Sunday, March 25, 2007

Another week down

Last week actually went pretty fast. It started off as usual - too soon and too early! I managed to get in a little trouble (again), and I lost more blood than I would have liked. However, we had some pretty good training. The first day of the week we did convoy training and then went to a convoy simulator. This was really fun to me since it was at the Battle Simulation Center and was actually just like a big, interactive computer game. As you might guess, it's also where I got in some trouble. The purpose of the "game" is to give us practice on communicating among vehicles and reacting to different scenarios that are currently faced in Iraq. We are split into vehicles and sent to different rooms where we each have our own computer and headset. The first 30 minutes we get to practice on the controls and are just supposed to get into the Humvees, practice driving them, getting in and out, and shooting our rifles. After 5 minutes I had the basics down when I spotted a tank I could get into. 25 minutes later every vehicle and building in the simulated base was destroyed and on fire. As expected, the programmers weren’t too happy that they had to re-create everything. One of my buddies told me later in the week that they got a lecture when they went through a few days later to use only the Humvees and under no circumstances are they allowed to get into tanks! Besides that though, the exercise went well and it was good practice for our team. We learned that communication while under fire is harder than expected and having established procedures will benefit us greatly.

The next two days were spent practicing moving dismounted (aka walking) throughout cities. We had to practice moving with our teams and reacting to friendly and insurgent forces, clearing buildings and rooms, and detaining possible hostile threats. I got in trouble for kicking a door in too hard but the evaluator had a good point about maintaining my balance.

The last 3 days we spent doing combat lifesaver training. This is basically how to treat casualties on the battlefield. The first day was alot of slides and classroom stuff so I was bored beyond control. The next two days were all practical exercises though, so I was much more involved. The second day of training, the practical portion, involved actually initiating an IV into your partner. This is where I lost some blood. The point of actually doing the IV is to give us practice so that when our buddy gets shot for real we aren’t putting a needle into a vein for the first time. That's great theory and all, but I lost alot of blood just from the IV! My partner was pretty nervous and missed my vein the first stick. This surprised me because I bled alot for no vein to have been hit, and if you've ever seen my arms my veins are very noticeable. The second stick got me though, but it also caused my blood to go everywhere since it was a big vein. The funny thing is that I was laughing as my blood spurted out and tried to calm down my partner since she kept twisting the needle inside my vein! My stick was a 1st time go, and although I did put the needle all the way through her vein, I just had to pull it back a little. Paybacks are a bitch huh?

The weekend was great because my uncle Eddie drove over 7 hours from Denver to visit me. It was great to see him and a familiar face! That he took that time to come see me really lifted my spirits and I am very grateful for it. Its just what I needed to get through the next two weeks until I can see my family and Rachael again!!


:k. said...

curiosity; where r u?

Jason said...

Still in Ft. Riley, Kansas