Sunday, July 31, 2005

What Its Like Here

I'm on fire today, i guess. Either way, I owe you guys a few dozen posts for as silent as I've been the past month or so.

I arrived at Sea-Tac airport, stood outside and smoked a cigarette while trying to figure out how to get a cab to take me to the base. I ended up riding in a little limousine driven by a very nice Arabic fellow. He'd asked if I'd been to Iraq. Not yet. Back then, I had no idea when I'd be going. Now, I've got a fairly decent idea. But I probably can't say.

When I arrived on base, an E2 who had staff duty at the inprocessing battalion picked me up in those neat white Army vans, and I arrived at my temporary barracks. All I did that night was sit around, smoke, and BS with a guy I went to basic with, though he was from another platoon.

The next five days were extremely laid back. We didn't do PT, we really didn't do anything. Barracks maintenance in the morning, then we inprocessed at a building called Waller Hall. Waller Hall is a great location for one reason: its got a Starbucks in it. During in-processing, there are times when you NEED caffeine. It gets boring.

There were several NCOs (non-commissioned officers, sergeants) that were in processing as well. One day, we were standing in formation, and Sgt K (a very good humored guy) stepped out of formation for a brief moment. Now, I guess I had a wild hair up my ass or something, and I stand at parade rest and say, "Excuse me, sarn't, its my understanding that that isn't the correct method of breaking ranks."

He turned and looked at me.

"Whaaat? Push, fucker."

So, grinning, I do as I'm told, and before I could knock out two push-ups, he's telling me to recover. I dust my hands off and stand at ease. From then on, any time our in-processing platoon had to go anywhere that required driving, when our platoon sergeant told us all to find rides, Sgt K would turn around. "Where's Ryan at?" [My first name will serve as my last name in this case, there's enough bloggers getting in trouble, and I'd rather not get knee deep in shit doing something that I think is a positive outlet for me, as well as a realistic account for anyone on the outside who's interested in this lifestyle.]

After inprocessing, we were sent to our respective units. There's a half dozen of us from my basic training platoon that are now in this current platoon. Our Platoon Sgt is awesome. That's all there is to say.

We just recently received our weapons (and by that, I mean that the arms room has them now. I've yet to touch one). We'll be sporting M4s. This new unit is slowly getting all the equipment it needs, but until then, our training is a bit limited. We do a lot of land navigation, we've done some call-for-fire exercises, first aid, common and important tasks like that. We also ruckmarch a lot. I'm not a huge fan of ruckmarches. But it sure feels good to pass out when you're finally done.

More to come as events unfold, or more thoughts flow through this noggin of mine.

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