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26 Dec 1995 - 13 Jan 1996

Tues. Dec. 26

Stop by center. No official order, so time lines have slipped. First element reports 1 Jan, mine 8 Jan. Jaye Buelow is back, now an SSG. Jaye had been in the unit, was backfilled into another unit for Desert Storm, came back to mobilize with us. Work on Serbian vocab and university paperwork.

Wed. Dec. 27

A student told me the Appleton Post-Crescent had an article on the 432d going. We went to Little Chute to see lights, got paper. The article is there. Get most of my 1995 personnel addendum done.

Thu. Dec. 28

Work on Serbian vocab 11-3 in library, come back to find Channel 5 called. Apparently word is now official. Channel 5 runs a story at 6, interview Ponkratz, Fellinger, Buelow. Go over to center but no Admin drill. Check on latest dates; my team now slipped to 22 Jan. My team: Scott Miller, Ray Comfort and SGT Reschke. Load-out is apparently going very smoothly. Apparently teams will deploy intact from their home stations, so a chaotic day like we had in Desert Storm in-processing backfills should not happen.

I still have a gut feeling that all the pieces are not yet in place. My gut feelings have a good track record (see 12/3). What do I do if departure date slips beyond the start of next semester?

a. Charge on and get as far as possible before leaving, in the hope this all falls through?

b. Ask to be called up earlier than scheduled?

Charlie Enigl calls. I had been scheduled to talk to the Neville Museum Geology Club in March. Looks like I have to cancel.

Fri. Dec. 29

Up at 0300 with stomach flu. Diarrhea and general malaise all day. Had hoped to get some work done but stay in bed all day.

Sat. Dec. 30

Still sick enough to stay home from drill in AM, in at noon. Press hanging around. MAJ Bestul pointed out I had forgotten to pin on rank, also said he couldn't tell me what might happen later but he has LOTS of film. I had a hunch it might have to do with the Packers. Ran home, got my rank on, grabbed camera. At the end of a briefing upstairs, Cdr announced Packers were visiting. Ty Dettmer showed up. Got autograph for self & boys. A real feeding frenzy for all concerned. Day otherwise spent on classes and briefings.

Sun. Dec. 31

Light snow overnight. The good news is we get out early; the bad news is we have to report at 0600 to do it. The main item of business is finishing packing team boxes and getting cold-weather issue. General chaos but we get out on time at 1100.

Gina Hurst, who got promoted in September but was in the Czech Republic until December, finally got her rank. Two more good people not going: SSG's Demerath and Kunesh. Cannot go unless they have at least a year left on their enlistments, decided not to re-up. With Demerath we lose another desert vet.

All the Desert Stormers agree this is totally different from the desert; the roller-coaster of going-not going, yet the more leisurely preparation, the smaller scale and lower profile, the way teams are organized. All agree this will be more difficult and hazardous. There is an air of melancholy about the whole business. Adding to it is the fact that about 80% of the unit has turned over since we got back from the desert. Wally Coyle, Bill Bartleme, Jim Eliason, Wayne Huempfner, Gene Jakubenas, Tom Moore, Wayne Scholze are the only others as long in the unit as me. Don Hanson, Ralph Gadbois, Pat Monfort and one or two others not deploying are also more senior. We have a lot of good people in place of the old-timers, but the feeling of a group that has been together forever is missing.

I think we will only have 15 or so Desert Storm veterans on this deployment, plus a few others like Scott Miller, Jim Smith and Tom Hinz that served in other units and then joined (or in some cases re-joined) the 432d.

The Packers won their playoff game against the Falcons, 37-20.

Tues. Jan. 2

Inform people at work I now have until Jan. 22. I can be here long enough to convene a meeting of NAS to elect a new chair.

Shawn and I went to Radisson to play the nickel slots. World's most boring way to waste money.

Wed. Jan. 3

My margin of time was cut in half at 0830. Scott Miller called. The Jan. 22 element is moved up to Jan. 11. Finish Serb-Croat study guide for selected linguists, go to unit and run off copies.

Thu. Jan. 4

Our first group of nine heads for Fort Bragg. CPT Pellinen gets a brief spot on camera on evening news.

Fri. Jan. 5

Print out Slavic language vocabs. Call Takahashi at St. Norbert's to see if he can take Space Conference. No go-he'll be on sabbatical. Bob Wenger will be acting chair while I'm gone. Bob is eager to start-he's a detail person from the word go and is impatient that I do not micromanage. Janet Ludtke's last day. We have the OK to post for a replacement and hire an LTE to replace the head secretary, who will be out through Feb. She is claiming workmen's comp for her stress but that sounds shaky to me. She is apparently not getting better and if her claim is denied it will just flip her out even more. To nije moj problem.

Sat. Jan. 6

Shawn and I go down to Cedarburg for the day, via lakeshore from Manitowoc to Sheboygan. Nice day; she is absolutely thrilled by it.

Big news of the day: Pack takes off to 21-0 lead over 49ers, holds on to win 27-17. HUGE upset! O Frabjous Day.

Sun. Jan. 7

Quiet day mostly, packing. Spend evening at Dee and Wally Coyle's.

Mon. Jan. 8

Spend day on revising my astronomy chapters.

Tues. Jan. 9

Spend some time working at home on chapter stuff. Get to work at noon, spend PM on chapters, get them in mail.

Wed. Jan. 10

Go to Reserve center to pick up orders, do some paperwork. Spend day at UWGB on final correspondence, cleaning out office. At 11 there is a going-away party for me. Not only do folks from ES come by, but the Deans, Provost and Chancellor. A class act on their part. Do not get everything done until almost 6.

Thurs. Jan. 11

Report to center at 0730. A very slow morning, mostly paperwork. Use time to get some personal paperwork done. Lunch at Old Country Buffet, then released by noon. Buy film, other stuff. Bo out to UWGB to check on a couple of things, find a number of things I forgot to clean out. Also need to call Jerry Westby and Stew Monroe about book.

Go to Juve Curran's HSED commencement. Shawn goes over to a celebration at her club, I finish packing.

Fri. Jan 12

Report at 0730 with duffles and rucksack. Slow day. Morning on packing, culture and mission briefs. I had interview with Julie Ross of P-G. P.M. spent on weapons accounting and a late security and terrorism brief. Basically Bosnia is a country full of loose cannons: Moslem splinter groups, branches of Islamic terrorist groups, criminal gangs turned warlords. Got gear to airport, firm departure time: Sunday at 1030. Out at 1545, off Saturday. Ernie and Heidi come by at 7 for coffee and to pray for me.

Chris had a fender-bender with Molly's brother in law-backed into him. He will pay for it, he says.

Sat. 13 Jan

Went to bed early, slept late - 13 hours. Exhausted from past weeks. Fix side door latch, pack carry-on, go to campus for some final paperwork items, e-mail some friends the news. Go see 12 Monkeys in evening.


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Last update 23 Apr 1997