Chapter Thirty-three: Sam Gets Divorced

Papa Sam was extremely distraught the last two weeks before his leave. Even his dog Sarge could sense that something was wrong. Every morning, he would take him out for an early morning jog before the sun came out, and it got too hot to even think straight. But the last few days he had only walked with him, and despite all the pent-up excitement that Sarge exhibited in his daily outing, Papa Sam would not be consoled or cheered up, even when Sarge knocked him down, pounced on him and licked his face like a big puppy, a 200-pound puppy for that matter.

As a matter of fact, he had planned on bringing Sarge back with him and leaving him with Tammy and Peter, so Sarge could have a little more freedom and for him and Peter to get acquainted. Now, he was not sure. But he had to do the right thing for Sarge, and life on the base was no life for him. He also knew that a life in Las Vegas was not exactly perfect either, but it had to be better. Besides, his father and mother would get a kick out of the big beast. All he knew is that he owed Sarge his life. He had risked everything to take on that cobra when he was behind enemy lines in Kurdistan.

Little did Papa Sam know that not only would he have a dog to take care of but he would soon have a six year old son to take care of as well. Since he had been away from his family for quite some time, he had forgotten how strong the familial ties can be. So it came as a big surprise when his parents decided to turn their lives upside down to help him out. Of course, they did this for Peter and yes, for the beast as well. It was a foregone conclusion that Grandpa Gordon will just fall in love with him.

After he got off the phone with Tammy, he was totally at a loss on what to do. So he called his father, the only one that he knew would understand what he was going through. He told him everything including his being shot down and about his dog Sarge. Little did he know what this simple reaching out for comfort would lead to. It would immediately set the wheels to turn in Grandpa Gordon’s head. Now that Mama Clara and him were no longer traveling around the world, he was frankly starting to miss his roots. He hadn’t brought the subject yet to her but he had been thinking of buying some land and getting back to nature, so his decision to buy land in Southern Arizona did not just come out of left field.

If you made it through the first part of this book you will know that Grandpa Gordon is not one to watch paint dry or grass grow, he is all about getting things done. As his father Papa Thomas once said that he was a force of nature. So nothing really stood in his way when he made up his mind. When he first met Tammy, he liked her but he had some reservations. He just couldn’t put a finger on it. When she opted to stay in Las Vegas instead of moving and living with his Sam, his feelings got even stronger. So, it was not surprising to him when he heard that she wanted a divorce. However, he had no idea what level her depravity would reach.

I need to be careful here, Grandpa Gordon already had his 15 minutes of fame. There is one point I want to make and with changes taking place in the Anderson family, Grandpa Gordon will get a new purchase on life. His life will have purpose again and thanks to Peter and Sarge, he just gained an eight year life extension. So now we need to return back to Papa Sam, this section is after all about him.

We are now back in Saudi Arabia where we find Papa Sam going for an early morning jog with Sarge. Today has been hard. He has had to stop several times because of a persistent cough and a little shortness of breath. He must have caught a bug somewhere, so he just slowed down a little till he caught his breath then he picked up the pace again. This would be his last jog with Sarge before they went back to the US. He was going back to fight for his marriage, little did he know that Tammy had already made up her mind and she had just said what she said to get him off the phone.

Papa Sam’s hop flight back home took him from Saudi Arabia’s King Faisal Air Base to Ramstein AFB in Germany, and then to MacDill AFB and finally on to Nellis AFB in Las Vegas, Nevada.The actual air time was just over 16 hours. Under the circumstances he found himself he did not expect Tammy to meet him at the air base and he was right. He was instead met by his parents. There was a slight delay to offload Sarge since it was thought best to put him out, so he had been sedated the entire flight. Grandpa Gordon knowing that he had Sarge with him brought his jeep to pick them up.

Papa Sam had arrived at the base in the evening, so his parents thought it best for him to spend the night at their house where he could shower and get some sleep. He could then go visit Tammy and Peter in the morning when he was rested up.

