Monday, May 15, 2006

The Wait...

First day of Stryker training. Uneventful.

I'm off work, moping around in my room. I still don't know what's going to happen to me. I'm not the first guy in my unit to do this. I definitely won't be the last. But as it always is in the army, there's loose talk and rumors.

I won't be getting kicked out of the army or anything like that. This is really a small offense, but it didn't happen at the best time. I have a friend who works in the training room, where all the company paperwork is done. He had to fill out a coversheet for a recommendation for a Company Grade Article 15. To his knowledge, that means 14 days of restriction and extra duty, possibly a loss of one pay grade (rank), and forfeiture of 1/3 pay for a month. So my PFC may be gone. Fuck the money, I don't care about that. And the restriction, the extra duty, that's not a big deal to me either. Its not the punishment. Its that thick level of remorse and shame that clings to you. Like wading through tar.

My platoon sergeant is pretty pissed. My friend and I have had better days. Atleast I've only got the underage drinking charge. He's got a DUI. Blew a .082 when .08 is the limit. But excuses don't really matter at this point.

When the First Sergeant was talking to me back at the MP station, he didn't even seem angry. It was like he was completely used to this sort of thing, and probably is. You know when you screw up and do something wrong, and someone doesn't even get angry with you, it makes it that much worse? I sat there, drunk and angry and confused. All he did was give me some advice, along the lines of needing to take a long look at the mirror and figuring out who I am and what I want, and how I'm going to get there. And how I'm not.

One thought that went through my head was "Had I only been stationed in fucking Germany like my fucking recruit said I'd be able to request, this wouldn't even matter." Just an excuse. Part of me is furious that this is even being made into a big deal, because I'm only a few months shy of age. These things must happen sooner or later.

Assessing the whole situation, with the big picture, its pitiful. Here I am in a different state, knowing only army guys. I have nothing to do off post, and without a car, travel is expensive as hell. I can't stand most TV, and can't even bring myself to play video games for very long. Every day, its the same faces, the same chow hall food or Dominoes, the same routine, and the same four walls around me. White painted bricks with two windows on one wall and cheap wooden furniture. A 13" TV stuffed into the bureau. 500 channels of social decay. An empty fridge. Tile floor with a couple mats. Anything to try to keep it from looking like a prison cell. The same voices shouting in the halls for no reason. The same toilets and showered shared by twenty guys. The same laptop constantly online, MSN messenger waiting for old friends to drop a line. Same four walls.

Same group of friends drinking on every carbon copy weekend. Its right there, in your living environment. I don't mention that because I don't want to be the guy to ruin it for everyone else. We're infantrymen. We live in an all male barracks. Some guys were successful and find places to vanish to during the off time. As for the rest of us, we dwell like rats. In this situation, getting drunk really doesn't sound like such a bad idea.

Even then, it doesn't do enough good, and with some guys, does a lot of bad. Its always fun at first, like when I first got here. The good times can't last forever. You wonder what the hell you're going to do for fun when you get out. And all that this tells me is that getting twisted is pretty much a pisspoor escape from this place. I don't mean to come off as an alcoholic, but if I keep this up, I'd sure as shit be in danger. The isolation here is my X factor I think. Shit or get off the pot, I've got to make some changes. As much as this sucks, this is a minor incident, but I don't want a stronger wake up call. I'm better than this, dammit.

At times, I've come to really resent this blog. People immediately in my life have gotten wind of it, and I can't bring myself to lie or sugarcoat anything. I told myself I was going to give an honest account of this whole experience, and I'm going to stick to it. I just don't like people worrying. Aside from really regretting this weeked, and being bored a lot, I'm doing pretty damn good. I stumbled, but I haven't fallen.

So with all that said, I'm going to bite the bullet and take the kick in the groin that's coming to me, and drive on.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

An Article 15??? ARE YOU FRIGGIN KIDDING????? I was 20, in Korea, drunk out of my mind and at another post about 40 miles from mine. I couldn't figure out how to get home, so I WENT TO THE MPs. They called my first sgt, who drove to Camp Carroll at 3:00 in the morning to come get me. The 1SG told me, "don't be so dumb" and that was the end of it.
I can't BELIEVE your company commander would be so... What's the word I'm looking for....

Sorry, bud. Maybe that's why I liked Korea so much. :)