It’s been a month since I’ve updated. A lot has happened, both bad and wonderful. I graduate the program in twelve days.
This past week we went on a “deployment exercise,” which entailed riding in a C-130 doing low combat maneuvers. Basically, the pilot was trying to make us all puke. Me? I took a nap the entire time, peeking one eye open to witness the OT across from me puking MRE-issued orange electrolyte drink into an air sick bag. aaaand back to sleep.
I’ll post photos when I have time (this week) and resources to do so. Overall, I rocked “AEF” (the deployment exercise) and the assault course that followed. We only had two sets of uniforms, and let’s just say it wasn’t a sweet smell in the general area. The day started at about six in the morning, a breakfast of MRE, then land navigation and team leadership tests (40 minutes each where you lead a team of eight through a scenario including compass reading and pace counting in the woods). It was about 92F and 100% humidity each day. And yes, our tent leaked when it rained. In the afternoon after another MRE for lunch, we did base defense for a few hours. I have paintball welts all over, but don’t think I didn’t go down without lighting a few people up…
Now to move on to the more fun stuff – Labor Day weekend OT Hotpants and I decided to go to the hotel everyone was staying at (pretty swanky place, mind you!) and chill out by the hotel pool all day. Which is totally kosher, in a way. We ate an amazing brunch at the hotel restaurant (think fresh seafood buffet and tons of fruit). Later at the pool, I had the fabulous idea to concoct a “mobile bar,” consisting of rum hidden in a water bottle and cans of coke. Additionally, we hit up the bartender for free cups of ice. Long story short, we had a very incognito form of drinking like we were on vacay in the Bahamas or something. Certainly a welcome change from Montgomery, AL!
Car trip home from Carrabba’s Saturday. This is the “personality picture.” I’m wrangling everyone in, of course.
That evening, we went to the hotel restaurant again, but in civilian clothes and enjoyed the finest the menu had to offer. As two OTs that most likely have the snottiest taste in the history of OTS, we had three days of beautiful time away!
Now… people who were staying at the hotel thought we’d be late getting home, so they called someone on base after we left to have us signed in when we hadn’t arrived yet (total no-no). This caused an entire horrible series of events, including a nice little chat with my squadron commander, the revoking of off-base privileges, and extra homework. The issue was drinking by the pool out of the issued polo and tan pants. So, Monday, I get to brief my flight on integrity case studies. NBD.
However, OT Hotpants got less of a punishment than me, which is fine of course (the ladies seem to catch it harder: call me Hester Prynn). The bad news is he failed an advocacy briefing… twice. He is so terrible at briefing that he has to stay here at OTS six more weeks after I graduate. We won’t get to go to initial flight screening together (to learn to fly small planes) or additional training here at Maxwell in January. Maybe he’ll keep the same March navigation class with me; it’s still up in the air. But for right now, he’s separated from the upper class. I’m a little jaded with OTS command for making him repeat six weeks of training because of a five-minute briefing. He’s a marine and an Iraq veteran, for chrissake. But the flip-side is that he’s asked me to commission him Nov. 4 when he finally graduates. We’ll get to San Antonio. And if we can get into this much trouble in less than six weeks, we’ll tear it up in Texas…!
So last weekend, since neither I or Hotpants could actually leave the base, Saturday (after mandatory library study time until 5pm), we ate a humbled dinner at the BX after picking up supplies I needed for the mock deployment.
“Wow look at this camelbak, you need one of these. It’s really nice.”
“Is it? Does it have everything?”
“Yep, here’s how it works…”
“Here’s some parachute cord. You can have mine.”
“Trust me, it’ll come in handy.”
“You can have my red flashlight. Very tactical. Oh, and take this toiletries bag, too. You’ll definitely need one in the field.”
Shopping for field supplies with a Marine totally rocks!
Sunday we watched The Darjeeling Limited since he hadn’t seen it (he loved it, duh). Earlier in the day, since we couldn’t go to the hotel brunch, we visited the commissary’s imported food section. We got smoked salmon, deli baby swiss, some French cheeses, almonds, fruit, and a baguette with some Nutella. We had a picnic outside the chaplain’s singles center, which was pretty quiet. We do what we can with what we have; can I get a holla for creativity? But it was painfully obvious we were knocked down to size.
Anyway, my parents, sister, her fiance Eric, Hannah, Gramma, and SrA Willey will be attending my graduation. They’ll need to build bigger viewing stands!
& if you haven’t gathered, I’m rather taken with my friend up there. I think I have figured out why I get bored with guys so quickly: they don’t earn my respect. That’s what it comes down to, I suppose… Simple, but it makes sense. Like everything, I adore a good challenge, thanks. ♥