Sunday, June 7, 2015

Preparation for Iraq -- Part II

Today I am continuing our RV travel story on the third week of February 2005. Kathi and I stayed at the 29 Palms Golf and RV Resort while our youngest son, Christopher and his fellow Marines prepared for their first deployment out of the country – they were scheduled for Iraq.

Kathi and I stayed inside our Alfa motorhome most Wednesday, Thursday and Friday of that week. It was raining all over southern California and Los Angeles was getting it the worst. Their problems are always compounded by the mudslides.

On Saturday, February 19th Kathi and I picked Christopher and a few of his friends up from the base and we all went to The Rib Factory for barbecue ribs. Lunch was great and it was fun hearing the young men talk about their military experiences and their lives and families before joining the Marines. Everyone had barbecue sauce on them from eating the ribs and we took turns in the bathroom washing up following the meal. We were stuffed, but having a great time.

After lunch we went to the Bowladium, a bowling alley with a bar. Kathi watched as I bowled a few games with the young Marines. I could not bowl too long, because I have tennis elbow, even though I never played tennis. About two hours of bowling and beer and it was time to call it an end to a fun afternoon. We drove back to the base and dropped off the Marines. Kathi and I returned home to regroup.

Christopher called a couple of hours later and he and a friend wanted to go to a casino. We returned to the base and picked up the two marines. We drove west on California 62 through the towns of Joshua Tree and Yucca Valley and off the high desert into the Morongo Valley. We continued west on I-10 to Cabazon and stopped at the Morongo Casino. Kathi’s casino money went up and down and I had a little luck and we all had a great time. It had been a long day and we had to convince the Marines it was time to move out so we could survive to play another day.

On Sunday afternoon, I spent a while on the phone with my oldest son, AJ working on his Logic homework. It had been a few years since my college days, but I still remembered enough to be helpful. Monday was another rainy, stay at home day. Christopher and his company went on a four day excursion to March Air Force Base. The rain continued and we continued staying indoors.

February 25th rolled around and the sun was shining – beautiful weather for Kathi’s birthday. It was a Friday and after the Marines were released for the weekend, Christopher wanted to do something. Along with Christopher, Kathi and I got Andrew Harris and Lee Calles and all drove to a casino in Palm Springs. The boys sang Happy Birthday to Kathi at dinner and each of them gave her $20 to play on a $5 slot machine. She was happy to oblige, but unfortunately did not win anything. The Marines were great and Kathi’s birthday was great, so you know I was great. AJ, Kathi’s mother and her brother Carl all called to wish her a Happy Birthday. I think she had one.

Next post: Preparation for Iraq – Part III


  1. This is really great that you were keeping a journal so long ago. Of course, even though I always lived far away from everybody, I still kept up with you all pretty well. I remember holding my breath all those months until Christopher came back from the middle east. I was real happy when you and Mom got to retire and start traveling after so many years of work. I am glad you kept all this stuff so you could put it in to your travel blog

  2. Thanks for reading and thanks for the comment. I wish I had written the blog in real time, so I would remember more.