Mar 4, 2008

Going home sooner than I thought - and I won an award!

I have more information regarding my departure from Walter Reed. I ran around today getting paperwork completed so that I can leave soon. Now I’m only waiting for my leave form to be approved so that they can create orders for me – then I’ll be set to go. As it stands right now, my last day of duty will be Friday, March 14th. I begin my 70 days of leave on Saturday, March 15. Holly is flying to DC early next week and we have to do a few admin things together to prepare me for my retirement pay. We’re planning to have some type of get together for our entire group of GCC/DC circle of friends the evening of Friday, March 14. An Evite is forthcoming. We’ll be driving back to Texas on Saturday. My leave will end Friday, May 23 and I’ll be officially medically retired on Saturday, May 24. Right now I’m a little flustered because I thought I’d have more time to say goodbye to people, so I’m trying to see people when I can. Today I had dinner with my friend Erika and then went over to see Buddy & Amanda and their handsome baby boy. At least I have more definite info on the dates – everything is pretty solid from here. I’ll believe it when I have my leave approved and my orders in hand. I’ll keep you updated.

Oh – a quick note… this came out a while ago, but I’m lazy and never posted it. As you know, I photograph for the Stripe newspaper here at Walter Reed on an as needed basis. Basically, I’m considered a freelancer or a stringer. Check it out:

Subject: Journalism competition
Classification: UNCLASSIFIED
Caveats: NONE

Judging for the annual MEDCOM Journalism Competition and to choose MEDCOM representatives in the Army's Keith L. Ware Award competition was held Friday, Jan. 25 at MEDCOM HQ. Walter Reed Army Medical Center staged a near sweep of the awards, but the Fort Detrick Standard pulled out the win in the category of best Tabloid Newspaper. Individual winners were Walter Reed Stripe editor Bernard S. Little in Feature Writing, Commentary, Sports Writing and Single Photograph; and the Stripe's Kristin Ellis in News Writing and Photojournalism.

Serving as judges for the competition were Jerry Townsend, former chair of the journalism department at San Antonio College; Rich Lamance, print team leader for the Army/Air Force Hometown News Center; and SGM Paul Stevenson, NCOIC at U.S. Army North Public Affairs.

The winners will each receive a certificate from MEDCOM, and will go forward to compete for Keith L. Ware Awards. Also going on to Army will be entries with no MEDCOM competition: The CHPPM Sentinel in Magazine Format Publications; Kristin Ellis in Art/Graphics; SFC Roger J. Mommaerts Jr. of Walter Reed in Photography by a Stringer and COL Paul Little of CHPPM in the broadcast category for Television Information Program.

Thank you to all who participated. Congratulations and good luck to our representatives in the Army contest.

I was happy to hear this news – especially since I didn’t even enter a picture – Bernard picked one and entered it for me. Thanks Bernard and congrats to you and Kristin on your awards! Here’s the picture that won the award and is going up for another one: WRAMC Stripe Mass Casualty Exercise 248

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