Friday, October 24, 2008

Combat Life Saver

The term is used in reference to how we all become certified to help save lives by knowing a bit more than just basic CPR. We learned to put in a Nasalpharyngeal tube (goes in the nose), apply tourniquets & bandages, cover a sucking chest wound, relieve an over inflating lung (pneumothorax something or other) by plunking a needle in their chest, and the finale of giving and receiving an IV. I thought I wouldn't be able to put a needle in, but did well, the CW2 (chief warrant officer) who I stuck said it was painless. Anyway, it was an interesting day and though tomorrow is Saturday, we have to train one more half day. Good news is we are going to test before lunch and be done, so I can get going to Oklahoma city to see my son. I can't wait to see him, this will be the 5th time this year I will see him, and I hope to get a few more visits in before I leave Kansas. Well, that's about all I have for now, will update maybe next week after our specialized training.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Settling In

Well a week's gone by and we've survived the worst part, classroom training. It's always amazing how they can cram 3 days worth of information into 5 and a half days. We did get Saturday off since we covered everything by 2pm Friday, even after taking hour and fifteen to hour and a half lunches everyday (including Friday), and leaving before 3:45 everyday (class is supposed to be 8am to 5pm). Needless to say it was mostly worthless information especially since our boss is an expert in the subject. This week is driver's training and combat life saver, and advanced Arabic in the evenings (optional but we opted for the advanced training). The instructor for Arabic is funny and quotes Team America all the time, referring to Arabic as the "Derka Derka" language. Not sure what we are tracking to do next week, our schedule got a little screwed up with something that didn't happen, so I will have to wait until probably Saturday before we find out about next week. All for now.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Camp Funston

The best way to describe the Funston experience is to say it's trailer living. The temporary like buildings are big trailers, with 6 rooms each sleeping 6 people, two latrines with 2 stalls, one urinal, 6 sinks, and three showers each. So far not so bad but I think when training gets going, it's going to be a little hectic. The rooms are about 12' X 20', 3 bunk beds and 6 wall lockers. No privacy really but we don't spend much time in here to worry about that. We start full up training on Monday and it's culture all week and language. I'm a little up on the language and trying to help the guys out on the team. I'm the only one (I think) that can read and write it. Anyway, we are all getting along good so far, eat together, work out together, but know when it's time to have alone time. Our team is marching to a different beat, our team leader is a guy who doesn't like the formal BS that they throw at you, and even pissed off the Sergeant Major in record time (he rolls his cuffs and wears his sunglasses on his head). The good thing is our boss knows what he is doing, it's been his job as SF for the past 10 years. Well, that's all for know, hope to update this week as training starts.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Going Back to Signals

I found out this morning that I was selected for FA 24, Telecom Systems Engineer, so after my tour in Iraq, I won't be a Transportation/Logistics officer anymore. Exciting news, but this may affect my tour to Europe post Iraq, not sure yet hope to have an answer by Friday. I have to go to Ft Gordon for 8 months of FA school (FA is Functional Area), then airborne or air assault school is encouraged. At 40 (or 43), that may not happen. This was very good news, FA 24 only has about 200 officers, so it is a small fraternity of officers. I get to go back to being a geek! We move out to Camp Funston Thursday and I can hardly wait for all the fun to begin.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Blue invasion

Today, the USAF invaded Ft Riley, KS. The DFAC (chow hall, dining facility) was overflowing with AF people. After 20 years of being one of them, I know now how annoying they are. Nonetheless, we all have to get along, so be it. Tomorrow we get our RFI, and that appears to be it. We'll probably have a team meeting tomorrow night, and hopefully I'll have something interesting to post. Anyway, didn't do much today except have a nice video chat with my wife and daughter, hope to keep that up while in Iraq. I also assembled the IBA (Body armor) and it's very uncomfortable but I guess if you don't wear it, then you are a walking target. The only problem I have is the crotch cover is a little short, so my boys are exposed. I was joking with my roomate that I will have to crouch down the whole time to protect myself. Well, that's about all I have, just finished watching Fringe, and I am sort of hooked, so I hope it gets canceled so I won't miss it this year I'll be gone.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Team Forming

There are dynamics to a team, and last night we went out on the town (called Aggieville here in Kansas State Country). It was interesting for me since I hadn't hit the college bar scene in 13 years. I didn't drink but one good beer at the restaurant we ate in, the Little Apple Brewing Company (get it, Manhattan, KS is the "little apple"). After my sinus drainage this week, I just didn't feel like drinking and glad I didn't. I've been cooped up in my room most the day watching shows online, as I did get the high speed hook up yesterday. I thought I watched a lot, but without a TV you really miss things. Don't think I'm going anywhere tonight, just too sick to want to go anywhere. May get out tomorrow, but not sure now. We don't have anything until about 9am Monday, so should be an easy day. Though there are apparently 250 or so Air Force and Navy people coming in tomorrow, should make it interesting around here. I hate being a dorm rat, but beyond the strip clubs there isn't much to do in Junction City, and Manhattan is about a 15 minute ride that I just don't feel like making right now. I will update hopefully Monday and let you know what happened when the AF guys showed up.