Journey to Thailand

  
2:45 swiftly approached on the first day of our journey. Team Thailand, (Geoff, Sally, Erica, Aaron, Pastor Ben, and Mr. Jerry) met at the church equipped with highly tactical mission ready clothing (AKA: sweat pants and a jacket), we loaded the luggage into the vehicles, and started rolling through the eerily dense fog. Immediately Sally said “DUSTY, I’m not putting up with a lot of noise today.” Politely, I put my headphones in and commenced to jamming out while, the only thought running through my head is how amazing the Thailand experience is going to be. I’ve been up nearly 24 hours, yet there are no signs of fatigue. The adrenalin from anticipation is a phenomenal experience! I feel like I could go back in time, fight in wars from the Old Testament, and come out unscathed. Imagine that? Striking Goliath down with a ferocious energy that’s enough to power a small city for a week! Not sure why that’s relevant, but that’s how I feel right now! 
   At 5:46 we boarded the plane to Texas. At this point, I realized the immense energy I had earlier was dwindling. I sat in seat 27A, a window seat. I thought I would be reading another book, but 7:46 came around much quicker after closing my eyes for a moment. I overlook the scenery from my window and what I saw was breathtaking. I was in awe of the intricate road patterns intertwined with the greenery of God working together in a sense of bliss. Both the supernatural creations of God, and humanity’s technological advances were evident at this moment. The lake reflected the clouds, as nearby cars flowed on the highway like a colony of ants.   

     We exited the plane at 8:00, and our next boarding time was at 8:20. Pastor Ben takes off in a walking sprint toward the monorails. I swear, without his leadership, I would have gotten lost in the massiveness of the airport. We were rushing passed the vibrant life that encompassed the terminal. Each person with a unique story, a story that has never been told the same way twice. Through the organized chaos, we made it. Boarding plane number two! Look out world, I’m wearing a hat that says “Live to Explore,” and that’s what we are here to do! 

      For the last trip I lost track of time, but I ended up reading 4 leadership books, and two of them I had the opportunity to read twice. With the final two hours remaining I watched the movie “Steve jobs,” not for the content, but to observe how he handled intense situations. Meanwhile, every time the flight attendants would walk by to give me food I gave them to the Japanese girl sitting next to me, she would just nod her head and smile. Good times. After arriving we booked it to the next gate, and departed for Bangkok. That plane ride was nothing special, in fact, I passed out the whole trip. Contact was made at Bangkok, we stayed at a hotel that was connected with the next airport we needed to go to. The breakfast was amazing! We chowed down on an all you can eat buffet with eggs, several variations of sausage, rice, curry, crazy fruits (dragon was by far my favorite), and an Omelet maker. That alone made the trip worth it. People in Thailand care just as much about fashion as we in America do. There are some crazily dressed people, many of them wore medical face masks. On occasion we passed a monk dressed in an orange robe. Over here, they get first priority over all of us. The short hour flight will be commencing and our adventure will officially begin! Wish us luck! 
  

Satsuma 911 Call Center Mission

  
Mar 139:41 A.M.

We were briefed and ready to go. Trucks were taken care of, and put in line with one another. Destination FSC Hammond here we come. The journey seemed long and perilous only because our vehicles can only hit 60 MPH and we had to yell to speak to each other. Sgt. Mollere was expressing his passions about wasting time in the unit, which I completely agreed with. I’ll be writing on that as a separate entity all together. 
11:20

We arrived at the unit in Hammond, refueled our vehicles ,and got orders to reroute to Livingston parish. “ON THE ROAD AGAIN!” In a jolly, melodically sung tune. All the way to the 911 call center in Satsuma. After staging our gear, three trucks left to go on mission while I stayed with the NCOIC, aka Sgt. Mollere. 

7:30 P.M. Rolls around, officer Bernard, Spc. Moton and myself dispatched to “The MoonLight INN,” (a run down, shagged out bar, with barely working flickering lights, and a dead parking lot) for a 12 hour standby mission waiting for the flood to arrive. While on standby, I noticed severe flooding covering the streets in this area. 6ft 210 Ilb officer Bernard in his high water boots, blue collared shirt, khaki pants, utility belt, and big dip in his mouth mentions in his country accent that ” the water was over 6ft in that area just a few hours prior.” The officers, in this area have definitely come together to save as many lives as possible. I commend them for their efforts ,and I’m glad we could assist their endeavors. 
9:53 P.M.