The next morning after catching up with his parents over a breakfast of steak and eggs, he called up Tammy and asked if he could go over and see the both of them. She agreed, though she further added that she had to be at work by 2pm.

Papa Sam took his father’s jeep over to their old apartment where he was greeted by a very cold Tammy. When he went to kiss her, she turned her head and presented her cheek for him to kiss. Right then and there, he knew things were not going to go well. The second clue was the stack of boxes near the entrance with all of his belongings packed up.

Papa Sam looked her right in the eye and said, ” I guess I have my answer.”

She nodded her head in affirmation. “There is one thing you probably are not expecting, and that is I am giving you full custody of Peter. I have taken care of him the last four years with little to no help from you, so it is your turn to be a parent now.” Tammy continued and said, ” I have put my life on hold for too long, and it is now time that I came first.”

This whole time, Papa Sam just stood stock-still in amazement. He had never seen this side of her before. He didn’t think she had this coldness in her. She was acting like Peter was nothing but a burden to her and that she had been wasting her life by being married to him and raising their son. How dare she. She had opted to remain in Las Vegas because of her job. He had supported her career and her pursuit of a college degree.

All Papa Sam could say was, “if that is what you want, I won’t stand in your way.”

She replied in a stoney manner, “That is precisely what I want. All of your son’s belongings are boxed up in his room with the exception of a few toys he has with him. After I leave for work, you can come back and take his furniture out of the room as well. I thought it best that he not be a witness to these proceedings, so he is spending the day with my parents. If need be, they will keep him overnight but you need to pick him up the following morning because they are going out of town tomorrow. One more thing, all the papers are on the kitchen table. I have already signed them. You can sign them. There are two copies, so make sure you sign both of them.” After Tammy finished, she went into her room, shut the door, and clicked the lock closed.

That final move left absolutely no question about there being any chance of a reconciliation. Papa Sam replied to the silent closed door, “I don’t have room for everything in Dad’s Jeep, I will load up my boxes now, and I will come back with a U-Haul trailer to get Peter’s belongings.”

Papa Sam had no clue that Tammy was sobbing in the bathroom the whole time he was loading his belongings in the Jeep. Even if he had known, he wouldn’t have cared. He was just too full with bitterness at this moment. He didn’t think that he could ever forgive his soon to be ex-wife for her cold and callous actions towards their son, Peter. His feelings for her no longer mattered, he was only thinking about his son’s feelings. How could she just give up custody of their son like that?

Note: Due to this unfortunate turn of events, I think it appropriate that I devote chapter forty to Tammy’s story in an effort to try and sort things out a little. Frankly, I was surprised at what happened. All I know is that Tammy’s future is not looking too promising.

Now back to the story. When their son pulled up to Grandpa Gordon’s and Mama Clara’s house they ran out to see what happened. Frankly they were as shocked as I was about Peter.

Grandpa Gordon quickly made room in the garage for all the boxes from the Jeep and the rest of the stuff that Papa Sam was going to go and get at his apartment. Grandpa Gordon could tell that his son was having a great deal of difficulty keeping it all together, so he offered to go with him to help.

The first thing they needed was to rent a trailer and a dolly to move Peter’s furniture. By the time they had everything ready, it was time to go to the apartment. Even though Grandpa Gordon was getting a little older, he was still in good shape, and as a result, they made quick work of loading all of poor Peter’s belongings.

After Christine and Papa Sam had moved out, Grandpa Gordon and Mama Clara had turned the children’s rooms into a guest room and a joint office and study for the both of them. Though the truth be told, Grandpa Gordon used it more. Just in case they had a lot of guests, which they rarely did, they besides having the guest room had a Murphy bed installed in the office. This allowed them to use both rooms for guests.

