Formerly known as "Cruzers in Korea"

Sunday, January 29, 2012

2011 Year in Review - Part II

Sunday, January 29, 2012
Whoops.  Forgot to post this one before I went on travel.  So here's the other half of 2011:

Jena got to hang out with the Honky Tonk Cruzers in Tennessee after a fun vacation week in Miami.  Of course we got our fishing on at nearby Garner Lake.  She crushed me.  She was catching bass, catfish, crappie, and blue gill.  I was catching a cold.  I wouldn't have had it any other way.  Seeing her so giddy over her fishing bounty made it a highly successful day on the lake for the both of us.    

In July, I took a work trip along with some of the other detailers and placement officers from Navy Personnel Command to the Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC) at Fort Bragg in Fayetteville, North Carolina.  You might have heard about JSOC in the news after the OBL mission went down.  They are one of the commands that I place for.  My brother Lee is stationed at Fort Bragg so we got to catch up a bit.  The bonus was doing some indoor skydiving with the JSOC folks.  Very cool.

For CJ's 13th birthday, he jokingly asked for a 5 pound gummy bear, a kazoo, and a shark with a laser attached to his head.  So what did we get him?  A 5 pound gummy bear, a kazoo, and a shark with a laser attached to his head.  Mission accomplished.  Due to the summer heat, the gummy bear arrived in the mail as a large gelatinous mass.  Not good.  The kazoo was a big hit.  He's belting out "Rolling in the Deep" and "Edge of Glory" like there's no tomorrow.  And here he is with the shark.  I made the laser myself.

So glad the family got to attend my good friend Hoss' retirement ceremony in Meridian, Mississippi. Hoss and I were roommates during our Department Head tour with the VS-30 Diamondcutters.  The second set of wings under Hoss' ribbons are from his time in England flying Harriers.

More travel in July.  This is the US Northern Command Headquarters in Colorado Springs.  They are one of 10 Combatant Commands (COCOMs) that I place for.  I'm the Placement Officer for all of the COCOMs, which means I provide them with their Navy officers.  There is one less COCOM now that Joint Forces Command (JFCOM) has disestablished.  Now I know why everyone wants orders to NORTHCOM.  It's gorgeous up there.  NORTHCOM was established after the 9/11 attacks.

Speaking of JFCOM, I had another trip to Norfolk, Virginia to work the many disestablishment details.  The disestablishment kept me busy for several months.  Nice to have that behind me.  Got to see some good friends in my old stomping grounds in Virginia.  This is me, Lani, and Ruben at the Goo Goo Dolls Concert in Portsmouth.  A good friend of mine was nice enough to get us tickets.  Always nice catching up with friends.

Speaking of catching up, Jake and Hannah had a ball spending time together during the Allen's trip to Memphis.  These two were besties from their Korea days.  The thoughts of being close to the Allens for our next tour is pretty exciting.

More travel.  This time to Stuttgart, Germany for some business with European Command and Africa Command.  Awesome place.  I really enjoyed running through their nature trails.  They've got them all over the place.  I got to take in a nice wine festival during my trip.  Every time I push someone's orders to Stuttgart, I know that I'm making dreams come true.

Things are bigger in Texas, except for the Alamo.  It was much smaller than I thought.  The trip to San Antonio was to visit the Joint Information Operations Warfare Center at Lackland Air Force Base.  The JIOWC is a part of Strategic Command.

In September, I was part of the Seaman to Admiral 21 Selection Board held in Pensacola, Florida.  This board picks the best and brightest enlisted sailors to go through this special program to eventually get commissioned as Navy officers.  I got to catch up with Katrina and her boyfriend Tom.  I will be eternally grateful to Katrina for introducing me to Carol.

October was a big month for the Cruz household.  CJ got baptized!  Love this picture.

San Diego for Fall Break!  This is one of many pictures of the Pose from 2011.

An Alabama Thanksgiving.  The girls decided against doing the Pose.

In December, we did a quick weekend trip to the Gaylord Opryland Hotel in Nashville.  Gotta do it if you get the opportunity.  They do military specials every now and then so check those out.  Although we didn't see the Rockettes, we did get to catch a live show with Shrek, Kung Fu Panda, Puss in Boots, and the Madagascar Penguins.

And to round out the year, we had the Cruz Christmas Palooza in Memphis.  Lots of laughs, food, and toilet paper.  Here we are hovering over the newest Cruz - Sammy!

Chilling with their newest cousin.

It was great having Mom visit all the way from the Philippines.  Too bad Dad couldn't make it.


New Year's Eve 70's Party to roll in 2012!

And there we go.  So like a good Navy family, we're prepping for the next set of orders and the new duty station.  More on that later.  Hope you all have a great 2012!



That baby's cuteness abounds. Darling!

The Cruzers

Thanks Julia. Little Sammy had us all captivated. Hope you're doing well.

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