Saturday, October 02, 2004

Back at Fort Hood

I spent most of my time in the Army the first time at Ft. Hood. Here I am again. I arrived early this morning after leaving San Angelo around 5:30 p.m. We were stuck in Dallas for many hours because of lighting. When I got here to Ft. Hood the power was out in the barracks I was assigned to and I spent the next couple of hours getting sheets and blankets and getting to my room. Whoever had this room before me wasn't very neat. There was (and still is) trash everywhere. There were even trash bags full of old food and garbage in the dresser drawers. The shower was moldy and the whole bathroom smelled of a certain bodily fluid.

So here's the picture. It's about 1:00 in the morning, pitch black, pouring down rain. I'm wearing a headlamp and kicking the garbage on the floor out of my way so I can try to make my bed. I walk into the bathroom and decide I can't sleep until I clean it. So, by headlamp in the middle of the night, I find a scrub brush and some bathroom cleaner in a cupboard and go to town. The whole shower is tile so I just sprayed everything and scrubbed it down. Then I sprayed some cleaner into the toilet and used a not so clean toilet brush to scrub a little. That's when I find the odorific offender. Curled up by the toilet is an old towel I assume was originally white. They must have used it as a floor mat near the toilet. This is what was giving off the all to distinguishable urine odor. I reasoned back and forth with myself about what to do with it. I didn't have any trash bags or gloves or anything, so I couldn't throw it away. I thought about kicking it out the door onto the balcony but figured I'd get in trouble if someone walked by. I thought maybe it would fetch a fair price on e-bay as war memorabilia or something but then remembered you can't ship hazardous waste through the mail. So, as of right now it's still there. I figured as long as the shower was clean I'd be O.K. for the morning and could deal with the rest later.

I reported at 7:00 a.m. to turn in some of my paperwork and then ate chow. Since my mini cleaning spree in the dark took a few hours I only slept last night for a couple of hours so I went back to my room and went to sleep until lunch. After lunch I found a little shopette and bought some trash bags and paper towels and found this computer lab in what they call the Army Learning Center. Just thought I'd catch you up before I really cleaned my room. It's possible you may never hear from me again.

The plan is that I'll be here for three or four weeks and do some training before going to Kuwait to link up with my unit. They may already be in Iraq by that time so maybe I'll push on from there and meet them in Iraq. It seems like this is where the adventure really starts.

On the plane from Dallas to Killeen I sat next to one of the guys that put on the training for the unit I'm attached to. It seems that they went trough 2 or 3 months of training as a unit on a bunch of useful skills. How to clear a room, how to move in a convoys, how to fire and maintain a bunch of different weapons. It seems I'll go through an abbreviated individualized version of these types of skills and then head out. I was glad to have talked with this guy because it eased my concerns about not getting enough training. Most of this training is done with live ammunition which was always a concern of mine. We don't really train very much with live rounds so when you actually get them you're a little scared of them. Since you carry live rounds all the time in Iraq I'm glad to have the chance to do some training with them in squad and platoon sized drills. It just makes you a little more comfortable carrying around a "hot weapon" when you get to spend some time with one. More importantly I want the guys around me to be comfortable with live weapons.

Well, post some questions if you have them and I'll try to answer them in Mail Call next Friday. So far the Mail Call concept hasn't really caught on. I'll see how it goes the next couple of weeks. Some of you have voiced some concerns because one of the comments was deleted. I was the one that deleted it because it contained a little too much personal information. Well, that does it for me. I'm off to do some cleaning.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ok, here is a question. Did you get to watch the debates, and if so what are your thoughts? Since this election directly involves you, what would you think the outcome would be for you if each candidate won the election? Can you give us possible scenerios for each?

5:06 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey glad to see things are moving along for you in the orders department.Now maybe you can move quickly through your mission and be back home sooner. Hope you get the hotel issue straightened out. TM

5:57 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I thought the Army was all "spit and polish". Guess its just spit and other fluids.

8:21 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Aren't you glad your mom taught you to clean? Sounds like a lot of skills are needed to be a soldier.
Grandpa M will be proud when you write your book; I always bugged him to write a book. Now, with your writing skills, I'll start bugging you.
Cousins P & M

8:59 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Were you ever able to ask Kentucky if he was in the ASA originally? Your comments sound like the Army we know and love.... Yours REB

11:37 AM  

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