Monday, May 02, 2005

Dude, Where's My Humvee?

The "Army Law of Efficiency" wasn't a rousing hit. Here's one that should be a little easier to follow.

About a week ago it really stormed here. It rained all day and night so the next day it was really muddy. It doesn't get muddy like in the states where it's thick dirty mud, it gets really slippery muddy here. The roads around Camp Victory are all dirt and some gravel. The dirt's real fine so when it gets wet it makes a paste first and then when it's fully wet it starts to turn to mud. So this was about the time when it was turning from slippery paste to full blown mud.

The Humvee we drive on post most of the time doesn't have any doors on it. It only has a cloth roof over the driver and passenger seat. The whole back end is just open to the elements. It was lunch time and shift change time. Usually the guy from the shift before me goes to lunch with us before we drop him off to go to bed. So,the Humvee had been sitting out in the rain overnight and the roof was bowed in with a big puddle of water. The shift change guy got into the driver's seat and as I was getting into the passengers seat he decided he should push up on the roof to get all the water off. Almost all of it ran off the roof, down the front of my body, and right onto the passengers seat. So my whole front was wet but my backside was dry. Looking down at the seat now filled with water I shot him a dirty glance as he laughed his head off. The operator's manual in a Humvee is in a three ring binder. It's fairly water proof so I put it on the seat and sat on that. We went on to lunch slipping and sliding all over the place. 4-Wheel drive is cool until all four wheel start spinning. Of course we didn't try to stop it. One of the perks of war is you can drive pretty much anywhere you want and run over pretty much whatever you want to. Curbs, hills, insurgents, it doesn't really matter. So we get to lunch, eat and exit the chow hall without incident. I dropped Mr. Shiftchange off at his trailer and headed back to work. He had used the "sit on the manual" trick also, but left the manual on the seat. As I'm slipping and sliding all over the road I look over just as the manual flies out the door. Oh well, I'll just pull over and grab it. I stop the Humvee on the side of the road and pull the emergency brake. Humvee's don't usually have park in the transmission. You just put them in neutral and set the hand brake. Little did I know but I had pulled just far enough over to get the passenger side wheels on the edge of the road that slopes off into a ravine. No sooner had I set foot on the ground then the Humvee starts to slide sideways down the embankment. Some guys were driving by and loudly and obviously laughed as my Humvee slipped right down into the gully next to the road. It wasn't like I'd be able to grab it and stop it so all I could do was watch it slide down the little hill hoping against hope it didn't roll over. "Umm, SGT. Where's my Humvee?" "Sorry First SGT but I left it in a ditch upside down." Standing there with a grimace on my face and hands clinched in anticipation I sighed with relief as it came to rest at the bottom on all four wheels. It took some wheel spinning and mud slinging but I muscled the Humvee back up the berm and slid my way back to work. No harm, no foul, just a muddy operators manual and a huge smile on my face. Next time it rains I think I'll try it again. It was a lot of fun in retrospect. You just gotta love the Army. Where else can you get paid to go four wheeling with a high powered semi automatic rifle? Oh yeah, they pay for the gas too.


Blogger Mark said...

Hey there IRR soldier. I've been reading your blog for a few months now, but never posted a comment for some reason. The Army Efficiency post was spot on and the Humvee story had me giggling. I'll try to leave a comment or two from now on. Never really dawned on me leave comments before. Nice blog, keep up the good work.

8:12 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This tendency might be inherited. Your Grandfather allowed a yellow Nash to roll down a hill at the hospital and end up near the stream's edge. He never did live it down. Glad you weren't in it for the slippery ride down!

6:28 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey seems to me that I remember Dad doing some crazy driving in the snow a time or two when I was with him. He was laughing but I was'nt. I think you come by this honestly. It's good to let your hair down every now and then.

10:58 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Definitely easier to follow, I was really laughing picturing the whole incident. Not at you, with you. Well I said hi to Mickey for you, the one in the last room on the right! I didn't know they had a million Mickey's at Disneyland, I thought there was only one! Anyways, I still haven't redeemed my Iraqui Snickers bar, and I can't wait till I do, I'll let you know the verdict. scm

5:38 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Very funny story. Back here in NH we have similar phenomena. During the winter months, this involves: truck-four wheel drive-SNOW. My husband(or any of the other truck owners on our road) looks out window: wow, it’s snowing again. The back road is not plowed. Gee, I better check the road conditions. Only controlled spins count. Sliding into the snow bank just means your friends get to show off their new and better chain to pull you out. In the warmer months, this phenomenon involves truck - hay trailer – tractor – wet spot in field. Someone has purchased a used tractor, worked on their old tractor, bought new tires, is bored, etc. You just know that hay trailer is going to get buried, preferably with a full load of bales. One year they convinced me to drive through that spot. Said if I punched it at the bottom of the knoll, I would get right through. I can’t believe I fall for this stuff. But our friend Armand got to show off his tractor. Awaiting the next Camp Victory saga.
- LH at dartmouth

8:11 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

you could use the old Im a victim routine. why in God's name would you not put a park mode in the tranny. do we not know that one day the hummer may need to do just that? oh yeh "army efficiency" I keep forgeting. Has anybody seen my guitar player magazine.

were it well

9:02 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Pa rolled a truck. I can't remember if that was before or with the broken leg. You know, the military gets more upset when you break yourself than when you break machines. You are property! I just read in The Narrow Rode where Brother Andrew drove but had trouble stopping. Good times. Good times. CnH

1:50 PM  

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