Well, a few hours elapsed, so we decided to kill time. There was a stray cat walking nearby, so we took the red dot sight from officer Bernard’s taser making it follow the light in a circle for a good ten minutes.(That’s the most exciting thing that has happened in the last two hours aside from my discussion on the failing leadership in this country.) 
11:40 

Officer Bernard and I witnessed a drunk man in a truck yelling over the phone “IF YOU DONT GIVE ME MY KEYS I WILL BUST THE WINDOWS OUT OF MY OWN TRUCK AND START IT WITH A SCREWDRIVER!” Domestic dispute call happened as we were talking to some other officers, so we went down with them just to make sure the situation didn’t escalate. After figuring out the situation, the man was going to have two people come for him, so one can drive his truck back. Well he says “It’s okay, my buddy and his one eyed girl is coming to get me.” We started laughing, and just told him to sit down. Turns out he actually busted out the windows of his truck. Well, Mr Lawrence Calendar (a man standing 6’1 at 210 pounds, white hair, mid to late 50’s with a soft spoken spoken yet dignified demeanor), was telling us a story about the last flood as the drunk man was going off in the background. Apparently, a man jumped out of the water, Mr. Calendar says “who are you,” with a gun pointed to his head. The man replied “My name is Leprechaun,” I couldn’t contain my laughter. After introductions, we are now posted up at the French Settlement police department. They are taking pictures of us to put on their wall of all the soldiers who have assisted them over the years, we have access to their key code, and wifi. I feel right at home at this point. After several circles to observe the water’s activity at 5:00 A.M. we made it back to the 911 Call center to get some shut eye from the 24 hour operation. 

National Guard Journies

  Mar 11, 2016
Everything at the moment is slow, still, and coming together. The clouds are still dark, the command are still planning operations, and the trucks are fueled ready to go. I was called to duty, but now I’m just waiting at the unit in Covington to get activated on a mission. I have been listening to the updates. A good amount of people have lost their homes, and others have lost their lives. Earlier, we left the unit to get lunch. They didn’t make us pay for our sandwiches, because they figured the store would be underwater soon anyway. (Tick Tock,) time moves by slowly. ” I just want to leave this place to help people!! ”
Mar 12,2016
3:30 A.M. 

SSG Phillips runs into the classroom , where we were lounging around anxiously. with his civilian clothes on his five foot ten inch, 190 pound, built, 40 year old frame “we’ve got one!” We stumble out of our cots with excitement, preparing for the mission ahead. Three flashlights, four life vests, and enough zeal to motivate a town of hopeless souls. The mission Intel says there are four people trapped inside of their home that is lifted up off of the ground. Sgt Moller who is in his 50’s, around 6’1, 200 pounds, and a prominent bald spot down the middle of his head, and I load up the up-armored LMTV pushing forward with the mission. “This is it! I finally get to help people in need. I finally can say that I was a part of the heroes who protect this country.” I’m thinking. Sgt breaks my thoughts saying ” I’m staying on the yellow line, so that we can gauge where we are at ,and it happens to be the highest point of the road. When we come up to the ‘road closed’ signs, I need you to move them.” “Roger Sgt.” I replied looking at the destruction that the flooding has caused. Water rushing, we were about four feet deep or so treading through. Around us were abandoned cars pushed around by the road filled with water, bent trees from where the water was high, buildings with doors flung open , and a dark road covered by a current that’s only lighted by our vehicle. We approach the Road closed signs, so I hop out of the truck without a moments notice, sprinting toward the signs, moving them quickly. We continue down route after I climb back into the truck. 

Contact was made at 4:30 A.M.

Lights flashed ahead from a bucket truck. “HEY, WE’RE OVER HERE!” The four men seemed excited to see us. We hop out of the truck, letting down the gate to get them on and one of them says “Man, it’s warmer back here than it was in that truck, thank you so much for coming out here! We would’ve been stuck without you.” I stayed quiet and Sgt. Says “You’re welcome, I actually live out this way, and am glad I could help out neighbors.” We call command to let them know the mission was accomplished, we head back toward the nearest high school , and headlights suddenly appear. “Hey, do you think I could make it through?” Yells the worried man. he seemed to have a short, bull-dog like frame, a beer gut, with dark hair, and eyes to match. “No, the water is too deep for a pick- up truck. You can follow our tread out, so you won’t get stuck.” “Alright,” says the man. “Well, we are going to need you to stay close if you do that, if you are too far back the current and depth will suck you in.” Needless to say, the man stuck to us like white on rye. We get to the school at 5:10 A.M. To drop the men off, they thank us for a final time, and move about their business where the Red Cross and Sheriffs department was posted. We arrive back to the unit at 5:30 A.M. SSG Jenkins was on duty. a man in his early 40’s with a larger frame standing at 5’10, 240 pounds or so. He looks at his watch and says “Alright, go get some rest, and we will start cycling you soldiers to get McDonalds shortly.” I laughed thinking “Man, they have no food arrangements, so they send us to eat fast food with our own money.” I’m sure we had other food options, but at this point I didn’t really care what it was.” Hey, food is food! Keep it at moderation I guess? ” I said sarcastically walking back to the classroom. Only to lie awake ready to go on another mission. Anxiously, I toss and turn trying to get some shut eye.(Well, moral of the story is, I’m writing an accurate account waiting to go on a mission that may or may not occur for several hours. I couldn’t tell you why I can’t take advantage of the time to sleep.) 

