28 February 2011

Preserving the Legacy...

Myself, Annie Grimes first AA female commissioned as a Chief Warrant Officer and my lil sis Cpl Candyce Haynes
Although this month has been so hectic for me, moving from VA to NC in preparation to depart to Afghanistan, I felt that I needed to reflect on who made it possible for me to even be able to serve as a United States Marine. So in honor of Black History Month I highlight the Montford Point Marines. These brave men willingly signed up for service in 1942 and unselfishly devoted all they had to becoming Marines, despite the racist and even violent treatment by those who felt that it would ruin the Marine Corps. Hardly ever recognized by Marine Corps history (the treatment of these men is still a black eye to the Corps and this is why it is not taught in Boot Camp or TBS), it is shocking that there are Marines who never even heard of them or don't even realize that if they are stationed at Camp Johnson, NC that was the actual basic training facility for African Americans.  I myself, was unaware until one day as a young Lance Corporal I was curious about the first African American Marines and did the research myself.

So take the time to educate yourself with this well written article: Montford Point Marines:Preserving their Legacy

Pay rememberance to their sacrifices on August 26th with is Montford Point Marines Day

Then reflect on the history that paved the way for African Americans to do great things in the Marine Corps. For that I am thankful.

African-American Marines Timeline

1942: Alfred Masters, first enlisted African-American Marine
1943: Privates First Class Charles E. Allen, Arnold R. Bostick, Mortimer A. Cox, Edgar R. Davis Jr., Edgar R. Huff and Gilbert “Hashmark” Johnson, first African-American Montford Point drill instructors
1944: SgtMaj Charles Anderson, first African-American sergeant major at Montford Point
1945: 2dLt Frederick Branch, first African-American officer
1949: Annie N. Graham, first African-American woman enlisted
1952: LtGen Frank E. Petersen Jr., first African-American to become general and first black aviator, commissioned
1955: SgtMaj Edgar R. Huff, first African-American sergeant major after integration
1965: First Montford Point Marine Association Meeting, in Philadelphia
1968: Annie L. Grimes, first African-American woman commissioned as chief warrant officer
1974: Two years after Gilbert H. Johnson’s death from a heart attack, the Montford Point facility at Camp Lejeune, N.C., was renamed Camp Gilbert H. Johnson, the first military installation to be named after an African-American.
2001: Opening of the Montford Point Marines National Museum

COMPLETE List of Hair Products for Deployment

I think I have gathered everything that I'm going to take to keep my hair growing while I'm deployed.
Before I go into this list that I'm pretty darn happy about, I will explain the question that I already know is going to come up:
Why is this Marine creating topics about haircare when she's about to deploy to freakin' AFGHANISTAN??
Well it's like this: I have deployed three times to Iraq, and what has suffered most from those deployments is my hair.  I have learned so much over the years on how to take care of it and to make it grow and I have seen too many of my fellow black women struggle with their hair and I want to prove that with simple techniques and the right products (not necessarily what I use but what is best for you) that you can grow your hair and maintain the length. Because if I can do this in Afghanistan, then no woman will have an excuse!
Then it's the simple fact that not only can I not go in depth about my job because of the clearance, I don't freakin' like it, so why would I discuss it?
What will be discussed is current events, haircare, fitness, nutrition, and other random stuff that I find interesting. If you want a military fix I will provide every now and then, but if you were looking for some moto hardcore OOH RAH stuff, this isn't it.
Now, back to the topic at hand.

So this is what I have to bring so far, yes it is a simple list because unlike all the women that I watch on YouTube, I will not be able to carry or store 100 hair products so I'm just going to stick to this regimen and if necessary add or subtract:


Organix Pomegranate Green Tea Shampoo/Conditioner: I am in love with this shampoo and conditioner because not only is it sulfate-free and has no chemicals that will strip my hair, my hair felt so soft and clean--even cleaner than when I used Wen.

