Many of you that know me in real life already know this, but for those of you who don’t – my husband, Christian, is a retired Air Force veteran. He retired about a year and a half ago after serving our country for 20 years. Because he’s been deployed numerous times and our family understands the hardships that the entire family faces during those times, we are all about helping Veterans.
Speaking of being deployed, Christian was actually deployed overseas immediately following September 11th and he’s actually got a really interesting story that I wanted to share with you. Because it’s his story to tell, he wrote it:
I am a military retiree who served 20+ years in the United States Air Force as a fire fighter. One of my most memorable/hardest deployments in the military was right after 9/11. I remember watching the news that day like everyone else and wondering what was going to happen next. As it turned out I was on a plane two weeks later heading to the Middle East. The plane ride there summed up what I was in for over the next few months.
The plane ride, coming from a civilian point of view, was like this; think about taking a four hour plane ride to Disney World, but instead, it is a 25 hour flight. Your seat is just a bench and there definitely were no flight attendants. We got powdered meatloaf for breakfast, a powdered hot dog for lunch and a bottle of water for dinner. I spent the whole time looking at the truck right in front of me for the whole trip. When we landed I stepped off of the plane, I turned my head and all I could see was sand. I turned my head in the other direction and again, all I see is sand. Instead of taking a breather, stretching our legs or finally get some rest, we had to build out tent to sleep in that night.
My job as a fire fighter was put on hold and I became a tent builder during my first week there because we were preparing for arriving troops. One of the toughest things to deal with was that I was not able to communicate with my family. There no care packages for the first month and it was two weeks before we had the showers built – and for the entire time I was there, we had no hot water at all.
For me, one of the hardest things to deal with was the food. We ate MRE’s (meals ready to eat) every day for two meals. One of the two was a hot meal (although most of the time it was cold), which either consisted of chicken and rice or eggs and sausage. Those were our only two choices every day for over 100 days. The only thing we had to drink at first were water bottles )for the first couple of months) and around day 60 I waited in line for an hour to try our second choice of beverage, which was warm (we had no refrigeration) goats milk – at least it came in chocolate. I still remember getting back home after my tour was finished and having my first Coke after about a six month hiatus. It felt like I was swallowing shards of glass.
In case you missed it, Christian’s troop was the first to land overseas, so he and the guys he served with literally built the camp from the ground up. See, I told you he had a great story to tell.
That is just one of the stories he has to tell about that particular deployment and I think from reading his words, you can understand why we try to help out active duty servicemen and veterans as much as we possibly can including sending care packages overseas.
The folks at Direct Energy are also committed to giving back to those who have given so much to our country. They recently launched a military portal, which is a dedicated space in which military personnel can find discounted energy rates for their home energy needs. Plus, once you’re a Direct Energy Customer, you’ll have access to their on time bill payments rewards program, Refer-a-Friend Program, easy, on the go Online Account Manager and more. These plans were created solely to help veterans and military members save money on their home energy needs!
To be eligible for the discounted military rates, you must enter your valid ID into their portal. Once it verifies, you will then be directed to a dedicated military plans page. You will then see plans available in your area.
Direct Energy’s Military Portal is a great way for active and veteran military members and their families to save money with exclusive military rates, and Direct Energy’s Rewards Program! If you have a special veteran or active duty service member in your life, be sure to tell them about this.
How would you help the military personnel in your community?