Friday, March 16, 2012

A Tribute to an Airman! (Part Two)

Mom's journal entry:
March 2, 2006:
The launching of a child into the world is a painful process. Yet, when he has gone to fulfill his calling the pain is replaced with joy and excited anticipation to watch this child succeed and depend on Christ alone. We each must make the journey from our parents' home to establish ourselves as individuals in the Lord and to accomplish his purposes for and in our lives. It is the Divine order of things and it is rebellion to avoid it for selfish gain or 'home comforts'. It is also at that point of leaving childhood to step into adulthood that one's faith is truly expressed and tested to be tried and true. 

It had been six weeks since Joshua 'stepped into adulthood' to pursue his calling. He left Texas and was now in Mississippi at Keesler Air Force base. We enjoyed talking with him by cell phone as he made the bus ride East and we traveled in our van North. This was right after Katrina and there was much to describe as he traveled along the damage coast line.

Tech School was serious business of learning the' ins and outs' of computer wiring and networking.

Looks like Josh is not liking what he is hearing! Airman Young however is nonplussed.

Yet, these serious Airman students did find time to have some fun!

And class leaders were not always tough either!

The Dorm!

The Roommate...Airman Elliot!

The move to a new dorm...

The new roommates....
Tech School was priority; however, Josh also found time to lead in Worship as well as play in the Keesler Marching Band as a drummer.

Finally, August arrived and so did Mom and Dad at Keesler. Josh meet us at the front gate then we went to get a bit to eat.

Next day was Graduation from Tech School...

And now, after five months, he gets to go home for a short visit before heading to South Korea!

Josh enjoyed putting the family through a 'sit-up' challenge and later waking his brothers up at "O'dark-thirty", as they called it, to do some calisthenics and drills!

Mom's Journal Entry:
August 16, 2006
Oh Lord, my heart pitches and writhes as the time quickly approaches for us to send our eldest son to Osan AFB, South Korea. There are only 5 more days before we release him to that country and just 40 mins. south of the DMZ of volital North Korea. My anguish is not for his safety or his life but for our loss. We enjoy having him around not to mention he is one of the 16 that makes us a complete family. Yet, the time has come! He has become a man and God has galvenized in his heart a passion for and mission in the US Air Force. To that our hearts swell with pride and joy. To know that he is fulfilling his divine purpose and, therefore kingdom purpose, is what makes the leaving and separation bearable. For the Lord will receive glory through his amazing workmanship in this child grown into a man!

Josh's flight to South Korea was without incident; however, his trip from the Incheon airport to the base was full of error. He arrived at Osan AFB to be told he need to go to the Army Base, Camp Humphrey! After another taxi ride, he arrived there late at night. He was dropped at the gate with no one to meet him and none of the offices were open. So he picked up his gear and started walking having no idea what to do. The Lord chose to sent two 'angels' who 'just happened' to be walking out late that evening. One asked if Josh needed help. Upon hearing Josh's story, he put him in another taxi telling the Korean driver to take him to Headquarters. Once there, Josh left his bags outside the building to go check-in. While talking with the guy on duty, another guy comes in from outside saying to Josh, if those were his bags to get them; they were having an 'exercise' and would be considered concealed bombs! Needless to say Josh retrieved them immediately! Another blessing is while the Army and Air Force worked out the transfer, he had a whole day to recover from Jet-lag and acclimate to his new surroundings which included sights, sounds, and smells! Finally, back at Osan, he went to 'the shop' to meet his co-workers and see his work place. 

The Dorm....

The Shop, where Josh worked, was under ground with keypad entry so on Google maps there was nothing but a patch of grass! A 'not so funny story' several months later: due to the high-security nature of the building there were two keypad codes to get in; one was for regular entry; the other was for 'duress' entry meaning someone was forcing you at gunpoint to enter. Well, one day a co-worker of Josh's was a bit tired. He punched in the code, that early morning, to enter the building as usual. As he waited for the door to unlock, he was suddenly surrounded by armed Airmen where he was cuffed and hauled off to the AF police station for interrogation. As you can guess, he had punched in the 'duress code' triggering a silent alarm which sent the MP's into immediate action and simultaneously the entire base was 'locked down'! Moral of the story...think before you punch! Oh, and that guy, he was let free with a slap on the wrist and a warning. 

All work and no fun would have made this Airman a dull boy! 

So Josh did a lot of exciting firsts...

....visit Seoul, Korea.


....bungee jump crickets....well not quite, but it was the snack offered at the top of Mt. Daedun!  
....attend worship at the Osan Hospitality House and also at a church in downtown Seoul!

...serve in official role 

....enjoy the 'hoop-la' of North Korea setting off an atomic bomb setting off the Richter Scale to a 4!

....watched 'Cars' with AirmanYoung

....snowboarded with friends

....Chirstmas away from home

....three-day project at Kunsan AFB which included getting lost on the way down because SSgt Hong who was sick and sleeping in the back of the van was the only one who knew the way. Having two F-16's drive right past as they stop to let them past at the flight line, Sleeping by and driving on the flight path, watching a North Korean documentary on a tribut to their leader, and getting to sleep in two extra hours. 

....was specially selected to toured 'Old Korean Town', eat an authentic Korean meal, and tour the Seoul Tower.

State-of-art bathroom with a great view!

....worked with the Chapel as part of worship team. Here they are practicing:

...flew home for a 3 week visit...feed the family MRE's. It was fun and not so bad tasting either!

....back to Korea last time...Dad and Garrison drive him to Chicago for his "O'dark-thirty" flight.

...played 'bad guy' to give the MP's some training practice while playing OPFOR (Opposing Forces). 

War Wounds

...visited EverLand,- a South Korean amusement park.

 as a Chapel Youth Leader which included white water rafting for July 4th!

...bought two custom-made suits by a local Korean tailor making him look very dapper!

....visited the Korean War Museum

...went to the beach at Pusan on a Saturday and got seriously burned!! Worst part - his yearly PT test was the following Wednesday!!

...visited the Demilitarized Zone or DMZ!

...turned 20 years old in South Korea!

...became a SrA (Senior Airman).

...receive Orders to report to Aviano, Italy AFB in September...little did anyone know how much his life was going to change once he got there!! 

To Be Continued...
June 7, 2012
(because of 06/07/08!)