Optimum Oil Therapy Moisturizer: I use this moisturizer very sparingly, for my scalp and for my hair. I like that it has coconut, olive, avocado, and jojoba oil included, since there will be no way I can carry vats of this stuff with me.

Organic Olive Oil Relaxer: This is the only relaxer I use and I go more in depth about this HERE.

 Aphogee2 Step Protein Treatment: Definitely bringing this stuff and here's WHY.

This is the Remington Ceramic Pearl-Infused Professional 1" Straightener. I dig it because I only paid 32 dollars for it and it goes up to 450 degrees, has floating plates, and I don't have to go over my hair 3 times to get it straight. I know that there is the Chi and other "better grade" flat irons...but this one is dual voltage and I refuse to bring a 200 dollar flat iron on deployment. Not gonna happen.

I also will be bringing the necessary hair tools and satin wrap. I did get a ionic hair dryer but I forget the name and I don't feel like digging it out of my seabag. So if anyone has any suggestions please let me know, like if there is something I really need to make space for send me comments! 

11 February 2011

At Home and Feelin' Fine

Well I'm at home in Georgia and I feel so much better. I'm spending some good time with my mom and I hope I can see some more of my family before I go. Since I'm still "recovering" from the mass dose of bad things that has happened, I started brainstorming on topics that I should write on for my blog. I started my hair kit for deployment list before I left, I also wanted to tell my little why I love being a Combat Camera Marine, why is a Marine blogging about non-military stuff, and goals to follow. Now I would love to get right on this but there's one problem...
I'm doing this on my Crackberry, and this is a pain in the butt.
"What, your mother doesn't have a computer?"
Yeah, too bad it's freakin' dialup. DIALUP. Yes, they still have that. Some pages won't even load it's so slow. Unfortunately there's nothing I can do because she lives so far out into the country she can't get cable.
Thank God for smart phones!

08 February 2011

My Mom wrote a BOOK!

Since this is the first post primarily about my mom, this is a very momentious occasion! My mom and I can be like oil and water, like night and day, but no matter how much I fight it or how wise and intelligent I think I have become, she will always be right and I will be wrong....98% of the time...ok who am I kidding, 99.9999995% of the time. Anyways. There are a few things that I did pick up from her, like my extremely beautiful features:
I know right? I'm too lucky! 
and the other thing is my love of writing and telling stories. I like telling my stories of things that I have been through over the years, and I've been told once or twice I'm pretty good at it. My mom on the other hand is great at giving advice, even when you may think it's not necessary...then you realize it was what you needed to hear all along.

Life, Keep on Living is apparently just her first installment on her inspirational writings. Here is her description:
"One of my purposes in writing this book was to provide the readers with unique ways of looking at life from another person’s point of views. I am a Georgia Licensed Nurse who has had lots of experiences with people and their lives due to 33 years in the field of nursing, and experiences in my own live. I am a graduate of Waynesboro High School of Waynesboro, Georgia, and a graduate of The Lawton B. Evans School of Nursing formerly of Augusta, Georgia. I reside in Waynesboro, Georgia. My greatest accomplishment was my daughter (Sgt. Jennifer L. Jones) of the USMC who has served our country well for 9 years and continues to serve. My first attempt at writing was in the 1990’s when I began writing poems. One of my poems (This Feeling) was published in The America at The Millennium, The Best Poems and Poets of the 20th Century by the International Library of Poetry in 1999 and again in the year, 2000. This is my first attempt at writing a book which started in the year 2008"
Since my mom kept this under wraps, I'm reading it right now as well, and yeah...it's like she's talking to me through the pages, definitely make you think on a spiritual level.
So please take a look, and if inspired please purchase it....all proceeds go to buying out my USMC contract...

