Our son was mightily blessed this week

Real Estate Agent with Long & Foster Real Estate Inc 610-225-7400 PA License - AB067198

Let me set the scene. Our son Jeremy, a US Marine got home from Iraq October 19th, he was slated after leave for several schools/courses.

 Jeremy's homecoming

However when he got off the bus he was not well, he toughed it out but the next day he was in the emergency room and spent a week in hospital, with abscesses on his appendix which resulted from his appendix rupturing in several places, because he was young and fit his body fought this by forming the abscesses, however it made him very sick. The result was he had his appendix removed in January. He is slated for return to Iraq in October. He really wanted to go to dive school as it is a component of his unit, underwater reconnaisance and dropping in by air, he already has his wings and this course would give him the scuba badge.

 Since the operation he has been truly messed around.

Below is a combination of two emails he sent us from this week...Did God intervene for him...

 Jeremy on humvee

Wednesday we got this email.

Ok, so here's the low down:  

I got back from Iraq and I had a dive slot

I got my appendix out and they took it away

during prescuba Wednesday they gave it back

then Friday they took it away again

then after prescuba about a week later they told me I was going

then they said no because of my physical condition

then I got that signed off and they said I was going

then today they tell me I'm on standby and I'm not going unless someone can't go in the next two days.

then they tell me that they'll get me on the next one, but you have to have 1 year of service after graduation and I won't. I will have 1 year left may 10th and this class graduates April 20th which means this is the last class I can take  

if you are ever curious if I am planning on staying in the military, this should clear it up for you.


Thursday we got this following email:

So two awesome things happened today and one good one:  

the speeding ticket that i got coming back from daniels on jan 29th or so was costing me $460 for the attorney fees but i wouldn't get my license taken away. i sent in the check last week and the forms. i was doing 80 in a 55 they said but i had thought the limit was 70 and i thought i was going only 75 max. well i get a call from the attny and this dialogue follows: "Mr. Vandekar, we received your check and it's your lucky day."

"oh yeah? Why's that?" I ask

"Well we have to send the check back."

damn i guess they don't accept personal checks, which means i'll be pressed for time to send another one. maybe she was sarcastic about the lucky day thing. She continues...

"During the time period when you got your ticket on that particular stretch of road, the police radar detectors were malfunctioning. All the tickets were dropped"

"WOAH! SICK! wait, i don't know if i got mine due to a radar. are you sure mine's dropped?" I replied skeptically.

 "Yes sir. We checked your case. your ticket is completely erased. it's as if it never happened. There doesn't even have to be a judge appearance. Did I just make your day?"

"Yes you did ma'am. Thanks. Catch you on the flip side homie." *CLICK*  

so that was cool. second thing...  

B Co is shooting mortars today and i didn't go because i hate B Co and i'd be sitting around in the grass not doing anything. So i was in the office getting signed out for dive school thinking i was going. Top (what you call a certain rank) gives me the form to check out and says, "You know you're still on standby right?" I didn't, so i shake my head. and he says he'll promise he'll get me into any school next. i'm the hot-fill guy which means every school that comes up, i'm the #1 choice, good or bad school. But i wanted dive.    I go around the offices checking out anyway getting things signed and what not then i sit in the B Co office. Just me and Top sitting there, not doing anything. Looking at the walls, bored. Suddenly the door opens and the guy in charge of schools for the Bn. comes in and says that someone has dropped out and he needs someone to go. I was sitting there so Top gives me the slot and i went and filled out my orders. i'm leaving in two days. 

Cool huh?   Jeremiah

(He has arrived in Florida at Panama City as you read this, having driven through Friday night to get there. Also, if you ever wonder about gear he has, a lot he buys himself, he had to buy an underwater compass, a dive watch, new boots as the boots he had in Iraq were not allowed here, 7 t-shirts, 6 shorts, 3 swim suits and some other gear as well.)   


God is awesome, it is a hard course so please pray he will do well and even that he might graduate top of the class. 

Posted by


Nick Vandekar
Nick is a Tredyffrin Easttown Residential and Commercial REALTOR selling The Main Line, Chester, Delaware and Montgomery Counties.

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Devon , PA 19333
Mobile: (610) 203-4543 [call or text me]
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Alexander Harb
Knights Investing - Mesquite, TX
Dallas, Texas Real Estate Investing

Gotta love it..... living in the tough circumstances........

STAY with it!!!!!!!


