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.

THE THINGS I CARRIED |

June 02, 2011

Name: Charlie Sherpa
Embedded: with former unit in Afghanistan
Hometown: Boone, Iowa
Milblog: Red Bull Rising
Email: SherpaatRedBullRising.com

With apologies and acknowledgements to the bound-for-Walden-Pond Henry David Thoreau and the bound-for-Vietnam Tim O'Brien, here's a partial laundry list of my potential laundry downrange:

Things I Packed for the Trip:

  • 3 pairs of antimicrobial underwear.
  • 3 pairs of antimicrobial socks.
  • 1 inflatable travel pillow.
  • 3 long-sleeved shirts.
  • 1 short-sleeved shirt.
  • 2 pairs of desert-tan cargo pants.
  • 1 pair of stone-colored convertible pants. (At least once during the trip, I plan to walk around Afghanistan wearing shorts, and loudly yell "I am not wearing pants!" We'll see how many sergeants major come running.)
  • 1 pair combat sandals.
  • 1 pair hiking boots.
  • My "go-to-war" laptop computer.
  • My six-shooter coffee cup, with dry-powdered reloads.

*****

Things I Did NOT Pack:

  • Anything made of cotton. I miss the feel of it already.

  • My "deployment copy" of Henry V. While it's once more into the breach for me, this time I opted to replace my usual hip-pocket inspirational with some military-themed science fiction. I used to read a lot of David Drake ("Hammer's Slammers") and Orson Scott Card ("Ender's Game"). I figured that a couple of mass-market science-fiction paperbacks would: (a) fit into a cargo pocket; (b) provide easy distraction from half-day layovers in foreign airports; and (c) avoid barracks discussions about how much Shakespeare does or does not suck. Besides, I got suckered in by this John Scalzi title: "Old Man's War." Don't know why.

  • My Kevlar helmet and vest. When I still worked at the Magazine Factory, my fellow workaday editors and I were appalled to hear about upper-crust editors-in-chief who sent their luggage via overnight delivery, rather than be hassled by carrying-on or checking-in. Schlepping a gym bag full of heavy-but-still-breakable bulletproof plates on my way to Fort Irwin, Calif. last fall, however, convinced me to send my gear on ahead, courtesy of U.S. Postal Service. As a bonus, now I don't have to worry about them being "confiscated" along the way.

*****

Things I will do while overseas:

  • Embed as civilian media to cover the current deployment of the Iowa National Guard's 2nd Brigade Combat Team (B.C.T.), 34th Infantry "Red Bull" Division.
  • Attempt to post occasional reports to the Red Bull Rising blog.

*****

Things I Promised Household-6 I would NOT do while overseas:

  • Take any unnecessary chances.
  • Grow a moustache.

Comments

What about a beard?

Once More UNTO the Breach, dear friends, once more...

"The game is afoot. Follow your spirit, and upon the charge, cry god for Harry, England, and St. George." Will is impossible to replace but, like all of the best things in life, will always be there. I can't presume to comment on H6's moustache edict, but I must echo the first sentiment. I look forward to reading a heckuva lot more from you.

I can't presume to comment on H6's mustache edict, but I must echo the first sentiment

thanks

Verify your Comment

Previewing your Comment

This is only a preview. Your comment has not yet been posted.

Working...
Your comment could not be posted. Error type:
Your comment has been posted. Post another comment

The letters and numbers you entered did not match the image. Please try again.

As a final step before posting your comment, enter the letters and numbers you see in the image below. This prevents automated programs from posting comments.

Having trouble reading this image? View an alternate.

Working...

Post a comment

TrackBack

TrackBack URL for this entry:
http://www.typepad.com/services/trackback/6a00d8341c5f3053ef01538ee25536970b

Listed below are links to weblogs that reference THE THINGS I CARRIED:

« Previous Article | Main | Next Article »




Search Doonesbury Sandbox Blog

LINKS


About

My Photo

FEATURED BOOK