The Murphy bed idea dates back to the time when Grandpa Gordon slept on a cot in his old bedroom (his mother’s sewing room). He vowed that none of the family or guests would ever have to sleep on a cot. History had a way of repeating itself. Now, his son was sleeping in his office.

The guest room was now converted to a child’s room all over again as they switched out the old furniture with Peter’s furniture and bedroom set. They hung all of his decorations, and before you knew it, the three of them had made Peter’s new bedroom a virtual duplicate based on Papa Sam’s description of his old room. The plan was to make the uptooting for Peter to be the least traumatic as possible.

The happiest person of all was Mama Clara who had been suffering from empty nest syndrome ever since Papa Sam and Christine had moved out. Now she had another young child to take care of.

These arrangements were, of course, only temporary because Grandpa Gordon had a seven bedroom ranch house on a hundred plus acres, all picked out in Arizona. While his current house was nice the new one simply blew it away and it had lap pool besides. It also had two smaller units that served as guests quarters and a foreman’s house. The best part is that it mirrors southern Kurdistan, so Sarge will be right at home. Right now, poor Sarge is in a kennel because there is just not enough room for him at their current house. At least, this kennel lets the dogs out to play in a shaded area outdoors. It is not optimal but under the circumstances, it is the best they can do. After all, a lot has happened in just one day.

Once the divorce is finalized and they are sure that Papa Sam has full custody of Peter, they can put their house up for sale and buy their new house in Arizona. His Clara was a little skeptical the first time she saw it. She thought it was just too much for them and was concerned that they couldn’t afford it. However, after seeing it a second and third time, it started growing on her.

She need not have worried. Grandpa Gordon had been investing his money very wisely. While he was not Uber rich, he certainly was not hurting for money. While the house listed well over 2 million, it was a bargain and he had squirreled away enough money that he could easily pay for it in cash.

Since this place was so amazing I have decided to include the listing information.

Make your dreams come true at the Ever After Ranch. Located near the San Pedro River in southeast Arizona, this peaceful 108+ acre estate boast thoughtfully designed grounds and breathtaking views of two mountain ranges.


Two homes sit on the Ever After Ranch, as well as two guest lodges, and one attached foreman’s cottage. Extensive horse facilities include 12 pastures, 2 show barns, feed rack, tack rooms, a 200×300 leveled arena, paddocks, kennels and a dog run.


The spacious Mediterranean Ranch style, Main Residence (4525 sq. ft.) features a courtyard in front and an extensive ramada-style porch arbor pool area in the back, both shaded during portions of the day. Nearby, through the trees, are 2 attractive guest accommodations (1800 sq. ft.) and a Foreman’s cottage (500 sq. ft.) attached to the Main Residence’s hay barn.


The Main Residence and its guest accommodations sit on 68+ acres, which include: pastures; covered stalls; barns; work arenas; garage; and workshop. In addition to the Main Residence, Foreman’s Cottage and guest accommodations, there is a separate and distinct Foreman’s Residence (2400 sq. ft.) sitting on an additional 39+ acres with its own separate electronic gate and entrance interconnected to the Main Residence.

Water/Mineral Rights & Natural Resources

7 Arizona registered wells: 2 deep irrigation; 3 surface level residential, and 2 artesian wells producing a wealth of water; 2 – 20K gallon storage tanks feed an elegantly designed watering system which supports 12 irrigated permanent pastures and literally hundreds of pine and hardwood trees throughout.

Region & Climate

Located close to city facilities yet distant enough for privacy, it offers every conceivable equestrian and country amenity. This is an incredible equestrian property, with vast potential for a winery/vineyard plus the water to support it!

—Sq feet7Beds7Full baths

Property details

CountyCochise County

Coordinates32.0782, -110.343

Elevation3,435 feet

With the guest houses, Sam could live on the property if he wanted to. For that matter so could Christine with her family, if they ever needed to. It was just perfect. He had decided to buy it even before he knew that Sam and Tammy were going to get divorced. His having to go over to Sam’s old apartment to get Little Petey’s stuff was the clincher for him.

