Deployment: Week 23 & 24

Notice anything different about the picture? Keep reading :)

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We're keeping it super quick today, folks, because this upcoming week has the potential to be one of the busiest weeks in the history of my life. I'm talking Halloween on Franklin Street in Chapel Hill on Monday night, David Crowder Band concert in Charlotte on Tuesday night, working at the Coffeehouse on Wednesday night, dad coming to town (woot!) for dinner on Thursday night, and Senior Bhangra/Awaaz on Friday & Saturday night. Plus the standard classes, RA-ing, my internship, working in the Durham Public Schools three days a week, you know...

BUT, I could NOT skip this deployment update, because lots of exciting things have been happening. The first of which is... (drumroll please)

Zach is getting promoted!

In exactly TWO days, Zach will be a corporal in the United States Marine Corps -- such a big deal :) He's worked so hard over the past 34 months to get to this point, especially since the cutting score required to pick up for his MOS is higher than average. Promotion from LCpl to Cpl also means that Zach will now be an NCO (non-commissioned officer), so in addition to more respect and responsibility, Zach also gets the "blood stripe" on his dress blues (depicted in the first picture of this post) I'm SO proud of him for everything he's accomplished during the past three years in the Marine Corps :)

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While we're bragging on accomplishments here, you may notice that the little doodle above not only has Zach in his dress blues with his brand new blood stripe and corporal chevrons, but also a shiny new badge. What might that be, you ask?

Remember last year when Zach had rifle range & shot expert? WELL, this past week, he had pistol range... and shot expert as well (the highest you can get)! The kid is seriously dominating with some weapons. I'm not sure if I should be incredibly terrified or feel incredibly safe, but I'll go with the latter of the two :)

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Since my last deployment update post, Zach & I have gotten to Skype a few more times... on my iPad! Apparently, I'm not the only girl who ran around the house singing "Supernova Girl" with my sisters as a child. Judging by the response on my Facebook, everybody wanted to be Zenon:

What can I say, my life can be pretty awesome sometimes.

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While Skyping with Zach last week, we were talking about everything that has happened in the world since he deployed in May, which then turned into every new song that has come out since May. How crazy is it to think that when Zach left, "Just A Kiss" by Lady Antebellum, "Remind Me" by Brad Paisley, and "Made in America" by Toby Keith hadn't even been released, let alone become super popular! (For you non-country music lovers, think "Super Bass" by Nicki Minaj.)

Zach hasn't heard any of these songs. Actually, he hasn't heard most of the songs that are currently being played on the radio, period, so we spent our entire Skype date playing clips of the aforementioned, plus "Dirt Road Anthem" by Jason Aldean, "Crazy Girl" by Eli Young Band, and "Easy" by Rascal Flatts & Natasha Bedingfield. I also played a little "Pumped Up Kicks" by Foster the People to balance out the country music overload :) Gotta keep the boy up-to-date.

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The days keep ticking away -- Zach & I joked that the first five months FLEW by, but now that we have a return date window, October stopped moving completely. Seriously, the middle of October lasted for about three years :) BUT, November is SO close. We still have a little ways to go, but the number of weeks remaining can be counted on two hands, and I'm sure it will be here before we know it.

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So much for a "super quick" update, but hey, I told you there was lots of exciting stuff to share! If you'll excuse me, though, I'm currently Google-chatting with a certain newly-promoted Marine who just informed me that he cut his finger today. It's supposedly "just a little scratch." Mmhmm, sure, Corporal...

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