But seriously, maybe you're losing focus on what you want out of life, and you know that to get back on track you have to be on the same page with God, to allow Him to enter into your life and take a step back. To breathe in and realize what you really have and appreciate it. Then and only then you can start living life the way He wants you to.  If this has been the case (Lord knows it's been for me as well) then what do you have to lose?
Life, Keep on Living

6 Month Stretch Completed!

So I relaxed my hair on Friday, which made it actually 6 months and 2 weeks since my last relaxer. I don't actually do a complete relaxer (letting it sit on my hair forever) I actually Tex-lax, which I basically apply it to my hair and leave it on long enough to straighten the natural out, but there's still a little wave to it.
This is the tutorial that I follow to Tex-Lax my hair!

Now my hair came out really well, I have been very pleased with the results ever since I changed relaxers. I used to use the Pink new growth relaxer kit--I mean it worked when I had really short hair, but when my hair got thicker and more unruly it wouldn't do anything except make my hair really dry and I had to double deep condition to moisturize my scalp afterwards.

My momma was actually the one who put me on the relaxer that I use now:

Olive Oil Built-In Protection No Lye Relaxer Normal

Now I love the heck out of this relaxer, it is easy to use, it mixes flawlessly, and I love all the extras like the wrap creme and the heat protectant that you put on your hair to blow dry and/or flat iron. My hair is so soft and has absolutely no tangles after I go through this relaxing process. The cheapest I found this is only $5.45 at the Post Exchange on base (all afro-american hair products are super cheap on base...good for me!). But for those who can't get on a Military Installation I think it's like 7-something at Wal-Mart.

I will post a pic really soon, I forgot to right after I straightened it (getting ready to go out with my Crown, lol) and my hair as poofed back up kind of.

Question: What in the heck can I do to prevent my ends from poofing back up? It is always the first thing to go after I straighten my hair and a little bit of water gets on it. Thanks!

What the HELL happened to me?!?!

Well, after 3 weeks of absolute hell in NC for training for this upcoming deployment...I think I'm actually feeling better...
It just took me shutting out everyone and almost causing my guy to give up on me for me to realize that I'm not in this alone...

I know that this probably goes against some USMC "code" but I will let y'all in on a lil' secret...

Now, before you allow your stereotypes to lash out unjustly hear me out....
1. Instead of doing the job that I LOVE (COMBAT CAMERA) which would put me out the wire and into the fight, as much as possible, and I will document history and all the wonderful things our Marines, Sailors and Soldiers are accomplishing out there...
2. I will be a fobbit. What's a fobbit you ask? Well I'll tell ya. I will never leave the wire, I will never see any action, my cammies will never get dirty. I'm stuck on a base.
3. But why should I be upset? Lots of Marines would love to have that opportunity...well those bitches can switch with me any day...
4. What's worse...I am a secretary...what Marines call a "Scribe"...I take notes, I plot PowerPoint slides, I try to put input into this whole Information Operations thing (which is a whole other blog post to explain what the hell that job is) and maybe 10% of the time what I said even mattered.

Now for the longest, I fought, I cursed, I cried about being stuck at having to do this. I mean this shit is BENEATH ME. I kept replaying in my mind how I ended up in this situation...and it all goes back to January 2010--I'll go into that another day...

What I'm getting at is that I can't allow this to eat me up inside anymore because it's not only affecting myself pretty badly, it's hurting my family, my friends, and my guy.

After Saturday night, I have a lot of making up to do...when I should have been over the moon to see him and spend so much time with him after not seeing him for almost a month...I let my sad feelings of when I go I will probably lose him ruin our time together. The jacked up part is that I didn't even say anything--
he read it on my face.
Then he proceeded to go off on me, stating that while I'm here miserable and being negative I'm missing out on all the good times we could be having together...that the only time he thinks about us not being together is when I initiate the thought...and 6 months isn't a long time at all...

Little does he know...

I will admit. I am hard headed. I am stubborn, and yes, I need a kick in the butt to wake up.
He woke me up. Finally.
I just gotta also accept the consequences of taking so long to get out of this funk. Lord help me.