As I read through the stories of your life and browse the pictures of your dreams I have slowly come to the realization that I would never be able to grant you the happiness that you deserve.
My name is Alex. I'm a soldier in the U.S. Army. These are the random thoughts of my life.I enjoy questions Submit
Okay So it’s time to write an update. For those of you who do not already know I have successfully made it back to the states. I left Afghanistan officially on the 17th of September and arrived in Kyrgyzstan early on the 18th, like zero dark thirty early. I was actually supposed to leave Afghanistan on the 15th of September however do to some hiccups during the last few weeks of our stay we were delayed in getting a flight. That’s okay it gave me an extra day or two to ensure my room was squared away for out-processing.
The actual process for leaving a deployment begins very far in advance. In fact it starts right at the beginning of deployment when leadership begins developing their long range plan for the next 12 months. Most soldiers are not involved in the process and don’t really hear anything of significance about leaving until about 90 days out. At that point the unit leadership will have a much clearer picture for how things are going to go. This is when Soldiers begin sending most of the stuff they’ve acquired during their deployment home. I acquired 3 additional tough boxes of stuff on top of what I brought with me. Then there is the actual packing of the Unit Storage, this is where most of the units gear will be stored as well as the soldiers for transition back to the states.
This process involves a very thorough customs inspection that takes place about a month prior to the unit actually leaving. Soldiers are living out of their rucksack by this point, since all of their gear is now packed. My unit met at 5 in the morning to pull everything from storage and waited around for four hours for the customs inspectors to arrive, during that time we had to remove everything that we were sending home from it’s container, that process took about an hour. The inspection itself only last 20 minutes, have to love the Army and the “Hurry Up and Wait” mentality.
After that it’s back to business as usual until the replacement unit comes. Our replacement unit arrived about 2 weeks prior to us departing and we spent 10 days conducting our RIP or relief in place. Essentially we trained our replacement unit in our method of conducting operations. It didn’t really make a difference though, the second we left the new unit went to their method of conducting operations. That’s pretty standard across the board from my understanding. They were talking about the changes they were going to make as we were conducting the RIP. It’s the standard ‘A’ type personality, everyone thinks they have a better way of running things and in some cases that may be true.
After the RIP we had a few days to get things squared away as far as our rooms were concerned and anything additional we needed to send home. I had a television I was going to send but instead I ended up selling it for $50 to a Major. I got the television for free and I figured it’s much easier to sell than to take home. After that I spent the majority of my time in the MWR with some of my friends playing Call of Duty: Zombies. The Night before we left the battalion First Sergeants conduced room inspections. I waited more than an hour before my room was finally inspected and saw my own company first sergeant walk by my room and 3 others without inspecting them, so the 4 of us continued to wait until a different first sergeant came by.
Since I didn’t have a room mate for the last 3 months of the deployment I had to clean the entire room unlike those that did have room mates and only had to clean onside of the room. The problem with this is my last room mate left a very heavy wooden desk on his side of the room that I had thought could stay in the room after I left. Apparently I was wrong and was informed by the First Sergeant inspecting my room that I had to remove the desk and rug before my room could be further inspected. He then left. I don’t know about anyone else but I would have at least helped someone if I told them to remove something before continuing an inspection instead of leaving.
I managed to get the help of someone else to help me remove the desk from my room and then I removed the rug myself. I was now stuck with about an inch of dirt and dust from underneath the rug, no problem just sweep it up and be done with it. Problem number 2 I got rid of all my cleaning supplies, after walking all over camp I managed to track down a broom however a dust pan was rather elusive so I just swept as much of the dirt and dust out of the door as I could.
I proceeded to wait for another hour for my room to be inspected again before I decided to track down a First Sergeant to get my room inspected. I met up with the rest of the battalion where we had our equipment staged for our departure to head to the airfield. There I managed to find my own First Sergeant but not the one who checked my room. After a quick query with mine about having my room checked again I was told to wait for the First Sergeant who checked my room.
About 10 Minutes later I found him and told him my room was ready to be re-checked. Instead of re-checking my room he told me to hand my keys into the Mayor cell. The mayor cell is the unit in charge of the living areas, making sure they maintained and all that jazz. After that my unit grabbed grabbed our gear and headed to the flight line.
We waited about 36 hours for a flight. Apparently the J3 cell, the group that handles all of the scheduling (training, battalion events, etc.) for the battalion dropped the ball on that one. Not really positive, just heard it from the PNN or Private News Network. Civilians would call that “through the grapevine” but who really knows, it’s like playing the game telephone.
We finally got on our plane at about 9 pm for a two hour plane flight to Kyrgyzstan.
That’s not my unit in the above picture but that’s what we looked like. I’ve seen this picture floating around Tumblr. It is the most uncomfortable experience. There were over 200 soldier packed in the plane, all wearing full battle rattle and carrying their rifles. Those seats aren’t designed for comfort either. They are designed to fit as many people as possible, zero leg room, zero breathing room, zero existing at all room. I actually had bruises on my legs from my body armor resting on them because I was so cramped I couldn’t move or adjust. See the line of soldiers down the exact middle of the plane from front to rear? That’s where I was sitting.
We landed in Kyrgyzstan and after a short in-processing brief we filed into three 60 man tents, all the males in one and females in another. It was about 1 in the morning by the time I got to sleep. My unit stayed in Kyrgyzstan for about 72 hours waiting for a flight. I didn’t mind though it was mostly sitting around and relaxing. Something totally awesome happened while I was in Kyrgyzstan. I met one of my followers! How cool is that? You can find her blog here! She was on her way into Afghanistan and unfortunately I was not able to get a picture with her as we were only able to talk very briefly. Her unit was in the middle of receiving their plates (ceramic plates for their IOTVs). That’s usually the last step before a unit hops on a plane and heads into the Stan.
After, a quick hello and goodbye with Mak (follower). My unit grabbed our gear and headed in for a customs inspection and then a 3 hour wait to get on a plane. This was actually our 3rd customs inspection in as many days. We had one before leaving Afghanistan and hopping on a plane. This time we had a 767 to fly on, much more spacious than a C-17 but it was just as packed. There were two other units on the plane with us. Overall the plane trip lasted about 24 hours with stops in Leipzig and Ramstein, Germany, Bangor, Maine and Little Rock, Arkansas before finally landing in San Antonio, Texas.
Yesterday I learned that tampons were not originally created for ~feminine hygiene~ but for plugging up bullet wounds for WW1 and the nurses started using them and were like actually this is p effective and voila tampons thanks WW1
so what you’re saying is that tampon commercials should be shot like war films
Another interesting note about tampons is because they are so effective at absorbing fluids some combat arms units in the Army require their soldiers to carry them in their pockets. In case the soldier comes under fire and are hit the tampon is used as the first form of medical aid to stop the hemorrhaging.
Yes I am a grown ass man that wants two different chocolate yogurt flavors in a cup with crushed oreos and butterfinger pieces on his yogurt. What’s wrong with that?
- Woman: You look like that actor.
- Me: That actor?
- Woman: Yeah, he's famous...
- Me: ...
- Woman: It'll come to me.
- Doesn't speak to me the rest of the evening.