Have I ever told you all how deeply patriotic I feel when “I’m Proud to be an American” blasts over the base giant voice system?
When this occurs it means we’ve all been working out asses off for at least a week. We’ve been on 12 hour shifts, carrying weapons, wearing flak vests with the plates in and worn helmets on our heads (talk about a bad hair week). We’ve been sampling the air for chemical and biological hazards, engaging the “enemy” (people who don’t “play” in the Exercises are recruited as “insurgents” and “attack” the base) and slept very little.
I’m not actually sure if it’s actually Patriotism I feel or if it’s relief that life can get back to normal, but either way that song makes me extremely happy.
My favourite part of this past Exercise (we hit “EndEx” yesterday) was probably shift change Wednesday night. I went on shift and we were immediately hit with a “missile attack” that caused us to be in MOPP 4 for 2 1/2 hours. My wingman and I were instructed to test the air near the Base Exchange about an hour and a half in, and right in the middle of our testing (what they had us doing takes about 20 minutes), the zone we were in was “attacked” by ground forces. Normally we would jump in our truck and hunker down, but we were already halfway in! So we called up for guidance, and were told “do what you gotta”. So we hid behind a wall. My partner is Medical, so she didn’t have a weapon. I did, so I took lookout at the edge of the wall while she finished testing the air. It was a little bit scary since the insurgents had blanks that they were shooting off. The sound of shots being fired kept getting closer and closer to our position, and when they came into view I dove behind the wall and was ready to “fire” on them. They ran past us and were then engaged by Security Forces who took them out.
Thank you Jesus for Security Forces :p
I love Exercises. They get us away from normal work for a week and ensure that we’re ready for N Korea if they ever decide to end the peace and attack. I also love EndEx though. I’m usually asleep in my room when it goes off, and there’s nothing like being woken up by the words “I’m proud to be an American where at least I know I’m free, and I won’t forget the men who died who gave that right to me and I gladly stand up next to you and defend her still today. ‘Cause there ain’t no doubt I love this land, God bless the USA!”.
Even with my window closed, it’s loud enough to wake the dead. The Giant Voice is directly outside my room, and while that can be annoying for mundane announcements, it’s wonderful for the end of a base-wide Exercise.