Apr 09, 2007 12:37 PM #55
Nick Vandekar, 610-203-4543
Long & Foster Real Estate Inc 610-225-7400 - Devon, PA
Tredyffrin Easttown Realtor, Philly Main Line

Dive School Day 27

Dive School Diaries:    

Hello again and welcome back to another addition of the Dive School Diaries. Unfortunately I think todays chapter will be rather short and uneventful. As you can tell i'm trying to fill a lot of space with my words and just plain ol' jibber jabber.    

I'll take this time to thank everyone yet again for supporting me and encouraging me along the way. Each day I wake up and dress out on the boats, I think of all the people that must be praying for me and it's truly a blessing. I don't even know a bunch of you and i haven't met even more. But that's God bringing us all together.     

Today's fins were make-up fins. If someone fails any of the fins of the previous dive, they have a few chances to make it up. Technically they have one chance, but they are given as many chances as they can given training time and space. The only fin that was failed yesterday was 1000 meter fin, so today we suited up to do one 1000 meter fin, and one 1500 meter fin.    

Since I had already passed my 1000 meter fin, I took my merry old time along the bottom making sure my azimuth (compass heading) was correct. I can confidently say that the green things that glow all around us are definitely marine life reacting to our movement. And not US Marine life, but the actual aquatic version.     

The 1500 meter fin came around and we headed out in the boats, got dropped off and began finning in. I was driving again (leading) and we were allowed one tactical peak. This means at 500 meters from the destination or pier, we are allowed to come to the surface and look out and get a bearing again. We're only allowed to do this from 1500 meters and farther. The other times we did it with the 500 meter fins, it wasn't graded and was practice.      

My buddy and I finned well, finished with plenty of time remaining and were very close to the pier with no hiccups. Tomorrow we have another 1500 meter fin which my buddy will drive, and an advanced navigation course. I don't know what exactly this entails but i'm guessing a bunch of underwater turns and headings. Nothing we can't handle right?     

So if this hasn't brightened your day at all, i apologize and i'll try harder next time. I'm tired and i'm about to go to bed at 1000 so cut me some slack.  

Gregariously,      Jeremiah

Apr 10, 2007 06:14 AM #56
Alexander Harb
Knights Investing - Mesquite, TX
Dallas, Texas Real Estate Investing

It sounds like our US Marine underwater diver is getting bored with all of this.....


Only a few days left...then the real fun begins.....


Apr 10, 2007 12:34 PM #57
Nick Vandekar, 610-203-4543
Long & Foster Real Estate Inc 610-225-7400 - Devon, PA
Tredyffrin Easttown Realtor, Philly Main Line

Dive School Day 28.

Dive School Diaries:    

Today was a good day. It started off poorly yesterday with very little sleep and a cold. For whatever reason i couldn't sleep and i went to work very tired already at 0100 (1:00 am).  O2 normally makes you more awake but when you come off of O2 you get real tired within 20 minutes or so.    

We set up our gear for one 1500 meter fin and the advanced navigation portion. The advanced navigation i'll get into in a little bit. My buddy drove the 1500 first since I drove the day before. He started off going real fast and i had trouble keeping up, but then he slowed down a bit after 13 minutes or so and we were more steady. We made the time easily for 100 but were a few meters off to the left so he got a few points off. No sweat there, passed with flying colours.     

Next we set up for the advanced navigation. normally when we fin we navigate in a straight line right in to the ammo pier. The buoy's are 500, 1000, 1500 and 2000 meters in a straight line 90 degrees off of the ammo pier. All you have to do is account for currents or the boats putting you in a little off center.  For the advanced nav portion though we were put in 590 meters off to the right of the 500 meter buoy:                                                       

                                   Ammo pier- DDDDDDDDD                                                         
                                                          I                                                                                                       I                                                                                      
                                                    500 meters                                               
                                         500 meter buoy   -  o\                                                                 
                                                                         \    \                                                              
                                                                     590 meters  \     \                                                                                                 Hurricane buoy- O                                         

                                   1000 meter buoy - o        

Let me explain that a bit. THe first buoy is 500 meters off of the ammo pier. The next buoy (hurricane buoy) is off to the right 590 meters, more at an angle than that drawing. The first buoy is at 270 degrees if you faced the ammo pier, and the second buoy is at 180 degrees if you faced the 500 meter buoy. So it's more of a right angle. Hope this doesn't confuse you.     

