Forty Two minutes

Sounds like a catchy name for a movie or a thriller novel.  But in this case, it is not.  Forty two minutes could be a lot of time or a little bit of time.  Two thousand, five hundred and 20 seconds, this is how much rest I got last night before being awakened and directed to report to duty.

I was already tired from the mission and wearing my heavy vest and gear.  But nothing out of the normal, I ate chow and worked on my blog.  I was waiting for a decision to be made, because I was going to board a helicopter in the morning and go on another mission.  Prior to this, I was informed that I would be working at midnight on Sunday.  So if my plan worked, I would go on the mission and upon return, catch some z’s and then report to the Tactical Command Post for the night shift.  A copy of the shift schedule was provided to me and next to my name was a large M indicating the midnight shift.  What I didn’t look at was the code at the bottom of the list, because M started at 0000 hours.

So last night I finished sending my blog and prepared my uniform for the next day.  There was also a change of plans and I would not be going on the helo mission.  Around 1130 pm I lay down in my bed and was in a peaceful state of mind.  Forty two minutes later, my ETT leader was whispering my name outside my door.  This is when reality set in and my oversight came to light.  My shift started at 0001 hours and I was late in relieving the Army Sgt Major.  Just my luck, the Sgt Major was on duty.  Sergeant Majors are the people who give God advice …. lol.  Unable to find my asbestos underwear, I quickly got dressed and drove to ANA land to relieve him.

I looked at my watch and I was 40 minutes late.  The Sgt Major didn’t say much.  He really didn’t have to.  His eyes did all the talking.  He gave me one of those soul piercing looks and that was enough.  All jesting aside, our Sgt Major is actually a great guy and he understood that I made an honest mistake, one not to be repeated.

It was a long night and very quiet.  I brought along a book to keep my concentration as I combated the lack of sleep.  Lately I have immersed myself into reading books about Afghanistan.  Typically I don’t read too many books and if I do, they have to be very interesting to keep my attention.  A few days ago I finished Khaled Hosseni’s #1 New York Times Best Seller “Kite Runner”.    This was a story about a rich Afghan boy and a poor Afghan boy who was his servant.  What I really liked is how the author described Afghanistan before it was destroyed by the Soviets, Taliban, etc.  I have been to some of the places he described in the book.  I am looking forward to seeing the movie after deployment too.  But the latest book that has piqued my interest is “The Other Side of the Mountain”.  This book is composed of testimony from former Mujahideen commanders and fighters.  They describe their attacks on the Soviets in great detail with maps and everything.  Coincidentally, the Taliban seem to be using some of the same tactics in their attacks on coalition forces.  I’m also interest in the Soviet viewpoint in a sister book entitled.

I managed to read 220 pages and struggled at times because the words ran together and I would have to reread the paragraph.  Every hour I would walk outside and the cold brisk air would wake me up.  I repeated this same routine until 0730 hrs.  On my way out, Vixen greeted me and was chewing on my uniform and then lost interest and found a stick to work her incisors on.

The rest of the day, I slept on and off until about 5 pm tonight.  Tomorrow is another day……..


One Response

  1. Excellent posting. I thank you for posting it. Keep up the good work.

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