As I've lamented, I've become a stryker driver. The job and everything that comes with it can be quite a bit of an armful, to say the least. Nothing too strenuous or anything, but there's a good deal of maintenance, and the wonderful PMCS (Preventive Maintenance Checks and Services), plus the hoops you have to jump through just to get the vehicle dispatched from the motor pool for use.
That aside, I also get yelled at a lot because driving a stryker is a lot different from driving a car. No big deal really, I can handled being yelled at no problem. The worse part about it was the sinking feeling along with my own inner dialogue saying, "God...I should NOT be in this position. Someone else should be doing this, I'm not cut out for it."
I went to bed last night and had probably ten different dreams about driving. This probably has something to do with dreams being essential to learning. Who knows.
Anyway, to wrap up this flavorless post, today was probably one of the funnest days I've had in quite a while. I'll explain why after a few notes.
Basically, we had to go back out to the mortar range to clean up all the trash, etc that comes along with doing a live-fire. In the army, this is called "policing it up". So we drove out to the aforementioned range, and driving wasn't nearly as bad this time around, so there may be hope for me yet. When we arrived, we find that another company is doing a live fire, and we have to drive back to get our body armor and helmets.
So we turn around, and head back to the barracks, grab our gear, and start heading back, when blocking an intersection are two humvees stuck together. Apparently one was towing the other, and they slid on a turn, and jack-knifed. They were somehow stuck, and our other stryker had to tow them far enough to pull them free. It was a great, happy, We Made A Difference moment.
Cleaning up the range was pretty simple, but uneventful. Its the kind of thing no one ever really talks about; the boring tedious things we do everyday that might make some think twice before enlisting. But who wants to read about that?
On our way back, we took a detour and went mudding with our strykers. It had rained the previous day, so there were some huge pools of water in this open area. I'd wait for the lead vehicle to get some distance ahead of me, then I'd gun it. Water shot in all directions, we were like a big green mechanical Moses, just parting the seas. Brown muddy water spraying up over the sides, soaking the two guys standing in the hatches. From all angles, it came pouring into my driver's "Hell Hole". It was hitting me in the face, in my mouth, spraying down my clothes and the goretex jacket I had behind my seat.
We'd get through one lake of water, then angle towards another, and I'd pin the accelerator to the floor with a vengeance. The vehicle would pick up speed and then WHOOOOOOOOOSHH, once again we're flinging the filth everywhere.
We changed our uniforms when we got back.