05 July 2009

Independence Day

He was a medic for 5th group special operations on a mission to find a couple of terrorist. 4 SF teams were involved in this mission as it was a high priority target, two teams covered the perimeter of the building while the other two teams were to breach the building at street level and at roof top. The building was a hard target so this was the reason for the large amount of personel involved with the mission. As soon as the street level team started to breach the building shots rang out and a couple of team members went down. Medics were on the ground tending to the wounded while the terrorist were on the roof still firing down on the wounded personel. As a medic attended to a fallen brother a team member observed the individuals on the roof and he started for there location to neutralize the threat. He stepped out onto the roof in the heat of the battle with no regard for his own safty, just the safety of his team members that were in harms way down on the street. He executed the mission, took out the target but was shot and killed in the process. That night two team members were killed and seven injured. It was September 12 2003 when he died in a far away land, he laid down his life for a brother. SFC Bennett was to leave Iraq the very next day to go home! He left behind a wife and son.
Today I attended a memorial service for SFC Bennett, The Army renamed the compound after him in his Honor. This is one of many stories that most people will never hear about, SFC Bennett died for his country doing a job most will never understand or don't want to hear about. In that slit secound, the dicision he made cost him his life, but in turn he probably saved the life's of several men under his command.
On this 4th of July the reality of freedom rang clear to me. Men like Bill have paid the ultimate price for the freedoms I so love. We live in the greatest country in the world, there is no other place I would want to go. If anybody ever questions what they have or the places they can so freely go as an American, remember men and women have fault and died for this Nation never asking for anything in return.
The next time you see a veteran, young or old shake there hand and say thanks, they may not understand the reason why but the least we can do as a society is thank them for a job well done.

10 June 2009


Hey everybody, yes I'm still alive and kicking. Sorry for not doing this sooner I've just been........... blowing this off for far to long. All is well with me here in the desert or as I like to say "It's all good". Many things have happened since my last posting so I will try to tell you what life is like "IN THE WAR ZONE".
We left California 2Mar09 for a far and distant land with excitement and a little fear of the unknown. The flight sent us to Bangor MN, Shannon Ireland, then onto Kuwait. We stayed in Kuwait for about a week to acclimate and rest up then flew into Iraq. The fun started with a broke C-130 from Kuwait into Iraq, with a slight delay we were soon off again. We flew into Balad, Iraq to start our mission.
Our detatchment arrived safely in theater as it's called ready to get started with our mission. I was quickly told not to get comfortable as I was to depart Balad withen a few days to fly out to a "FOB" (Foward operating base) for a turnover from the unit we replaced.
Our turn over went well and we assumed the duties set by our Commanding Officer. We are working for the Army's 5th group called SOTF-N (Special operations task force-north). They are a special forces group taking care of all the northern part of Iraq. I'm not sure exactly what they do as most of it is top secret. We as Seabees are the builders of the fleet no matter who we work for. Our tasking was to build several building's for the Army during our stay here. The project started out with tons of dirt to move and prepare the site for new structures. To date we have completed several buildings left by the last battalion and started several ourself. We have been tasked with 4 new buildings to be errected, they are to include a Armory, Theater, Kitchen, and a vehical maintenance shop. This task will be about 14000 square feet of buildings to be finished by 10 people in 6 months. There have been tons of dirt moved, a couple hundred cubic meters of concrete poured and thousands of boards cut to fit.
As for me I am the only mechanic in this group and it is my job to ensure that all our equipment is maintained and ready to go. This has been quite a challenge because our equipment operators run the equipment like it was a rental! Needless to say there have been a couple of people that have witnessed my wrath first hand. These same people would be the "ignants" referred to earlier in Sheila's post.
There has been alot of fun as well as some long days while in country, my roommates and I are always going out and trying to find things to do and people to meet. We have received several guided tours while out on our excursions. We met a warrent officer that told us everything you could ever want to know about his Apache attack helicopter, and a couple of maintenance guys that did the same about there Blackhawk helicopter. Everyone wants to tell you about there "specialty" or there piece of equipment. I have been involved with several projects for the sole purpose of just building relationships, there was a volleyball court for the hospital staff, a memorial for a sevice member killed in combat and built a table for the gate guards to put a microwave on.
There have been good as well as trying times while here, it is hard to work, play, eat and sleep with the same people 24-7 without the help of the Lord. I have found that the the only way for me to handle this deployment is by Gods grace and mercy! One of the first things I did once I arrived was to meet the Chaplain and start getting plugged in. Luckily both of my roommmates are christians and we all go every sunday to church. I made a new friend while attending church, Tim an Army sargent that I know the Lord put in my path. I had all these plans before I left the states on my "mission" trip. What I am finding out is that the Lord had his own plan for me. I probabaly will not get to go outside the wire into other parts of the country and carry the gospel to a lost people, but I am finding out that there are many right in front of me that need to be ministered to and loved on. I miss Sheila and the kids and being away from home, but I know the Lord has me here for a reason. My prayer is still that when he calls I will listen and obey!