Papa Sam taking after his father wasted no time, filed the divorce papers at the county building the next day. If Tammy held so little regard for her son, why should he spend a lot of time thinking and worrying about the divorce. The sooner she was out of his and his son’s life the better. He knew he was relying on his parents way too much right now, but Tammy really left him with no other choice. Even if he wanted to retire from the Air Force, he still had another year of active duty plus two more years of inactive duty (Individual Ready Reserve) before he could do so.

Though not optimal, his leaving the Air Force was something he needed to consider. It after all was the main cause of his divorce, or was it. When he started to think about it, the only reason he even was noticed by Tammy in the first place was because he was a star athlete at his high school. When he finally got hurt in his senior year playing football and decided to stop playing, she was going to break up with him. The only reason she even remained with him was because he said he was going to be an air force fighter pilot. When being married to a fighter pilot turned out to be not as glamorous like Tammy thought it was, she baled on him. He knew that If he had decided to become something less exciting like say an accountant, she would have never stayed in the relationship.

Papa Sam knew she did her best to make their marriage work, but under what pretext was she doing this? She just wanted a glitzy and glamorous lifestyle. He shouldn’t complain, he was the envy of his high school when he was dating her because she was really hot. The sex had been great, and she did give him a beautiful little boy, Peter, so maybe thigs didn’t turn out so bad after all. He knew one thing, you can’t second guess yourself, all you can do is learn from your mistakes and try not to make the same ones over again. Now it was time to move on. Papa Sam was sure of one thing, he did not want his mistakes to ruin Peter’s life, so he really had to make better choices now. He also needed to start thinking more with the big head and telling the little head to mind its own damn business.

While Papa Sam was filing his divorce papers, his father Grandpa Gordon never one to rest on his laurels, contacted his real estate broker. He had the broker put up his current house for sale and he put a purchase offer on the house and property in Arizona. Following the broker’s suggestion, he offered the seller $1.9 million in cash. By the end of that day, the seller’s agent contacted them with a big hell yes! All that remained was signing the paperwork and Grandpa Gordon and Mama Clara would be the proud owners of a 108 acres of land with several buldings and houses on it.

If it hadn’t been for Papa Sam’s divorce everything would be great. If the reader can recall what their current house looks like they will know that it was not going to remain on the market for long. They priced the house to sell, and sell it did. By the first business day of the following week, they were signing papers with their own buyer. So just like that, the Anderson family and Sarge were moving to Southern Arizona. Even though things were moving quickly for the family, Papa Sam was running a little short on time. He was already on his second week of a three-week leave of absence for military duty or (LWOP).

Grandpa Gordon being used to life in the military knew that time was short for his son, Papa Sam quickly contacted a moving company. It was a local company that covered the surrounding states. He had to admit the service was certainly prompt because the movers were at their house the next day. What would have taken him and Mama Clara several days to accomplish, they had everything completed in under four hours. All they had to do now was contact a cleaning service to come and do a deep clean on the house. This is where their daughter Christine was able to help out. She stayed at the now empty house to let the house keepers in, so that her parents and brother could take off for Arizona. Once the house was cleaned and locked up she brought the two sets of keys to her parent’s broker so that he could finalize the transfer of the house to the new owners.

There was little time for sightseeing along the way as they were following the moving truck, and since time was money, they were definitely making good time.

The estimated time for the journey for the 460-mile drive was around seven hours. Though I don’t think that the movers knew of this timeframe because they completed the trip in well under six hours. The unpacking went even quicker because while the movers pack your boxes they don’t unpack them, they just drop them off where you want them. The same thing goes for you beds and dressers. You have to set up your own beds and attach the mirrors onto your dressers, and you have to put your kitchen table back together. So all told, the offloading as it can more appropriately be termed took less than two hours.

