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  1. #1
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    Default Families & Friends of Combat FF's in Iraq

    At the suggestion of some combat ff's heading to Iraq I have started this new thread for family and friends with a loved one in Iraq.

    My name is Tracy Robertson and my husband, Gary "Zimbob", has been in Iraq since October '04. I am not an expert on what to expect or how to deal with the fact someone dear is in Iraq - I can only share my experiences and encourage everyone to post and let's have discussions and make new friends.

    Since there is not a support system in place for those of us back home as they have in the military - I think it a good idea to share whatever needs to be shared - of course keeping in mind we must be mindful of what is said regarding our loved one's locations, etc. (Hear ya Thomas and Jonathan!!) Use good judgement and we can have a good time talking and sharing with each other.

    Looking forward to this and will check back daily. My email is milkshakes4all@yahoo.com for those of you who would like to email me directly.

    Take care and GOD BLESS our Combat Firefighters!!

    Tracy


  2. #2
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    Default thanks

    thanks for starting this tracy
    David "Scottie" Harris
    Captain
    D-4 Camp Falcon
    Baghdad, Iraq
    sh_fireinv@hotmail.com
    "There is no right way to do a wrong thing...no success in management will ever compensate for a failure in leadership."

  3. #3
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    Smile

    Thank you for starting this.My husband leaves in
    February to Iraq.I am behind him 100% in this new
    adventure of his FF career.We have three small
    children that will be with me full time and he
    will be in the big sandbox.He is prior military and
    I have dealt with a deployment before.It is always nice
    to have someone to talk to about an experience you are
    facing.Again Thank you for starting this thread.I can
    be reached though my website
    www.cheyennesmoonwalk.com or
    email sprinkles@cheyennesmoonwalk.co m .
    Email me and I will give you my IM and contact number
    so we can all get through this as one great big Family.


    Kristy

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    Thumbs up Thanks Tracy

    Hey Tracy,
    Thank you for starting this thread. I have family and friends that will be reading and sharing their thoughts and ideas on this thread. I will email them and advise them that there is now a place where they can go for information. Maybe, oneday there will be a support group for our family and friends. Until then, I think that this will do just fine. I will be departing on Feb 21st. I will send any and all information possible upon arrival to Iraq. Again, Thank you. Hector Garcia FF/EMT alias wildharleydude

  5. #5
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    Kristy

    Glad you posted! Sounds like you have experience in this. So you probably have great advice. So your hubby leaves in Feb - well I wish him safety and success. So you have three children - great - I have three and one step son. They make a big difference in helping me stay busy. Wondering how old are you kids? My kids dealt with it kind of hard - especially the oldest girls because they really understand the "reality" of this war. The boys kinds have "hero" eyes towards Gary. Which is good - they miss him terribly but they bragg on him all the time. I will email soon and check out your website. Will be nice to talk!!

    Take care
    Tracy

  6. #6
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    Default Thanks!

    Hey Tracy,

    Thanks a bunch for starting this thread. I'm sure friends and family of WSI Firefighters will appreciate having somewhere to go to meet other folks going through the same experiences as they are. Since I'm single there won't be a spouse of mine on here but you will most likely see my mother come on here.

    My mother is use to the deployment thing because my older brother and I have both served in the military and were both deployed to Desert Shield/Storm together. Ironically my brother is still in the military and has just arrived in Iraq about a month ago and now I am following once again. That doesn't make it any easier but it does give her some experience in this arena. I think it was a little easier for her last time though because she had my father to lean on. My father unfortunately passed away in 2003 so this time she is going it alone so hopefully she gets involved with this thread and anything else the spouses and families start up to help her through yet another deployment. I must admit I felt some guilt about leaving her alone but she supports me 100% in anything I decide to do and this time has been no different.

    My mothers name is Debbie so be looking out for her Tracy. Thanks again and I hope I get to meet your husband. Take care of yourselves and each other and will talk to ya later. I will try to visit all the threads while I'm in Iraq if I have time.

    Chad

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    Default

    Chad
    I am glad to start this new thread. I am sure you are in Houston now. I look forward to all the conversations and friends that will be made. I hope your mother will post soon. I am sure even with her experience with the military - deployment is never easy - especially with two of her sons in Iraq. She has to be a special person and look forward to "meeting" Debbie. Sorry to hear of your's and her's loss in your father. Being alone the hardest thing to cope with. You make sure and stay in touch with her as much as you can!!

