Sunday, March 24, 2013

Chapel Retreat and Flight 93 Memorial

We have been so blessed by the Chapel on post.  We enjoy Chaplin Mallard so much and retirees, I know I have raved about them before, but it's just so nice to have their influence and encouragement.  This weekend we went with the chapel to an OCF (Officers of Christian Fellowship) retreat center in White Sulphur Springs, PA, about 2 hours from Carlisle.  What an amazing place for military families!  We can't wait to go back.  It was a great time for rest and relaxation as well as getting to know people better and a wonderful time of spiritual reflection.  Retired General VanAntwerp and his wife were our speakers and they knew how to cut to the heart.  Amazing.  I could have listened to both of them bring forth God's word for lots longer than we had the opportunity to do this weekend.  The kids, we only saw them for meals and bedtime, and then at meals, they didn't always sit with us.  It was a great time for them as well.  Students from Messiah College, not too far from Carlisle, did programs with the kids all weekend.  It was a great way to spend Palm Sunday weekend, reflecting on the upcoming Easter weekend and all that Christ did for us to provide salvation.

The Flight 93 Memorial was about 20 minutes away.  We decided that it would be good to see it not covered with blowing snow, as we did a few months ago.  It was a beautiful, but chilly day, and it was worth the trip back.

Back to real life tomorrow.

I LOVE that this recognizes this unborn life! 

The plane came in right over this hill.... rest here.  A sacred spot. 

Back at White Sulphur Springs....there is a bowling alley that was built in the last 1800's and has not been updated at all.  It was so fun!  The kids bowled on the two lanes and then ran to set the pins back up. 

The alley is bumpy!

Julia, on the right, and Hope, on the left lane, setting the pins back up, along with Max and Janie Haseman

Pins from the 1890's

The Brooks and Haseman Families.

A mini Houghton College Reunion.  Classes '89, '83, '50, '52 and '96.  It was fun to make this discovery!

The beautiful, new main building of the conference center.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

US Army War College Oral Comprehensive Exam

Mark here.

The oral comp exam was a cumulative test over all the subjects we covered during the academic year up to this point.  It was stressful in preparation but the three professor panel made the experience rather casual for the exam.  The focus of the oral exam was similar to defending your thesis. As much of our conversation centered around my research project which was Civil Military Cooperation for Counter Terrorism With In the United States.  I was excited to do that research project because it combined parts of both my Army and State Police world.  Preparation for the exam included studying our courses on Strategic Leadership, Strategic Thinking, Theories of War and Strategy, National Security Strategy, Defense Enterprise Management, Theater Strategy and Campaigning and other related research and topics.  The exam, although stressful in prep, ended up being a neat experience to discuss all that we learned and attempting to relate our learning to the current situations in the world.  I was never so happy than to hear those two words as they asked me to come back into the room after discussing my performance, YOU PASSED!!  Now I am looking to enjoying spring break!!

Monday, March 4, 2013


Up to this point, Mark has been with Seminar 10 for classes most every day.  The way classes are done are in blocks.  Some classes took many weeks, others just a week or so.  Some were very interesting, some rather dull.  If you would like to see the classes he took, click here.  It looks like that is the AY 2011, but the only thing that has changed is there is not a SDME exercise that you see a bit right of center.  He has appreciated the students in his seminar so much, and I have loved getting to know the wives.  In previous years the seminars have switched up half way though the year and I'm so thankful that this did not happen this year.  There are friendship I have made with in the seminar that will be life long friendships.  Saying goodbye will not be easy.

There is a switch up that is coming though.  Electives are starting.  I looked over the list of electives, some titles themselves could make me yawn, but there are quite a few that I'd love to take myself.  In fact the wives are encouraged to audit classes that they have openings in.  Electives are not supposed to be not quite as much reading and a little less intense, but time with tell.  All students have a Regional Study, Mark was given Africa.  It was not his first or second choice, but seems positive about it, saying that he doesn't know much about Africa and is interested in learning about it.  This study spans over the entire Electives Block.  The Electives Block is divided in half, and Mark will have 2 electives each half, as well as his regional study.  The classes for his first block are Cyber Warfare and International Hot Spots and for his second block the classes are Negotiations and Strategy to Win and Joint Staff Issues and Processes.   I had to chuckle about him taking the Negotiations class, being the Commander of the Maine State Police Crisis Negotiations Team.  He loves being a part of that team, so I wasn't surprised when he was interested in negotiations from a military perspective. I was studying his schedule and it looks as if there morning and afternoon classes and depending on the day he may have no class, one class or both classes. 

Coming up later in the spring is a field trip to Washington, DC.  When he comes back from that, maybe I can talk him into blogging that entry.  :)