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Nov. 2nd, 2008 09:59 pm Fear

So this is my first post here for a VERY long time. Mainly cuz I got a Myspace and Facebook n stuff, but I still pay attention to this, mainly to see who posts what on my friends page. And because of that, I'm following what one of my friends wrote on theirs. A list of fears that I have.

Those that know me know that I'm not truly AFRAID of much out there. In fact I say "only bombs and bullets scare me. If people were meant to kill me they'd have done it already." This isn't completely true of course. Neither of those things can be controlled, but the subconscious fears are by far bigger and most often run your life, and how you go about it.

The most prominant fear I have is FAILURE: By failure I mean in life. What ever my life's mission is, I'm afraid of failing it. Failing my wife by not being a good husband, my son by not being a good father, my friends by not being there, and most importantly, myself, by simply not living up to expectations of all the above. Yes this extends to sports too. I hate failing my team by not performing, specially when a mistake by me costs us the game. I've always prided myself in being good under pressure, but when I fail, I tend to take it very hard. I guess you could call me a perfectionist.

The next big fear i have is that of being ALONE: Yes I'm married to the love of my life. No I wouldn't change ANY part of this, or my past, for anything. Everything that happened back then led me to Felisha, and for that I'm very thankful. But even though I have her, and soon will have our son, I'm still afraid of being alone when I eventually die. Just that part right there, being alone when I die, scares the shit out of me.

The last big fear that I have is DEATH: I think most people are afraid of death in general. Not so much me. I'm more afraid of dying in some idiotic way. When, can't really say if because everyone dies eventually, I die I want it to be either when I'm old, or when I'm doing something to be remembered by, IE: in combat. Honorably would be a better way to say that. Don't get it twisted, I'm not saying "kill me in combat", I don't want that, and to the best of my ability, won't let that happen. But if I had a choice, that's the way I'd go. At least that way I know I'd be going defending the country I love, and doing something that not many will ever do. Death, now that's scary!

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Jul. 13th, 2007 09:42 am A day to possibly rival any other

