Skip to comments.A Short Journey of an American Soldier
Posted on 05/28/2007 9:01:00 PM PDT by tlj18
Let me first state that I am probably one of the most humble person you will ever meet. But I have an urge to share a story with you all. So, if you decide to read, please forgive my indulgence.
Well, I am an American Soldier currently residing at Fort Huachuca, Arizona. My unit is actually in Darmstadt, Germany; I'm just here for an extended stay for additional training.
Well, anyway, I was able to get a pass for Memorial Day weekend, and I was able to come home for the weekend, going just about from one end of the country to the other. It's been great to be able to come home and be with my family.
Well, on Saturday morning soon after stepping off the Amtrak train, my family took me out to breakfast. I am, of course, still in my ACUs. We had a great waitress. Before taking our orders, she asked were I was stationed; I told her I was training out there on Fort Huachuca. She told us about her brother who is a member of the 101st Airborne Division, stationed at Fort Campbell, Ky. She said that he's been to Iraq 4 times, loves the Army, and recently decided to re-enlist for four more years.
That was a great thing for me to hear. Someone who re-enlisted - because they enjoy what they do in the Army. In my MOS (at the lowest levels; consider that I've been in just over 10 months), many people didn't join because they wanted to be in the Army (I did). Some for security clearance, some for college, some to get away from home, and even some because they were bored. My purpose for being in the Army is not like a TDY, if you look at an entire life. I didn't join the Army to get somewhere else. My roommate joined because he didn't have any money left to live on. My previous roommate joined because he ran out of money for college (and the same for my bunkmate before that, who was alarmed with learning that there is a chance he could go to Iraq; I was incredulous when I heard him express his shock).
When the waitress talked to us, I honestly forgot she was a civilian. I don't know, the way she talked, her confidence, I had to remind myself that it's her brother in the Army, and not herself. Despite the fact that her hair was well out of regs :-) She also looked like she was in shape, and was noticeably physically attractive, which didn't hurt...
Well, that afternoon I took a nap for about 4 hours. Consider that I woke up the previous day, on Friday, at 0500 and promptly put on my ACUs for a ruck march (I love 'em!). I had had broken sleep for maybe an hour, no more than 2, on the airplane ride over to the East Coast. So, when I commenced my nap, it was after being awake for 27 hours, not counting the short naps on the airplane. I napped in full ACUs, boots and all. I wasn't overly tired; but it was my first opportunity to sleep in quite some time. Well, after four hours I woke up, stayed up for another 10.5 hours. I finally forced myself back to bed at 0200 local, and finally changed out of my ACUs. I had been wearing them for 41.5 consecutive hours, and did not mind at all. I consider them to be extremely comfortable. Other soldiers change out of ACUs as soon as they can, like they are contaminated. Not me. It also gave me a great feeling to be at home when I wore them. I laid in bed and read for an hour, until 0300. I also traveled through 3 time zone changes, but it didn't affect me one bit.
People were glad to see my at church on Sunday. I was proud to be able to wear my Class A's with more stuff on them (4 additions and 1 change to them). I found out one guy at the church was a MI soldier like myself. He was also Airborne and Air Assault-qualified; you have no choice but to respect that (and even more, if you're afraid of heights like myself).
I don't know, that doesn't seem like that good of a story. Oh well, it's out there.
I do have a question for any active-duty Soldiers out there. OK, I really like to do ruck marches. On March 25th, I completed the 26.2 mile Bataan Memorial Death March. But I want more. Well, there is more at Nijmegen, Holland, each July. I hope to be there in July 2008. There have a ruck march event there - about 25 miles a day, for four days, for a total of about 100 miles. The event is known as the Vierdaagse ("Four Days Marches"). Well, anyway, what I want to know is - the award you get for finishing the world's most exhausting ruck march - the Vierdaagsekruis ("Four Days Medal") - would I be authorized to wear that on my dress uniform? I think so, but I'm not sure. Of course, I won't be participating for a while, and besides, it would make absolutely no difference to me if I could get a medal for it or not. But I would be very proud to wear it. Ruck marching is something I am at least reasonably good at, and my feet are ready for it. OK, this is going to be my last time of seeing so not humble, but I would think that if you marched with a 40-pound ruck sack for 100 miles and were issued a military award by a foreign Allied government, the U.S. Army should let me wear it. I've you've ever ruck marched close to 25 miles in a single day, you know that doing that four days in a row is a major accomplishment. When I heard about the 100-mile ruck march soon after arriving at Fort Huachuca, I began to salivate. So awesome!
By the way, here is the website of the Vierdaagse. Enjoy!
This Memorial Day weekend has made me extremely proud to be a U.S. Soldier. I have yet to work in a real-world mission, my training (Morse Code) is boring and fatiguing at times, and a lot of the people I'm around complain a lot and don't act soldierly (at least I think so) often, but even yet, I am so proud to be an American Soldier.
To all those American troops who have gone before me, and have given the ultimate sacrifice - I salute you. There are things worth dying for, and this country is one of them.
Well ya know what, tlj18?
We’re pretty darned proud of you!
and yer buddies, too!
Thank you, I enjoyed reading your story, God Bless you Soldier and Thank You for serving.
Morse code? Hey I can do that. Will the US Army sign up a 56 yr old tubby? I can shoot, drive a bus, and fly single and multi eng anythings.
I have a decent boat we could put on the Tigris and do the amphib brown water Navy ops things. Put me behind a quad 50 and Im there for a tour.
How about any slots riding shotgun on a tanker convoy? I have even practiced the shooting from a 40mph platform—Im good to go!
Chaplain, US Army, retired (1966-1995)
Formerly Field Artillery and Military Intelligence
Viet Nam, 1967-1969
ACU’s aren’t meant to be worn all the time, that’s why other soldier’s quickly change out of them. You’re also not suppose to wear them on a plane (Some sort of threat thing, talk to your NCO’s).
It’s great that your waitress’s brother has no problem with that many deployments. One of my brothers friends didn’t want to go back for a 5th deployment, so he killed himself.
Thank you for your service and your dedication.
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Now knock-off the ruck march hoo-haa and take a nap.
Just kidding...no I'm not...consider an assignment to Germany and the hiking opportunities there.
Now take a nap. ;).
Ha, thank you! I happen to know that you served bravely, also !:) And...so did my wonderful husband, bro! Y’all are one of a kind.
CDB, I’d like to introduce you to the next Greatest Generation.
I am just so very proud of you. : )
:) Great report. Insight into the mind of America’s finest! Thanks. Keep us informed if you can.
Congratulations to you, your family, and your friends.
Thanks,Chgogal. A trip down memory lane. I took a three-month course at Fort Huachuca over three decades ago.
tlj18, What MOS are you? When I was on active duty, I served in US Army Security Agency (ASA for short) all Morse Code radio monitors were 05H’s. The US Army disbanded ASA after the Vietnam War, and I have long wondered where ASA personnel were sent. Were they sent to one of those MI units at Fort Huachuca? Anyway, tlj18, stay hydrated during those long ruck hikes. It’s a great pleasure to be introduced to you!
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