Saturday, February 25, 2006

A Million Miles Away From Home

Someone left me a comment about this song and I liked it, so I just wanted to share it with everyone who reads my blog. So, please check it out and leave a comment for Bob Stewart.

A Million Miles Away from Home was written on August 8, 2005, Ohio's official "Day of Mourning" following the deaths of 14 Marines from Ohio. Factored out over the population of the United States, it would be the equivalent of more than 350 Americans dying in a three-day period. I wrote "A Million Miles Away from Home" to help me grieve the loss.

Bob Stewart

Monday, February 20, 2006

GQ's - This is Our War: A Soldiers' Portfolio

GQ is asking service members, serving in Iraq, for their pictures of the war. So, they created a forum for marines, soldiers, sailors, and airmen to post their pictures and comments. Every month, the editors at GQ will select the best photo they receive and the winning photographer will be awarded a new Canon PowerShot SD450.

With that, I submitted some of my photos and as you know it, last week I received a email from one of the editors saying that I won the digital camera. Needless to say, I am really excited to hear that! And the very next morning, on my doorstep was my new camera; I love it! It takes some great pictures, small in size, plus great video - something my old camera didn't do very well. This is the link to the picture they choose.

In addition, I was also interviewed by Marine Corps Public Affairs, in New York City, for a Marine article. Here is also the link: click here.

Thursday, February 16, 2006

PFC Jacob Spann

Yesterday I attended the funeral of Private First Class Jacob Spann. He was a Marine killed in Iraq last week in the city of Hit. The same city that my company lived in and built a firm base for about a month. Jacob was from Columbus and this offered me a chance to attend a funeral of a Marine, since I was unable to attend the funerals of our men.

It was a beautiful service. Many people talked about Jacob's life and I was able to get a glimpse into his life. It did make me sad to see such a young man die, though I know he did it for our country and another country's freedoom. There were about 750 people at the service and well over 100 cars in the funeral procession to the graveyard. He was honored with a 21 gun salute and afterwards, the people attending released dozens of balloons into the air. It was a beautiful and fitting service for a hero and I only wish everyone would see one.

Afterwards, the group of Marines from my company went to visit Sergeant Hoffman's grave to pay our respects to our fellow Marine.

Sgt Hoffman

Wednesday, February 08, 2006


Last night I filled out my FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid); this is the form needed to get federal grants and/or loans from the government for students going to college. Well, while I was filing mine out, I got really angry with the questions and information it was asking for. For next school year ('06-'07), I thought I was going to bank on some grants to pay for me education. The FAFSA asks for your tax information and such, but then it went on and asked for my combat pay, which is nontaxable, my food & housing allowance (nontaxable), and my investments.

I figured that since my combat pay is nontaxable, I won't have to claim it on my FAFSA, but nope, they like to know about every single dime I made and invest. This is what angers me probably the most. Why in the world am I getting screwed out of grant money because I invest my money?! I keep a couple of CD's just to make a little bit of money while I determine what to do with it. You know, I like to keep a little bit of cash handy in case of something that would happen and now I am being treated like I have all this money for college. I should be like a lot of other people; spend everything I make and carry large debts. That way, I would get free grant money from the government! I think this is stupid because I like to be a productive and wise citizen and keep a little cash handy. Oh, they also want to know about my savings and checking account balances. I really am pissed about all of this.

Oh, I can't forget my GI Bill benefits I get from the VA. FAFSA wants to know all about that and include it in with the money I make. Now, I served my country's armed forces for this money, and yet, I am getting penalized out of grant money because of it. I don't even have a job right now, and yet they expect me to contribute almost $10,000 for the next school year! All because I was sent to war, made some money, and saved a large amount of it.

This was something that just got me upset and wanted to rant about. Oh well, there's always more student loans I can take out to continue my higher education while someone who doesn't work and saves nothing, s/he can go to college for free.

Sunday, February 05, 2006

Brokeback to the Future

To any fans of Brokeback Mountain and Back to the Future, this video clip is very funny.

Check it out and let me know what you think:

To end speculation, no I have not seen Brokeback Mountain, but I have seen Back to the Future; all 3 of em!

Saturday, February 04, 2006

My New Toy!

After much searching far and near, I came across something of great beauty and speed. I now present you with my 2001 Yamaha YZF R600

2001 Yamaha YZFR600

I found this great piece of machinery at Integrity Cycles in Columbus. Probably paid a little bit too much than what I should have, but I don't regret it.

Thursday, February 02, 2006

Washington DC

Arlington National Cemetery

Last weekend, I made a trip to Washington DC, with another Marine from my company. The main reason of the visit, was to visit Arilington National Cemetary and pay our respect to our fellow brothers. We were also able to stay with another Marine that we went on a deployment together to South America. I had a great time meeting up with some guys there and even have a friend that is a staffer for a congressman. With that, we were able to get a private tour of the Capitol Building compliments of the Capitol Police. The officer showed us some great places around the Capitol, even some rooms that are not open to the public like the Senators' Restroom and the Senate Majority Leader's Private Balcony. The officer offered next time we visit, he can give us a more detailed tour if we contact him ahead of time and not just show up because the Capitol was actually closed to the public when we went through. We could even do a 2AM tour if we wanted!

Unfortunately, we didn't get a chance to see the Iwo Jima Memorial, but there's always next time. And next time, it will be longer than a weekend. Here are a few more pictures I took during my trip. As always, check out my flickr for all my great pictures.

Group Photo SSgt Goodwin
Ceiling in the President's Room