So yesterday was quite possibly the most fun I've ever had. I'll break it down a bit, and fill you in some of what it was and things of that sort.
So last summer when I was home I went to a bonfire at a friends house a day or two before I went back to Germany. At this bonfire I met a few new people, one of whom is named Nicole. Pretty, confident and smart too. I was impressed, but she had a boyfriend at the time. We looked each other up on Myspace, and that's been about it. We never really had much contact other then that. A few messages back and forth back then, but that was pretty much it.
Fast forward to the "now". On Sunday Jessie came over to hang out for a bit, and we were talking about her having sold her car and such to a girl she worked with named Nicole. And how there was a whole situation with the money but it was supposed to be coming that day and stuff along those lines. Well we were both hungry, so I decided to follow her to Olive Garden and eat with her, and also suprise Kristi, so 2 for 1 deal for me. I love that stuff lol. ANYWAY, as we finished our meals, Nicole finally got the chance to come sit down and talk and pass along some of the money. She sat down next to me, and I knew I recognized her, but couldn't quite place it. Then she said the same thing, and it clicked, BONFIRE!!! We exchanged phone numbers, and the desire to hang out and do something before I left back to Iraq.
Later that night we decided it'd be Tuesday (later became Wednesday) and we'd go down to the Mall of America and make a day of it so to speak. So fast forward to yesterday. The time had been decided that I'd pick her up at her house around 1230, and we'd start our adventure then. I got there a few minutes early, and she was finishing getting ready so I talked to her mom and little sister. She finished and we took off. Along the way I mentioned that my grandma lived 3.5 seconds from the mall and that we should visit, so we did. We ended up going to perkins with her, so that was fun. After dropping her off we went on to the mall and up to NASCAR Silicon Motor Speedway where I met up with Joanna (she works there) and hooked us both up with 2 free races (I love her for this). I nearly won the second one, if one of the dumb bitches hadn't crashed me I woulda won for sure, but oh well can't win em all.
So we went from there we went down to the Park at MOA (formerly Camp Snoopy) and got the 'unlimited ride' wrist bands. We hit a few of the rides, one we wanted was closed. Their new roller coaster is kick ass by the way. That alone took a couple hours, then we wandered the mall and were on our way to UnderWater World when she saw "Wet Seal" which is a store there. She saw some things in the window she liked, and I told her it's ok to get them, I want to spend money. So she went in, found a couple things and tried them on. She looked good in them, and of course I told her. She got those and on the way out I said "if you want to go back to VS you can do that too" cuz we'd passed it and she mentioned how much she loved that place. Her next comment surprised me. She asked if I wanted her to "model" some things for her. I just said it was her idea not mine and whatever she wanted I'll play along with so to speak. So we wandered back to there, she got a couple things, modeled them for me and again, looked amazing in them, and she loved them too, so she got em.
We went from there to Underwater World, she'd never been so I knew she was excited and was looking forward to it. We got there, took a picture that turned out really good. As we stood on the moving walk way just the look in her eyes of amazement made the whole thing worth while. It was like a big kid opening presents at Christmas, simply amazing. We finished there and went up to the movie theatre to see if/when Harry Potter was playing, decided on the 9pm showing so we could hit the new coaster one more time and get a bite to eat too.
When we got to the coaster, we ended up riding with another couple, and just by chance they were going to the same place we were, (hooters) so we just went up there and ate and talked together. It was nice, and their bacon cheeseburger was AMAZING. We finished up and went over to the movies, and watched it AMAZING by the way. By far the best of the series thus far. Even Nicole liked it, and she'd only seen one other one.
On the way down to the car she was talking about how eerie it is to be walking thru the mall when it's empty, and not packed like it normally is. I have to admit, that is kinda freaky. But we got to the car, and she said she may just fall asleep and I just told her that's fine, she's in very capable hands and eyes. I love driving at night, find it easier than during the day almost. So we got on the freeway, I turned on B96 and just left it on cruise at 60 mph all the way. About the time we crossed 394 I just reached over and held her hand the whole rest of the way. I was comfortable, and it was my way of telling her that she was safe. She didn't mind so it was cool, and she just nodded in and out the whole way back to her house.
When I finally pulled in it was 1215 am, so 12 hrs or so after I'd first arrived, I got her back to her house. I did the "gentlemen" thing and got out of the car to walk her to what I figured would be the door, ended up being the garage, but same difference I suppose. We said our goodnights, and I truthfully was hoping for a kiss. But she just walked in, so I left partially disappointed. That's life though. I did the right thing by not pushing to hard I guess you can say. When I finally got home it was about 1 am, so I was dead tired, and just fell asleep. But when I woke back up, that's when it all began to process in my head. That day will be one of few to live in my memories, and is one of the top 3 fun days in my life right now. Actually top 2, but to say it tops Cape Cod, that's REALLY hard. Some ways yes, most ways no.
But that's the story of what went down, from start to finish, on the big "date" so to speak. Overall, 9.5 out of 10 on the fun scale.

Current Mood: chipperchipper

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Apr. 22nd, 2007 11:41 pm Update 40 days and 40 nights

Update, 40 days and 40 nights
All who are religious know this to be the length of Lent, AKA the run up to Easter. For me right now, that's the length I've been here in Iraq, and the number of consecutive days that I've worked. I have had no days of, with no reprieve in the future. It's kind of odd, but this is re energizing my system, much like being in the field in September while still in Germany did. I have a feeling that this may make my decision to stay in harder.

I'm right now going through a couple of debates in my mind, if you read the buliten from a week or so ago, you know part of it. I'm right now SERIOUSLY considering re enlisting. Before you go nuts and start freaking out, let me explain a couple things. The way the military is now, if I get out, it's likely that I'd get called back in anyways. Why not get a bonus to stay in, instead of getting out and getting voluntold to come back, no bonus or anything. Also adding to this, is the option to possibly change jobs, thus making me MORE valuable to the civilian world if and when I do get out. Two marketable skills instead of one. You see what I'm getting at here. Last but not least, my little brother Matt. His attitude is infectious. He's getting ready to go to Germany for three years (he switched from Reserve to Active), and he's AMPED about it. Even knowing what happened to me through my stay there, he's still wanting to go. I don't know if I could live with myself knowing that my little brother out did me in ANYTHING, let alone something I started.