So we drove out to the hurricane buoy and got a good look at where the 500 meter buoy was. What you do at this point is look behind the buoy at land to get reference points. When you're in the water you can't see other things in the water depending on the swell so you use these reference points. You can remember the buoy is right in line with the condo under construction or whatever is there.     

We dropped into the water and took off. The current doesn't push us directly into shore as i mentioned in a previous email, but instead snakes between the hurricane buoy and the 500 meter buoy so as we swim it pushed us right. I took this into consideration and swam at an azimuth (direction) more toward the left.     

After 500 meters you are allowed one tactical peak to see where you are. I took mine after what i thought was 500 meters and came up, found the buoy in the spot i wanted it and went under again. I finned again for a few minutes (the buoy was still in front of me 80 meters) then made my 90 degree turn towards the ammo pier. After a minute or so you are allowed a second tactical peak to make sure you are on line with the ammo pier.    

The biggest problem for people was they would come up to far to the right of the buoy. We had to come clockwise around it, breaking the imaginary line between the 500 and 1000 meter buoy. This meant that they had to go back underwater, swim around the buoy pretty much blind, then take a second peak hoping they had passed around it enough.     

I came up just short 60-80 meters and the buoy was on my right which was perfect. I went under, finned for a few more minutes then changed 90 degrees towards the pier. I finned a minute or two then came up to check that i was on track. I saw the buoy behind me over my right shoulder which was perfect and the pier in line with my direction. I came in first and 5 meters off target which is excellent. I was real pleased but the whole time on that last 500 meter leg to the pier, i kept second guessing myself wondering if i had passed the imaginary line or just cut it short accidentally.     

That was it for the day. Tomorrow i have my 2000 meter straight fin, and my buddy will drive his advanced nav course. That'll be it for the grades!!! that's the last thing i have left before Final Mission. More on that another time, i know your sick of reading now.     

I hope I haven't confused you anymore than i should have. Thanks again!  

Touristically,    Jeremiah                  

Apr 11, 2007 07:18 AM #58
Nick Vandekar, 610-203-4543
Long & Foster Real Estate Inc 610-225-7400 - Devon, PA
Tredyffrin Easttown Realtor, Philly Main Line

 A few good questions - answered

Here are a few excellent questions some practical mind came up with and I thought i'd share it with the rest of you:  

-How do you carry your weapons with this breathing rig, water and gas carbine guns are generally a no no, right?     the Breathing rig called a MK-25, Draeger, or LAR V hangs around our neck and has a strap that buckles around our waist. It is heavy on land but in the water is neutrally buoyant (neither sinks nor floats). It sits from our bellybutton to our chest roughly. Keep in mind it doesn't use conventional SCUBA jugs but has a small football sized O2 bottle at the bottom. Everything is in front of you which means you can sling you rifle on your back. Keep in mind that SCUBA we wouldn't use to fight with since it's heavy and not stealthy so we wouldn't need a rifle. And the Draeger we wouldnt' use to salvage or find stuff with so it doesn't matter that you can't go very deep with it.     If your going to fire your rifle which has a gas tube in it, your going to have to open your rifle and let the water drain out. This can be done several ways depending on if you have a round in the chamber or not. Whatever the case, get that water out or that bullet is going to make the gun explode and now your in more trouble than you were before the bad guys started shooting at you.     I've just read a website that says that someone shot their M4 underwater with no problem, however we were given an article at the start of the course telling me all this stuff above. If you intend on doing this (which i'm guessing most of you aren't), it's probably best to be safe, remove the magazine, and the round if you have one in, and let the water drain out. Then continue with your mission, range, or homicide.  
-what are you supposed to do with your fins other equipment when you land on an enemies shore?     when we land on an enemies shore, we have our fins around our wrist. You don't remove your mask until you are in waist deep or less water in case you are unsteady and fall back in. Also, your DSV or mouthpiece doesn't come out until you are well out of the water to ensure that you don't slip into an unseen hole or fall back again. We'll learn all this Wednesday for Final Mission and i'll let you know of any corrections i can think of. I can't imagine doing a raid or green side OP (that's hiding in a bush and watching people) with the MK-25 still around. It's too heavy and impractical. Whether your giong to bust down a door or hide in a bush, the Draeger has probably got to be hidden somewhere on shore, or stowed in a ruck.     Oh yeah, you didn't know? we swim in with a ruck with water, food, radios all water proofed if we were doing a mission. For the Final mission we will have a ruck, but i don't know what it'll have in it.
-and lastly what do you and your fellow marines think about the budding situation with Iran?
Oh boy, Political questions. You don't know how many people asked me what i thought about the war in iraq when i got back. And now this. If you know me you know that i'm not very political so i don't usually have an opinion. what i do know is this: we are fighting an inferior force that dances around and hides behind the population. They have crappy weapons, and worse training.     Iran has tanks, air, missiles, an army and whatever else their hiding. It would be a completely different war IF we were to fight it. We could now shoot at uniforms and not have to wait for them to shoot at us. But now instead of ruling the night with NVGs like we do now, we'd have to be a lot more sneaky.   any more questions let me know, Jeremiah

