Oklahoma Airman's Blog: The Unwritten Rules Of Deployment


Friday, February 11th 2011, 2:45 pm
By: News 9


Heather Bennett, News 9 Contributor
Oklahoma Airman Serving In Afghanistan

ENTRY #14:

This last week has been a tough one for me. I can usually handle a lot, and very few things can really phase me, but this week got me good. I think I've said it before, where it's only a matter of time before you break. I'm bending a lot. I haven't broken yet, but something will do it.

I'm not really going to gripe about the weather, only because I know it's crappy there, but it was rainy for 6 days with a little bit of snow here. There were two nights where our truck leaked, so it was wet and cold, not to mention the mud everywhere. It was just really miserable here for a few days. One day, I was really missing home badly, so I jumped on Facebook to see all my friends having a snow day/fun day, and it crushed me. I wanted nothing more than to be there, but I was stuck in this great country.

Then, I heard rumors that we might not be leaving until almost a month later than when we are scheduled. Here I was trying to have some kind of countdown, something to look forward to, but not now. Again, just rumors, but there's something about not being able to take the leave I want. It was just one thing after another bringing down my hopes. I think that's one of the worst feelings, not knowing when I'm going to get to go home. There were a few other things I'm not going to go into at all, but everything piled up to make for a real suck sandwich with a side of chips.

Some other things bothered me this last week too. There are unwritten rules everywhere, and just like the name implies, they're unwritten, but should all be understood. These rules are in place everywhere: the gym, the bathroom, the chow hall, and even in your own room. If you break these rules, at a minimum you will get a dirty look. There are a number of versions of this look, depending on where and who it's coming from, but the message is all the same.

Some people just don't understand some of the rules, so I'm going to make them written and take all doubt out of it. Some of these may seem like common sense, so I just touch on them, but some of them are specifically for deployed locations:

GYM

  • Don't rack the weight on the bench press bench, then sit there for 15 minutes talking to your buddies. While you're sitting there talking about the snowfall in OKC, other people are getting pissed, and trying to be nice about it, but it's only a matter of time before they say something and the roid rage kicks in.
  • They give you towels for a reason! Wipe your nasty sweat off the seat!
  • No, I don't need a spot.
  • No, I don't want your unasked for advice.
  • If I'm running, don't try to have a conversation with me, let alone ask for a date to the chow hall.

BATHROOM

  • Clean your hair out of the sink. You just spent a good 45 minutes with your flat iron, getting all fancy and doing your "hurr." Take 7 seconds to wipe the sink out.
  • Ladies, I don't care how great you think you smell, you don't. Wash yourself.

 

CHOW HALL

  • Wash your hands, Big Nasty. I don't want your dirty poop hands all over my fruit.
  • If i open the door, that's not an invite for you to cut me off so you can grab your bottle of water first. Relax! There are only 342 bottles left in that cooler. I'm sure you will get one.
  • If there are other seats open on the table, there's no need to sit right next to me, especially if your mother didn't teach you table manners.
  • Don't be offended when I say "Really? You're serious right now? Who taught you to eat like the cookie monster?" I'm just saying close your mouth.

 

My ROOM

  • It's not my fault if you don't do anything after work and go right to bed. I try to be as quiet as possible. You know nothing about the gear I wear, but it's hard to set down a 40 pound bullet-proof vest without making any noise at all. So please do not huff and puff.
  • Rank really doesn't matter in the room. If your an E-5 and last in the room, you're on the top bunk. Tough luck.

Here's how the rules play out, and the whole motivation for this blog entry. I was last to the room, so of course I'm on the top bunk. Not a big deal. "Top me," I can deal with it. My bunk-mate happened to be leaving the beginning of this month. Score!! She leaves, I get bottom bunk, newbie gets top. That's the way it should work. However, it didn't. I had talked to my old bunk-mate a number of times, and told her that if she left and I wasn't there, to just grab all my stuff and move it for me. She agreed. I thought I was taken care of. When she finally was leaving, and I'm in one of my NyQuil-induced comas, I didn't hear all the movement. By the time I woke up, I saw her helping the newbie move her stuff onto the bottom bunk. No words from her letting me know, just complete disregard for our agreement. Really? Nothing? I had a good long string of foul words under my breath and in my head, because I was looking forward to that bed, but I got screwed out of it. Thank you bottom bunk stealer! I'm over it! Just so no one worries about me, the top bunk is way cool! I can build my own fort up here and do all sorts of activities. Life goes on one day at a time.

This week is looking up though. It stopped raining for a few days, the trucks are dry, and yesterday there were fresh waffles in the chow hall for breakfast.

Heather