Friday, September 02, 2016

Home Sick and Missed Meetings

I'm not feeling well today and it reminded me of the one time I was sick when I was deployed to Afghanistan in 2004 - 2005.

The story is, I was sick once and I stayed in bed all day.

That's it, not much there, but I think it may be noteworthy that it only happened once.  I think I was sick with a fever.

I did get sick in my stomach once leading to a day of running to the bathroom often, but I still went to work.

Mostly in Afghanistan I worked out of my office which was a tent adjacent to my sleeping tent, so apart from the fact the bathrooms were a hundred yards of so away in another place, it was pretty convenient for being sick.

I did miss one meeting once.  I just lost track of time and sat at my desk while the meeting took place three tents away.  We had set one tent up to be a conference room.  The crazy thing is they could have just come over and gotten me, but I had never missed a meeting before when I was on the base.  This was about seven or eight months into the deployment so I had a pretty good track record.  They all figured if I were missing the meeting I must have a good reason for it.

There was one other time when I missed a meeting.  Well, I didn't miss it exactly, I had to leave early.

We had once a week meetings with the Base Commanders and our 33rd ASG Commander, COL Havey by conference call and shared slides.  At work now we use Webex but I don't know what we used then.

We had five bases, Kabul, Bagram Air Field (BAF), Kandahar Air Field (KAF), an Air Base in Uzbekistan and my base, Salerno Forward Operations Base (FOB).  My base was the least developed and the most active.  We were attacked by rockets many times including our first and last nights.  The base in Uzbekistan wasn't even considered in the combat area.  They put their weapons in a vault from the time they arrived to the time they left.

We each had to give reports on many things including threat levels and responses.  My reports were usually on attacks, responses, bunker emplacement, barrier emplacement and perimeter security.

In one meeting the LTC base Operations commander of the Uzbekistan base reported they were implementing random threat level drills.  What this meant was they would go to a threat level each day.  One day they might be required to wear their body armor all day.   Another they might be required to wear just their helmets all day.

While he was reporting on this we got attacked by rocket fire.  I interrupted politely, "Excuse me colonel, I have to be signing off now.  We are getting attacked.  I'll report back when it's over."

The attack lasted about 45 minutes (if I remember correctly) and there were probably a half dozen rockets launched at us.  All the attacks seemed to blend together so I'm not at all sure about that.

At least it got me out of a meeting. 

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