V is for Victory (part 1)
It was sunset. The summer had abated to a tolerable mild searing and we drank in the breeze. Racing down side streets, two Nissan trucks shot toward a site along the lakes and canals of Camp Victory, in search of an evening concert.
Toby Keith was here! It was the greeting I got from most of the troops I’d met so far on this visit south. I was on Camp Seitz to get into a convoy heading out to Abu Grahib (how do you spell that damn place, I’ve seen about four versions), but I missed one of the 15 briefings that day, freeing me until the following evening. Setiz was one of the nine…12…however-many camps that made up the Victory Base Complex.
“You want to go?” my host, an admin sergeant first class, asked. Although not a huge fan of the man, I had heard a bit about ol’ Toby, and I hadn’t been to a concert in quite a bit. Why not?
Flash forward to the quasi car chase through cluttered Victory streets. Windows down, sun flickering through the tall reeds that lined the waterways in between streets, wind in our faces.
It took me back to the states, years ago, free on Friday nights, racing to a theater or some damn restaurant some guy’s girl insisted on. Never leaving on time, we’d finally pile in and sprint between stop signs and traffic lights. Revving up, revving down, fumbling for some tunes, the sun in our faces as the evening started. I remember more of those trips to somewhere than the somewhere’s themselves.
It was strangely relaxing, just the trip to the concert. I guess it was the sun that sent me back. Maybe it was the windows down, a part of the world again. Sometimes with all of our armor, warrior ethos, fierce state of readiness, blah blah blah; the world seems far out there, you know?
…and so, just as when you are in Germany, Korea or another far-from-home assignment, the Army generously brings you touchstones to “the world,” be it Baskin Robbins, Burger King, Taco Bell or Toby Keith. And God bless Toby Keith for making the trip, but damn – is that the best they could do?
So, how was the concert?
It wasn’t bad, actually. He only played for 45 minutes or so, but it was a good break.
More than anything, it was a chance for females to get noticed wearing their painted-on underarmor t-shirts and no DCU tops. Rrrraaarrrr!