Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Finally Here

Finally got to our FOB. Been in transit and transient billets for the past few weeks. Had spotty internet so I haven't been updating often. I have some internet access at the FOB so I'll try to update more often. It is really beautiful here. I am digging it.

Sunday, February 28, 2010

5 days and counting...

Well, my unit (or at least part of it) flies out on the 5th. We're heading off to Manas Air Base and then we're going to Afghanistan shortly afterward. I don't know how internet connectivity will be over there so this may be my last post for some time. By the way, Columbus, Indiana is such a podunk town. It only has about 40,000 people and it is really small. However, the hotel that I'm staying at is pretty ballin'. I don't really want to go back to post tomorrow, but all good things end something. Oh, by the way, I met one of my ETT team leaders and I found out that our mission is cool as shit. There are only going to be a few of us, so I was told to expect to be cross-trained. I'll be trained to be a driver, gunner, commo, etc. I'm also expected to help cross-train the cav and infantry guys who are coming with us too. Oh, and I am getting issued a M9 too. I guess that's cool. I'm a little sick so I think that I'm going to turn in early today.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Pulling Out Soon

Word is that we are pulling out soon. Well, at least the part of the unit that I'm assigned to. We finished training last Friday and we have been sitting around with pretty much nothing to do. For the past few days, a couple of guys and I have been playing Risk at the library and working out at the gym. Our routine pretty much consists of training/details, walking everywhere (like to chow or the PX), workout sessions at the gym, playing Risk at the library, checking out the USO, and watching cartoons or movies at night. I've got to say that this routine is a bit boring, but it makes the days go by a lot quicker. Also, working out almost every day and eating healthy (unfortunately, this exclude booze) is helping us get into shape quick. I think that we are the only ones who actually go to the gym on a regular basis. Most of the other guys in the bay here just order pizza/chinese food every night and sit around like fatbodies. There is word going around that my unit is getting a pass this weekend. Unfortunately, all the other guys that I have been through training with for the past 2 months are assigned to another unit and they don't go on pass until my unit gets back off pass. I really want to just go find a watering hole and drink my ass off, but I don't think it would be too fun if I go at it by myself. I kinda want to hang out with my friends for a bit longer before we get separated. One guy wants to swap pass days with me so that he can fly his girlfriend out here, but I dunno if higherups would let that fly. Some of us think that maybe my unit is pulling out of Atterbury earlier than the other units. Maybe that is why we go on pass earlier. Then again, some guys heard that we don't pull out for another few weeks. I hate how that any bit of information that we get isn't credible and we are forced to just sit in the dark. I sure hope that we get some concrete facts soon. Oh, by the way, I have guard duty again tomorrow. I just pulled it Sunday and I have to pull it again. How fun =/

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Camp Atterbury definitely has industry

I love Camp Atterbury compared to Camp Shelby. By the way, I haven't updated in a while because internet access here is spotty and I've been feeling lazy. Anyhoo, just the fact that we don't have to go outside and walk to another building just to use the latrine is awesome. The snow and ice kinda sucks though. It gets really cold in the morning and when the ice starts the thaw during the afternoon, everything gets a bit muddy. The gym and dining facility here are awesome. Also, we finally got our unit assignments. The rear party here have been very courteous and have treated us very well. For once, we seemed to be appreciated and welcomed since we have been mobilized. Up until now, it felt as if we were a burden that needed to be dealt with swiftly and harshly. I guess the National Guardsmen here appreciate that we are going to augment their units and deploy with them. Oh, by the way, I found out that I am going to be assigned to HQ. The unit is sending about a dozen of us to be part of ETTs (embedded training teams) so that we can support and mentor/train the ANA and ANP. Sounds like a really fulfilling assignment to me. The only downside is that we are going to an austere location. Word is that we have to set up a FOB and then start building up the infrastructure for that region. I've heard stories about ETTs and their mentees coming under attack by the Taliban. I don't quite know how I feel about that, but I guess I'll have to deal with it eventually. Oh, another downside is that we are all going to be split up. Well, I'm going to be separated from the others, rather. All of the other medics and most of the guys that I went to Camp McCrady with are attached to BSB (brigade support battalion). I think that they will be sent out to aid stations or they will run convoys mostly (I am not too sure yet). There was some talk about the other guys wanting me to switch unit assignments with some other guys, but I dunno how I feel about that. I mean, I want to stick with the guys that I've been training/living with for the past month, but then again, my unit assignment might be a once in a lifetime experience. I may never get another chance to work with foreign nationals in this capacity. Oh well. I think that I'm going to get some chow soonish. By the way, we finished our SRP (for the most part) and we get to start real training tomorrow. We get to start off the week with HMMWV rollover training and I think that we draw our weapons on Tuesday (we actually get to keep these and deploy with them). I can't wait to actually train and have some fun.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Shelby Sucks