Off to my stay here, it's hot, but so far nothing uber huge to report. I'm enjoying what we have, to include a decent subway, and a pretty good DFAC. Best of all is the money I'm getting. YES we did get extended three extra months, but that's good for me in a way. With the extra money I'll be able to put more down, and get the car I'm looking at getting easier. By the way, it will be a 2007/2008 Impala. The only requirement I have, stick shift with satalite radio. That's pretty much it for me. Real simple to please.

Now to the recent thing that is really kind of bugging me. It was one of my NCO's that pointed this out, and made me thnk about it really. Virginia Tech, yes it was tragic that it happened. Yes 32 souls were lost, 33 to include the gunman, but IT DOES NOT DESERVE A DAMN WEEK IN THE HEADLINES!!!!. One day, MAYBE, thats a huge maybe, two. Mad at me yet? Well here's my reasoning behind this pissing me off a bit. Where am I? What happens every day here?. The answers: I'm in Iraq, and everyday we have soldiers dieing. Do they get a week per person? No, 99 percent of the time, they don't even get a mention. What makes VT so different? I mean, seriously? They lose 33 people, when we've lost 3300 give or take. Take what you want from that, but the news, and the media needs to get off VT's nuts if you ask me.

My overall mood is pretty good. I love the people I work with, so I have no real complaints. The heat gets bad, but it's only 90 degrees right now on a good day, so it'll only get worse come July and August (around 140).

In the other news, the NHL playoffs are well into it. The first round is all but over, Detroit can end tonight with a win over Calgary, and Dallas can win their series in game 7 tomorrow night in Vancouver. Our Wild however were outmatched in 5 games by the Anaheim Ducks. We did manage one win at home but really never got any signifcant offensive attack going. That's the way of the game, just regroup and try again next year. In the NBA, the playoffs have started, the first of the game 1s were played last night, with the rest starting tonight. In Major League Baseball, Barry Bonds is now at 739 career homeruns. That's 16 behind Hank Aaron for the record, 17 from breaking. My prediction on that is mid August. The biggest rivalry arguably in all of sports started the other night. Of course I'm speaking of the Boston RedSox and the New York Yankees. Before tonights game, which features the Japanese sensation Dice K's first start vs the Yankees, the Sox have taken both games thus far. Even though Alex Rodriguez has done his part to prevent it by continuing his hot hitting. But it IS only the first month of the season. Also in the Big Leagues, Mark Buerhle threw a No Hitter the other night vs the Texas Rangers, only surrendering a 5th inning walk to Sammy Sosa, thus the miss on a perfect game. Last night also saw the first triple play of the year. The Phillies turned a 5-4-3 (3rd base to second to first) triple play in the 5th inning vs the Reds.

That's truly about it for me, more updates to come as they happen of course. Keep in touch, I'll do the same.

SPC Jason Rynders 63B US ARMY

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Apr. 12th, 2007 06:37 pm its in the news

So before I get to the sports, I need to put something out that is in the news, and I saw in our news paper (Stars and Stripes) today. The headline reads ALL ACTIVE DUTY ARMY TOURS IN IRAQ STRETCHED TO 15 MONTHS, the story is long but the first to paragraphs are the pertinant part, I'll put them here.

Army units deployed to Iraq will serve 15 month tours instead of the standard 12 months overseas. Secretary of Defense Rober Gates announced Wednesday. The move would affect active duty soldiers already in country and future deployments to Iraq, with the exception of two army units whose tours in Iraq have already been extended. Reservists and guardsmen would not see their tour lengths changed.

So in short, I won't be home until probably November. Unless something changes and they don't get us, but they will so yeah. You see where I'm going with this. We'll see what happens right, I should know in the next 48 hours for sure if this will affect us.

Into sports, the Wild lost last night in Game one of their first round playoff match up with Anaheim 2-1. But the story of the night is the Nashville/San Jose match up that went over time, San Jose won in the second OT 5-4, and the Dallas/Vancouver match up that moved all the way into the fourth overtime. Vancouver finally won it with just under two minutes remaining in the fourth OT winning 5-4. Very VERY good games last night. You know it's a late, long game when it doesn't end till 1130 am MY time. Talk about craziness. Game 2 for the wild again in anaheim will be Friday night.

