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My First Deployment

By djohn105 Jun 04, 2013 735 Words
My First Deployment
On August 19, 2003 at Fort Riley, Kansas, is where I received notice of my first deployment. I woke up at five-thirty in the morning to get ready for physical training. When I went outside, the temperature was about thirty-five degrees with a brisk wind. Standing in a formation in my black thin sweat pants and my gray sweat top, it felt like I was only wearing a t-shirt and shorts. We ran about three miles up and down long steep hills that I thought would never end. Finally with physical training out the way, my real work day had to start. I took off around eight in the morning after a nice filling breakfast of pancakes, eggs, bacon and orange juice. It was not as good as what I was used to growing up, but it was better than nothing at all. I had my Battle Dress Uniform, gloves, and field jacket on as I walked to the motorpool from my barracks. As I walked across the parking lot I could hear vehicles in the distance running, birds chirping and music blaring from the passing cars. After walking about half a mile, my face freezing from the wind hitting it I finally reached the motorpool. I walked up two flights of stairs to get to my office where I changed out of my uniform into an old dingy pair of coveralls. My coveralls were covered in oil and reeked of fuel from the work I did the day before. As I sat restless in the office waiting for my instructions for the day, the scent of the fuel reminded me of when I use to sit in the garage with my dad while he worked on the cars. He would pull out all kinds of stuff while I watched and asked him thousands of questions on what he was doing. He would look at me with a slight smile; laugh and then say one day you will be doing this on your own cars. Once I received my instructions for the day I headed down stairs into the work bay where all the other soldiers were. Most of them were sitting around on empty oil can while a few were working under vehicles. I joined the group that was sitting, and we talked about what we were going to do for the weekend. The temperature had warmed up to about forty-six degrees but it was still too cold to go work outside so I decided to stay in the bay. We work on eight different vehicles to include two tanks which I had to replace a starter and batteries on. After a long eight hours of getting up and down off vehicles, we were told we had to stay for a formation which the commander had some important news for us. I was wondering what could have been so important that we had to stay so late for. After a long cold day at work, all I wanted to do was take a nice hot shower and lay in my comfortable bed. We were all in formation waiting on the news that the Commander had for us. The sun had just started to go down and the wind started to blow as we waited outside in the cold. When I did receive the news about deploying, I did not know what to think. Going into a country I knew nothing about and had no clue where I was going. I started to think about all the training I had done and wondered if it was really going to be enough to keep me safe. Just a few months earlier, we all put on our IOTVs and rucksacks, which weighed about 30 pounds. We had our weapons in hand and walked about three miles to the shooting range. The sky looked like something out of a movie a clear light blue sky with just a few white clouds hanging around. While at the range we had to low crawl with our IOTV and weapons through a man made pit which was covered with barbed wire to keep us from coming up too high. The long days and nights I spent with my platoon, learning how to fire, clean and assembly my weapon and using my night vision goggles was something I used quite often during my deployment.

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