Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Final Post

This will be the final post in this blog.

I'd like to start with a word of thanks. Many of you have thanked me both for my service and for this blog - but I assure you, the encouragement, thoughts and prayers I received from my family, friends, co-workers and many anonymous people and organizations helped to make this a very positive experience. With all my sincerity, thank you all for your support!

If you would have told me I'd lose about 40 lbs and weigh a mere 202 by the time this was over, I would have doubted that seriously. Nobody has called me "skinny" since high school - and I've heard that a few times since I've been back. I'm not sure I like it :-)

This journey started back in Jul, 2008 when I first found out our unit would be mobilized. Even before that, I had de-iced Pam with the thought that I would likely be spending time directly supporting the current war before my retirement. Much planning and thought went into this deployment. I knew it would be important to stay in touch with people and I started this blog in Jan even before I officially went on orders. I’m still on orders and my demobilization date will be 21 Oct 2009. I’ll be back to work at SITA on 1 Oct. I work for a GREAT company.

There were a few surprises along the way – especially the effect of this blog. I did it for family and friends and never expected that is would help a few others out along the way.

For the last 5 months in Afghanistan, we saw no rain. Since I’ve been back in ATL, the rain hasn’t stopped and I’ve not seen the sunshine! It’s a nice change really. Pam mentioned it’s depressing – and I kind of like it. Perspective – it’s different for all of us. I’ve learned to appreciate people’s perspective a lot more.

My homecoming was simply fantastic. I was greeted at the airport by my lovely wife, my children, all my grandchildren and some very special friends. It was a spectacular moment in time. Shelley (my daughter in law) made shirts that said “We support our Chief” and all the grandkids had them on – even Maddie had one on. See the pics here:

David, Janice and Joe Brown, David and Kim Warren, Colleen, Ashley and Maddie were all “friends” that came to greet me at the airport – and for no better reason than they love me – these people are more than “friends” – I think of them as family.

Every day since I have been home has been an adventure. Marcus took care of Big Red while I was gone and not only was it nice and clean, it had a new stereo that sounds great! Jeff and Heidi had RIBS on Sunday for me and we watched FOOTBALL! Pam and I celebrated our missed anniversary with dinner at Chops last night and there are still many things I am looking forward too – like lighting the smoking lamp with Dad, hunting with Marcus, fishing with Al and so much more.

It was great to be back with my church family on Sunday – Bob was there – a prayer warrior for this entire tour – a veteran himself who I know diligently prayed for me daily. I also know many others have been praying for me and the team – this is something I will never forget.

I am truly blessed to have had this opportunity! That’s really the way I see it. It was an opportunity to serve – and I made the most of it. I did my best and I’m very proud of what we did as a team. The separation wasn’t easy for any of us, but knowing that we all did our part to answer our nations call is a very rewarding feeling. I would like to thank each and every member of the team for your contributions to the mission. I would especially like to thank Col Lehman for his leadership and guidance through the entire tour.

I ask just one thing of you. Please never forget the military men and women who are currently engaged in the war on terrorism - and the many who have made the ultimate sacrifice fighting for you and for me. Paul Leslie (senior pastor at McDonough Christian Church) mentioned me in prayer on Sunday, but also noted we lost a church family member on 16 Sep – SFC Shawn McCloskey who was also serving in Afghanistan. Please pray for them and their families. I feel lucky to have served with honor and I am glad God saw fit to return me to my family. Apparently He is not finished with me yet.

I look forward to the next challenge – whatever that may be.


Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Early start to last leg

It's 0315 - and I'm very excited to start this last part of my journey home. With any luck, I'll see my family and friends in a few hours!


Monday, September 14, 2009

Back in the USA!

It sure feels good to be back in the "real" world!!!

We landed @ BWI (Baltimore/Washington International) about 1730L - about 90 minutes ahead of schedule for a change!!!

The airport was pretty quiet - many individuals came up to us and said "Thank you for you service!" - very nice!!!

We all got checked into the Sheraton which I can't think of a better way to describe the rooms than what the CC said "These rooms are nicer than my first house!"