Other then the news that was posted above, I'm fine. Take care of yourselves and each other.

SPC Jason Rynders 63B US ARMY

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Apr. 2nd, 2007 10:09 pm 6 months gone by

So believe it or not, it's been 6 months to the day that I met Ashley. Hard to think now that we don't even really talk with what came out on Friday. Everything started so well, we were both ready to get married at one time, that went down hill so we moved to AZ to live together and get married. No sooner did I get there then I found I'd be in Iraq. We talked, and didn't want to get married right away, we'll wait a few years and see what happens. She went home, and 3 weeks later (give or take) things between us were over. With in a week I found out when I'd be going to Iraq, and we started talking again, and things were good between us again. There was a chance she'd come and visit when I'm home on leave in September. I came to Iraq, and things came into light with my mind, I put it out and things again went sour. A week later, and here we are. Just think at how much ACTUALLY happened with all this, and in your lives, then realize it really has been six months.

I've grown to realize many things, as I'm sure she has to, no I take that back I know she has. I continue to want to maintain some kind of friendship with her, but that's her decision. My hurting is over, and everything is in the past. Can't fix the past, why worry about it. If anything I owe her for showing me more in to what I do and don't want in my future. I won't go into those details.

Now to the REALLY important shit. SPORTS. The NCAA tournament for the men comes to a close tonight. The overall number one in the Tournament, Florida Gators, will take on the team that finished the regular season at the 1 slot, Ohio State Buckeyes. Seem familiar? it's a rematch of the NCAA football title game from almost 3 months ago which Florida thouroughly dominated. I hereby predict they do the same in winning by at least 10, and becoming the first team since Duke in 92-93 to repeat as National Champs, and the first team to win both Football and Basketball men. On the womens side, which will take place tomorrow, the Tennessee Volunteers will take on teh upstart Rutgers Scarlet Knights. Rutgers took out a few good teams, most notably the previously 30-1 Lady Dukies. I say that Rutgers pulls off one more upset.

The baseball season technically started last night but really gets going today with everyone else playing. There really isn't to much to say, as the season starts it should be interesting. Both central divisions promise to provide down to the wire races, along with the AL East as always. The Red Sox of course have the hottest rookie this year in Japanese pitcher Daisuke "Dice-K" Matsusaka. They spent 103 million dollars on him before he even set foot on US soil, and thru spring training, didn't disappoint. The Cubbies however take the cake in offseason spending, going over the 300 million mark. Look for some good races come September time.

The NHL is nearly done, and the one and only Minnesota Wild have clinched a playoff spot already. The only question is what spot, and who they will play. If things stay the same and we take the 7 seed (same seed we had the last time in the cup playoffs) we'll start out vs division rival Vancouver Canucks. Only thing is they don't have Bertuzzi anymore, so it's pointless. GO WILD FOR THE CUP 2007!!!

The NBA is the same way, tight races all over, and nearing the end for them. I'm not fully sure who's where, I know Phoenix and Dallas are the teams to beat basically, both are at 60+ wins already, if not close. Rock on.

That's pretty much it from here, we had another mortar hit this evening, it shook the gym (which is where I was at when it hit) but I'm ok. Ya'll take care, I'll do the same.

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Mar. 27th, 2007 07:30 pm Realizations part 2

The reason I'm posting a sequal to my last blog it to put a little clarification, and add something's I've again realized. If you read the last one, then you will understand this, if not, read it then this. Yeah, it's like watching a movie, you can't watch number 2, then go to number one. Anyway, on with the story.

So in part one I said that I indeed had doubts in my mind as we moved to Arizona. That part is true, but there was still more love there then anything. The doubts were small, but they were there. I guess I let it keep going to see just like she did if in fact once away from family and all things would develop like we hoped. There was another reason for me, very underlying, but it's there. I wanted to be able to come home each night after work and not be on post and have to deal with work, and people that only wanted to deal with work. I needed to be able to go home to someone that really didn't understand the military lifestyle, so when I did get home no big questions were asked. I could therefore move on to the better side of my life, the civilian side. No work, no military. From 5 at night till 6 the next morning I was free from everything. Yeah it's wrong to use that as a reason, but it was there, and for the time it lasted was easily the best I'd had in my almost 3 years in the military.