One thing the Andersons quickly realized was that their new house was a lot larger and their old furniture was just swallowed up. When they finished unpacking all of their belongings and arranged everything, the house still looked empty. Lucky for them, the house was partially furnished. However, two individuals were not in the least upset by the prospect of a near empty house…Little Peter who absolutely loved his new room and Sarge who was just happy to be out of his cage. It took at least two days before he stopped running and bouncing around the property. One minute he was there jumping up and licking little Petey’s face and the next moment all you saw was his hind quarters as he raced across their yard and out into the surrounding landscape.

One other person was also very happy with the new house and that was Mama Clara who immediately fell in love with the pool. It made their old pool look like a mere bathtub. She could actually do something in it besides float. She already had thoughts of how her body would look once she started swimming laps in the pool. The only one not entirely happy was Grandpa Gordon, when he realized that his bank account was going to take several more hits while they furnished all of their houses on the property.

While the property was under the previous owner, it was a working farm. Grandpa Gordon had no intention of doing that. He actually was considering selling off the section of the land that had the foreman’s house on it. The foreman’s 2400 sq. ft. residence sat on 39+ acre lot with its own gated entrance. By selling it, he could use that money to furnish the rest of the houses and do any renovations that Mama Clara might want to do and not touch any more of their money. He might actually be able to put some money back into his account. It certainly was something to think about, besides Sarge would still have over 60 acres to run around on. Or another idea that just popped into his mind, he could rent or lease out the farm portion of the land to have an income coming in, sort of as an investment. Actually the idea really sounded pretty good to him.

Grandpa Gordon figured there was time for that decision further down the road. His first priority was to get Little Petey and his son situated. He knew that his Papa Sam’s leave of absence was running critically low. Finally, everything was to Papa Sam’s liking and Little Petey and Sarge were both happy and Mama Clara was extremely happy with her pool, gazebo, kitchen and just too many things to mention. Frankly, she couldn’t even remember why she had any reservations.

The closest AFB to their new house was the Davis-Monthan Air Force Base which was approximately 43 miles away. All told not too far, but certainly further than Nellis AFB was from their previous house. Since this was the closest bases for Papa Sam, and the one he would be using to hop from, I think it appropriate to include a little information on the base.





So now instead of the final leg being Nellis AFB it would be Davis-Mothan AFB, the rest of the hops would be the same. Papa Sam was hoping to get reassigned back in the US after his divorce, but of course, this was not the case. He was to remain in Saudi Arabia for two more years. He would finally be transferred to Iwakuni, Japan in 1994. I won’t devote too much more time covering his stay in the Middle East since he was basically only flying boring cover and overflight missions. All the real damage had already been done to him from the burning oil wells. Initially, the only issue he was experiencing was that he seemed to catch colds or the flu bug much easier now and it seemed to take longer for him to recover. Otherwise, there were no real issues. Without having Sarge to look after, life was simpler but also more lonely than ever. Upon his return to King Faisal AFB, his long overdue promotion to 1st Lieutenant finally came through.

He no longer had Tammy to call once a week, and his son Peter wasn’t exactly a great conversationalist, so he just made monthly calls to his father and mother to check up on things. He, of course, got his yearly leave of absence to visit his family back in Arizona. Each time he went, he was amazed at how much his son was changing. With all the fresh air and outdoor activities he was becoming a healthy young man. One thing was for certain he was going to be a real ladies man. He definitely had his mother’s looks. His parents were taking great care of Little Petey, now no longer little. He seemed to be getting along well on the farm and Sarge and him had become inseparable. The dog was very possessive of his son, just like he had been with him in Iraq. As long as Sarge was alive he knew that his son would always be safe. His father had found a breeder of Kurdish Mastifs and purchased a mate for Sarge. So puppies were in the near future for the Anderson family. This decision by his father to continue the bloodline of Sarge would have unforseen consequences in Peter’s future.