300,000 points and our son out of Iraq!

Real Estate Agent with Results Realty

Sergeant Tarren James PetersonHooray I did it; I hit 300,000 points on the same day that our son is getting out of Iraq from his second tour with the Army as an Intelligence Analyst!  I just got the call that his welcome home ceremony will be at 3:00 this Saturday.  Okay I have to be honest 300,000 points pales in comparison to getting our son out of Iraq but I am going to discuss both in this post.

I started Active Rain 2 years ago in January.  My friend Mary Warren had been talking to me about blogging and I actually started on a different platform with her.  I think I was about one week in to my blogging experience when I saw a comment on this other platform about Active Rain and so I did a Google search and checked it out.  I think it was Maureen McCabe whose comment I saw and I was intrigued with a point system.  At the time I was two years in to having my own brokerage and to be honest I was a little lonely.  I've always been a carrot grabber and Marchel Peterson loves to grab carrotsso this point system fulfilled something that was missing in life.  As an added benefit 2 years later I can say that I have learned so much about blogging, SEO, real estate, inspections, lender issues yada, yada yada plus I now have friends all over the United States and Canada.

If I could come up with one word that would describe my climb to 300,000 AR points it would be "Consistency".  I don't know that I have EVER wrote 10 post in a week but I consistently write 3 to 4 post a week.  I am also consistent about commenting on 10 post a day; probably a lot more.  I have not had a ton of featured post.  Out of my 350 post I think 18 have been featured.  Actually there are a few more that aren't showing as I regularly write for localism and it use to be that when a localism post was featured you got the points but no one else knew about it.  I'm glad there is now a featured localism because like I said I'm a carrot grabber.

Karen GeorgeI was doubly blessed to be involved with Karen George's great blogging experiment and was blessed to get to know Karen through the experiment.  At the time anyone could join her experiment but she did have a cutoff date for joining.  This was just one of those right time, right place things that happen in your life. Karen is no longer here to share with us as she passed away from breast cancer this last year and if you have not I would highly recommend going and reading all Karen's post she wrote.  She knew her search engine optimization and was willing to share her knowledge.  Her husband Michael is keeping her blog alive.  Thank you Michael!

So thank you Active Rain for all you do and making this forum possible.  I have learned so much and met so many people. 

Okay now I'm back to the part of our son getting out of Iraq. When our son was getting out of his first tour of Iraq I had just hit 50,000 in AR points and when we found out that he was going to get the stop/lost and go to Iraq again I had just hit 100,000 AR points so it only seems appropriate that I should hit 300,000 as he gets out again.  I have always kept track of events by my children's ages but as they have become young adults that has become harder so now I have a new way of keeping track; AR points.  You will find a "50,000 points and our son back in the United States" but you won't find a "100,000 points and our son going back to Iraq post" but I know.  I somehow couldn't bring myself to write that post. 

I have had a lot of people ask me if we are a military family and we really are not.  What we are is a family that is proud to serve their country.  Between my husband's family and my family I can proudly say we have had someone fight in almost every military conflict since the Revolutionary War.  There are a few exceptions I don't think we had anyone fight in the War of 1812 and we missed the first Gulf War. 

Our son decided to join the Army right out of high school and went in as an Intelligence Analyst.  He was Tarren Peterson's deployment to Hit Iraqstationed in Germany and has spent most of the last 4½ years out of the country.  His first Iraq deployment was in a small town called Hit Northwest of Ramadi.  It was where the insurgents came through from Syria.  The conditions were AWFUL.  He lived in a room with about 30 other soldiers.  They were often not able to bathe for a week at a time.  They were mortared the entire time that he was there and he was constantly pulling guard duty as he was low in seniority.  He got tired of MRI's so I and my Mom would send him care packages about once a week.  He asked me to send some bowls and I sent two collapsible bowls.  He informed me that they didn't have water to wash the bowls and he needed disposable bowls.  I was mortified my son didn't have water to wash his bowls.

He was supposed to get out of the Army this last August but when he got back from his first tour his unit in Germany was dissolved and he got put in to a unit at Fort Hood that was heading back to Iraq.  So he got the infamous stop/lost. I do have to say this tour was night and day different from his first tour.  He had one roommate and they worked opposite shifts so he basically had his own room.  The food was decent although he still enjoyed getting a goody package but we did not have to send the basics.  He was able to take showers every day; which was HUGE.  He had wireless in his room; he had to pay for it but it is worth it to be able to keep in contact.  I talked with him on Instant messenger on almost a daily basis.

