Over on her blog, Erica Orloff asked us all to list five “weird” things about ourselves, or more accurately, off-the-wall stuff. Ok, so my first one may not be a great revelation in terms of the knowledge of my military background, but the rest may be.
I’ll always be a soldier…and I have lots of experiences from “special missions” in Thailand, Egypt, and Sinai when I was a lieutenant, to commanding a tank company in 1st Squadron, 2d Armored Cavalry Regiment in Germany during the Cold War. This involved patrolling the East German and Czech borders of West Germany. I fought in Desert Storm and commanded a Cavalry Troop at Fort Riley after Desert Storm. Retired in 1995, but returned to working for the Army in 2002 as a training developer and training team chief. I still work with the Army when I’m not writing…currently working on two projects of which I can say nothing further. I was “blown up” and wounded by an IED in Iraq in 2004.
I do genealogy research as a major hobby. My own family tree has over 7,900 individuals going back as far as the 400’s C.E. Admittedly the documentation is tenuous once you get to around 1400 for those particular relations. However, the genealogy DNA test confirmed a link to Niall of the Nine Hostages, the Irish king who kidnapped Saint Patrick from Britain and brought him to Ireland…the rest is, as they say, history.
I was on the equestrian team at West Point and twice competed in the Intercollegiate Equestrian Team Championships placing 7th and 9th overall in the Three Day Event (Dressage, Cross-Country Jumping, and Stadium Jumping). I’ve been on numerous fox hunts here and in the UK and Ireland (before they banned them in the UK).
Between retiring from the Army and today, I have also been a computer geek doing programming, data base design, system analysis, web design, business analysis and computer training – none of which are as exhilarating as being shot at.
I am a traveler. I have been to all 48 contiguous states, Mexico, Costa Rica, Honduras, the Canadian Provinces of British Columbia, Manitoba, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Ontario, Quebec, New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island, and Nova Scotia. I’ve been to Thailand, Hong Kong, Singapore, Australia, Korea, Japan, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, The Emirates, Bahrain, Iraq, Egypt, Lebanon, Croatia, Bosnia, Greece, Crete, Germany, Italy, Switzerland, France, Holland, Luxemburg, Belgium, Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Spain, Portugal, England, Scotland, Ireland and Iceland. I’m angling for a trip to Afghanistan on a contract for the Army…just missed the chance a year ago. I still have not made it to Wales, but plan to within the next five years or so. My favorite places outside the US are Scotland and Ireland.
I’ll list a sixth thing for giggles. I’m a foodaholic. That is to say, I love food…good food. Sort of like the rat in the movie “Ratatouille”. I’m not talkin’ hot dogs or hamburgers here, though I will eat those too. I like preparing it as much as eating it and I’m a better cook than my mother, grandmother(s), mother-in-law, either wife (yes, one wife is an “ex”), or any of my three sisters. I concede fancy cakes and pastries, but the main meal…that’s my specialty...I’m an above-average saucier. I love just about any ethnic food. One of my greatest regrets in life is that I won’t live long enough to try everything there is to eat.