I realized on my last post that I spelled HMMWV (Humvee) wrong. I know you are all disappointed and I probably lost at least 20 percent of my readership; which means I’m down to 8 dedicated fans. Oh well. So today was less humid but twice as boring. The Army is good at what they do on the battlefield. Where they lack is the length of training they offer before you actually get there. But, considering some of the Soldiers I’ve met the past week, I can see why the training needs to be as long and dry as it is.
This morning we were bussed to a classroom where 35 Air Force personnel and 55 Army Soldiers sat through another death by powerpoint on the mechanics of an up-armored HMMWV. What could have taken no more than an hour, lasted through the afternoon. We literally took 15 min breaks every 20 minutes. Awful! An hour before we finished up, we got to go outside and put hands on the HMMWV (hummer) and see the mechanics of it. We also got to perform vehicle checks before, during and after driving it. Just don’t let anyone fool you with the, “did you grab the keys?” A little known fact is that the HMMWV doesn’t have keys. The engine is started by turning a switch. Pretty basic. That hands on killed the last hour of the day and we gladly proceeded back to our barracks.
Now, as much as I hated today, it was well worth it for the upcoming days. Tomorrow, we get to get flipped over in a HMMWV training facility to learn how to evacuate in the case of a rollover. After that, we’ll be going out on a range to test out these new up-armored HMMWVs. Now, compared to the MRAP I saw yesterday, this thing is like an eggshell. But, it’s a step in the right direction. I know what I’m calling shotgun in once I get to the desert.
Lastly, I’d like to leave you with one thought. We get out of bed each morning in our comfortable homes, we eat a nice breakfast, we go to work, take care of our children or enjoy a nice relaxing day. None of which are easy — especially taking care of some people’s children. Since the war began in Iraq, which has now shifted to Afghanistan, more than 4,000 military members have been killed making the ultimate sacrifice for our country. I’d like to think whatever we have going on isn’t nearly as bad as what the families of those servicemembers are going through since this war began.
Don’t take for granted what you have, and what you’ve been given. No one deploys to fight this war thinking they might be coming back to a 21-gun salute.