Sunday, February 17, 2008

Daily Grind

Mornings start out with a shower and shave and I try to make it out to breakfast with Gunny A and my RP1 (religious programs specialist). My normal breakfast consists of a freshly made hotdog and cheese hot pocket, some fruit, dark coffee (they have a choice between normal and mud, I’m in the Navy, we do the mud) and two grapefruit juices.

Sick Call starts at 8 and patients come in with their complaints but in reality, no one pays attention to the schedule. When they feel bad, they just find us and we try fixing them. Most of our business is upper respiratory infections, the dryness and dust make for the Iraqi Cough. People come in for this dry hack that doesn’t go away for months and really, none of our meds really do much for something that’s mostly environmental, any medical folk recommend a cure?

I have a cohort of 3-6 Staff NCO’s who come by and grab me around lunch time where we walk to the chow hall where split up to find the food that will make us happy for the day and we gather at the ends of the line and find a table that will hold us. Considering most of us have only hung out for the past month, we’re a fairly tight bunch and there is no shortage of battle buddies.

Unlike my other trips, I think I’ve eaten alone only 3 times total, sometimes I miss the solitude but at the same time, I like the feeling of always having someone there who takes pleasure with your presence. I’ve learned watching other people that being sent off to war and not finding a group of peers sucks. I can escape into a book so the loneliness demon has never hit me hard. We watch out for each other and the people under us.

Afternoon starts off with another sick call and a couple of hours doing admin stuff, mostly the reinventing of the wheel. I’m working on a comprehensive SOP for medical out here that includes all the phone numbers, emails and forms to handle just about anything that this country can throw at us. It’s a big dream but it’s one that I think I might be able to sink my teeth into. I’m a slacker at many things but I’m super at coming up with SOP’s.

The end of the day comes with my crew gathering up for chow where my roommate and SSgt B do their daily bet of 5 bucks to see who will throw a rock the furthest, Chick always wins and SSgt B never pays but we never get tired of watching. Have I mentioned my roommate was also the arm wrestling champ of Camp Pendleton? Maybe I should hold back on the prank pulling with him, he takes pride at beating Marines at almost all their games. Not to mention that’s he’s a big tattooed up biker who could probably do a fair job of crushing me like a bug.

I’ve deployed with basically a happy bunch of folk, we all greet each other with smiles and I haven’t been able to come up with a single problem that they couldn’t handle and I try. Supply, broken plumbing, heaters not working, computer fixes, electrical fixs, help moving gear, vehicle use, I ask and it appears like magic. A far cry away from the begging and borrowing that I’ve grown used to over the years.

Believe me, sometimes I do wish I had tales of some horrible torment that I was going though, other then the paint and the snow, that’s been it. I would have put it up otherwise, so far it’s been a mild trip with an alright bunch of people.

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