Not a whole lot of intense interest has been going on. I spent Thanksgiving with nearby family members, which was a bit of a godsend. My roommate had left to stay with a friend in Olympia, and so all was quiet during our four day weekend. Also, since alcohol is no longer allowed in the barracks, the barracks were completely empty. It was like living in that hotel in The Shining, minus those two crazy twins. The silence was loud, if that makes any sense at all.
I had spent the weekend in a kind of limbo. There is no other way to describe it. It got to the point where I was actually watching TV. I normally can't hardly stand most of what TV has to offer, but this was a very desperate time. From what I'd been told, officers would be serving Thanksgiving dinner to soldiers still in the barracks, but luckily I had plans. I've had a chance to sample the leftovers of the meal, and I wasn't impressed. And yes, I'm being very generous with that statement.
The weekend itself crawled like a man dying in the desert. I was trapped in an abyss of boredom. No money, no minutes on my phone, nowhere to go, and nothing to do. I had learned what it was to merely exist. Granted, I'd done that so many times before, back when I wore Circa and Metallica T-shirts and jeans or cargo pants, and not BDUs. When my uniform was a hoodie and a pair of khakis. But back then, I was in my hometown, and whether or not I wanted to admit it, there were certainly atleast a couple things for me to do. If nothing else, I could drive (or even walk) across town and explore the lifeless downtown area. Here, I was pretty much trapped. It was the closest thing to a waking coma that I can imagine.
Monday morning was nothing special, another PT session. Another breakfast meal. I was certain we'd be having one of those rare days where we do best to stay out of sight and out of mind. Wrong. We were to go out into the woods and practice battle drills because we had nothing else to do. Naturally, we were slightly on the displeased side of that, being that its getting very cold out here, and we're whiny little girls. By some awesome twist of fate, my roommate and I lucked out. Since both of us are Assistant Gunners on the mortars, apparently that also means that we'll be the gunners on the Strykers. So we were sent to an all-day class regarding the 50 cal machine gun. Hey, atleast we got to stay inside.
This is called "getting over", when you luck out, and everyone else continues to get screwed. Its rare, but extremely rewarding, if for nothing else but feeling the warm wash of relief. Seeing the angry and jealous eyes of your friends is also pretty funny too, because you'll instantly remember all the times you've been busting your hump or shivering or whatever, while they were sitting pretty. Karma may be severely backlogged, but now and then, it'll throw ya a bone, it seems. So what if it's never enough?
We're spending today going over EIB (Expert Infantry Badge) tasks. Today was the first day I've ever touched an M9 (Beretta 9mm pistol). I can take it apart and put it back together well under the EIB standard time. To be honest, anyone should be able to. We also worked on a radio for a bit, and were given a very unnecessary demonstration on how to disassemble and reassemble an M4. Because I've never once taken my M4 apart. Nope, never, not once, uh uh, nooo way, no sir, not me. I can lay on another thick layer of sarcasm if you'd like, but I think you get the picture. The funny thing is that taking an M4 apart and haphazardly putting it back together is no longer even an EIB task. Killing time.
As of now, its snowing. My roommate is from Texas, and right now, he's like a kid in a candy store. Or maybe its more like bringing a caveman to the Las Vegas Strip at night. The guys in our platoon that are from parts of our wonderful country where they don't get snow much, they tend to ooh and ahh. Several times I've had to inform a Joe tugging on my sleeve that I'm from Montana, and believe it or not, I've seen snow before.
This wonderful snowing act of God, by the way, potentially means that we could get the next couple of days off. My guess is that its in sympathy to those living off post who don't know how to drive in snow. Whatever the case is, I'm praying that its true, because I'm a lazy young man. Thank god I wasn't stationed in Alaska. I doubt they get much sympathy for snow. Here, on the other hand, if we're lucky, we just may "get over".