15 May 2009

In a dry and weary land………..

10MAY09 Camp Speicher 033

the chapel at Camp Speicher, Iraq

10MAY09 Camp Speicher 032

the chaplain holding sunday service


When Eric arrived at Camp Speicher he set out to find the chaplain.  He wanted to know if he was a Christian (yes, he could’ve been something other than that), talk about his own faith journey, and find out about church services.  Eric seemed to like him.   The first Sunday they had 5 people at the service.  Eric and his 2 roommates were 3 of them.  On Easter Sunday even the “Easter Christians”  came out in force. They had high attendance that day……..9 people attended!!!    How’s that  for church growth!  The numbers are back down to the 5 regulars now……but that’s okay. God is not concerned with numbers….only hearts that seek after Him.   “For where two or three have gathered together in My name, I am there in their midst.” ~ Matt. 18:20.

I was proud of Eric as he shared his heart with me, our friends, and our home fellowship group before he left.  God has done so much in his life the past year preparing him for this.  He learned how to “Live on Target”  and has grown so much at our new church the past year.  He is proud and honored to serve his country but his first mission was to make a difference in the lives of others and to share his faith by word and deed. He thinks of this as a mission trip.   Those of us who have been on missions know that we go with the idea that we are going to make a difference, lead people to “change” their lives, etc.  But the reality is we are the ones who grow and change the most.  Yes…….we make a difference but we come home changed forever.  I know this journey is growing and stretching Eric as he relies daily and hourly on God to sustain him, protect him, and guide him in difficult circumstances.  My prayer is for Eric to be bold in his words and more bold in his actions and witness.  I pray other soldiers will look at him and see something different in him.  We are nearing the halfway mark (thank you, Lord!) of this deployment and there is still time for Eric to make a difference.  Press on, Eric!  Don’t forget your first love and your first mission!  Stay on task. God has surely shown you favor through this journey.  Pray for every opportunity for Eric to share/lead  “Living on Target” with other men and to seek hard after God.  I am praying for miracles! 

Therefore, my brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your toil is not in vain in the Lord’~1 Corinthians 15:58

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11 May 2009

Finally……an update…..blogging again!

Sheila -  I had someone email me recently and ask if everything was okay since she hadn’t seen any blog posts lately (thanks Debbie!) so it reminded me that I needed to get busy!!

Eric has settled into a routine in the desert finally.  He is working 6 days a week and goes to church services on Sunday at the chapel.  He and his 2 roommates make up 60% of the church! (there are only about 5 that attend).  We are so thankful for modern technology!   We are able to talk via Skype almost everyday.  For those that don’t know what Skype is……it is video calling with a webcam from computer to computer and the best part is….it’s FREE!!   How stinkin’ cool is that?  So not only do we get to hear his voice we get to see his face!!!  Not to mention his totally bald head and his desert tan.   Boy how things have changed since his deployment 18 years ago when we could only use snail mail!

Back to Eric……he is with about 11 Navy guys working with/for Army special ops guys.  I don’t think I’m supposed to say exactly where he is.  They are doing building projects on the base.  I’ll have to encourage him to blog so he can give better details.  I’m so proud of him.  He has such a great attitude except when his patience runs short in dealing with what he calls “ignant” people.  Maybe the Lord is trying to teach him something!  God has surely shown favor on him during this deployment.  He likes his roommates (southern boys from Tennessee and South Carolina , he has been given great opportunities for leadership, he has not really seen any real danger, apparently they eat like kings, they have cable tv, he is not bored (as he and boredom don’t get along well!), and he gets to stay in touch with his family on a regular basis.  It could have been so much worse.  Thank you Lord for your grace and kindness!

As for the rest of the Treat household……things are going well.  Really….they are.  Avery has transitioned beautifully into his role as chief lawn caretaker!  He push mows, weed-eats and blows it.  I finally hear him taking pride in “his” yard now instead of complaining about doing it.  God is good!  Shelby has been so busy with school and soccer.  Occasionally she has some sad moments of missing her daddy but they pass quickly.  I am so proud of them!!   They have handled this journey with grace and faith.  As for me,  truly by God’s grace and faithfulness, I am doing fine.  We have had a few “deployment demons” but God always  sees us through.  We went away for a weekend and came home to no water.   So many people offered to come take a look I had to turn people away.  It was fixed so quickly when a great friend showed up with someone that fixed it in about 15 minutes- and for FREE!!  How amazing is the body of Christ?!!   Someone is always checking to see if we need anything.  Another friend came over and switched out some electrical outlet plates & switches for us too.  People have kept our dogs, offered to help taxi children where they need to go, simply hung out with my kids while I was working and countless other things.  

