To tell you the honest truth, there really wasn't much wild about it. But then, let me start from the beginning.
Alright, Camp Parks has a long history of Navy, AirForce and now Army, of being out in the middle of nowhere. Well, now it is in the middle of everywhere as the town of Dublin has sprung up all around it. Don't believe me? See for yourself. Ok, this is a picture of Area M, where we stayed. Yes, those are houses behind us. We were warned not to try anything funny, because the neighbors were watching us from their windows with Binoculars. I wonder what they did when we pulled out the M16s and had OPFOR attacking us?
I'm sorry it's a bit blurry, I took it on top of the hill coming down. That's prime real estate we're sleeping on there. The Army is discussing selling it to the City of Dublin for 1.2 million an acre. That's a lot of money!
Well, we planned to move out there on Saturday, but things came up and we had to stay in the barracks one more night before we could go out to the field. Being the only female in a unit with only 5 members, I was given a bed in Barracks 304. So I plopped all my stuff in the first empty wall locker in an empty bay and LOCKED IT. We headed out, did our thing, and when I came back, I found that the entire bay was filled with people whom I did not know. I also noticed that there was stuff on my bed.
"Uh, what's this?"
"Oh, that's Young's bed."
"Excuse me? This is my bed."
"Oh, well, this is Young's stuff here. We have this bay signed out."
"Do you notice the lock on the wall locker?"
"Oh, we thought that somebody had left the lock on there. We were going to cut it."
Well, enough of finnagling around wondering if I wanted to sleep in the barracks that night, especially if they were going to cut my lock, I muttered "screw it" and headed to the male barracks, which was located a couple blocks away and was where my commander was situated. I had every intention of just heading to the field that night. However, on the way there, somewhat grumbling to myself and kicking dirt clods up with my feet, I ran across a rather morbid and rapidly decaying body of a dead feline. I stared at it in awe and made a note to self to come back and take a picture of it. Which I did. I thought I would share.
That has to be one of the nastiest things I have seen in a long time. And the picture doesn't even do it justice.
So anyway, to make a long story short, it all worked out in the long run in the barracks and I got to keep my bed. Only to be woken up by whom I presume to be Young who asked me what I was doing in her bunk at about midnight. At this time I was in a near comatose state and gave her the glassed over stare before rolling back over and going to sleep. I let one of her bunk mates explain to her why I was sleeping in her bunk.
Aside from doing all sorts of PM stuff (er, that's Preventive Medicine, you see, I'm a Preventive Medicine Specialist, that's my job, and to be quite frank with you, it's not all that fascinating to discuss in a blog), we got to deal with a lot of other stuff. I guess one thing I should discuss is the Porta-Nazi.
Yes, you heard me right. In my unit we have an entomologist (that's a person who studies bugs) who made the mistake of walking into a portapotty that was marked *female*. Well, Portapotties are all just about the same, but some Lt Col had this grand Idea to seperate the latrines into male/female. When our entomologist, who's a major, btw, came out of one marked female, he got reamed out by her. If that wasn't bad enough, she would not let it go. Every time he saw her, she would stare at him with this permanent scowl on her face and apparently eventually had it in for everyone in our unit. I later learned this when I was eating chow and discussing PM with the most senior 91S in the US Army Reserves. I over heard her and one of her cronies dissing PM for not helping them with other matters, mainly something called Measles. Measles is not handled by PM, but they kept sending us this scenerio about an outbreak of Measles. For crying out loud, if you are in the army, your given a vaccine for Measles, it isn't our issue.
The hospital did that a lot by sending us a lot of stuff that did not pertain to us, so we sent it back with our reply, stating that it wasn't our issue, and they would keep sending us stuff. Gotta love the army.
Anyway, we eventually wisened up and left the camp altogether and headed for this little pond and watched Damsel flies mate and did a tick drag where I must have caught about 2 dozen ticks. I also had one crawling around on me. Gross.
We also set out a little unit that looks like R2D2 and left it up overnight with a sign that said 'don't touch'. I got a picture of me touching it.
This is an air sampler. We told people we were testing for radioactive particles in the air.
One thing about my job, though, we do play with lot's of gadgets and gizmos. but they still had scenerios to accomplish, and since we had M16s with us, we had to have them in our possession at all times. I slept with it next to me on my cot. It was very bumpy. And since they had the OPFOR attack us only between dusk and dawn, sleeping was an issue. They made us sleep in MOPP gear and at one point I had to mask up at about 3 in the morning.
Well, anyway, this last week has made me appreciate Modern Techonology. We watched Fast and the Furious, Jaws, and Black Hawk Down. In the field. With our portable DVD player. We have power :) We also played games in our down time on the laptops. I got to get me one of those. Unfortunately, no internet access.
We also went to San Francisco, I don't even know if I want to go there. It was fun, don't get me wrong, it's just that everything suddenly went against us. And we had to walk everywhere. And I am a poor starving college student.
About a billion other things happened, I'm not even skimming the surface, but to top it off, when we came out of the field yesterday, they put me in the same barracks so I put my stuff in an empty wall locker (I was told it was a first come, first serve basis) and went with the unit for dinner and a movie (windtalkers, really good, sound track a bit distracting however), only to come back and find a note telling me that if I didn't remove the lock on my wall locker by 1200, that they would do it by force.
Good thing I headed out at 0800. However, being a civilian most of the time, in case they did come in at Midnight as opposed to noon the next day, I left them a nasty note on the wall locker that basically stated I had every right to be there and if they woke me up concerning this issue, I would disregard their rank and pull a yoda on their ass.
Ah, got to love Military life. This AT however really wasn't that bad. I found it very enjoyable and a good unit cohesion tool.