. Posted at 10:33 am on February 2nd, 2005
I won’t further incite myself with a reciting of my Adventures in Airports; let me just say that, at times, I felt A) a bit like Bill Murray in Groundhog Day B) As if I’d never make it out of Fayetteville and C) incredibly TO’d. Originally scheduled to fly out of North Carolina early Saturday morning, I didn’t get home to Portland until Monday night. It was a nightmare or terrifying proportions, directly conflicting with a lot of my directly-control-the-situation, Batman-stemming beliefs. I did get my Australia flight pushed back – I fly Down Thursday, which should give me enough time to sign my off-campus lease and get back to Sydney for myup-and-down-the-coast-in-7-days-surf-camp.
Still, my time at FT. Bragg was well spent. On the military side of things, I learned a lot about what superior officers, subordinate officers, and everyone else expects of newly-minted 2nd Lieutenants. My Uncle being the best 1st Lieutenants in the 82nd Airborne Division, I job shadowed him all week. But that was all learning through observation. Part of my week was spent in the ranks, as a sort of average Infantryman. It wasn’t a complete integration, but it’s the closest I’ll ever get. Learning through direct experience, I was given the awesome opportunity to fire live rounds out of M4s (shortened M16s), M240s (the big old Rambo weapons), using NODs ($6,000 night vision goggles that are beyond 007-cool), and experience “stress situations” (ie, running 3/4s of a mile in squad formation and full battle rattle, then throwing yourself down behind mocked-up walls, doors, roofs, and houses and live-firing at sporadically appearing targets – but only the blue ones, practicing discriminating fire).
Unfortunately, the other Infantymen didn’t have a lot of time to take my picture as I did these things, but here are the photos I did get:
Spending 7 days with my Uncle’s family wasn’t all bad either. I made a mistake on my last sendout – his eldest is named Duncan (& a danke to a certain Colonel I know). I had a heck of a time hanging out with my little cousins, but it also cemented my resolution to start a family in about 10 years (and no earlier). Here are the pics I took of the little rascals:
I also got watch my Uncle play a little Hockey – they trounced GMU (some school) 6-1, with Mike scoring one of the goals. He’s PDG with a puck (he got a full-ride to college for it and also played professionally, back in the day). I’m not to good with the action shots, but here are the four pics that turned out halfway decent:
Since Mt. Hood got 6 inches of powder in the week I’d been gone, I felt obliged to ski the good stuff. My Pa and I got some good slope-time in yesterday – don’t be confused by the pictures, though. He’s only experimenting with the snowboard. I still consider him a Skier with some identity issues.
Joshua Da Vinci