The Pain

I’ll probably be writing two posts today. Why? I don’t know. I needed a way to start this post and thought that was an excellent way to do so.

It’s been a long 24 hours. I went to bed at about midnight last night after a long day at working arranging for everyone to get home to their families and lives. I woke up at 0315 last night (anything before dark is still nighttime, regardless of what standard we’ve adopted with time) in order to take the first group of people to the airport at 0400.

Before I continue, there may be some people who don’t understand military time. In an effort to make things slightly more complicated for privates entering the military, we’ve created our own method of timekeeping. We work on a 24 hour clock, which is actually quite coincidental since there are 24 hours in a day (hmmm…interesting). Growing up in the military, I didn’t have a problem with this process, but oh the joy of watching my fellow bootcampers try to figure out what time it is with a drill sergeant in their face yelling at them for the time. It’s actually very useful and I strongly recommend the entire country adopt this practice of time keeping. Since we never know when we are, it helps to work off a 24 hour system. It also provides a great excuse when you’re told by a superior to “BE IN MY OFFICE AT 5 O’CLOCK, OR ELSE!” You look at your watch and notice that it’s 1500 right now. Wow, I’ve got at 14 hours before he wants to see me. I wonder why it’s so early. In the back of your mind (and probably every other part as well), you know he MEANT 1700, but that’s not what he said. Besides, at 1700 you’ve got an appointment with civilian clothes. So, you blow it off and for good measure show up at his office at 0500, like he told you. Of course, the office is locked and you decide it must not have been that important and leave. An hour later at PT, your butt is chewed and you present your case: Sir, you said 5 o’clock, not 1700. He steams and you get in more trouble. In the end, you’re worse off and knew you were wrong, but it sure felt good.

Anyway, I’ll be using military time here. If you’re confused by it, just add or subtract 12 as necessary. If it’s after 1200 (noon) just subtract twelve hours and there’s your time. So, back to the story. You’ll notice I get sidetracked a lot.

I took the guys to the airport at 0400 to catch a flight that leaves at 0600 (that’s 6 a.m. See, now you’re getting it). Thanks to the mighty TSA, you have to show up for a flight at least 13 days prior to actually boarding the plane so that they can process your DNA, take a retinal scan, remove any excess toe jam that may be used to create a chemical bomb, and test your underarm deodorant to ensure it complies with the nasal standards that the guys strip searching you must conform to. Luckily, there is no requirement for oral hygiene. I think Halitosis is a prerequisite for employment at the TSA. As we drove into the airport it was very foggy. I immediately reached for my cell phone to call the FBI to report that fog is most likely restricted by the TSA as it can cause a danger to people driving or flying through it. As one would guess, the closer to the terminal we got, the less fog there was. The TSA was out in force and had already fined and imprisoned all offensive fog that morning. The airways over Colorado were once again safe.

I dropped the guys off and waited outside to ensure that the soldiers’ flight wasn’t cancelled, postponed, or otherwise in repairs. There’s one thing you can always count on in the military: a flight plagued with mechanical problems. I can’t tell you how many deployments we’ve been on where we had to land because something had gone wrong with our plane. The good news is that we’re always stuck in great places like Germany, Iceland, Sicily or Kuwait (that last one was a joke). There’s a good feeling about being the only people awake at 0400. I was able to wait in the no waiting/no parking zone at the airport….and I got away with it. I think security was too busy rounding up all the excess fog still lingering around the airport. I told the skyporter that if he sees any TSA security guys or police to let them know that there was fog on the road leading up to the departure terminal and that it looked as if they were plotting to move in on the airport at any moment. He looked at me kind of weird and I told him that I’d hold it off as long as I could, but that I’m just one guy. He uttered something under his breath and went back to work.

After that odd exchange, I came back to the barracks and took a shower. I thought the shower would help me get back to sleep, but it didn’t do anything except get me wet and clean. Ahhh, the feeling of clean. By the way, I’m a brand name snob when it comes to my shower products. Usually, I’m all about cheaper instead of better, but not when it comes to my soap and deodorant. Shampoo I could really not care less about. My soap of choice is Old Spice High Endurance Fresh, which works well with my Old Spice High Endurance Fresh deodorant (visit http://www.oldspice.com/ for more info). Shameless plug. They should sponsor my blog.

So, I tried to get back to sleep but I haven’t taken my medication in about two days because I keep leaving my bag at the office. I think I was conscious of all 3-4 hours of sleep I had last night because of my back pain (I was injured during the war in an artillery strike outside the town of As Samawah). I pretty much tossed and turned the entire night. So, I laid there for about 20 minutes trying to get comfortable and just decided to do my laundry. I’m feeling good now, cause as soon as I got here I took my pills and chased them with a nice, cold Coca-Cola. The caffeine actually helps a lot. I’m not sure why. My doctor told me that caffeine helps as long as I don’t over do it and he was right. So, I try to drink one caffeinated drink a day, whether it’s a soda or hot cocoa. In the Army, they say that pain is just weakness leaving the body. I’m attached to my weakness. I don’t want it going anywhere. It can stay here with and keep me company when I’m feeling lonely. No need to leave. If that saying were true, I’d be Superman by now.

Well, until the next post I have not changed from……

CJ