THE NEW NORMAL |
January 16, 2008
THE NEW NORMAL
Name: CAPT Mike Dunn
Posting date: 1/16/08
En route to: Afghanistan
Hometown: Brooklyn, NY
Milblog url: TheNewNormal
8:00 AM - Tuesday, September 11th, 2001: Having just completed my civic duty by casting my ballot in the NYC primary elections, I'm sitting on the X28 express bus working its way up Church Street towards my job in midtown Manhattan. As I had done countless times before, I gazed at the usual street scene of the throngs coming and going around the World Trade Center, paying attention to nothing in particular. Although I didn't know it, I would never, ever see this scene again.
8:00 AM - Wednesday, September 12th, 2001*: I am walking up Church Street in battle dress uniform, full combat gear, and armed with an Army issue 9mm Berreta pistol loaded with hollow point bullets on loan from the NYPD. Before me is a scene of horror beyond my ability to express with words. I am numbed by the sur-realness of it all. Although I didn't know it, this would now be my life, this would be the new normal.
110300RJAN08/111230DJAN08: Six years and four months later I am with my wife and children in Brooklyn for as much precious time I can hoard away from Big Army. I am a week away from getting on a bus to begin a journey which will take me to Afghanistan. Just in time for the Taliban's Spring Offensive. I sense this story is heading towards some sort of denouement. I dread what I don't know.
* Or, using the DateTime Group (DTG) format used by the military: 120800RSEP01. The format reads as: the day's date, the time in 24-hour-clock format, the time zone designation, the month, the year. Time Zone Romeo (R) is Eastern Standard Time. Time Zone Delta (D) plus 30 minutes is the time in Afghanistan. Time Zone Zulu (Z), is Greenwhich Mean Time.