Apr 11, 2007 11:43 PM #59
Nick Vandekar, 610-203-4543
Long & Foster Real Estate Inc 610-225-7400 - Devon, PA
Tredyffrin Easttown Realtor, Philly Main Line

Dive School Day 29

Dive School Diaries:    

I've got bad news and I've got bad news. Which one do you want first? Today didnt go so well for a lot of the teams and i'm not even entirely sure why.    

We began today with the advanced navigation again with the other half of the class driving. Yesterday the current had been kicking and a lot of teams failed due to missing the buoy. The tide had just pushed them by it. Today, there was no current at first so a lot of the teams hearing what happened yesterday, overshot too far in the opposite direction. So now instead of missing the buoy, they went to far past and to the left of it. This means they had much farther to fin.    

My buddy did that making what should have been our 1090 meter fin a 1300 or however long it was. He didn't make the times but in the end the Instructor in charge said the conditions were tricky and if they failed, it wasn't counted against them. They get to try again another day.    

Then came the 2000 meter fin. I hopped into the water and shot my azimuth to the pier. For some reason my compass had a weird direction than what i expected but you always trust your compass. My compass showed 255 and usually it's 265. We began finning and everything seemed to be fine.    

After 1500 meters i took my tactical peak and saw i was WAAAAAAAAAAY too far left. I would have to swim 275 now just to recompensate for my mistake. And not only that but I was finning the legs of a triangle instead of the hypotnuse which means i was finning a lot longer than 2000 meters.    

I was already smoked from the first fin, and now my ankle was killing me and blisters were hurting. I was really angry that I had misjudged it. Suddenly I thought I heard "team 15 come to the surface" meaning we were past the pier. I came up and saw that i was 75 yards short and 75 yards to the left.     

To calculate my score, they add those two together to get 150 yards off target. This was obviously bad, but i checked my time and I had 1 hour 3 minutes. We are given 1 hour and 17 minutes with some change as an 80% so I thought I might still pass.     

When we got our scores and times during debrief, they had my time recorded as 1 hour 8 minutes. I contested it but there's no way i could prove that my time was shorter. If i had just gotten those few minutes I could have passed but that's life.     

I was so mad that I didn't pass a simple fin and also really mad that my body was so smoked afterwards. My ankle was killing me to the point when i had to signal my buddy to let him know why I was using mostly one leg.  Apparently a lot of people failed that fin for whatever reason. A lot of teams were coming up far left like i was and then not making the time. I'll get to make it up tonight or Sunday so i'm not worried but I could use some prayer.   

They told us that two people were getting dropped for integrity but i don't know if that was to scare us or not. The water is shallower on the left and right and if you know where you are you can bank a 45 degree turn and get closer. But your not supposed to do that because in real life you wouldn't know the terrain. Two people did that so they are going home though i'm not sure if that's true.    

Again, if you're looking for prayer requests, pray that my ankles feel fine tonight. We have the advanced Nav again and another 2000 meter fin. If i get my accuracy better than i think it shouldn't be a problem. Pray that i'm not so smoked after the first fin that i'm exhausted during the second.  

Rhetorically,    Jeremiah

Apr 12, 2007 10:50 AM #60
Alexander Harb
Knights Investing - Mesquite, TX
Dallas, Texas Real Estate Investing

Keep yer high spirits, Jerimiah......

EVERYONE has their day... it just happened that EVERYONE had their day together......


Apr 12, 2007 01:40 PM #61
Nick Vandekar, 610-203-4543
Long & Foster Real Estate Inc 610-225-7400 - Devon, PA
Tredyffrin Easttown Realtor, Philly Main Line

Dive School Day 30

Dive School Diaries:   

Another exhausting day comes to a close but it was filled with good news and fun times. As fun as 3000 meters underwater can be, of course.   