To add some to the whole love deal, I do in fact love her more then anyone else in this world. I always told myself growing up that when I find the one person that I'd give up sports for if it meant she'd live just one more day, (those that know me will gape when you read this but it's true), that's when I'd know she's the one I'd marry. Well this girl is in fact that girl, in my mind. It's come to the last few days that she's not exactly in the same mindset. And it may never be that way. That in fact does hurt, but I will have to deal with it. My whole thing is just to keep a friendship MINIMUM, any more then that will be a plus to my/our lives. I'm no longer going to try and force that issue. I believe she's the one that said this, and I heard it again recently: "whatever is meant to be will work out perfectly." Don't get it twisted, my whole "moving on" blog still stands in effect, but now is the time that I start to try and move on one piece at a time.

I was thinking last night and throughout the day today, she's said in the past that she has trouble with going over 2 months with someone. We were technically together for 4 months and change, but only TOGETHER, for about a month give or take. In my life, I have yet to really have a serious relationship for over 2 months myself. The whole thing with my last "interest", I was gone the entire time, we were TOGETHER for about 3 weeks before that blew up in my face. Basically, score two on the two month theory.

Another thing I've been thinking about, what if I had never joined the military? Would I have met my last interest, or even this girl? I guess I can thank the whole military thing for leading me down this path. In three years, I've probably grown more then any other time in my life with everything I've been through. So I'd really have it no other way, in the meeting who I have respect, even though at times I wish for a time machine.

A theory I've used at work forever, I've now adopted to my ENTIRE life. If it aint broke, fix it till it is. Mechanically you can understand it. But when it comes to my life, I'll explain what I mean quickly. In every relationship we've been happy till I said/did something stupid. With her, we broke up and all that. Things came back slightly, then I wrote part one and it had the wrong effect, my stupid move. I always tend to do things like that. Thus the reason I adopted my If it aint broke motto to my life. My whole life theory now, I'll end up single for the rest of my life, because I continue to do stupid shit when things are good.

The rest of my life continues to go as well as can be expected. I hear mortars and things a few times a day, but it's not close enough to hurt us. It's starting to get hot here, and we continue to go to the gym. Not only am I working on the lifting and strength aspect, we are also adding cardio to it. My goal with cardio is to get back to my sub 13 minute 2 mile time I was at in Germany. With the lifting, just add some muscle to the body. Simple as that.

Love to all, I'm around when you need me

SPC Jason Rynders 63B US ARMY

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Mar. 25th, 2007 12:26 pm latest realizations in my life

So the last 36 hours or so have been fairly eventful. Yesterday started like any other saturday here, I woke up at 8, went to work and did nothing. I was however told that at noon I'd have to be somewhere to do a detail for a "jimmy buffet tribute" concert that was held here. So I showed up and yeah it was boring. the concert wasn't half bad, the guys were very good and the music was ok. the only bad part is the fact that in the 12 hours I was there, we did about 2 hours worth of work. I didn't get back to the tent till midnight. So that makes today all the harder for me, but that's life.

The realizations that have hit me in the last day and a half are the ones I thought I could deal with when she left me, and now I'm starting to realize that it's not going to be as easy as I thought now that I'm here. It's almost as if I'm reverting back to the mind set I was in right after it happened. It's not as bad, it's jut really the fact that I know she's happy with someone other then me, and it's not me there celebrating her birthday this weekend, things of that nature really. And because of this, I've done something I haven't done well in close to two years, maybe more. Those that have known me since I left for Basic know I used to write, and did so fairly well. Since I got to Germany I haven't really been inspired to do so, well when I woke up this morning I felt that back inside me. And the following is what came of it.

I know that you love me

And I love you too

But I know that you're happy

So I'm happy for you

there's something you should know

About this whole situation

Thai it's killing me slowly

To be with out you.

Our lives right now

Are in different stages and places

My hope is that someday they are on the same pages

To once again be a "we"

Or even better, and "us"

Would be my dreams come true

And worth any fuss.

My hopes and wishes for the future:

you find with in you

That you can't live with out me

Cuz I can't with out you.

