My section sergeant is scheduled to go on her first convoy in a few days. Since she has four kids and a husband, I have tried to keep her on the FOB as much as possible, but it’s time for her to get out there and see things, so she says.
Curious, though, is the response she’s received. In asking the upcoming convoy’s commander she got, “Why would you want to go?”
“It’s part of my job, I have to get to Anaconda for a story,” she replied.
“Hrmm. Okay, whatever,” the sergeant shrugged.
Ears perked up at the mention of “convoy” in the fobbit-laden headquarters. “Are you going in – you know, for work or just because?” another sergeant asked.
“It’s not a joy ride,” she said. Some guys hitch a ride on one and come back bragging for weeks that they’re super hardcore. Since they’re seniors, it pretty much guarantees them a bronze star. In interviews, units that go out regularly say they hate babysitting the “tourists” as they call them.
This back and forth thing with “Why are you going?” and “Because it’s my job” went on for a few minutes; onlookers and office visitors enthralled that an E7 was going out of the wire.
“Hell, I don’t do convoys,” our equal opportunity rep said. “They want me on those, they’ll have to order me,” he cackled.
His was a sentiment that I heard a lot – absolute aversion by most seniors to participating in the war.
I guess I just thought it strange that someone going out and performing their duty was a hot-button topic. Were they concerned because she was married? Was it her rank that drew attention? Maybe the fact that she catches glances from a few guys? It’s not like they were offering to take her place.
And what was the big deal, regardless? It was one convoy. It’s not like she was going to set up a lemonade stand out there.
So anyway, it was just something I couldn’t figure out. I wish her luck as she heads out. And I won’t forgive myself if this is the time we catch static.