Very nice! Comfortable!!!

I'm extremely tired, I'm going to bed. I'll see MANY of you tomorrow. If I don't see you, please feel free to call me.


Do we LOOK excited?

Here we are drinking a beer in Shannon Ireland. Almost back on US soil. Next stop, Baltimore! :-)

1 Leg down

We have arrived in Germany! We landed a few minutes ago in Leipzig GE. The journey has started and we are all VERY excited!


Sunday, September 13, 2009

Back on Track

OK - as of this moment, we are back on track and everything looks good. Of course it looked good last time as well and one of the key clichés around the AOR - "A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush" - it means two things... 1. Take what you can get when you can get your hands on it - and 2. You don't have it UNTIL it's in your hand!

So to make a long story short, I'll be home when I get home. That's not sarcastic, just the way it is around here. And the better you can roll with the punches, the better for everyone else.

I'm still smiling and I look forward to coming home soon.


Saturday, September 12, 2009

Slight Delay

As luck would have it, we get to spend a little more time here than we originally thought. The good news is the beer is still cold and the weather is beautiful! I will send Pam all the details and she will communicate them as soon as they are available.

Not much going on today other than the bad news. It really is very nice here. We are all doing fine and just waiting for confirmation.


Friday, September 11, 2009

The short answer to why I am here

In case any of you are still trying to figure out why I am here, the significance of this day might be able to help you. I will be home soon with my head held high knowing that I was a direct part of protecting you for the last 8 years - and the almost 20 before that.. Today we remember where we were on 9/11/2001 and remember all those innocent civilians who died and their families. Also all those who died and their loved ones making sure it hasn't happened again. Since 9/11, there has not been one single incident of terrorism on US soil and I believe that is a direct result of America taking the fight to the enemy and not letting them bring the fight to us.

I am an American Airman and I have answered my nations call.

God bless all of you and God Bless America as we all remember today the events of 2001 on this very day.


Pete's Place

I'm sitting in Pete's Place - a nice relaxing place in Manas AB, Kyrgyzstan. They have a bar that serves REAL beer from all over the world, pool tables, ping pong, lots of TV's and free high speed Internet! It's a real pleasure to be able to check my email and other websites in the normal time - just a few min! No hassles and no waiting! And - my iTouch is working well also! My room accommodations are well above my expectations - good thing they weren't this nice BEFORE we went into Bagram - I would have been in complete shock! :-)

It's FRIDAY - and as many of you know - I love Friday's! This one is particularly nice because it will be my LAST Friday in the AOR - hopefully, and most likely, forever.

I'm very relaxed and just waiting now for confirmation of our flight out of here.

Soon I will make my last post to this blog and this chapter in my life will be complete. I want to thank you all for everything that was done to support me, my family and the entire team here for the last 8+ months since going on orders back in JAN. Through CST in FEB and 6 months at Bagram, I have really appreciated all the cards, letters, packages, etc - but again, most importantly, your prayers.

We are very fortunate that nobody was seriously injured during our time and nobody got into any major trouble. We accomplished a significant amount of work and as a team, we made a vast improvement to the enduring operations on Bagram. Our major accomplishments include a new Blackwater tank farm which initiated operations the day we left BAF! This alone will reduce the amount of trucks entering and leaving the installation by some 500 vehicles daily and the result is a huge increase in force protection and reduced traffic flow.

We also completed major construction in several buildings including a redesigned HVAC (Heating Ventilation and Air Conditioning) system in the main communication facility for Afghanistan! The folks there had added several new servers and the HVAC system was under sized and not nearly adequate enough accommodate the new equipment. There was a serious risk of overheating and the entire network was in jeopardy - meaning communications (both secured and unsecured) would have been affected. Our team performed emergency modifications to the existing system allowing a sufficient amount a time to design and install a new system that is now cooling the facility to a chilly 65 degrees - even during the peak temperatures we experienced this summer of more than 115 degrees Fahrenheit!

There were several other major projects and countless minor projects not including the maintenance "favors" we did to improve the many different facilities on Bagram. Our team improved the life, health and safety of coalition forces on BAF now and well into the future. I am VERY proud to have been part of this team and all their accomplishments.