Isolation to Desolation

 

Gods_Light_159123113_stdPicking up where I left off yesterday, a once young boy was quickly pushed to the world’s sense of “emotional maturity.” I became cold in response, and I was always seeking something from others. I always had an intent to gain something from the people around me, destroying life after life. People often died around me, I had no sense of mourning for any of them. Until, someone close to me had died right before my very eyes.

My second time as a junior in high school I came back from Guam, and was recovering from an almost detrimental depression. This depression often built up an anger inside of me. An anger as furious as a lion’s roar, and often I wanted to die. I was walking through the doors to my sister’s house with the thought “Why am I here? ” Moments later, I heard a loud thump , followed by a crash , and a vibration through the floor boards. I ran into the living room to find my brother-in-law (who is like a father to me,) collapsed on the ground struggling to gather enough air in his lungs to return his face to normal color. Adrenaline coursed through my veins quicker than a lightning bolt could strike the ground, “HARLEY, CALL 911!!” I ran faster than Usain Bolt toward Allen’s mom’s house, arriving with no oxygen in my lungs, I belted “ALLEN,” turned around back toward the other house. I get into the house and Harley immediately starts giving me instructions on what to do through the Intel she was receiving over the phone. I flipped the massive 300ilb man onto his back, and started giving him CPR. (Thirty minutes elapsed,) the paramedics finally arrived on scene, congratulating me of my heroic deeds. I felt like a super hero, my void was filled.When we arrived at the hospital we found out his brain wasn’t functioning, so had two options: could choose to pull the plug, or keep him alive.  We pulled the pluge, and from that day my sister lost the light in her eyes. I felt as if I were to blame.

After that day, I decided to become someone, I joined the national guard, and started going to school to be a surgeon. Well, on top of going to school, I was a bouncer at a bar. After drill, I got into a wreck that I should’ve died in (I’ll elaborate on that later on), needless to say I started losing focus and put all my efforts on a woman that I met in the bar. I dropped out…oops…after that relationship ended, my life was saved. Since then I have been attending school,and being surrounded with influential leaders from around the world. If I can do it, so can you! My life changed from a self-centered mess, to a others-centered treasure chest. Opportunities have opened, and character has been developed because of one reason! (Let’s continue the journey, that reason comes later.)

To my future wife/kids: Your mother is intelligent, filled with life, and never ceases to serve other people. She is a faithful woman of the household, and never quiets her goals. God has our household children, fear not, because I will lead you. Read this; know that I have endured , overcome, and grew because of God alone. My children, you will be servants of all, and you will be leaders of nations. Blessings on you, my future family.

Save The Introductions

I was going to start with introductions, but  then I started the long process of creating the domain, modifying personal details, and getting accustomed to the modification layouts. At this point, I figure the best introduction to who I am and what I have become, would simply be through story telling. Stories? Not sure that they are my strong suit “Per se,” however, for the sake of the audience (I may or may not be cultivating), there should be some basis of a story involved.

“The beginning of the upbringing,” sounds catchy? Well, I’m hoping that someone other than myself thinks so. Anyway, I am getting off topic. As a child, there were many tribulations and not enough trials (not saying my life is far more terrible than any other life and vice versa). Mom and Dad weren’t on best terms with one another. Dad was pretty much an urban ninja in reference to being an abstract idea versus a parent, while Mom on the other hand, was quite the drinker. When my mother would drink alcohol, she would become not only numb to the environment but ignorant to human emotions also. “Dustin, I would like to introduce you to ‘blah  blah blah, did not matter’ I hated any new man she introduced me to.” Mom, a woman who I will always love, yet a woman who is human like us all. I learned early that people will disappoint you in life. Now, that wasn’t a descriptive tale of my upbringing, however, that was a step in the right direction of understanding the way I process things. Like I said, that was only the “beginning,” of my upbringing. Now, I am not looking for sympathy, but I’ll reveal more as the masses begin to reveal themselves.

“Why even bother mentioning such a brief background,” you ask? Well, much like any other teenager with a heart, I began to transform into this heartless dark hole that would consume everything in its path. This lead into my adult life. I began shutting people out of my life, closing the door to my own heart, and opening doors to the hearts of others. I was seeking affection in women, steadily pursuing “love,” and constantly hurting one after another. After a while I became numb to the pain I was causing, but all at once there was a wave of overwhelming negative energy hit me. BAM!! I was under, drowning, crying out for help. My solution? DO IT SOME MORE! Not a solid solution to a problem that could potentially overcome my life. August 9th 2015 was the day my life changed forever “STOP! I cant tell you why that date is so significant yet.” It wouldn’t be a well told story if I revealed everything that had happened to me, or the solution to getting out of the life sucking vacuum that had taken hold of me right away, now would it? Don’t forget that date! Oh, beneath is a message to my future family. I’ll be writing one at the end of every post.

“To my future wife/kids: I don’t want you to experience this pain. I will always be there for you. Right now, at this very second, I know my future wife is studying hard and developing her character every day. Your future mom, is an amazing woman with such a beautiful soul. I am thankful that you will be successful, and I am thankful that I can share this with you one day. Children, I have seen crazy things. You can trust me. I love you, my future family. ”