Deployment: Kickin’ It In Georgia

Now I’m coming to you sort-of live from Georgia, Fort Benning to be precise. Up front, I just want to scream about just how massively fucking thankful I am that I’m not doing this in July as I did on my previous trip to Afghanistan. This area of the country in July is just hellaciously oppressive. It’s already pretty warm, so any hotter and I’ll be forced to get pissy.

Fred Guarding My Hat

Anyway, because I know you’re all wondering why I have to stop off in Georgia before going to Afghanistan, well there are lots of answers. The short one is that there are about four days of important shit we have to get accomplished, jam-packed into seven. I’ll try to hit the highlights of what I’m enduring here.

Training: I’m going to spend a lot of hours sitting around listening to briefs and looking at PowerPoint slides that covers a smorgasboard of shit that I apparently must know before setting foot on Afghan soil. Most of it is quite doze-worthy, and all of it I’ve heard before at some point in the past five years. Nonetheless, I must complete this essential shit! Or else! I am looking forward to the “how to put your body armor together” class, because it’s a 3-D puzzlefuck. Oh, and we do get to qualify with our weapons. Punching holes in shit with bullets is always satisfying.

Equipping: I’m about to be handed, and sign for, a fuckload of shit. Body armor. Uniforms. Hearing protection. Eyewear. Backpacks. Bags. Chemical mask. The list goes on, and for three pages I might add. Four duffels and a ruck-sack of shit. Keep in mind here I’m allowed to take only four on the airplane, and I showed up with one to begin with. Awesome. Like last time, I’ll be standing in my bags to compress them to the approximate density of neutron star core material.

More Training: I get to go through classes that will teach me to identify hidden explosives, which is probably a good thing. I’ll never know for certain if someone’s booby-trapped my desk or keyboard, so this might save my ass. There’s also “how to walk patrol” training. As if they’ll let me outside the compound. They can’t let that happen because I’d probably end the war. Then what would happen?

Waiting: My Dad would tell Army stories and always threw in the old saw about “hurry up and wait.” Sometimes I wish he was still around so I could tell him that not a fucking thing has changed since WW II. Waiting is woven into everything described above. At some point, I’ll wind up waiting for an airplane. Currently, that’s supposed to happen Friday.

I’m sure I’ll have a few things to update you all on before I move on from here, so stand the fuck by…


45 Responses to “Deployment: Kickin’ It In Georgia”

  1. I can only imagine the heat and humidity in Georgia while dressed in full fatigues…I also imagine that on a bad day, a gun could be quite satisfying!

  2. Totally standing the fuck by! And “How To Put Body Armor Together” sounds like an interesting class..
    Qualifying weapons??? Sweet! I guess there is some fun stuff to do after all… Keep rockin’!

  3. savorthefolly Says:

    You’re back! yeah! it’s been weird not getting your daily blogs.

  4. Thank God we had a cold snap down here (cold = 70s high)…you lucked out. Proud to call you my neighbor for the week. Missing your blogs. Stuff those duffels, dude. Go forth & conquer. Appreciate your adrenaline.

  5. Happy you made it as far as Benning. Would send you a stuffend animal but see you have one.
    Understand the snorefest involved in training… sounds like the government is as cretinous as any other US corporation. Hours spent on ‘So you want to fill in the blanks’ on your insurance app (there are only two; are you currently employed by YoYo-Dyne and Breathing? Yes or No) to Sexual Harassment in the workplace (no coca cola and pubic hair jokes) -a two day affair advising employees now to grab boobies or a bag-o-donuts.
    Good luck. Send me your address (if not redacted) and will send you some spiked brownies… spiked with espresso beans natch. Don’t want you falling asleep with your spit shine boots on the desk -grin-.
    Be well Hon!

  6. Really missing your daily posts Rants! Very thankful you updated us. Good thoughts will be flying with you on Friday! Please be bored over there!

  7. Always nice to see an update and always will be ‘standing the fuck by’…

  8. I read the “Equipping” part aloud to my husband and we had a good laugh! Keep on bloggin’ when you can, and keep outta trouble! As Tom Petty sez, “The waiting is the hardest part.”

  9. John Erickson Says:

    Have you thought about getting some kind of drink powder (generic for Kool-Aid) or any of that new-fangled “Mio” stuff? Not sure if you can get it into a camelback, but I figure they’ll probably throw old-school canteens at you. Unless the Army has finally moved into the 1960s. 😉
    So, think you could .. um … forget to check any of the body armour back in? Don’t need the trauma plates so much, I got my own formula for them. I could use a new set of Kevlar, though – my last set didn’t survive my “better living through chemistry” testing….. 😀

    • You gonna reimburse me?

      • John Erickson Says:

        Depends – how much is used Kevlar going for? Don’t worry about condition, I can always patch worn stuff. I just need a better carrier for my plates than a leather vest under my chain mail! 😀
        Oh, and any DU you can find lying around. Not that I’d build a bomb – I’d just threaten too, then rake in the incentives not to complete it. (I may not have my own enrichment facilities, but I DO still have friends at Fermilab! 😉 )

    • Oh shut the hell up. You old timers and all your bitching. 😀

      • John Erickson Says:

        Well, dang it, son, when you hit our ripe old age, the bitching muscle is one of the few that still work! Besides, between ulcers and prostate problems, we can’t drink all that much, so what’s left? 😉
        And how is life with your bad self, eh?

        • Pretty damn awesome, not gonna lie. Finishing up the semester and finals are in a week. Going home for a month. Heading to England for the summer!

          You? 😛

          • John Erickson Says:

            Meh. SSDD pretty much fills the bill. Hoping to squeeze out a few near-home vacations, including an air museum and a privately owned railroad locomotive storage facility. Other than that, just keeping a cranky house and a creakier Lt. Col in order. 😉
            And nervously checking daily. Britain lost a Grenadier Guardsman, sister unit of the Coldstream Guards who made me an honourary member. So today kinda sucks – but there’s always tomorrow.
            Glad to hear you’re doing well! 🙂

          • That’s all well and good, besides the loss of the Guardmen. Regrettable, as always.

            How’s life?

          • John Erickson Says:

            Pretty much breaking even. Lost my goat buddy Blackjack to stud service on another farm, but his owner got a young goat in exchange, so I have a horned Paduwan. Managed to miss my annual allergy bout, but slipped yesterday and torqued the heck outta my bad right leg. Finagled some money out of Illinois that they owed me, then had my wife’s station wagon blow a front strut mount. (The whole mount BROKE away from the body, compliments of several winters on Chicago’s salt-soaked roads.)
            So like I said, 1 step forward, 1 back. 🙂
            So you gonna be posting again anytime soon? Gotta make up for ‘Rants trying to duck his blogging duty by heading off for some fun in the Afghan sun….. 😉

          • New blog. New format. Check it out.

          • Welcome back, bud.

          • Thanks, man. It’s good to be back….even among you nutcases. 😛

          • I’ll take that as a compliment.

          • I’d never insult you old folks. 😉

          • Working on it.

      • Welcome back, dude.

  10. Sounds like your sense of humor is still “locked and loaded.” Be Well! 😀

  11. Welcome to Georgia and yeah, July is unfucking bearable. August is worse.

  12. Miss you Rant! A little idiocy from home..

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