The new team is lead by LtCol Parkinson and CMSgt Torres from Hickam AFB in HI. They were very appreciative of all the work our team did to try and ensure a smooth turnover of projects, equipment, and living quarters. I wish them the very best and I hope their tour will exceed all their expectations. I pray for the team and leadership that they are all safe and are able to execute God's plan and all return home to their families when their mission is complete.

I am really excited to return home in the next few days and promise to keep you up to date on my locations as they change - provided I am able too (no communication issues). I don't expect any.

See you all soon!


Thursday, September 10, 2009


We are out of the "war zone" Still the AOR, but no where near the same threat level.

I am very tired, and I have at least a couple days here - I'll post a nice blog for you all tomorrow - I don't have anything better to do all day! :-)


God is GREAT, Beer is GOOD, and People are CRAZY!

(I'm especially enjoying the BEER part at the moment!)

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

What does not make me happy.

Sorry for the short posts!

Robert has been keeping me pretty busy soaking up everything I have to throw at him out of the fire hose. There is a terrible quality (blurry) pic here:

I was thinking the other day and I recently heard one of my favorite songs - "God Bless the USA" by Lee Greenwood. I have always told Pam these lyrics even before Lee so eloquently put them into his song, "If tomorrow all the things were gone I'd worked for all my life, And I had to start again with just my children and my wife,..." More literally, I've always told Pam that you could take away everything I have and I would still be a happy guy. And today, I'm very happy to report that I can now say these words with even more certainty - because I was just thinking about what I have when I was packing up my stuff. For the last 6 months, I've had - well, basically nothing. The things I did have were intermittent Internet, my computer, some good food to eat, and a wooden box to lay my head (which I don't even have that anymore!). That's about it. And also, for the last 6 months, you can ask anyone here at BAF that I have met or who has seen me - and that's just about everyone - "What was Chief Schubert like?" They would probably answer with one word - Happy! I had a smile on my face the entire time and I still do now and I always will. I'll have an even BIGGER smile when I get to see all of YOU again!


Monday, September 7, 2009

Another Quickie


Not much time in the day these days.

Busy again today, so no promises about the longer post - I do have some stuff to tell you.

Coming soon, I promise.


Sunday, September 6, 2009

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Lucky to post

Well, the Internet is back to it's weary self - I'll be lucky if this posts.

Just took my last shower in the Cadillac - I move to my new temporary home tomorrow - where there is NO Internet. I hope to meet our replacement team tomorrow night!


Friday, September 4, 2009

What is it Man?

짧은 타이머 = "Short Timer" in Korean.

I was also reminded I hadn't told you about that. Actually, I was wondering if anyone was going to ask because Doug was so quick to comment and get it right.

I always thought he knew Korean! He's a smart associate of mine. (Internet glitch... :-)


Who's in the pics?

My Mom and Dad reminded me that I was supposed to tell you who was in the pictures here: - The civilian guy is Secretary Donley - the Secretary of the Air Force! The 3 Star General is General Hostage - the new AFCENT Commander.


Early Post

I thought I'd post a little earlier than usual - even before I call my parents today. I went to the office this morning - worked for a little - cleaned the truck and my office - got all my ducks in a row and called it a day. Came back and cleaned the room, packed, and I also got my temp billeting assignment - so I'm ready to move out when the other team arrives.

The good news is my new room won't be far from a couple places that have "free" Internet. The bad news is there are a LOT of people who know this little secret and it is sometimes difficult to get on. I'll do my best to honor my promise of posting daily now till we are out of here.

So once again, I thank you all for your support! The cards, letters, packages, pictures, comments, etc were overwhelming. Just today, I received some pictures/letters from children who are led in a Sunday School class by a friend of Della Jackson. Many of you may not recognize that name, but the words written on the paper from the children were absolutely priceless. What is SO encouraging about that (to me) is the fact that there are patriotic American supporters who are not only supporting and praying for our military, but they are raising and educating children (young children) to know and understand that the freedom we have in America is not free and it doesn't hurt to say thank you to the men and women fighting for the American people now and into the future. This is what will REALLY secure the resolve of America people in the next generation and for generations to come! Amen!