We did our 2000 meter straight fin and the advanced navigation again. Since I had passed the advanced nav already, by buddy drove. And then the buddies who hadn't driven the 2000 meter fin yet drove, so my buddy drove twice.    

Being the passenger has it's advantages and disadvantages. It's good because you can sit in a certain pocket just off your buddies shoulder slightly back a foot or two and catch his drag. You'll have to fin a lot less as long as you stick in that groove. The disadvantage is that the driver is focused on the direction, depth, and time so he doesn't feel his pain. However the buddy is just finning with nothing to keep track of except the buoy which means his mind is constantly on his ankles, his blisters, the squeeze of the mask or whatever.    

My buddy passed the advanced nav but failed the 2000 meter as well. Those two people who the instructors said we're going to be dropped weren't dropped. Scare tactics. Sunday we have to go in for make up dives. I will be finning the 2000 meter fin but with someone who has already passed it.    

I learned today however, that they take the average score of your 2000 meter and advanced nav dive and if it's above an 80% your golden. Well i scored unusually high for the navigation dive (low 90's they said), and my 2000 meter dive is 73% right now. Quick math puts that above 80%!     Don't get me wrong, i'm gonna put out to get that 73% up but it's a relief off my mind to know that i'm OK.    

To give you an idea of what ridiculousness is coming i'll tell you about the next few weeks: next week we have final mission which includes finning 5000 meters on the surface, and some underwater though i don't know how far. Sweet huh?    

Wait it gets better, after we get back to our unit, Bravo Company has a range and they have decided it'd be good exercise to fin the 3000 meters to the range. For us at dive school, words don't say it enough.    Oh and there's more. the week after that the Battalion has decided to do some dive training since they haven't done some in a while. That'll probably include the MK-25 underwater for several kilometers. I've asked to take leave to see my friend commissioned into the USMC that week but so far i haven't been accepted. I hope it's not because they want me to dive. *shaking head*     

Thanks for all your prayers and blessings. It showed in a few unexpected miracles amongst some people here. People passing by 1 point or tangled lines coming undone in time, etc.  

Forensically,    Jeremiah

Apr 13, 2007 05:59 AM #62
Nick Vandekar, 610-203-4543
Long & Foster Real Estate Inc 610-225-7400 - Devon, PA
Tredyffrin Easttown Realtor, Philly Main Line

Dive School Day 30.5

Dive School Diaries:    

Well today was a good, quick, easy day. We all had to go in at 1600 on Sunday to make up dives. 12 of the 31 people had needed to pass the 2000 meter fin and 5 needed to pass the advanced nav portion.    

We came in to work and as you know the winds and weather have been harsh. The lead instructor stood up and said he had bad news and good news.  

Bad News: The dive has been cancelled due to wind.
Good news: Everyone who needed to pass, has passed.       

That certainly was good news for everyone. That means all we have left are a few more dives for practice on the Final Mission. In fact i didn't understand exactly but he had said that we only finned in from the 750 meter buoy and i heard no mention of 5000 meter fin. I'm crossing my fingers but hoping that means the last time he mentioned that was a joke.     

Thanks for the prayers and thoughts. If you can't see them impacting me in any way, well here's your example.  

Frantically,    Jeremiah

Apr 15, 2007 11:15 AM #63
Nick Vandekar, 610-203-4543
Long & Foster Real Estate Inc 610-225-7400 - Devon, PA
Tredyffrin Easttown Realtor, Philly Main Line

Dive School days 34 & 35 almost final report (Dad's note photos will get attached later I do not have the time right now but wanted to post his update)

Dive School Diaries:   

A few people again were curious as to when they were going to hear when the latest (and last?) installment of the diaries were airing. So here it is and i'm glad i have such a loyal fan base.     

Well tomorrow is the official day of dive school but all we have to do is turn in gear, get our orders back to Camp Lejeune and leave. So i don't really consider that worth an update. I will however tell you how Final Mission went last night/this morning and include a few pictures i got from other people.   

We got in the water at around 2300 (11 pm) and had to swim on the surface 2750 meters roughly based on my calculations from the charts and maps. I was the Nav man so i was in front which is typically the toughest place to fin from. Everyone in my team was finning on their back but since i was looking where we were going, i was on my stomach.    

