Friday, August 12, 2005

Marlboro Lights

As always, not a lot is going on here, in the alleged state of liberals.

Outside one of the gates of our base, on weekends, people will sometimes stand on the sidewalks of the overpass above the freeway with signs thanking us for our service, things like that. I'm glad they aren't protestors.

A couple good friends of mine came down to visit, and we were bored together in Tacoma. Once again, Hooters was the usual haunt. But our max leave is over on Monday, and that's when our training not only resumes, but picks up as well. I'll keep you wonderful readers posted on all that, of course, especially if any of it is actually INTERESTING! I'll keep my fingers crossed.

Last week, we did a lot of PT, and a lot of nothing, and it was wonderful. On our off time, we played while rivers flowed with chocolate milk, and then we'd ride our cotton candy clouds over rainbows, and all of us had gum-drop smiles. The only moderately difficult thing we did was a four hour roadmarch, and even that was extremely easy.

Roadmarches consist of a platoon or more soldiers walking in two files on either side of a road, or some pitiful lack of growth that one can dare to call a road. The soldiers marching have rucksacks on their backs. Rucks are the mac daddy of all outdoorsy backpacks. They are also usually mandated with a packing list of items that one will rarely ever use. The purpose of this excess of items is to make the rucks annoyingly heavy, so that we become big, bad, tough, unstoppable soldiers of mass ass-kickery.

When rucking, one first starts to notice (aside from a sagging posture) what we call "hot spots" on the feet. These conveniently allow us to know where our blisters will be, though by now, its too late to do anything about it, like apply moleskin. The only time I ever bought moleskin was when I was in basic, and I didnt have a knife or scissors to cut it, so the pads were obsolete. Could've passed as nicoteine patches though. Probably could have made some money selling them...

Seems that it doesn't matter what the temperature outside is, when rucking, you will sweat. A lot. Drinking lots of water beforehand, and bringing lots of water is a must. We sweat so much, and we're out there for so long usually, that by the end of the march, the sweat has evaporated off of our faces, leaving visible salt residue on our faces.

A problem that I personally encounter, which I still have not been able to remedy, is that one arm always loses circulation, and goes completely numb, to the point where its dead. I then have to reach across my chest and grab the strap that is causing this horrible debilitation, and hold it away from my shoulder and arm to let the blood flow, all the while flailing my other arm about like a wet noodle, trying to get some feeling back. I'm such a nerd.

The good thing about roadmarches is that one gets better at them. Gets stronger. We're told that we do these so much to build us up (what? we're a freaking mechanized unit!), but these marches leave us reasonably destroyed. I must have been an interesting sight to behold as I gimped to the chow hall.

But this is what the infantry does. We train until we're deployed. Then we do our job. I'll let you know how that is, once I find out for myself.

Me = cherry.


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