Corpus Christi Collage

This week at PADET Houston we were tasked with building a photo collage for each Sector in our area of responsibility and we figured we would share them with you! We hope you enjoy.

The photos are from the multiple missions that Sector Corpus Christi performs regularly including fisheries, law enforcement, ATON and search and rescue.

Multiple platforms are shown in this collage including a MH-65 Dolphin Helicopter from Air Station Corpus and a 45 ft medium response boat from Station Port Aransas.

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Bowling for Forces

While most people were planning how exactly they would make things better in 2010, I was covering the 2009 Armed Forces Bowl in Fort Worth, Texas, Dec. 31.The game was a rematch of last year’s game featuring the Houston Cougars versus the Air Force Academy Fighting Falcons.

Last year Houston dominated, but this year the Falcons torched the Coug’s 47-20.

The game was interesting, but all of the surrounding events overshadowed it for me.

For instance, during the Armed Forces Bowl Luncheon at the Omni Hotel in downtown Fort Worth Lt.j.g Warren Fair had the opportunity to meet Sgt. 1st. Class Dana Bowman (ret.), who lost both of his legs in a tragic sky diving accident.

On February 6, 1994, Bowman gained worldwide attention when he and his teammate Sgt. Jose Aguillon collided in midair during the team’s annual training.

Aguillon died in the collision, but nine months later, Bowman became the first double amputee to re-enlist in the United States Army.

During the luncheon Bowman gave an inspirational speech and asked guests to remember all of the men and women who battle for our freedom each and every day.

While Bowman provided a great speech, he wasn’t the only person in the audience who has helped to make a difference.

Normally I try to avoid inserting myself into these posts, but there is no way I can avoid it this time.

Another attendee of the luncheon, which was attended by nearly 1,000 people, was an original Tuskegee Airman named Calvin Spann.

Now I’ve been fortunate enough to have met quite a few influential people from Gen. David Petraeus to Adm. Thad Allen, but it would be hard to argue that Lt. Calvin Spann is not the most historically significant person I have come across.

I could try and articulate just how significant Spann’s and the other airmen’s efforts were, but I would most certainly fall short.  So with that said, it was truly an honor to have been able to shake the hand of such a legend.

The next day, more than 25 recruits were sworn into the Coast Guard by Capt. Marcus Woodring, commander of Sector Houston-Galveston, during half-time.

While those who took the oath have only begun to serve, the members of the Coast Guard Auxiliary have been at it for quite some time.

Several members of the North Texas Auxiliary helped to put together the static display for the Armed Forces Insurance Armed Forces Adventure, which included a 25-foot Response Boat-Medium, a recruiting tent, and Coastie the Robot.

The display was so impressive that Dallas Cowboy Cheerleaders Sunni Cranfill and Ally Traylor stopped by to get acquainted with Coastie.

All in all, it was a great event for everyone involved, even the poor over-worked photographer…..

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Thanks for the Cowboys

On Thanksgiving we went to the Cowboys versus Raiders game at the Jerry Dome in Arlington, Texas, and had a really good time for only $29.99 per standing room ticket.

The first holiday game I went to was back in 1998 when Randy Moss absolutely annihilated the Cowboys at Texas Stadium during his first visit to Dallas after the boys didn’t draft him because of character flaws…  Micheal Irvin, Mark Tuinei, and crazy ass Charles Haley agree that character flaws are not in the best interest of the organization.

Anyhow, that game was also the first Cowboy game that I attended in person, and even though we got torched, at least I got to see Emmitt Smith rip off a long run on the faded green turf that was so recognizable.

The next Thanksgiving Day game I went to was a pounding of the Seattle Seahawks in 2008, which happened to be the last Thursday game ever at Texas Stadium.

So since I went to the last at the old, I figured it would only be fitting that I go to the first at the new.  It turned out to be the second consecutive trouncing of an opponent during the boys annual holiday event, and I found that the $30 Party Passes are worth the price.

We were confined to the end zones, but there are so many giant screens in the stadium that you get to hear and feel the energy of the crowd and see the game in crystal clear high definition.

Final review:  Party Passes are worth the money but Raiders quarterback Jamarcus Russell is not…

A Raiders fan contemplates how he will carry on, even though Al Davis continues to run the team from beyond the grave.

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The Rig

I can’t believe I haven’t posted anything in such a long time! Well, I do have to maintain a couple of work webpages, so I guess when it comes down to it, I get a little tired of updating page after page. That being said, we have done a ton of of stuff since the last post and I better get my demanding fans back up to speed.

So first things first, we bought one gigantic RV:

It’s old, but in really good shape.  It has great hardwood floors, no major issues and runs like a champ.  Gas mileage leaves a bit to be desired, but what do you expect when you’re lugging around a decent sized apartment?

We met up with mom and dad just north of Houston at a KAO Kampground in Montgomery for our first trip.  It was a really nice place and all of the kids had a great time.  Mom and dad’s Tab RV was a perfect compliment to our RV.  When we needed to get our kids to sleep, Braiden and Bailey hung out with mom and dad, and when  we all needed to get out of the rain we hung out at our place.

