I spent a little time tonight working on my book. Here’s a little tidbit of what I wrote back in 2006. Its pretty rough gramatically, but it gets the point across. Enjoy.
February 1 – 24th, 2006
Ft. Polk., Louisiana home of JRTC. It reminds me a lot of Florida, because everywhere you sit down outside its wet. I swear the entire state is just one giant swamp. The day we arrived was nice, one of two we would endure during the 24 days we were on the ground (the other was the day we left).
First impressions of Polk are anything but pleasant. Our Platoon was quickly moved into the upper story of some Vietnam era looking barracks. None of the wall lockers had keys, while the rest had some half-assed hasps put on them a 5 year old could break off with a minimal amount of force. There were a lot of missing floor tiles scattered about the floor. An old official note taped to the side of one of the lockers revealed that the tiles and the glue holding them down were asbestos and were considered hazardous material, not to be touched by order of some official authority. Welcome to Ft. Polk ladies and gentlemen.
We spent 2 or 3 days in the barracks before being told we would be heading out to the FOB (Forward Operating Base). This of course was about a week earlier than we needed to. We had been told back in Shelby we’d be sleeping in a hardened FOB (something other than a tent). We found out later this wasn’t to be true, and that we would be in tents after all.
After a huge amount of chaos about the movement to the FOB and finding out which tent was ours (all squad leader and above leadership was gone from the brigade to a meeting with the big bird) we settled into a giant Fest tent (these giant white tents the Army likes to train in back in Camp Shelby).
We pretty much sat around on our asses for the 5 days prior to the “war” starting. Ferg and I had to build a shed/garage-like building for the XO to house sensitive items and the HQ guys that were responsible for them. Considering the tools we had to build it, it was pretty damn amazing that we accomplished it. We built a 16’ x 12’, three sided building complete with a roof, work benches all the way around, and a floor composed of pallets with plywood on top. The amazing part about building all this was the tools : a battery drill, and a battery saw. No hammer, no tape measure, no level, no square. That’s the Army for you. “Here’s a rock and some nails, go build a new Brigade Headquarters for the Colonel.”