Monday, November 10, 2008

Life at Leavenworth

8 Nov 08
It’s been a long hiatus since I was blogging in Iraq last year but I’ve finally had time and tales to share that you may find interesting.

This past summer we moved to Fort Leavenworth, Kan., where I was selected to attend the Army’s Command and General Staff College. We are divided up into some 80 classes of 16 students. Of course, the preponderance of students are Army, however, each class has one Air Force officer, one Department of Navy officer (either Navy or Marine) and one international office.

My class has a Marine officer and our international officer is from Montenegro. Montenegro is a small country of some 650,000 people and only established in 2006 in Europe when Montenegro amicably left Serbia and the Former Yugoslavia. Until 2006 our officer served in the Serbian Army. During the U.S. war with Serbia over Kosovo Ilija was a student in the Serb equivalent of West Point.

We live in a very small house on post but the convenience of living near my school and literally next door to the kids’ school was too good to pass up. Everything on post is very close and parking is sometimes problematic so I ride my bike everywhere. In fact, I sometimes go 2-3 weeks without driving.

In addition to convenience, living on post comes with unique opportunities. We live in a horseshoe of three housing units. Each housing unit has four houses for a total of 12 houses in the horseshoe. In the 12 we have families from Brazil, Morocco, Mongolia, and Serbia. Additionally, several of the Americans are married to international women. Specifically, guys are married to women from Ethiopia, Japan, and Myanmar. With the exception of the Serb couple and the Myanmar woman, everyone has kids in elementary aged kids. It makes for a great experience for Susan and I but especially from the kids. In addition to the international kids in our neighborhood they also have friends from Albania and Egypt.

It has been a wonderful experience.