The Sandbox

GWOT hot wash, straight from the wire

Welcome to The Sandbox, a forum for service members who have served or are currently serving in Iraq and Afghanistan, returned vets, spouses and caregivers. The Sandbox's focus is not on policy and partisanship (go to our Blowback page for that), but on the unclassified details of deployment -- the everyday, the extraordinary, the wonderful, the messed-up, the absurd. All correspondence is read, and as much as possible is posted, lightly edited. If you know someone who is deployed who might have something to say, please tell them about us. To submit a post click here.

HERDING CATS WITH BASEBALL BATS |

April 08, 2009

HERDING CATS WITH BASEBALL BATS
Name: America's 1st Sgt.
Posting date: 4/8/09
Bound for: Iraq  
Milblog: Castra Praetoria
Email: castrapraetoria1@gmail.com

This week is a painful endurance of pre-deployment madness. Not that the things that have to get done are nonsense. It just feels like nonsense.

For me this takes the form of cornering young Marines and explaining through clenched teeth the importance of getting their service record book audits completed before deployment, and why doesn't he have his family care plan turned in to the Family Readiness Officer?

Next, my fists begin to transform into jackhammers as I describe to the errant youngster my unfathomable satisfaction after ripping a person's arm off and beating them with the sticky end.

Not surprisingly enlisted men are not the major violators at this stage.

It's usually the odd Lieutenant that I have to hold down by his throat and groin while one of my Corpsmen administers a host of vaccinations that he had been brushing off.

In my battalion, missing a dental appointment is probably the number one reason why Marines end up needing dental work in the first place.

Then I have the awesome task of convincing my guys that all the liquor in the United States will still be here when we get back in seven months. Thus they really don't need to go out and try drinking it all this weekend.

Here's something that gives me cancer -- Marines who haven't let anyone in their family back home know they are deploying. Last year I had one of my platoon sergeants stand on a Marine's neck as he dialed his mother. "Hello, Mom? Yeah, um...just wanted to let you know I'm in Iraq." That went over greeeeeeeeeat.

Of course, two weeks before deployment everyone just has to get married. It's enough to make me want to hammer nails into my temples.

I just really need to deploy. Life is so much simpler. Sigh.

Comments

I didn't know whether to laugh or hide. :)

That entitles you to don an honorary Marine Momma t-shirt, I do believe... Your charges are fortunate that you, um, care... LOL

Gee, being a first shirt hasn't changed much .... must be one of the reasons I stayed a gunny. Actually, it reminded me of that too. There was a time I refered to the 129 Marines I had responsability for as my 129 sons and daughters. Yep, life was good then too.
Enjoy your journey and I hope all come home safe.

Your comment about everyone having to get married cracked me up and rang totally true. I'm a marriage celebrant in Virginia, the easiest state in the Union in which to marry - 80 bucks cash nets a marriage license and an actual marriage ceremony all in the same day. Many's the time I've been greeted by a young couple clutching their still warm from the printer marriage license breathlessly asking me to marry them and return the license to the court right away because someone's deploying tomorrow and they need the certified copy to process the dependent benefits and insurance. This usually happens about about 3:45 in the afternoon, and the clerk's office closes at 4:00.

I was a lieutenant in the Marines back in the day, as they say now. One time the battalion aid station was having an audit and I needed three or maybe four shots. The corpsman thought this was hilarious and was about to burst out laughing but I guess he thought that wouldn't be cool so he held it in. One was plague, all these went in my right arm, and I had to shift my car with my left hand for about a week.

So, are you the grandma dog tits?

Yo mama.

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