Saturday, January 27, 2007


Our transportation from Ft. Jackson, SC to Ft. Lee, VA was a big bus. Since this was an Army trip, we had to wake up at 4:30 am so that we could be ready to leave by 7:30 am. Luckily, there were only 12 of us on the bus, so I was able to sleep for some of the trip.

We got to Ft. Lee a little after noon, and all of us were pretty excited. Ft. Lee was where we did our Officer Basic Course (OBC), which was more-or-less an extension of college. During OBC we stayed in hotel-like accommodations and attended classroom instruction from 8 am – 4pm. So it was natural that we expected similar circumstances. When the bus pulled up to the address we were given and we all piled off the bus, the collective groan let out was probably heard in Philly. We stood in front of run down barracks and were greeted by an otherwise miserable Master Sergeant. So much for staying in a hotel and getting some privacy! Once we signed in and shown our new “rooms”, I started to allow some anger into my emotions. I had prematurely built up going to Ft. Lee and was now being let down, so for the 1st time since putting my uniform back on I consciously allowed some negative emotions to control me. I demanded to speak with the Officer-in-Charge, who (surprisingly!) wasn’t available on a Saturday afternoon. So, the company 1SG came to speak with us. We waited about 5 minutes and the heard the privates inside yell “Company, At Ease”, signifying the 1SG had arrived. I heard his voice and my mouth dropped about 2 feet. The first so-called ghost of my past had just materialized.

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