It was hard for me to actually write this, and post it because it brings out some things I've been dealing with recently. I was told as I was growing up by my mom that when I found the person that made me better, made me happy and made me feel more complete with her in my life, that's when I would know that she is the one.

Yes, while we were together I always said that I knew she was, but to tell you the truth, I really didn't. My dad was right in the email he sent me saying that he didn't support my decision to get married because it was to rushed and we just both were lonely. That truly was the case at that point. So in a way, I truly owe a lot more to my mom for cancelling it like she did. We moved down to Az, and all seemed well. I still was of the mindset that she would be the one that I'd settle with, but somewhere inside me, it just didn't feel right.

When she did break up with me, it hurt me deeply and sent me into a tailspin. It forced me to realize things I was doing, that are not in my style. I've changed that to the best of my ability, and am still working some of the things over. As I got deployed, the real feelings for her came back out, and mine regrew from the root, only stronger and deeper then they ever were.

Only in the last 2 days have I realized that all the things I once thought, and once believed to be true, really are the truth, and really are the way I feel. I can no longer see myself living and being with anyone else for any amount of time in any seriousness.

It's very hard to come out like this, because it's a matter of pride that I take in being able to keep things in. I've always been able to do it, but this is one thing that if I let fester, may never be solved. Yes I realize that once she reads this, it may send her away from me, and that's not what I'm trying to do. My goal here is to tell her that everything I've ever told her, every way I've ever felt about her, is real and more heartfelt then I've ever been towards anyone else, and ever will be.

The one thing I've always said no matter who it is, "as long as you're happy, I am too." That's always been my main goal in life, to make those around me happier, and keep them pleased. I take a back seat to them. But now, knowing it's him and not me in those pictures, spending that sacred time away from the rest of society one on one, it's slowly eating at me from the inside. I just needed to get all this out.

To her, I'm sorry that this is out now, and I hoep you can understand and not shy away from me.

To the other, I'm sorry if I lead in in any direction other then us just being friends, I can see us as no more, or less.

To everyone else, thank you for paying attention, and sticking with me. All is well over here, and I'm doing just fine.

Take care of yourselves, and each other!

SPC Jason Rynders 63B US ARMY

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Mar. 19th, 2007 07:19 pm Living life in another world

So most should know by now that I am in fact in Iraq. We left Kuwait mid week early as crack of dawn in the morning. The flight it was kinda cool, they had to do a combat landing. You know the weightless feeling you get when you're on the Power Tower, it was kinda like that. We got in, got that inprocessing shit done then moved on to our spots. The weather is much the same as in Kuwait, hot during the day and cool at night. That was till Sunday night. It just decided to rain like monsoon style for four hours out of the blue. Left us in Mud City, instead of Tent City.

Other then that, it's pretty fucking boring over here. I have been here nearly a week and have yet to hear a mortar or anything come in for sure yet. I did hear a couple explosions a while ago, as well as the other night, but I'm unsure if they were mortars or something completely different. I sit all day in a semi motorpool, we call it the team room, and play Wii Sports or watch TV all day. I don't even do my job here yet. So I spend no money (except when I go to Subway which isn't even that often), and I do nothing all day. Can anyone say BALLIN'!!!

For those that are wondering, I'm 8 hours ahead of the central time zone, 7 of the east, 10 of the west (AZ and Cali etc). My address is available, most should have gotten it in an email I sent the other day, if not, ask me via message and I shall reply with it. More updates will come with time. In the mean time, take care of yourselves, and each other and I shall do the same.

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Mar. 11th, 2007 07:05 pm ollie ollie oxen free

So after the 18 hours of flight, most of which was fairly comfortable, I finally made it to Kuwait early this morning. Not like I didn't expect it, but wouldn't you know, more damn sand lol. It got fairly hot today, and is only gonna get worse. As it looks right now I'll be out of here sometime between Wednesday and Friday. That's what they are telling us anyway. We all know how that changes.

I tried calling everyone on my list in the short amount of time I had after we found out we wouldn't be landing in Maine. Instead we went to Newoundland Canada. I talked to just about everyone, and it was by far the hardest thing I've ever had to do in saying goodbye. When we got to Canada my phone when to Analog Roam, and I made just the calls to Ashley, home, Matt, and my Grandma. got ahold of home and grandma. But those calls were just as quick as when I said goodbye in texas, because of the roaming.

