Monday, February 5, 2007

Closer to home

The 1SG was an E-7 in 10th Mountain Division who advised me in Afghanistan. He gave our group everything he could, including use of the company van when we needed it. However, we still were assigned to the run down barracks and had at least one roommate (I had two – my human roommate and the 3 foot cockroach living in my shower). It was Saturday, so at least we had nothing scheduled until Monday morning.
On Monday morning, we went as directed to the Captain’s career course that was currently going on. As expected, no one there really knew we were coming. We filled out some paperwork and went into the classroom, where we met the Major who would be in charge of us while we were at Ft. Lee. As it turned out, he would become our biggest ally. We sat through class while the “Active Duty” Captain’s filled out their paperwork and received their welcome briefs from high ranking officers. During one of these welcome briefs, a “full-bird” Colonel asked how everyone’s accommodations were, expecting to hear all of the Captain’s answer “great!” When I raised my hand and told him how much I enjoyed living in the dirty barracks with cockroaches, his eyes widened and exclaimed that our conditions were unacceptable. It seemed our luck was turning. After that brief, the Colonel made reservations for us at a local hotel and for the last 10 days, I have had a pretty good situation. I have my own room, a TV, and was able to go home for a weekend to see my family. Classes during the day are informative, and I am glad to have them since it’s been a few years from the time I last dealt with most of the subjects. I am excited to go to Fort Riley because it will be one phase closer to deploying and coming home; yet at the same time Ft Lee is a known entity and I am comfortable. Neither matters though, because in a few days I’ll be off to Kansas and beginning the next phase in my wonderful vacation.

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