The KOA was really nice as well.  During the day the kids fished, played at the huge park, and swam in the indoor, heated pool.

At night we watched movies, played board games and roasted marshmallows.

All and all, it was a great time and we can’t wait to get back out again!

By the way, you can see a larger version of the pics by clicking on them, or check out my Flickr page.

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New Look TCU

TCU FootballFRIENDSWOOD, Texas – I grew up just outside the shadow cast by Amon G. Carter Stadium, yet I only went to one Texas Christian University football game before I joined the Coast Guard in 2001. I only recall the game I went to because I went with my dad and Michael Reeder kicked a school-record 57-yard field goal to end the first half. He also booted one from 51 the same day, by the way. I kept tabs on TCU after that game and before I left for the Guard because, if you recall, a certain up-and-coming coach and a certain Heisman-hopefull running back were starting to turn a perennial loser into a consistent winner.

TCU UNIFORMWell since then, Dennis Franchione has run his career into the ground, Ladanian Tomlinson has run himself toward a first-ballot hall of fame invitation, Gary Patterson’s Horned Frogs have averaged nine wins a season, and I have traveled to several TCU games.  Through it all, three things have remained steadily unchanged: Gary Patterson‘s mood, poor attendance, and the Frog’s uniforms.

While last night’s 55-28 stomping of Utah – which in an un-PC world would have been billed as “The Holy War on the West Side” – did sell out,  that wasn’t the only thing that was dramatically different:  Introducing Nike Pro Combat

TCU HELMET

Click here to see a video that explains how the new technology works

TCU PANTSUsually I’m not too fond of over-the-top, brand centric, crazy uniform changes in midseason, but the fact that Nike digitally recreated a horned frog’s skin for the helmet and pants is actually quite impressive.  The red stripes on the helmet represent the blood that horned frogs shoot out of their eyes when they are attacked.

Now, I make no claims of being a manly-man, who is impressed with macho stuff like blood, guns, MMA, pink shirts (yes, nowadays that’s manly), yelling at the TV in a sports bar, free weights, big trucks, or stupid stunts.  I like air conditioning, big TV’s, fast internet connections, soft couches, and instant replay.  Nonetheless, even I thought the blood from the eyes thing was pretty cool.

Now the big question is whether or not the Frogs will wear the new digs again this year, and if so, when.  Will they wear it against the winless Lobos?  Is there a road version to take to Wyoming to play the Cowboys?  If they do choose to don the lizard skins again, I hope they wait until a BCS game against what will undoubtedly be a heavily favored opponent.

OU upsetThat, of course, assumes that the toads can avoid a complete let down after such a huge win against the Utes.  Anyone recall 2005?  TCU went into Norman and beat Oklahoma 17-10, for arguably the program’s greatest victory since Davey O’Brien led the Frogs to a 15-7 victory over the Carnegie Tech Tartans to finish the 1938 season 11-0 to secure the national championship.  They followed the OU victory with a 21-10 loss to SMU in the “Battle for the Iron Skillet.”  That would end up being their only loss of the season and it likely cost them their first BSC bid.

Point is, they definitely played well and with a ton of emotion in the sci-fi inspired outfits, so they should save them for the next big game.  It might sound silly to think a uniform provides an edge in a big game, but why else do players do everything they can to look cool and tough on the field?  Wrist bands, forearm bands and biceps bands have replaced headbands.  Skin tight rubber sleeves have replaced elbow pads.  Microfiber jerseys have replaced the ones that had those gigantic holes in them.  Why?  Because players want to look as bad as they can because it helps them get in the right mindset.  Plus, their a bunch of kids who want to impress the chicks…

Anyhow, save the jerseys for the next “big one,” and Gary Patterson might want to remind his players of when SMU crushed the Frog’s BSC hopes with one lucky swing of a big old Iron Skillet in 2005.

TCU_Pro_Combat_CHEST_

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Cam Can’t Stay Awake

FRIENDSWOOD, Texas – Cam did everything he could to stay awake and watch the movie “Cars,” but alas, he was overwhelmed by the forces of sleepiness. I love that after he lays on his side he still can’t keep his head up and has to readjust again to find the position that provides the highest level of comfort.

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It’s Halloween!!!

Cam's scary teeth!FRIENDSWOOD, Texas – Well it appears that Halloween is upon us, and as usual, Toni is the Kelley family driving-force behind all of the seasonal activities that we have embarked upon.   That being said, I have been trying to keep up with her zeal for all things spooky.  I carved a pumpkin with the kiddos, completely covered the shrubs in front of the house with “spider webs,” and managed to take a pretty cool pic of Cameron with his scary vampire-teeth.

I am sure I will have more to follow on this developing, holiday situation, but so far things have been pretty fun.  Toni plans on being the Tomb Raider chick, Cam is going to be a pirate, Cody will be a ninja and I will be something…GROSS!!!

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