I will make this short, but I wanted all to know that I'm safe as is right now, and SHOULD be out of here (camp ali alsa leen) aka olllie ollie oxen free in my words, by weeks end. My stateside phone is not turned off, so leave me texts/messages all you like. I won't get them till I get back stateside, but that's a duh thing. If you send me pictures to my phone, don't, instead send them to my email. Picture mail is only good for 90 days, and I won't be back in 90 days.

You all take care, I shall of course do the same.

SPC Jason Rynders 63B US ARMY

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Mar. 8th, 2007 11:04 pm up up and away

So tomorrow I will finally be on my way to Iraq. It's been over two months since I found out I was going, and I've been waiting ever since then. There's been a lot of stress, and even more training we've all done to get to this point, and now I finally feel 100% ready to do what I originally signed up to do.

I want to fill you all in on WHY I joined and what precisely made my mind up to do this. We all remember 9/11, and the devastation it caused. It's sad that it took such a traumatic event to bring out the patriotism that grew from that point forward. On that day a trigger was squeezed in my mind, and I started considering the military as an option. No one knew this, but it was happening. On my 17th birthday my wishes came true and I got the call from the recruiter. With in 48 hours the process started, and 4 months later I was officially sworn into the army. 6 months after that, I left for Basic at Ft Knox. As I finished High school I was fighting to graduate, so that gave me no way to look for a college, or even think about it. I knew when I did finally get my clearance I had completed step one to serving my country. The reason I joined, patriotism and the civic duty to protect the freedoms that we do enjoy.

Joining the military separates me from the average american in the fact that I'm willing to do what 99% of the population isn't able to do, or is unwilling to do. This does not make me any better then everyone, far from it. I just am doing something that is by far the most respected job in the US, and has been voted so the last few years in People Magazine. Finally after 2 years 8 months and 3 weeks I am finally able to put all the training I've received into good use.

I'm going to take this time to thank people that are special to me.

I'll start with my Mom and Dad: With out you guys backing me and my decisions I would not be who I am, or where I am. My whole goal this entire time has been to make you proud of me, and to represent the family as best as I know how. Your guys support means more then me I can ever express in words.

Grandma: When everyone else fails to see me for what I do, and where I'm going you always seem to be there. I've always been able to rely on you for anything, and I truly feel that I owe my entire life as it is now to everything you've done for me. I sincerly appreciate your prayers for me, as I no longer believe in that way, but I'm sure it helps keep me out of some of the trouble I've managed to steer clear of.

Matt: Even though we fought more then we were friends when we were younger, knowing that I influenced your decision to join makes me truly proud to call you my younger brother. Makes me feel as though I did something right as your big brother.

Ryan, Pat and Wayde: 4 for 1 and 1 for all. With out the three of you I'd definitely be a lot different. Pat put it the best, the four of us are basically brothers, it'd be hard to imagine my life without you three in it in some way.

Jessie: In a weird way we became so close blood couldn't make us closer in my eyes. I can always count on you to tell it like it is. I was truly honored that I got to make it home and watch you take the next step in your life in marrying Dan. To my big sis, I love you.

Ashley: In the short time we were together (and even shorter we were physically together) we went through more stuff then most couples will in a year or more. I believe this is what will always keep us close. I owe a lot to you, you taught me a lot of things in the game of life and love. As long as you're happy, regardless of who you're with, I will not mind. Of course I wish things were different, but I also understand what happened, and have dealt with it. If we have nothing, we have each other and the pepsi can. No one can, or ever will stop me from loving you.

To all of my other friends and family, there's far to many to name: Your support is appreciated. I do what I do so I can come back safe and sound and be able to spend another memorable moment with all of you. The memories are many, and all are significant in one way or another. In the same fashion, all things have shaped me into who I am, and who I continue to be to this day, and who I'll be in the coming days, weeks, months and years.

As I bring this to a close, I need to thank everybody as a whole, and wish you all the best of luck in everything you do now, and in the future. I am who I am because of the role all of you play in my life.

Forever grateful

Specialist Jason R Rynders 63B United States Army

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