    Kirsty - I love your website - what a cool story about how your business started - and you are a clown - that is FABULOUS - Sprinkles is very coo. Look forward to hearing more from you. When does your hubby leave in Feb again? I was thinking the 14th.

    Hector - so you leav Feb 21st - wow that is better then Feb 14th!! I can't imagine having to say goodbye on Valentines Day!! I wish you so much safety and success and please once you get in place check back and maybe by then this thread will have lots of posts. Tell your family and friends to please visit - this is a place to discuss all of our feelings, share our problems, offer solutions. I am sure there will be some "crying" but I sure hope more "laughing" Please stay in touch my friend

    Take care everyone!
    Tracy

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    Default

    Hey Scottie!! Don't you leave without saying bye! Glad you and Gary got hooked up on emails - have you though of posting your interview? I still have saved in my sent folder - let me know if you want me to post for you.

    Take care dear!
    Tracy

  9. #9
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    Default Thank You

    Hello Combatffwife,

    My wife visited the thread you started and appreciates it greatly. I also appreciate it greatly. She is pondering a "handle" at this time and you will probably see some posts from her. She has a lot of questions and lots of them I can not answer (I am the one leaving so...). I belive you posted Gary's email some where. Could you email it to me? capt217@comcast.net Thanks.
    Captain Tom Kichenmaster
    Philomath Fire & Rescue
    Philomath, OR.

    *****************************
    Every day brings us new and exciting challenges. It is up to us to either embrace them or let them destroy us.

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    Default

    Tom,

    Gary's email is zimbob3869@yahoo.com

    Look forward to chatting with your wife!

    Have a good day

    Tracy

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    Default

    Hello,
    My hubby leaves on Feb 7th.We are in to the
    final days before houston.Stress levels are up
    and down and this point.his going away party is this
    Saturday.No clown and this party because clowns
    don't cry but this wife does.I hope to talk with
    everyone more as the days go by.Drop me a line at sprinkles@cheyennesmoonwalk.co m .Thank you all
    and god bless


    Kristy

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    Default

    Krisy,

    I know this is a stressful time. Nothing I can say will change that, but know I am with you in this. When Gary and I were at the airport we were feeling very numb - there tears, kisses and hugs but it didn't seem real to me that he had left. I had an hours drive back home from the airport. Our kids were with me and they helped a lot on the ride back home - we remembered all the fun times with Gary and just had a good time laughing at all the fun things we did to each other as Gary is a huge prankster and boy have we had some hilarious times. Well I held my composure you know wanting to be strong for the kids - but when we got home and I went up to our bedroom and I lost it! I had a good cry on the bed and everynight before I go to bed I spray his cologne on his pillow and hug it all night. I know sounds silly but it helps me. The one thing that turned out better than I expected was the comminication with Gary. We have talked literally everyday via phone, instant messaging, there was a 72 hour period when I didn't hear from him, but he told me beforehand so I was prepared for that. Talking to him everyday is wonderful help to the both of us. He calls every Saturday and speaks to all the kids and his mom (as she moved in with me after Gary left).

    There will be definate ups and downs - just try and stay busy and remember with each day that passes that brings him one day closer to coming home!!

    Your friend,
    Tracy

  13. #13
    MembersZone Subscriber Capt217's Avatar
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    Default Update

    Well my wife finally picked a handle... Kimmers. I am still waiting for my packet. Hopefully soon, like tomorrow or monday.

    I want to say Thank you Tracy for starting this thread. It is good to know that the family members of one going to the big sand box have place to go to ask questions. Let Gary know I will email him soon. Take care and again Thank you.
    Captain Tom Kichenmaster
    Philomath Fire & Rescue
    Philomath, OR.

    *****************************
    Every day brings us new and exciting challenges. It is up to us to either embrace them or let them destroy us.

  14. #14
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    Default

    Hi Tracy,

    My name is Lori and my husband is leaving this Monday. While reading your post I was crying once again. I loved the cologne idea. Im trying to be strong for him but it is hard. Im so glad you started tis post. My husband has a friend who is already in Iraq and is trying to get my husband on the same base. It worked with another guy hoping it will work again. Im sure all the guys look out for each other anyway. Good luck to all you guys leaving and be safe.

  15. #15
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    Hello Lori,
    My husband also leaves on Monday.If you need
    anything please email me.I understand what your
    going through right now.Here is an idea if you
    have kids.Have them kiss thier dads hands and
    vice versa and when they need a kiss all they
    have to do is place there hand to there cheek
    and its a long distance kiss.It works for my
    little ones and also with me.Wishing you the best.

