Creeping Through The Cellar Door (none_too_subtle) wrote,
Creeping Through The Cellar Door

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ARTEP, Operation "Carbon Copy"

There's a small group of us in BDUs, huddled in the rec room at approximately 0245. We were the early, eager risers, having been up, dressed, assigned weapons and ready to go on our second ARTEP in the dead of Germany's winter in as many years. There was a parody of Bush on television, and we were laughing hysterically at the irony of it all, making our own jokes about him while we were at it.

The batallion commander comes in and abruptly shuts the television off. We're still snickering and making jokes, but are ready for our oOOoo so dangerous mission. This year, it was operation "Carbon Copy". There were several other officers in the back of the room who we didn't hear when they arrived. All of us had helped while five tons and deuce-and-a-halves were loaded, according to spec, and were chilling out before we received our orders.

There were three, new female officers in the back. They were stoic, silent and clearly living an alternative lifestyle. Of course, this is nothing new, either, and by now I'm used to it. I'd never seen them, and wondered how they ended up in our group.

It was already 0330, so we were about to deploy. I learned that we'd be going BACK to Schweinfurt, Germany, where there IS no hot water for showers, but the people were very friendly. I audibly groaned, dreading these, and the cold weather, snow, ice and "red" driving conditions. Hey...the military goes ANYway.

As we were gathering our ruck sacks, weapons, ammo packs and the last of our gear, one of the new female officers approached me and told me I didn't necessarily have to stay with the large group of men in our company in the local gym (which is where we stayed before). Delighted, I told them I'd be OVERJOYED to stay in the separate quarters this time around, where I knew I'd enjoy hot showers every day. I already had my meals figured out, since I made friends with many of the Germans who lived there. So all was good for the next 45 days in my mind, except for the freezing rain and snow that showed no signs of slowing down. We'd have to be out IN that crap, I explained to one of the women, who was a captain.

I rode with the battalion commander, the battalion S1 and Bill (my command sergeant major) in the convey down.

I'd finally gotten my cot and area set up, showered, changed clothes, and decided to skip chow with the rest of the soldiers, going off to a friend's to let them know I was in town with my crew. I had dinner with them.

On my way back to our bunking area, it was raining, and the ice underfoot squished and sloshed under my jumpboots, making noises that seemed too loud. The streets were quiet, but I could hear music coming from my room. The new chica roommates must've been jamming.

However, in a street corner rounding our building, there was a girl, IN A DRESS, and in her hand, she held up a tiny box on pink breath mints, grinning oddly, as if she had to? It looked staged, and it seemed like a commercial was being made. I wondered why they would do that this late, with horrible weather conditions, and thought she'd end up with pneumonia. She was in a dress with cherries on it, some odd pattern, and popped one of the mints into a soldier's mouth. He almost swallowed her face as she kissed him, being clumsy (and really young). I couldn't help but watch and laugh quietly, wondering WTH was going on?!

Another soldier came up...same thing, only he was much gentler, if not shy, about kissing her. I assumed they were probably about through with the film, and I needed to see if any more directives had been issued since dinner with my German friends.

When I got back to H.Q., I walked into the upstairs floor, and looked down. Several faces all turned up in my direction, and there was a place setting for me at the table. I was 20 kinds of guilty at that moment, having already enjoyed homemade German food. My fellow solders had even waited on me at the table. I was HORRIBLY embarrassed and, repeatedly. In my mind, I was thinking "why didn't someone ELSE just take my place, since we eat better, and there are enough people, etc. etc.?"

And then, I woke up. WHAT. THE. HELL.

Man. I'm going back to bed.


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