We dropped a wind dummy in the water which is nothing more than a marine who doesn't kick but floats steady. We see which way the current's going so we can fin with it. Apparently the weather website had said we should have started in slack tide (no current) with it shifting with us as we went on. The wind dummy however indicated that the current was going against us. We made the decision however to proceed from that spot anyway because the current should only be getting slower and shifting with us.     

We splashed in, hooked up and took off. I had some pain in my ankle pretty soon (within the first 1000 meters) and my Team leader who was also my buddy during the fins asked me several times if i wanted to move farther to the back. The back doesn't have to fin so hard because the front breaks the water for them. I refused based mostly on pride and i knew the distances and directions better than anyone else.     We finned the 2750 meters in about two hours which is pretty slow for individual rates, but when you go in a team you naturally slow down because of the line hindering you.     

The current ended up pushing us a little too far to the right but it wasn't too far off course. We made it to the spot where we were to go subsurface and all dropped our air out of our vests. Now when we did our practices, i had a problem with buoyancy. I couldn't get down and stay down so last night i added 6 lbs of weight. That's a lot but i wanted to make sure that i wouldn't float.    

Now i had the opposite problem. I sank right to the bottom (20 feet or so) and kept bouncing off as i finned. We went slow because of that and the line getting tangled around my feet and i think also the current again. It seems afterwards from conversation that a lot of people were slow which eliminated coincedence.    

We took an hour to move 1000 meters which should only take half of that so i was really angry underwater. We reached our spot and got our fins off and did our infiltration. My buddy had his weight belt come off so he floated a bit too much and fortunately i had enough weight for both of us, so he just held on to me and stayed under.    

We did our infiltration, stayed on our objective which was to secure a road position while one of the other teams did their raid. Then we exfiltrated back out. It was supposed to be another 1000 meters but they stopped us a short distance away and told us to fin into the ramp where we get out.    

Our team surprisingly did the best out of the others considering during practice we had the most hangups. I guess we all learned from our mistakes. The raid team was supposed to secure a package which ended up being a plastic bag filled with our dive pins. As a trick the instructors had it filled with air so the team couldn't get under. =oP    

We cleaned our stuff and verified our name, social security number that would all be on our certificate then left. I wrapped the paddle all day today that we will present to the instructors at the end of the course. It's a recon tradition to present a paddle as a way of saying thanks which is a whole new story.     

After this, i'll pack and go to sleep. tomorrow we have our graduation which should only take 20 minutes or so then we'll leave. I'll take a picture of the paddle and send it so you can see what i'm talking about.    

I got a few pictures from some other people so i can explain better about what i do: (If in order)

1) This is my team doing rehearsels before the mission. We were able to get on our objective and plan out all the moving parts. Key to any mission is making sure veryone understands what the plan is and what is supposed to happen. 99% of the time, the plan gets improvised. That beach is where we landed

2) My team, very tough as you can tell. We finned from way out there to that spot exactly. You can see them all flexing their arms. Oh i'm the little guy on the left standing.

3) My dive class. More folded flexed arms. I'm lowest level on the right. that's the ramp we finished on.

4) Here's the MK-25. As you can see it's all in front of him. He's purging his rig of all nitrogen right now. He has a ruck on his back to simulate a combat dive. His rifle is slung on his side. That red thing is the emergency chem lite. That big collar is the vest. He's got a little air in it so when he hits the water he stays on top.

5) That is all you see when there are Mk-25 divers. No bubbles, no nothing. If this were real life, there would be no indication that there was someone about to recon the beach.

6) The team now is in chest deep water. They take off their fins and put them on their wrists. Their rifles are unslung underwater and on signal they all stand up. This is them in mid stand surfacing. The guy with the snorkel would be the point or nav man. Not me though.

7)  As the team approaches the beach they pull down their mask and mouthpiece down as they reach shallower water. You can see the guys in back haven't reached that part, whereas the guys in front have. Side note, that sign you see above him has a number from 25-200. That is how they mark how far we are from the pier.

8) After the objective the team waits in the cover, They do their purge before stepping into open water as that provides no cover. They clip into the line and on a signal begin to exfiltrate. You can see the last two guys are providing rear security while the front descends. Once they can all lie down in the water they will put their fins on and sling their rifle and fin out. You can see the fins on their wrists here. Those guys in the background are the instructors on the pier critiqueing and observing.

