Thursday, January 22, 2009

On Being Short

Two digit countdown.

Anger, irritation, why me? I'm short, motherfucker!

Til it hit me, that is. We were doing a roadmarch, for conditioning, in the morning before the sun came up. I'm looking at the helmet of the guy in front of me, and I almost bring my rifle up to the ready as someone else doing PT runs in our direction. It all came back to me for a second with surreality. Not that Hollywood type shit, I still knew where I was and what we were doing, but good God man, I could FEEL it.

We explained the subtler points of footmarching while deployed to our new guy, and I glanced around. My friends in full kit. Me, my gear, the trees behind chain link, the long roads, the carbon copy buildings and gargantuan motor pools. Strykers passing. Gathering around at 4:30 PM wondering when we're going to get off work, shooting the shit, jawjacking and fucking off.

It's all going to be over soon.

Yeah, it's miserable here for a person like me, but if I don't take some good from this, then what a waste. It's not the gung-ho shit, it's not trying to look good in a uniform, its not standing tall in formation and bursting with pride that I'm expected to have. It's harassing new guys, exchanging insults with the dudes I've spent too much time around (competitively at that). Finding creative ways to accuse each other of being raging homosexuals. Being young and uncivilized and forced to live the shitty life with the other guys.

Everyone talks about how they'll get together after they get out, make all these plans, maybe run a business together, but we all secretly know that it's never going to happen. Two digits worth of days left of this life.



hooch said...

wow this is taking forever....and i'm not even you!

Anonymous said...

Yes, what he said!

dreadcow said...

I know where you're at, my man.

I'm three weeks out.

Let me tell you; when you get your terminal leave paperwork signed off on? HUGE morale booster.

When you schedule pick-up for the moving company? Even more of a boost.

CIF turn in? Shit, son.

Random note: sounds like your unit expects you to go to work while you're clearing? FUCK. THAT.

Hope all is well.

membrain said...

It truly sucks to be you. Especially when you let your sister stick needles in you.

It won't be long; it will just SEEEEM like it.

bigD said...

Hi Suspect, are really coming into the home stretch now. The finish line is in sight. Terminal leave paperwork...has a nice ring to it! Emphasis on the "leave" part. I know you will miss all the jawjacking and I think "The Shitty Life" might be a perfect name for your book or at least a good chapter title! And don't we all want to know about the subtler points of footmarching? Well the newbies will have to find a new go-to guy, cause Specialist Shortenheimer is outta here in 84 days?
Hang tough Ryan, you have so got this! I can't wait until you get down to single digits! I will dust off my crystal disco ball for that countdown.

“The two most powerful warriors are patience and time.” ~Tolstoy

“Patience and fortitude conquer all things” ~Ralph Waldo Emerson

You still rock my socks! :)

Anonymous said...

just this:

See ARMY OF DUDE, Thursday, September 11, 2008.

2SBCT Mom said...

Finally! You better keep us updated on the civilian side :).

Good luck.

Anonymous said...

With regard to Anonymous' reference above to Army of Dude, about a year after I came back from my second tour in 'Nam, I was driving a cab in NYC as a summer job before going back to school in the Fall. Cabs in those days did not have AC so I had the windows down. I was in the financial district in Manhattan where, as some may know, many of the streets are only barely wide enough for one car. Anyway, I was coming up to a light where there was construction on the right. As I got there and the light changed, a guy with a jack hammer opened up just outside my window. It sounded for all the world to me like the .30 cal air cooled MG the South Vietnamese used (which was really the .30 cal air cooled MG we used in WWII and Korea). I drove up on the sidewalk and nearly hit a pedestrian or two when I tried to duck behind the steering wheel to get under the dashboard. Fortunately, I had no fare in the cab or I'd probably have been arrested for DUI.

Take my word for, or from any of the other guys who've responded, it NEVER goes away.

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