He will be getting out of the Army May 1st and plans to start at the Community College this summer.  He is considering Ocean Engineering.  I think he had enough of the desert.  I am so proud of him he took this extra tour like a man.  Now I on the other hand I took it like a Mom.  I am so happy it is OVER!!

I have to be honest it took a little bit of maneuvering to get to 300,000 on the same day that our son got out of Iraq.  I realized at the first of the year that it could happen but I would need to slow my points down.  So if you received comments from me that were very small that was what was going on.  I found it to be almost as hard to not get points as to get points.  I guess it made me feel like I was doing something getting ready if nothing else.  I had a neighbor that said that went really fast.  My response was "No it didn't!" I guess it is a matter of your reference point. Saturday at 3:00 PM WOO HOO!!!


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Midori Miller
Talk 2 Midori, LLC - Daytona Beach, FL
Digital Marketing Director

Marchel-so many great accomplishments and your timing well awesome!  Congrats on your points and congrats that your son is with you!  Tell him I said thank you from the bottom of my heart!

Mar 07, 2009 12:06 AM #109
Norma Brandsberg
Marks Realty Co. Inc., Lynchburg, VA, 540-586-9496 - Forest, VA

Boy am I happy for you. What a wonderful weekend!

Mar 07, 2009 12:40 AM #110
Gary White~Grand Rapids Home Selling Pro Call: 616-821-9375
Flexit Realty "Flexible Home Selling Solutions" - Grand Rapids, MI
Real Estate Services You can Trust!

HI Marchel, better late than never for me to comment!  I have been following your post for over a year now and have been with you on vacations....thought of your son and daughter as they travels and prayed for his save return on each of his assignments to the Middle East.  My mother mentioned to me how difficult it was to have a child in a war zone.  For us that do it...we don't think much about the thoughts of those left behind.  It doesn't matter about the points...you got em all at once when he came home!  By the way congrats on hitting 300,000 it is a big milestone...and another well deserved feature!

Mar 07, 2009 01:07 AM #111
Marchel Peterson
Results Realty - Spring, TX
Spring TX Real Estate E-Pro

NORMA, Which branch of the service was or is your son in?  My son was in Hit which is Northwest of Ramadi for his first tour.  He was at that time stationed in Frieberg Germany but the rest of the brigade was over in Ramadi.  I do think the blogging has helped pass the time but you are right it does not go fast.

DIANE, Those prayers are appreciated.  Especially that one for a Victorious landing.  We are leaving the house at 12:30 today to head for Fort Hood.  At this point the ceremony is scheduled for 6:00 PM this evening.

BETTINA, I will tell him!

JOHN, This last tour he made lemonade out of lemons and he is now Sergeant Tarren Peterson.  Had he got out at his normal time he would not have made Sergeant.

MINDY, Instant Messenger was a God sent!!!!

KATHY, I am looking forward to the upcoming months.  He will be on leave from April 4th to the 27th and then out of the Army May 1st.

VIRGINIA, Oh my two son-in-laws heading for Afghanistan.  I was always amazed at how fast those care packages got there.  I really liked that new larger size flat rate package and thought it was really cool that they give a $2 discount when it goes to an APO address.

CARLA, It does seem to be some kind of viral infection; doesn't it!  The first two times it happened naturally.  I have to admit I slowed the points down so it could happen the third time.  It does help me to remember the date though.

AUDREY, I didn't feel I could talk about the points without bringing Karen up as she was such an inspiration.

LISA, I can't wait to be able to call him whenever I want.  He is probably going to get sick of Mom calls (nah I think he will be happy to get them).




Mar 07, 2009 01:36 AM #112
Norma Toering Broker for Palos Verdes and Beach Cities
Charlemagne International Properties - Rancho Palos Verdes, CA
Palos Verdes Luxury Homes in L.A.

Marchel - Since you asked--The Marines.  He was squad leader for one of the most successful teams at finding and detonating IEDs--a horrifically dangerous job.  It is wonderful to have him home.  Congrats to you and your son too.

Mar 07, 2009 01:55 AM #113
Judi Morgan
RETIRED - San Antonio, TX
San Antonio, TX Real Estate

Marchel,  WOOHOOO, Congratulations on the Feature, the 300,000 Points and most of all your son leaving Iraq and coming home.  I know today, you're watching the clock waiting for 3:00.  Y'all have a great weekend and family reunion!  