9) Once in the water, you should be negatively buoyant so you just lie down. On the bottom you get your stuff on and fin out. This team is almost all under and the front is probably already starting to move out.   The pictures i had the instructors take of the actual final mission didn't turn out because it was so dark. My buddy pointed out that it wasn't the camera's fault, that's just how stealthy we are.      

As a final remark, i'd like to say that while this sort of training is good and incredibly intense at some points (remember the 10 K?) it was more of a privelege. I was so pleased to go and now i'm extremely proud of the dive bubble that i can wear on my uniform. If you see me in philly sometime i hope you get to see it because it was one of my goals to achieve while in the Marine Corps. Thanks for all your prayers and support for me and my team mates while i was going through this course and simply the fact that i passed is evidence enough.  

Majestically,    Jeremiah   ps i'll have one more email tomorrow of the paddle picture.

Apr 20, 2007 12:00 AM #64
Frank Rubi
Frank Rubi Real Estate, LLC - Metairie, LA
We know how you feel. We have one who just graduate from The Naval Academy on Friday. He will fly for the Marines. Prayers for your Sons and all who serve.
May 27, 2007 12:56 AM #65
Kelly Cox
Pillar To Post® Professional Home Inspection - Melbourne, FL

Nick and Trudy,

Being a retired Marine, I know all too well the frustrations that you're son has experienced.  I also know from experience that good things come to good Marines and it is evident that he is one!  It's great to see that his dream came true! 

Kelly Cox

Melbourne, L

Jul 23, 2007 01:17 AM #66
Robin Willis
Tucson Expert Agents LLC - Tucson, AZ
CDPE, SRES, Designated Broker
What a story.  Thanks for sharing.
Jul 26, 2007 11:40 AM #67
Nick Vandekar, 610-203-4543
Long & Foster Real Estate Inc 610-225-7400 - Devon, PA
Tredyffrin Easttown Realtor, Philly Main Line
For everyone's information Jeremy is now in Iraq. You can read his emails and see photos on Iraq Diaries. He was promoted to Sgt just before they left in October. Since arriving he did manage to hurt his thumb and gory photos were supplied. But he seems in a fine frame of mind and ready to get back out with his buddies and into action.
Nov 06, 2007 06:56 AM #68
Brenda Tressler
Crye-Leike Realtors - Clarksville, TN

Tell Jeremy taht I wish him the best & I am so proud of him. My thoughts will be with you while he is gone! have a great day and thanks for sahring this story! Brenda :)

Aug 06, 2008 01:21 PM #69
Latonia Parks
Top Bragg Realty, Fayetteville NC, Home of the 82d ABN DIV - Fayetteville, NC
Certified Military Relocation Expert

He has to be a great kid and for him to speak of God giving him the strength to endure speaks VOLUMES.  He mastered something I am sure only few can so congrats.

Aug 16, 2008 09:43 AM #70
Nick Vandekar, 610-203-4543
Long & Foster Real Estate Inc 610-225-7400 - Devon, PA
Tredyffrin Easttown Realtor, Philly Main Line

Brenda and Latonia thanks for the comments, we have been away with him as he is now out of the Marines and had a great vacation together. He loves to live on the edge and push the envelope of what can be achieved. He is now planning to attend Embry Riddle in January to complete his college education begun before he joined the Marines.

Aug 29, 2008 12:33 AM #71
Eric Ristey
Erlandson Realty - West Salem, WI

From one old jar head to another jar head oooh rahhh. This is a great post aka the huge amount of replys. My hat is off to him, and tell him Thank-You! Thanks for serving our country, and giving us the peace to be able to go throughout our day with out worries. thanks for risking his life to save our.


Eric Ristey


Mar 07, 2010 04:37 PM #72
Mickey Hayward
Sunset Properties, Hayward Realty - Onley, VA
Farm - Land - Home Sales & Commercial Real Estate

Typical military stuff.  Great story.  I'm so glad he got the slot. The U.S. military needs guys like him, who really want to do their thing and excel.

Jul 08, 2010 10:36 AM #73
Chuck Willman UtahHomes.me
Utah Homes - Alpine, UT
Utah Homes

I just now stumbled across this posts and the comments. Thank you so much for sharing this and for your son's willingness to serve. The world needs people like him.

May 19, 2015 10:28 PM #74
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Nick Vandekar, 610-203-4543

Tredyffrin Easttown Realtor, Philly Main Line
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