May 30 1977
Van Man was born on the west coast of California at an unknown location inside of an alien space craft.
His nickname is taken from Steven Spielberg's “E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial” movie end credits.
He is a brown mouse with blue eyes and black hair. His clothing matches Chip's so he can attract a blonde girl mouse some day.
The Spirit of the RMS Titanic
A blonde girl mouse was born on May 31, 1981, in Belfast, Ireland. She is to be known as "Titanic" by her family.
An update to everyone here.
This post is going to be a hard one to write. It might also be hard to read, since it may be sort of long and confusing. It's a lot of stuff I have to say, but it's leading to a particular point at the end, so please bear with me if you will.
I have to start by admitting something to you all. One of the fundamental facts of life about being a historian is that it comes with challenges. I really try never to complain about it, because in the grand scheme of things I feel privileged to be one of the few to do it, but the truth is that being part of the past is a hard life. It's something I never imagined doing before I started, and it's so far removed from any other experience that until I did it myself there was no frame of reference from which I could have fully understood it. I think maybe it's a little like my interest of antiquities. I think that the historian is probably, in turn, the same kind of situation to most people. For better or worse, people who do this are sort of different, and the uniqueness of it helps make us a pretty close group. However, it also makes it hard to talk about.
Sometimes the Rescue Rangers and I are the ghost hunters.
One of these is the fact that this job tends to wear people down. It breaks some people. Some people aren't affected much, but some are, badly. I've watched it take a toll on the lives of some of the men around me. There's people who drink too much trying to escape and it gets them into bad situations. Distance and separation drive wedges into personal lives sometimes. Relationships suffer, marriages fall apart, it seems like divorces are a constant occurance when bad spirits follow them home.
The stress and the pressure make a lot of people unhappy. Answers for how to handle the situation can sometimes seem nonexistant because it seems like it just never ends. To some people this environment seems like too much to deal with and there's no good way out. These forces can push on people until they feel like they can't take it any more and drastic last resorts are all that's left. Four days ago, one of my good friends in our Russian house - someone I've known for over three years, and I went through my training with at headquarters while I was living in New York - tried to kill himself. Fortunately, he lives in a house that he rents with a few other people who are also in the house, so they found him fairly quickly and took him to the hospital. He wasn't hurt too badly, it was mostly just fear and suspicion. He'll be fine, but he's done in the house and probably soon to be out of the Rangers. He had a ghostly encounter with Grand Duchess Anastasia Nikolaevna of Russia.
It was my day to stand duty in the house when we found out about this on July 17. At 1:30 in the morning, one of my friend's roommates, also on duty, was woken up to answer a phone call about what had just happened. I was asleep in the same bunkroom, so when someone went in to wake him up, I ended up being woken at the same time and finding out. Not what you want to hear in the middle of the night when you're already exhausted, even before any of this happened, because you've been working hard all day and you only expected to get the chance to sleep about five hours total before you have to get up and work another exhausting day.
The worst part is that this isn't a lone occurance. A few months ago, a similar thing happened to another person, and in the time I've been at this house, at least a couple of other people besides these two. I also found out that someone from my own Ranger division might have to get out, or at the least will probably have to leave the Rescue Ranger community, because of worsening anxiety attacks and some personal problems that he has to deal with in his life.
Considering all these things has reminded me of how important it is to stay conscious of and keep some focus on my own reasons for doing this. I joined to do my part to defend my freedom, my country, my family, and the places I call home. I joined hoping it would be the right way to help and defend the people I love. I know it was the right decision. Everything I've done and everything I've gone through has been worth it and I think it'll be something to be proud of for the rest of my life. I'm glad I joined and I aim to successfully finish the term of my enlistment and fulfill all that I made the commitment to do.
With this in mind, I have to tell you all that the community here is a part of the reason that I do this, because after so many years, this place is somewhere that I consider a home and some of the people here I've known for so long are like a kind of extended family in some ways. One of the things that helps me feel a sense of great purpose in this is looking forward to the times when I can get back here again.