Mar 07, 2009 02:39 AM #114
Marchel Peterson
Results Realty - Spring, TX
Spring TX Real Estate E-Pro

JULIE, We leave in an hour for Fort Hood.  It will be a long day as we are driving back after the ceremony but not nearly as long as it has been for him.  Driving back he will be with us, HOORAY!!  He gets 4 days off and then will head back to Fort Hood.  I'm thankful he is based close enough for us to drive.


GARY WOLTAL, I'm thrilled to put it mildly!!

SHARON and GREG, Dundy is here waiting for him.  After the loss of our Abby he was online from Baghdad finding us a dog.  I'm sure they will be great friends.

KEITH, Congrats to you on 300,000 also. 

CRAIG, Keep those caring packages going, I know it means a lot to your nephew!!  One of mine at Christmas took a detour but they enjoyed it after Christmas just as much if not more!

TERI, Thanks and Thanks!  Woo this is taking me a long time to respond back let alone start reciprocating.  I will when I get time though.  I'm sure that once our son is home and gets his wheels he will be out visiting friends; which is okay he deserves it.

CHRISTINE, It was two great things in one day and today will be even better as he lands on Texas soil!!!

KAREN, Thanks!  I feel so blessed that I was at the right time right place to get in Karen's experiment.  We did meet a lot of friends and as you said many of us have stayed in contact.  I have to thank you for finally making HTML tables easy for me.  I have passed that email you sent me on to quite a few people.









Mar 07, 2009 03:36 AM #115
Marchel Peterson
Results Realty - Spring, TX
Spring TX Real Estate E-Pro

ROLAND, Mary is doing good.  She has been working in the school system there in Las Vegas.  We were doing a bible study on-line together but we had computer & life complications and have not finished it.  I guess we need to make it a goal. 

JASON, Only 6 hours left to go until the ceremony.  I've never been to a welcome home ceremony and I'm so excited to be close enough this time to attend.  His last tour he came back to Germany.

BOB and CAROLIN, Both are good news but the points pale in comparison to getting our son back on Texas soil.

ROBIN and SUE, We are so proud of him.  He went in to the Army a boy but is coming out a young man!!

DEAN, Thanks!  We are so excited about seeing our son!  By the way I remember checking out your website when I had Kathleen designing my point 2 site.  Nice job!!

CHRIS, Thanks to both!

KATHLEEN, Thanks and I'm one proud Mama!

JESSE, You know it the points pale in comparison!!!!!!

CASTELLUM, When he has some spare time I will have him read through this post.  He responded on my post about losing our dog Abby (from Baghdad) and his grammar was so good I thought it was our daughter.  He has grown up.

MAUREEN, I wish I had understood the points system.  I would have put your name down as inviting me but I just Googled and signed up.  I'm not sure what you said but it obviously stuck.  Thanks for mentioning the rain way back then.  You are right the points pale in comparison.  We leave in less than an hour for Fort Hood.


Mar 07, 2009 03:50 AM #116
Marchel Peterson
Results Realty - Spring, TX
Spring TX Real Estate E-Pro

MICHAEL, You are getting the word straight from the boots.  I can't wait for those boots to hit Texas soil in just 6 hours.

DORIE, How exciting that he was home for the big event!!  How much longer is his tour?

MISSY, I know that you know my relief.  Today is a little surreal.  Our daughter called at 6:00 this morning as she was leaving on a flight to Kuwait for a 7 day trip.  As you know she is a flight attendant for a company that moves our troops.  Anyway long story short my children are passing each other in the sky.  One of the way to Kuwait and one on the way home from Iraq/Kuwait!!  If you had told me this would be happening a few years ago I would have told you that you were on crack (lol).

ANDREA, How fun to see your smiling mug!!  I had no idea why some people had pictures and others did not until I read your post.  By the way I had three post to respond to before I posted this post to make 300,000 points and yours was one of the post.  You truly understand my carrot grabber comment (lol).

MICHAEL, Thanks for your tour also!  Was it Vietnam??  We have so much to thank our VETS for, FREEDOM IS NOT FREE!!

MARK, They did catch a lot of bad guys over there.  Now as an Intelligence Analyst I still don't know exactly what he did but I do know that several times his intelligence was responsible for catching bad guys.

ERICA, Thanks!!  All those who serve our country past, present and future are truly hero's.

ARMY MOM, Thanks and thanks to whomever you have serving also!!

MIDORI, Being that carrot grabber that I am getting the points to coincide with his homecoming at least gave me something to do as I waited.  I'm not very good at waiting so at least I had a goal.

NORMA, It is a wonderful weekend and the weather is even co-operating.

