October 05, 2012

Name: Sideways
Deploying to: Afghanistan

It has been a hectic week of medical appointments, out-processing, computer based training (CBTs) and a constant quest to collect signatures for my checklist. Deploying out of the Pentagon is not for the faint of heart or for the uninitiated.

Over a period of three days I saw three doctors in three different clinics, in two different states. I was issued a jug of anti-malaria medication that could easily be used to prop open a large door. I gave blood, then fasted and gave more. I explained how much I drink, sleep, exercise and described my stress level on a computer, on multiple written forms and to every doctor, nurse, PA and Med Tech that I sat in front of. I explained my allergies, my injuries, my previous deployments, my medications and my family history over and over and over again.

I finally got the signatures I needed — checklist complete.

One of the few remaining tasks was to take my PT test so I had a current score when I went downrange. I rolled into the south parking lot of the Pentagon across from Macy’s Thursday morning with “Crazy Train” blaring on the radio. It was a fitting song to wrap my week up on. It has been a crazy one. I stepped out of the truck with a single task on my list before I could start a bit of leave — PT Test. It was over in under an hour and there were no real surprises. I remain a middle-aged shark in a tank of generally plump goldfish.

Next week I still need to pick up a box of chemical warfare injectors (I know, comforting right?), print off a few random documents and collect another dose of goodies from the pharmacy and then I’ll be administratively prepared to go.

I haven’t touched the mountain of equipment growing in my basement. There are bags and bags of stuff and I’ve got several Pelican cases of equipment and kit that I’ve field tested and gone downrange with before to sort through. There is something nice about having a brand new set of kit; there is also something very comforting about suiting up in stuff you have already broken in, adjusted, worn and functions checked.

That’s the task for next week — figure out what to take with me to the Air Advisor Course and use that month of training to sort out exactly what will go downrange and what will stay in my basement for a year.

Right now, the only thing I am worried about is a week of leave.


God Bless ya, and stay safe.

Thanks Robert.

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