So…….things are great except for missing Eric tremendously!  Sometimes I think that people think I am just pretending to be okay.  But I really am………..I don’t understand why people find it so hard to believe except for the fact that everyone handles things differently. Here is the bottom line for me……..I have NOTHING and I mean NOTHING to complain about. First and most of all, I serve an amazing God and my life is His not my own….He sets the agenda, not me.  If I say I am a person of faith I have to live it….talk is cheap.   My husband is alive and well, my kids are learning to be strong and deal with the realities of life, we have an income that provides food and shelter in hard economic times, we have been blessed beyond measure with the best friends & family ever,  and we get to live in the greatest country in the world!  So…what in the world would I have to complain about?  I’m so proud of my family and ever grateful to the Living God that ‘supplies all of our needs according to His riches in glory!’

Blessings to you!


02 March 2009

New from Shelby!!!!!

By Shelby I know it has been awhile since anybody has blogged so i finally decided to do that! Right now i am sitting at our close friends Chad & Faith's house because last night we got this HUGE snow storm and we lost power at our house. So we loaded everything up at 10pm and made the short trip to the Stilwells. We have 5 or 6 inches of snow on the ground and it is very pretty. I can't wait to get outside and go sledding!!!!! I can hardly believe it has almost been TWO months since dad left for California(boy how time flys!). Everything has been going very well around the Treat house and we have been keeping really busy with school, sports, church, and life. My soccer season just started and I can't wait to get started. This week I was supposed to have drivers ed but because of the snow storm it has been cancelled. I'm kind of bummed because I really just wanted to get it done and over with. Next week we are headed for the capitol of the United States for a fun school trip. We are going with four other families and we will be staying for five days. I am super excited because I really love Washington DC and it is so much fun to see everything. Dad leaves tomorrow for Iraq and we don't know when we will be able to talk to him but hopefully it won't be too long. Thats basically it for me, now i am going to go enjoy our beautiful snow day!!!!!!

15 February 2009

letter to my wife

Valentines day is a day when we share with our loved one a special note, flowers, or even chocolate. I am unable to do that this year so I decided to share with my wife a letter here.

Dear Sheila,
It is hard for me to understand just how lucky I am that God had a plan for me and you so many years ago. I can not tell you how thankful I am to have a person such as you as a partner and a friend. You have been a rock for me when things have been good , and when things have been bad. I consider you not only a wife but my best friend. You manage to bring a smile to my face in any situation. You have given me two awsome kids that would bring a smile to any dads face. Your love and devotion to the Lord is a carractor trait that I strive to emulate.

It breaks my heart that once again we are separated this valentines day but more than that we will be separated on our anniversary. The navy may be able to take us to different parts of the world but they will never be able to separate my love for you. The past twenty years has been full of joy and some sadness but I feel that the best has yet to come. I know the Lord is with us and will continue be our guiding light not only now but well into the future. I only wish that I could get a look at what that holds, but that is for the lord to know.

The next several months will be trying at best but know that I love you with all my heart and soul. I can not say for certain what that holds but feel secure in your heart that my love will never fail.

Your Loving husband, Eric.

ps. Thanks for picking me!!!!!!!!!

12 February 2009


As my wife stated in the previous post her 10 random things that are a positive I to have 10 random things, but I would not classify them as positive. Now I'm not going to say that everything is bad because that would not be true, many things have happened in the past 30 days that are great. My quite time with the Lord is awsome, time spent with people from different places has been good, have met new friends, so all isn't bad. But for now I will stick to the not so positive 10 random things.

(1) I get my own twin size bed all to myself, with the exception of my bunk mate.

(2) Laundry for 1 sure does multiply when you only get to it once a week.

(3) I don't get to watch any TV unless it's with 20 people. 2 TV's for 300 people, not a good ratio.

(4) My house is MUCH louder with 50 men in the same room snoring.( the Lord could'nt make enough breath rite strips for this group.)

(5) I would love to have a casserole compared to the galley food. ( no taste, no salt, no seasoning.)

(6) No money saved, it still cost the same to eat galley food GOOD or BAD.

(7) No kitchen counter to put stuff, now it has to be stowed away in my locker.

(8) Shoes, instead of just mine there are a couple hundred pairs in the way at any given time.

(9) The toilet seat may be up or it may be down, anyway you can bet it will be wet, so you better check it out, or you maybe in for a big supprise when you sit down.

(10) I will say that I have talked to my wife alot since I left and thats a good thing.

This is just a few non-positive things about a deployment. I am sure I will see more.