Hooray 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 so 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.
I 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 stationed 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!!!