After 9/11 I joined the Army National Guard, I had been Active Duty Air Force for almost 11 years before. I don't take our freedom for granted, and I did what I thought I should do. Notice that I said "I" not that I think that everyone should join. This is not a political or pro military post.
I was deployed to Iraq in September of 2005 and returned safely in October of 2006. While I was there my daughter turned 16 and my son turned 11. It's easy to say I missed them every minute of every day, but the down time was terrible. We worked 14 hour days and some 24 to 72 hour days. Believe it or not the long hours were the easiest, because I didn't have time to dwell on the things I was missing at home. I had always wanted to have a little place in the country to call my own and raise some cattle, so when I would daydream in Iraq that was mostly on my mind. I was laying on my rack at Ramadi, Iraq when it hit me. I need something that me and my family can do together and we can learn about at the same time, as well as spend time with the animals everyday.
When I got home, my wife and I bought our dream property. It's a rather large house sitting on 30 acres with a large enough (if possible) barn, 8 acres of pasture, two grain bins and 18 acres of row crop land. The fences are in good enough shape to hold the three horses in the pasture, but they were overgrown badly with honeysuckle and blackberry bushes.
What to do? I bought two goats! I had never been around these contrary stinking animals in my life. I actually think this was positive rather than a negative. I didn't know you couldn't put a collar on a goat and walk him around with a lead rope. I did it and it worked. I didn't know you couldn't put them on a chain where they could reach just a section of the fence and let them graze the brambles down. I did it and it worked. I didn't know you couldn't lead them back to the barn at night with the lead ropes and give them a little sweet feed and bed them down for the night. I did it and it worked. I didn't know you couldn't keep two bucks together. I did it and it worked. I didn't know you couldn't just turn them lose in the backyard while you were out there and they would stay there and play. I did it and it worked. Man it's sure a good thing I didn't know anything about goats. We still have LB and Bill and they will have a home for the rest of their lives. Now I just need to teach them to fence!
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