23 April 23, 2013
Instructor: David Flannery
As you might guess, being in the military can be one of the most boring jobs you will ever have. After all, you are being trained to kill people and break things, but how often do you really get to do that? You train in the sun, rain, and sleet and pose the possibility you’ll wind up pushing paperwork and dealing with politics down range. You’ll also waste more ammo shooting at paper targets than you will ever use on tour. You may have even heard the food is terrible. This is rightfully so if all you eat for a year is MRE’s (Meals Ready to Eat). Occasionally you will even debate with your buddies to try and figure out exactly what the mystery meat at the chow hall really is. And no one is going to deny that you’ll spend more time learning about your job than you’ll ever dream of doing it. I actually began to believe that “death by PowerPoint” was a real possibility. And much of what you learn goes right out the window when your instincts kick in as bullet go whizzing by your head, and mortar are exploding all around you. However, all the boring training finally paid off. My tour in Afghanistan was the most defining experience of my life because I saw the worst of the worst, the best of the best, and realized just how lucky I am.
The worst part of my tour in Afghanistan began like any other day. I had a terrible breakfast consisting of powdered eggs, burnt bacon, and grits so pasty that you could hang a ceiling with it. Not to mention my coffee was stale and the Pop-Tarts I threw in my cargo pocket for the patrol later that morning wound up as a fine dust of strawberry paste and crust. A little over an hour into our patrol we entered a small village in Helmond Province as a car mysteriously broke down in our path leaving us nowhere to go except through them or back the way we came. Something you may not know yet is that the U.S. Army retreats from no one....