This is not the first batch of cards/letters from children I have received - I have gotten many. It IS the first batch I received directed to me personally. That was very special. Thanks Della!


Thursday, September 3, 2009


EOT stands for End of Tour! We had our final "party" and also received our EOT awards.

Pics here:

There are a few pics of the TOA (transfer of authority) ceremony just a few days ago - Task Force Warrior was replaced by TF Cyclone.

Back to the EOT celebration. It was really a pretty good feeling to know that I have been a part of this team and to remember all the accomplishments we did together - as a team. The CC even reiterated how well we performed AS a team considering we are one squadron from two different bases. This is a true tribute to the professionalism of everyone.

As a team, we did some great things - NONE of which were possible without the individual accomplishments of each individual on that team! And today was the day to recognized the individual performers for all their hard work, dedication, and commitment. I've also been hearing MANY great stories from Airmen who have completed personal goals - passed a CDC (Career Development Course)/PME (Professional Military Education) test, completed a CCAF (Community College of the Air Force) degree, been recognized by their church, many helped with Operation Care, CJTH (Craig Joint Theater Hospital) or participated in a BAF sports league, professional group (Top3 etc) - the list goes on and on. Many lost weight, are now maybe in the best condition of their life, read a book, or maybe some other personal challenges were met. Many were promoted and still several others reenlisted. Remember - all of this in the AOR - a combat zone! And don't forget we executed millions of dollars in countless construction projects - on and off BAF!

These are all GREAT things. Also - in doing all of that, nobody on our entire team got seriously hurt or in any major trouble!

Thanks to all of the Airmen on this team! It's been a true honor to serve with you and I certainly look forward to your continued success!


Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Short jokes

We are so short now we are doing pull ups with staples! All of us are so short we can't even trip! I got a few more, but I won't bore you.

I promise to post everyday now from my computer (God willing and Internet allows) till we leave. Then, once I get my TMobile card back in my Blackjack, I should be able to post from my cell while we travel and I'll make a few posts from some interesting places - again, assuming there are no technology glitches.

Don't miss tomorrows post - we are having our EOT party and this will include the awards presentations. Should be some good photo opportunities!

So, with any luck - you can call ME in a couple of weeks on my cell. I'll be taking a break and visiting my family for a couple weeks. I am very anxious to see all of you and just to be able to "talk" about "normal" stuff again. I'll probably offer the most obscure perspective for a while - :-). I might even bark a few orders for you! :-)

Some people say this deployment has changed them - me? well, I think I have changed a little also - 6 months here will do that to folks. In perspective, you all have probably changed a little too - maybe "grown" is a much better way to say that for me - in a very good way. I've learned a lot, read a lot, prayed a lot, and I've expanded my understanding of several very different cultures - one unlike any other I have seen before - and I've seen quite a few. I also feel very good about my time here. I'm not going to walk away and think I could have done more. Yes, nothing here was perfect, but I believe I did the very best I could. I can tell you I sure TRIED hard every single day. I thought about this motto from the very first day I was here - "Don't count the days, make the days count!" That really stuck with me and I promised myself when I first heard that saying - that is what I was going to do. And - I feel very good about that. If you want to know WHY I wanted to do that, well it's because I believe in my heart God has a plan for all of us - and I sincerely believe He sent me here for a reason - and I certainly didn't want to let Him down. I wanted to do my best every day for Him.

I cannot express how much writing this blog has meant to me also. It gave me strength (seriously) to know so many of you reading love me and are praying diligently for me and the entire team. I assure you I read and appreciated every single comment. I also appreciate the many of you who took time to write cards, letters, and send thoughtful packages packed with love. Thank you all so very much.

I miss you all - it's not over yet and you know me - I'll stay committed to this till the very end when I get a big hug and a kiss from my wife - that's when I'll know this is over.

Then, I'll take just a few days to give thanks and praise, recoup my thoughts, and start the next chapter in my life - I'm sure it will include ALL of you!