Coach Berenato's Trip for the Troops: Day 6
Share with others:
I have fallen behind because the email system is stressful.( and I am a total computer idiot). I have written Day 6 at least 3 times only for it to be deleted. I have to thank Andrew (my son) for getting Day 5 up after I dictated it to him over the phone and he typed it . I know that is not what he had planned to do on Sat. at 5:30, but I am sure he went to the gym to relieve his stress. ha ha I hope to catch you up on all my excitement.
After a great workout (yes, I started working out)and large French coffee with double expresso, we left for a tour of the Air Force grounds and aircrafts. My chance meeting with Col. Hopkins has resulted in a tour that Col Hopkins believes will allow us tax payers to know where our money is going. We first greeted the men and women working in that area and than we were escorted to see the "Big Time" jets. The two unmanned (no human pilot) fighter aircrafts we saw were the Predator and the Reaper. The Reaper goes at $12 million a clip and is used for missions and can attack. The coaches were all allowed to sign the bombs on the Reaper, and I signed one from Pitt and our team and the other from my family. It is so important to stay safe by having the best possible aircrafts in the world. I do know we have the best military. Both these aircrafts are manned by computers and therefore it cuts down on risk to human life. The phase that was repeated over and over was:
Coach Berenato's Trip for the Troops: Day 4
Coach Berenato's Day 4
Coach Berenato's Day 3
Coach Berenato's Day Two
Coach Berenato's Day One
Pitt's Berenato to visit U.S. troops overseas
"We'll loose a plane but we won't loose a life'"
Next we saw and toured the A-10/Tank Buster. This is a single pilot flown aircraft and it flies on missions. Mike (JS) and I went up the ladder to see the cockpit and it was a "WOW". I would love to play the Air Force Academy and talk to the ladies on the teams and see which student athletes will be fighter pilots. That is stress, so I know they can make a Free Throw!!! Everyone was so nice, again hot but friendly and thankful. I gave a Pitt flag to a pilot and he is taking it on a mission with him. We will have Pitt well represented!!
We rushed to the local flea market on base that is every Saturday, The coaches were so funny. There we could buy the same stuff (junk) that we can at any flea market. It was hot, hot, hot and dusty, dusty, dusty. I did an act of kindness when I talked Orlando (LM) out of buying a two piece belly dancer outfit for his wife, (yes, Mrs. Early, you owe me!). We all picked up some local treasures, lol, and had to rush to our meet and greet for the solders.
The rec center was nice; pool, ping pong, TV, coffee stand(no, not like Jazzman's)and a table in the middle of the room. There was a serious game of Dominos taking place and Orlando learned some new rules. Three hours flew by, but two solders really touched me. Jen, the baller from Army, gave me her troop tee shirt. She said I needed to have it since I gave her a Pitt tee. As we were finishing up, an older man came up to me and said:"Pittsburgh is in the house" I was very happy and said:"You know it". He said:"I just graduated from Pitt in April" and I said:"In what?" He said he had received his PhD in English. I was so happy for him I grabbed the mike and gave him a shout out and everyone clapped. How awesome that he is here after receiving his PhD. His job is to help install a police force and do it from the ground up. He said he sort of has a Batman life, because he really is an English professor. He wanted to give a special shout out to Chancellor Nordenberg, as he recalled a meeting with our great leader in 2006. Michael will be serving until July 6 of next year!!! Photos, autographs, hugs and another reason why I am so happy I am here.
Dinner was with the folks from the Air Force and it was super. We had two more Meet and Greet functions and than we opened for questions. All the coaches were awesome, and I learn from them everyday! It was 0:30 pm and we were starving, We went to a cafe on base for the first time and it was Dutch and delicious. The fellowship with the coaches has been the best part other than the troops.
Midnight came and I was greeted in my room by my room mate who was up. We talked, and I gave her Pitt shirts for her kids and parents (who are 70 and watching her 15 and 4 year old!). I finished up my blog with Andrew around 4:30 AM. There was one man in the phone trailer with me and he told me he loved my sweatshirt. It is old gold and I have had it since I took this job. I told him it was his or I would buy him one and send it over\. He is a HUGE Pitt fan and saw our games on TV, knew the basketball, football , swimming and volleyball teams etc... He said he would love this old one. I told Kevin Bartlett that the shirt had so much love and had many mile on it and he said ," I will treasure it even more".
People like this make the trip special and believe me thousands of miles away
There's no place like Pitt
Game On, ab
First Published August 17, 2009 8:57 pm