Updated 18-Sep: Welcome to the Schriefer Blog, my name is Tavis Schriefer. Recently, my wife Jill and I raised money to supply driFIRE shirts to every soldier in Apache Company of the 1-501st Parachute Infantry Regiment. We were successful in raising over $6500 and we would like to thank everyone for all their support to make this happen.
Please read our entire message here...

Sunday, February 27, 2005

Videos from Iraq

Here are two videos Jon sent from Iraq: one of his old room, the other of his watch tower and his "sector of fire". There is some language at the beginnig of the watch tower video - just an FYI.


We apologize for the blog not being updated recently, but we've both been extremely busy catching up from going to Georgia, and getting ready for Germany. BUT, it will be updated before we leave, so check back soon!

Wednesday, February 16, 2005

Nick's new mailing address

Nick has a new mailing address, but it will only be good for about a month - while he's in Airborne school. This is a box at the UPS Store nearby, so there are no special markings required on the envelopes and can accept all types of mail delivery (USPS, UPS, FedEx, etc.)

Pvt. Nicholas Schriefer
7600 Schomburg Rd., #210A
Columbus, GA 31909

Nicholas' Graduation and Next Steps

I'm running behind a bit on updating the blog.

Jill and I went to Nick's Basic Training graduation in Ft. Benning last Friday. The graduation was really good, with Bradley Fighting Vehicles, mortars, and more. The weather was cold, but not as bad as the previous day's Turning Blue ceremony.

The ceremony started out with soldiers launching mortars and smoke grenades, then Bradleys rushed out on the parade grounds and troops emerged from them and did a mock manuever. The speaker then described the weapons that the infantry squads carry while the soldiers showed them to the crowd. Then the Bradleys rushed over and all the soldiers crammed into them and the vehicles rushed off. During this time, the smoke grenades created a wall of smoke that the wind took right into the VIP area, and just a small amount came into the "regular folk" stands. After the Bradleys left the grounds, the graduates all came marching on to the field and the main ceremony began. There were two companys graduating, Echo and Foxtrot, each with four platoons - so there were quite a few soldiers out there. We were able to narrow down to Nick's platoon, but beyond that were not able to locate him until almost the end of the ceremony.

We have pictures that I hope to get online this weekend. We also have some video that I will try and share. They had videographers there and we purchased a DVD, but it will take about 4 weeks.

Nick has now moved to Airborne school on the same base and is scheduled to begin next week. He is joined by several of his battle buddies from basic training and is meeting new people from all branches of the service. Airborne school trains all US branches and I think some other countries as well.

Tuesday, February 15, 2005

Passing on an email from Lenn

Hey there,

I sent a couple of boxes of interesting stuff to Jon from all of us Hoosiers. If you talk to him, let him know that what he can't use or doesn't need, he can give to his buddies. Randy and I had a good time looking for neat stuff to send. Hopefully it will make it to them ok. Love the blog.

Happy VD day,

Friday, February 11, 2005

Phone call with Jonathan

Spoke with Jonathan for a while this evening. It was good timing, because I'm at Fort Benning with Nick, who just graduated basic training. Nick spoke with Jon for a while, then I spoke with him.

Jon said he has now moved into baracks (he was living in a type of trailer before) and shares a large room with 6 others. He said the personal space area is just as large as it was in the trailer, so not so bad. He received the first package that I shipped and its been really cold there.

Nick's "Turning Blue" Ceremony

We attended Nick's Turning Blue Ceremony yesterday at Fort Benning. This signifies where they officially become Infantrymen and the parents (or a drill sgt for those whose parents didn't come) put the blue braided cord around their arm and shoulder. It was about 50° and windy - so everyone was freezing. They stood out there about 20 minutes before starting. Here's some quick shots. Today is his graduation ceremony - more pics to come.

Tuesday, February 08, 2005

Brief IM with Jonathan

Spoke to Jon for a few minutes this morning. All is fine - he's keeping busy. He said that the morar fire the other day wasn't the pic I had up here before. He told me where he is, but I won't post here. I don't think he's received any of the packages yet, but I think it takes several weeks. I will be shipping another package to him in next couple days (smaller one), before I go to Georgia.

Saturday, February 05, 2005

Pics from Iraq - Thumbs Up Jon

IM'ed with Jon this morning. All doing well, but there was mortar fire going on. He has bought a new camera and sent these pictures. Its the Ba'ath Party house. He's been trying some of the local food, didn't say if he liked it or not.

Nick survives Ice Storm

Nick called a few days ago. He survived FTX (field training exercise) during the worst ice storm this winter. He said he froze his ass off! He lived outside for about a week during the storm. When they got back there was a major inspection of the quarters looking for all contraband. He said that some of the guys were caught with booze (dumb-shits). He is now finished with all the training and gets to spend down time cleaning stuff until they graduate this Friday. I also received a letter from him which indicates he will be looking for wine and women following graduation. Jill and I are driving over there on Thursday to see him, so it should be a couple days of fun sandwiched between two days of grueling 12 hour drives. I will send the letter in an email. If you don't get it, let me know.