This little chapter of this little story is over. The blog is moved, the link is on this page twice.
So anyway, we went out on a nice little field training exercise, using Fort Lewis as a sector of an Iraqi city or something. I'm sure its all over the internet, just google "Fort Lewis" and "JRTC". Let me break it down for you.
We were SUPPOSED to go to NTC in California for some hardcore hooah badass training to put hair on our chests and turn us into six foot tall ironmen that eat nails and shit bullets, don't take no for an answer, and chew up our beer cans when we finish with them. But then this dude whose name is Mr President or something like that was like, "Hey! I think we should send an asston of more troops over to Iraq, to help that crazy little country get its shit together! Whaddya say guys?!"
So it was decided that we weren't going to go to this NTC place. Instead, we were going to sit around in some random motor pool here on Fort Lewis, just like last time, only for longer. Sweet! Perfect time to learn NOTHING! And then another idea was shat from the collective anus of The Powers That Be.
"Lets take a bunch of people from JRTC (another high speed training center from Louisianna) and send them up here to facilitate our super awesome training!"
Here's basically what happened on my end.
We packed up all the gear that we've been packing and unpacking for the last month or year or eon or whatever the hell it was, and we stuffed it into vehicles to be taken to some motor pool over by 3rd Brigade, 2IDs little corner of the Lewis. We set up tents, and inside, they were cramped full of cots. An entire company in each tent. Minimal walking space, it was pretty bad. Naturally sickness spread around there like a party at Courtney Love's house.
I slept in my Stryker. So did most of my crew, which is pretty amazing if you ask me. There is NO room in that abomination. Every few hours someone would be waking me up, whining about wanting the heater on. I was smart and actually USED my sleeping bag, because those things are really warm. Like "Goddammit, my cheek is all sweaty and pasted to the side of this bag" sweaty.
We'd roll out in convoys, boring shit with a capital terrible. Thats all I do. I drive. I sit in the seat and wait. I drive. I yawn. I shift in my seat. I try to keep the blood flowing in my legs, but my ass gets sore and me foot goes numb, so I have to fake a seizure to get feeling in it again. Oh, and then I drive a little bit more, but not all that fast (I later found out that we were virtually untouchable, that the MPs couldn't do shit to us unless we killed someone or something. Had I known that, I would've been the bat out of hell).
They had pyrotechnic guys out there, that was pretty cool. Like, vehicles would drive up on our convoy and detonate, and there'd be all this smoke, and then some OC (Observer/Controller, like a referree from JRTC) would walk up and tell you just how fucked up your vehicle was. Same thing for the IEDs. G-Man (what the OCs call the enemy players) did a damn good job of hiding them. It sucked. And the players that played civilians and Iraqi soldiers (most of which were actually Iraqi Americans) were pretty good actors, based off of what I saw in a video during an After Action Report.
Oh I didnt tell you? I never get out of my hatch. My job is to stay in that god forsaken seat the entire time we're outside of the wire. So look forward to second hand stories from now on. And yeah, I'm a little bummed, but fuck it, less chance of me getting all messed up. The entire training exercise, I was never "killed" or even "wounded", so thats cool I guess.
One night, we raided Leschi Town, the huge mock city, elaborate as a movie set if you ask me. It was an all night mission, and I stayed awake the whole time monitoring the radio like a dumbass. And also spent a ridiculous amount of time driving around trying to get into the city to help tow a vehicle that had been hit. When we got back the next morning, I was so tired that I couldnt sleep, if you can believe that. Since then, I learned that any time the wheels aren't rolling, put the seat back and catch some shuteye. I hate being so tired that I'm nausious. I get so tired that my mind won't stop running, it goes haywire on this illogical wild tangent train of thoughts, scattered and unrelated. So sleep is good.
All in all, not sure if I learned much or not. Who knows. My job is simple. Drive. Do what the vehicle commander tells me to do. Its not such a bad gig really.
I don't spend too much time thinking about most things. Just chilling really. Otherwise I'd go nuts. As far as deployment goes, I got that cushy driver job, wont ever really be on the ground I dont think. I just hope I wont have to run anyone over. That would definitely be shitty. Dont even want to think about it.
I'm closing the book on this blog, this chapter. Now get your ass over to THE NEW AND IMPROVED UNLIKELY SOLDIERand bookmark it.