The Army promises a great deal; how much it actually delivers is an inconsistent percentile that is largely up to the individual. Case in point: I wanted to be assigned to Colorados’s Arctic force, so I could be on the Units that serve in the Arctic. I just had it out for cold weather warfare like that of my earlier years in the Army. That was was probably due to the large amount of WWII documentaries that I watched about the siege of Russian interests.
I got my arctic assignment, and subject to the assignment, came the intermittent duty of “guard mount” — the hours of spending valuable time guarding real estate and other government properties that have absolutely zero financial other value, simply because the men need practice guarding… stuff…
It was a day — no need to describe it; it was the arctic. When I showed up to my shift for arctic guard duty, Ma Hawk had replaced Mother Nature and was whistling up an arctic fury. To suggest it was an odd day there that day was just…wrong.
I started my guard shift (guarding an empty warehouse) much as I started all of my guard shifts, for the first half-hour at least, or for however long I could maintain the fantasy, pretending that there was something of actual value inside that Russian Spetsnaz were actively trying to steal. That left the other half of my guard shift hour to tend to more important matters like freezing my a$$ off.
This shift’s Spetsnaz had been particularly interested that there had been something of extreme value in the warehouse that day because the fantasy scenario lasted the whole hour… Perhaps a rogue bar of PU-39 smuggled out of Chernobyl. All I know is I was good and chilled by the time my guard relief had sprinted up. Sprinting up… yeah, that was the spirit!
“Geo!… my wife… it’s my wife; her water just broke!”
“Her water just broke — did it even hit the ground?”
“What the heck does that mean, Geo?? I gotta go, I gotta go!”
“WHO’S GONA REPLACE ME ON SHIFT, MAN??”
“I don’t know — talk to the Sergeant of the Guard (SOG) — that’s his business and his worry. I gotta go!”
Yeah, so it turned out the SOG’s range for worry for my well-being was about ten feet — roughly the range between him and the heater in his truck. Woe betide me!
“Relax, Hand… we are calling in Vallejos from home to come in and relieve of you are your shift. TOA TBD.”
Ah… the SOG — patron saint of screw you runnin’! This extra time in the freeze meant that I was going to have to give up/degrade my desperate combat/hunt scenario greatly, likely to a stolen suitcase atomic yield device. I engaged, though I’m loath to admit it scant lasted 15 minutes before I was cold and disinterested again.
I felt it seemed like a fire was a sensible thing to build under the circumstances, but I heard the roar of the SOG in my subconscious:
“And don’t be thinking about building no fire this is not your Boy Scouts merit badge tryouts — you guard and that is all you do. Jogging seemed sensible to me; one could jog and still guard.
*HUFF* *PUFF* I made that jogging kinda sound
*HUFF* *PUFF* I ran in circles all around.
*HUFF* *PUFF* I felt some liquid start to thaw
*HUFF* *PUFF* all as the warmth again began to gnaw!
Much despite the happy new family a began to thaw keeping it slow and stead as I thawed. I used natural body heat do do this never once rushing the process.
Moral of the story: Never allow yourself to be followed on an important duty by a guy whose water is about to break.
By Almighty Go and with honor,