The Good Life: Anaconda Living

We’ve been spoiled these past few days in Camp Anaconda, waiting for our rides to our final spot.

Our unit, which normally has three to six formations a day to put out every impulsive scrap of information, no longer can have large groups of people standing out in the open. It’s sort of a mortar risk.

So, our leadership is in a state of shock, it seems, with no formations to organize or information to put out, they’ve snapped from their usual “fill every waking second of soldiers’ time” and have left us alone.

That means days spent in the MWR center, sipping on free water and watching TV, checking email, or playing Playstation. Good stuff.

Our rides to our final leg were initially going to be helicopters, but there have been some SNAFUs with that, hence our delayed departure.

Yesterday, the word got out that we might have to *gasp* convoy over to camp, which would only take an hour or so…no biggie.

It wasn’t the soldiers that started to freak out, but our senior enlisted and several officers. Wide eyed, some came up to me, “Did you hear we might have to convoy over?”

“Well, yeah, that’s usually what happens if we don’t have wings,” I replied.

“But it’s dangerous.”

Really? Iraq? Dangerous? It’s not charging a machine-gun nest or anything, but, yeah, it’s a tad more risky than visiting grandma.

I guess I was just surprised at how quickly the mood changed. Over the past few months, our seniors have been freaking our soldiers out with “how serious all this training is.”

Every waking second, they’d pump the guys full of fear that they’d kill half the damn Army if their boots weren’t shined enough or if they forgot the seventy-seven steps to reacting to an IED attack. All of it was to try to keep the soldiers awake during classes and training. And it worked. Aside from the normal “dumb private” moments, the soldiers have behaved themselves, and are in as good of spirits as you can be while breathing sand.

It’s just too bad that the pillars we have to look up to shake so easily. Officers are officers — they are their own world, but NCOs are supposed to be the steady hand that guides the young soldiers, and when their attitude consists of “I ain’t leaving the base. I’m just here to get paid. You go on the convoys.” It makes my job of encouraging the young guns a lot harder.

Such is life. I imagine it’s always been that way.


About salemonz

Born in San Diego, Calif. Raised as a Navy Brat, I jumped ship and crossed over to the Army. Served as an enlisted journalist for a bunch of years, then helped the DoD figure out what the hell to do with social media. After the Army, now I drift down the river of life, trying not to be a jerk.

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