Camp Shelby was a shithole. Mississippi, in general, sucks pretty hard. First of all, we flew into Laurel-Hattiesburg on a prop plane. I mean, really? A prop plane? There are only two types of destinations that mandate a prop plane: either a tropical paradise with a dark, twisted secret that awaits unsuspecting, 20-somethings on holiday, or an island with wild dinosaurs. Anyhoo, getting back to Camp Shelby and the National Guard. Ate. The. Fuck. Up. All senses of military pride and discipline/standard go right out the window. There was a 40-50 year old SSG smoking a cigarette in formation for Christ's sake. Don't even get me started on the slack-jawed, rock chewing, inbred mouth breathers running around there. I once said that Paradise (a really shitty strip joint in San Antonio) was the place where strippers went to die. Camp Shelby is probably where guardsmen go to die. They had a decent gym, but everything else sucked. I am so glad that I am leaving there. I guess that we were supposed to report to Camp Atterbury, but there was an issue with HRC and orders. Whatever, two days in MS was enough. Oh, one more thing. There was only one cab per cab company running in Hattiesburg. It took us about 2-3 hours to get from the hotel to Camp Shelby. I lied: one more thing. There was this one cab driver working the airport area when we flew in Saturday night. I think his name was Tony or whatever. He's some guy from Ghana who rips people off with exorbitant cab fees. I knew that we were in for some trouble when he pulled up at the airport. He was disheveled, unkempt, and his eyes were coked out. Barely commanded a grasp of the English language also. Long story short, he barreled down the highway at 70 miles an hour, swerving all over the road. He also didn't run the meter. He totally ripped us off, but we didn't really contest the charge. I personally didn't want some crack fiend with a cab in a strange town upset with me. I'm starting to ramble now. I've been up since 0200 and been sitting at the airport since around 0430. The cadre at Shelby had us wake up super early so that they could give us our order amendments and shuttle us to the airport at Gulfport. I think I'm going to sign off now and find some coffee. The flight to Memphis isn't until 1120 and we have to catch a layover flight to Indianapolis afterward.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Love Free Wifi

The airport in San Antonio has free wifi! We're just sitting around, waiting for the rest of the group to fly in so that we can all report together. Unfortunately, we lost one of our party. Powell got orders to Camp Atterbury, IN instead of coming to Shelby with us. He's probably boarding the plane as I type this. Still have about 3 hours to kill before our flight leaves for Memphis. Then we have to layover for an hour or so to catch another flight to Mississippi. It really doesn't make sense how we have to fly to Tennessee to go to Mississippi. That's like making 3 right turns to make a left, but whatever. The important thing is that the Army managed to save a couple of bucks. The needs of the Army come first.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Waiting to Fly

Been sitting around in San Antonio for the past few days. A couple of the guys here flew home for what may be the last time before we actually deploy. We all agreed to rendezvous on Saturday at the airport so that we can fly out together and report at the same time. I'm going to go back on post later today (after I sleep a couple of hours) and take care of some last minute stuff (PX shopping, mailing extra uniforms to family/friends, etc). Luckily, we all got orders to Camp Shelby, Missouri. The general consensus is that we'll wait for our units to arrive, then we'll all be split up and sent all over the battalion. I guess it would be cool if we all got to deploy together, but such is military life. You get to meet and know some good people, only to part ways shortly after. Ah well, time to go to bed.