Forming A Team at CRC

Today at the CONUS Replacement Center (CRC) at Fort Bliss en route to Afghanistan we went to the range to qualify on the M9 pistol and the M4 rifle. A neat moment happened at the end when I realized that maybe my group of friends from SAMS were forming a team. Jerome, an infantryman, didn’t qualify on the rifle. So, he had to change over to another range to try and qualify there. We’d been up since 4:00am, and it was hot, sandy, and sweaty all day. Five of us decided to stay behind to give Jerome moral support rather than get on the bus and head back home. This involved staying hot and sweaty for longer, missing meals, and suffering through the El Paso sand storms. It was miserable, but we all knew it was the right thing to do. It felt good on the inside even though it sucked on the outside. I’m glad we did it. I think we’re a team now. –Carl Miller


Stuff that won’t fit in the bag

Today the army at Fort Bliss had us draw (take) equipment to put in our duffle bags to bring to Afghanistan. You’re only allowed so many bags to put on the plane, so you have to be selective in what you take. Also, anything you grab you have to carry with you from the base at Fort Bliss to the Airport, then from the airport in Kuwait to a living area, then from a living area in Kuwait to an airport in Kuwait, then from an airport in Bagram (Afghanistan) to a living area there, and then further lugging from Bagram to whatever base you end up in in Afghanistan – I’ll end up at the Kabul International Airport. So, I had to think hard about the stuff I wanted and harder about the stuff I didn’t want. It’s a good exercise to try to think about what it is on earth that we really need. How much space would that stuff take up? Do I have stuff currently that I don’t need…if so, should I throw it away? After all, if I don’t need it, and I don’t plan on using it, then it is useless. – Carl Miller