GARY WHITE, I have appreciated you being along with me on this journey.  I have especially appreciated your sharing of your Vietnam experience with me.  The waiting is almost over.  We leave in 20 minutes for Fort Hood.  By the way my daughter is on a plane on her way to Kuwait for a troop flight.  Very surreal to have my children passing in the sky once again.  This also happened when he was on his way home for his R & R in November.

NORMA, OH MY!!  How scary for a MOM. My son's brigade replaced a marine unit on his first tour that was in Ramadi.  I wonder if this was the unit they replaced.  That tour was AWFUL.  They were mortared the entire time they were in Hit.  (The rest of the brigade was in Ramadi).  He would have been there in I think 2007. 

JUDI, It is now 6:00 but that's okay what's a few hours.  We have waited this long!  I'm THRILLED!!



Mar 07, 2009 04:13 AM #117
Bill Somerset
Re/Max Realty Group - Dover, NH
ABR, e-PRO - Realtor - NH Real Estate Agent

Congratulations on the 300,000 point mark! Thank your son for me for serving our country.  If it were not for men like him, we would not have the wonderful things we all enjoy.

Mar 07, 2009 05:44 AM #118
Linda Scanlan

Marchel, I am sure that Tarren is home and enjoying his steak dinner by now!  How good you will all sleep tonight!

Welcome home Tarren! Thank you for your sacrifice!

Mar 07, 2009 09:18 AM #119
John Cannata
214-728-0449 http://TexasLoanGuy.com - Frisco, TX
Texas Home Mortgage - Purchase or Refinance

wow... 300,000 points... that is SO far away from where I am.  :-)  Not that I was competing with you or anything.  But as you stated, this is nothing compared to the news of your son coming home.  That is awesome.  Congrats on both.

Mar 07, 2009 11:00 AM #120
Not a real person
San Diego, CA

Congratulations on reaching 300,000 points!

Welcome home to Sergeant Tarren James Peterson, and thank you for your service to our Country.

I have just three more things to day:

  1. The Petersons rock!
  2. The Petersons roll!
  3. The Petersons rule!


Mar 12, 2009 08:54 PM #121
Marchel Peterson
Results Realty - Spring, TX
Spring TX Real Estate E-Pro

RUSSELL, What a relief to have him home.  He is home for the weekend from Fort Hood.  Now I just need to pray about him on the road (lol).  He's actually a good driver it's those other drivers I worry about. 

Mar 13, 2009 01:59 PM #122
Jim Frimmer
HomeSmart Realty West - San Diego, CA
Realtor & CDPE, Mission Valley specialist

Wow! Getting 300,000 points and a son back home all in the same day. Congratulations!

Mar 15, 2009 11:39 AM #123
Marchel Peterson
Results Realty - Spring, TX
Spring TX Real Estate E-Pro

JIM, Those points pale in comparison to having our son back in the USA.  It does give me a way to always remember when he got out of Iraq though. 

Mar 15, 2009 01:56 PM #124
Bill Gassett
RE/MAX Executive Realty - Hopkinton, MA
Metrowest Massachusetts Real Estate

Marchel I am sure you are thrilled to have your son home! Congrats on your latest Milestone.

Mar 17, 2009 08:33 AM #125
Rich Mielke
REMAX Results, Frederick MD - Frederick, MD
REALTOR, Frederick Maryland Real Estate

Marchel, I am glad to hear that Tarren is home.

Mar 18, 2009 02:07 PM #126
Bob Sloop, Consultant, Indianapolis, IN
RS Mortgage Consulting - Indianapolis, IN

Oh no I missed your 300,000.... I am sorry but I am also thrilled to hear the news, he is out of Iraq!!!!!!

Your accomplishments here on AR is unreal.  It has been my pleasure to follow you on here.  I wish you more and more success in the next years to come.  Marchel you make an impact on so many peoples lives.  You have shared with, prayed for, and continue to post some of the best on here.  Keep it going, you will be at 600,000 in no time.  :)

Mar 20, 2009 01:59 PM #127
Marchel Peterson
Results Realty - Spring, TX
Spring TX Real Estate E-Pro

BILL, Thrilled to have him home is putting it mildly.  I still get so excited when I see his car with the cover off of it!!!  Only a little over a month and he will be out of the Army. 

BOB, You are too nice!  You were the first person who commented on one of my blogs.  I couldn't figure out how you found me (lol).  I have enjoyed getting to know you and sharing our sons tours of Iraq.  Keep us posted on Cynthia. 

Mar 20, 2009 04:28 PM #128
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