    Kristy

  16. #16
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    Default

    Tracy,

    Thank you for starting this thread. I'm sitting here watching the super bowl catching up on the threads. I leave 21 feb. and time is going by so fast. I start to think of what I want and need to complete before I go and I wonder if I'm going to have enough time. My mom, step-mom, and girlfriend may read and post here looking for support and guidance. My dad may look but I doubt he'll post. It hasn't been easy at all. The day I told everyone I made the decision to go was probably the worst day of my life so far with no exaggeration. It was a big shock as I was thinking of staying and withdrawing from the process. Something is calling me to go even though I don't want to leave my girlfriend, family, and friends. Like someone said, each day that passes is one day closer to the return of your loved one. It was a hard decision, but with all things considered it is the right one. You have been great and I wish you and Gary all the best. He is lucky to have such a strong woman by his side. I can only hope to be so lucky when I return. Good luck to everyone leaving tomorrow and on the 14th. I look forward to meeting the people on my day and everyone over there.
    Jonathan

  17. #17
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    Exclamation Greatest Wife Award

    I just wanted to sneak in a note while she's sleeping
    on this the eve of my leaving. My wife is the hands down,
    undisputed, Greatest Wife In The World. She has stood
    beside me every step, held back too many tears, and
    still puts up with my "grumpy butt" even though she
    isn't required to. Sweet heart I am hear to say
    publicly "Thank You and I will miss your smiling face!"
    And to all the spouses we couldn't do this without you.
    Love

    Brandon

  18. #18
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    Default

    Hey all...I'm new to posting on here, but have been reading along with my fiancee. He posts sometimes on the Combat FF's in Iraq board. He left this morning. Good luck to all that are still scheduled to leave.

  19. #19
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    Hi Everyone
    My husband left this morning and called me from Texas acouple hours ago. Says they are going to get 300.00 cash advance so thats good. He is going out with the guys so they can get to know each other.Sounds like everything is going well.I miss him but I can do this.Be safe you guys!


    Lori

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    Default

    I am glad to see this thread is getting some activity. Haven't checked in a several days as I have been in the bed with the flu - but much better now.

    Jonathan - sorry to hear you had such a tough time telling everyone - just keep your purpose in your mind and accept that not all will support you - my thoughts and prayers are with you!!

    Lori - I am so glad you posted! Welcome! Bless your heart - I know this is tough - to be honest I haven't had a great few days myself and Gary has been gone since Oct. I had a good cry today, you will have ups and downs - just surround yourself with friends and family and expect to have gut wrenching cries on a daily basis at first then you will find as time goes by you will realize "Hey I didn't cry today!!" Then if you are like me - will feel guilty for NOT crying and start crying anyhow!! LOL It is very normal - just keep things in perspective. Everytime you talk to your hubby you tell him how much you love him and support him - sometimes its hard as to be honest I have had some moments where I have "resented" his desire but have kept that to myself and again realized that was normal too. If you have a faith and can depend upon pastoral counsel or soemthing similar - take advantage of it - I email my pastor on a regular basis. I hope I don't come across as an expert or "know-it-all" because quite the contrary - I am sure there will be days I will need you guys to lift me up too!! As far as the guys looking after each - yes they do as far as what Gary has shared - they are quite a group of pranksters from he says - they have a good time.

    Skanocom34 - wishing your fiancee much success and welcome. What is your name and who is your fiancee? Hope you post again!

    Brandon - Excellent post!!! So nice to hear how much you adore your wife - will she post soon?

    Tom - You tell Kimmers hello and we are all looking for to her posts. Don't freak out at the volumous amounts of paperwork you will get in your packet - just go through ONE thing at a time. If you need any help email - and I told Gary you would be emailing soon if you havent yet!

    Chad - hope you are doing well - please post when you can!!

    Hector - how are you - not too much longer to go for you - Feb 21st right? Take care and looking forward to your family and friends posting.

    Kristy - How are you doing? Have you talked with your hubby yet? Thinking of you! How are the kids? I know things are tough right now - I know you guys will be fine - how could kids with a clown for a mom not be okay?! They are lucky kids!!

    I have posted a list that I made for Gary that included the list received from WSI on the FF in Iraq? post.

    Anyone who wants to email - feel free - milkshakes4all@yahoo.com

    My 13 yr old son - Nate - tries out for school baseball team tomorrow - wish him luck - first time playing baseball - he has played soccer and basketball seems like forever - so he is a little nervous about the baseball - but mom has a feeling he will do great!

    Take care!
    Tracy

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