Vallecito, CA — Sgt. First Class Penelope Alderson of Vallecito just returned home from an 18-month stint in Afghanistan.
Alderson says she learned a lot through the experience. She saw families who have nothing yet are totally happy. Here are some of Alderson´s observations about life after war:
· “It´s not the end state, it´s the journey.”
· “Don´t forget to enjoy the ride, the here, the now, the day to day.”
· “Touch the ones you pass through life with now. Show a little kindness along the way.”
· “Accept the things you can´t change. I don´t get upset at standing in line because I can´t change it. Instead, I´ll find someone who is upset and chat them up.”
· “Don´t put off until tomorrow.”
· “Enjoy life. Laugh a lot. That´s the best medicine.”
Back home now in Vallecito, Alderson lives in Oakland during the week where she is stationed at the Army Base. She coordinates training for a reserve unit there.
Alderson entered the military 23 years ago to get money for college, which she has yet to get back to.
She is divorced with 21-year-old twin sons. They both graduated from Bret Harte High School in Angels Camp. Alderson also graduated from Bret Harte in 1981. Her parents Stan and Peggy Diamanti live in the Bar XX subdivision. Her godparents, Jolene and Ray Nixon, also live in Bar XX.
In her spare time Alderson likes to run, water ski, and fix up old cars. Right now she´s working on a 1949 Plymouth Special Deluxe.
The first place Alderson went when she returned home was Wal-Mart. She says she spent 4 hours there in awe at the availability of simple comfort items. She also missed her favorite See´s Candies while she was away.
Alderson says she will stay in the Army until she reaches 60 or until she can´t keep up with the young guys any more.
Written by Vanessa Turner.