Dear Mr. Mullen, If you happen to read this there is no need to respond. I would like to use this post to apologize to Mr. Mullen for apparently managing to get myself to the top of his “pest control” list to which I did not aspire. I certainly do not want to alienate the one person who offers all of his waking hours, both paid and not I am sure, to insuring that our sons and daughters receive personal attention when it comes to the difficult and complex matters of the DoDMERB. I decided on this thread because of my ignorant and unbridled efforts to ask questions on my son’s behalf to the extent that Mr. Mullen doesn’t even want me to apologize via email. I’m sorry Mr. Mullen but as a man of conscience I cannot go without apologizing when it is obviously warranted. I am also not one to offer excuses for my indiscretions but in my own defense I will offer that we are remotely located on a 3 mile island in the West Central Pacific 2100 nautical miles from the nearest civilization in Hawaii. Although this is an Army base supporting rocket science we travel by bicycle only, share a 56k dial-up internet service (forget downloading movies, pictures and music), limited phone line access, no cell service, and 9 TV channels. Because of the limitations of the outdated internet and phone service they frequently fail as much as several times a day. As such, much of our communications to the outside world via internet and fax are frequently interrupted and many times never received. Phone calls are regularly disconnected in mid sentence. Through experience we learn that information we have sent or are waiting to receive somehow gets lost in transition. It is very difficult here to assume that information was actually sent or received by us, thus requiring a lot of follow up on our parts to the extent that it appears we are purposely being a nuisance. It is also very difficult and time consuming to explain to everyone we deal with in the high tech world, both personally and professionally, about our limitations. Add to that the fact that our mail system operates on a twice weekly delivery system with no access to any overnight, 2nd day, or Fedex delivery service. If we mail something USPS priority on Thursday it doesn’t even leave the island until the following Tuesday morning and after an 8 hour flight enters the priority mail system in Hawaii. So imagine with all of these limitations trying to meet deadlines for all SA’s, ROTC’s, College’s, FAFSA’s etc. The process is mind numbing enough without all of these issues, but for us our deadlines come much sooner than the CONUS ones do. We have to start our online deadlines at least a week ahead to anticipate and overcome internet service interruptions and downtime. Hence for us, any and all communication must be followed up on regularly if we don’t hear back in a reasonable timeframe, otherwise we will not meet deadlines for anything. Again, I apologize Mr. Mullen for my undue diligence, but for us it is a way of life. I also apologize for this wordy post but it also helps to get it off my chest because this is the type of letter I would like to send to everyone I deal with because it’s just impossible to explain in a few brief words. Also, thank you for your continued good service and your willingness to go the extra 2100 miles for all of us. Words can’t say how much we appreciate it, but I’m hopeful that through your good works you sleep very well, however briefly, at night.