besides, I only have 6 months left & these two appraisals fall out of the system in two years. Her opinion really doesn't matter as its only temporary.

Friday, December 02, 2005

OCS

I think I am suffering from over compensation syndrome. (AKA OCS) I remember last year watching my friend whose husband was returning from deployment shortly before Christmas going nuts on decorating, presents and goodies. I think she must have bought the largest tree that could possibly fit into the government housing sardine boxes. There was garland, lights and other d├ęcor all over the walls that would put a Whoville Who to shame! Under the tree was no different. They have one child, a girl who of course got her stash of presents for being a kid, but her hubby had a stack that could down Santa’s sleigh. It seems that I am suffering from the same this year.

My spouse should be taking his R&R somewhere around the Christmas time frame. Last night after careful consideration and pulling apart a pallet display at the BX I found a new Christmas tree. It’s one of those pre-lit ones and was really full and tall. I wrestled the tree into the car since it apparently was taller than your average bear and drove home.

I moved our little tree out of the way (yes I bought the bigger tree on a slight whim) and started assembling the new one. The base went up and the first section of the tree quite well. I was really amazed at the spread of the lower branches. I hoist the middle section up, get stopped by the phone and then start to put up the last portion. As I stood on my tippy-toes trying to shove the top portion into the slot, I thought “Crap this is kind tall isn’t it?” I stood back and looked at the partially opened branches at the base and the height of the tree. It won’t fit, not when we get back to the states. The dang thing barely fits now even with the higher German ceilings. So I stand there staring at my Whoville sized tree that bends over slightly at the top because it is just way too big for our house and sigh.

I swore that the tree we had said it was a 6 foot tree, I guess Lowe’s lied? Who knows, all I know is that my current tree is not really 6 foot so the 7 ½ foot tree I bought is too damn tall. I pulled the thing back down, repackaged it and left it by the front door. I will have to return it tonight and find a smaller tree. I hope they have a smaller tree that doesn’t look like an artificial tree. The pickings are slim here in case you didn’t know. I may be forced to take a tree that is not pre-lit which sucks as I was hoping to get out of the whole deal of putting lights all over the tree.

In the meantime the horde of presents my husband will get is stacking up in the corner while I deck out the house and continue my quest for a new tree.

Thursday, December 01, 2005

Moonbat can write?

....I thought all she could do was whine?
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Apparently she wrote a book.  This lovely photo of her looking bored as all get up has been seen around the world and she's mad at the caption.  Once again she whined how the caption was taken out of context and that she was really successful at her book signing.

If you really want to see someone (or read that is) who is a positive role model after the loss of a service member (her husband), check out Heidi at Learning To Live. She's not out there chaining herself to the Whitehouse fence, nor is she using the names of other fallen Service Members to push her cause without the families' permission.  Heidi is a strong woman of great character and a uber-cool mom.

I must say that I really do hope her book has poor sales. I know that is just so Un-Christian or Buddihst of me but like Michael Moore, I just can't see her profiting off of me, the military family or the good name of her son.

The support continues

My brother and I were just talking about this Tuesday night. Bruce Willis is trying to work a deal to make a movie on Duce Four. This is kinda cool to see a "celebrity" so keen on showing the positive side of the military. Not all things are golden mind you but in general military members are good people. It's nice to see someone recognise it.

Bruce is still a cutie! (Yeah, yeah I know....when is R&R again? Because you NEED it woman!)