We went back to T*gab today, to pick up the last three of my mortar squad.
The children...I'm not saying that I hate the children here, but I definitely hate the way they act. They stand there, with their thumbs up, expectant as a boob-showing reveler at Mardis Gras. Or, make other gestures. Throw me something. Give me some water.
"Have you seen any well-behaved children here?" I asked Sergeant Boy yesterday. He hadn't seen any, either.
I was in the turrent, and couldn't help vocalizing "Don't do it!" as a child appeared to be attempting to sprint in front of our speeding HMMWV. Fortunately, he lost his mad race towards annihilation.
"'His name was Azid. He was six years old'," I quoted an ISAF safety poster hanging in the chow hall, "and he should have stayed out of the @#$%^&*!ing road!" After laughing, one of my passengers went on to tell Azid's story. He apparently ran into the road to grab a water bottle, and was hit by another convoy. Besides the fact that we have other things to do, and can't carry enough to throw stuff to every Afghan child we see, safety really is one of the biggest reasons we should not throw things to the locals.
On the way back, one of the vehicles began leaking radiator fluid, and so, had to be towed. This added another hour or so to our time. I was pretty miserable, and went to see the medics when I got back.
I explained to the nice captain that saw me that my back had been bothering me, and that I was taking about four Naproxen a day. After describing my situation, I left with some meds that seem to be helping quite a bit. There's still some pain, but it's "background", now, not front stage. I'm still really hoping it goes away entirely once I no longer have to wear body armor. I'd settle for no impairment unless I'm trying to shift a cannon, though.
I got about a two hour break after returning from the convoy, and then worked until 2130. I had some good coversation with Reeves and then Sergeant Phillips- about knives, martial arts, and spirituality, in both cases! It was interesting that both times, they initiated the conversation. I barely regretted spending another three hours on duty after a full day of convoying.
After the shift, I was told that I'm being moved to first shift. Down side is being on duty at 0515; I'm hoping the up side is more ability to fit workouts into my schedule, since I haven't spent any gym time in the last two days.
Mary Brigid was kind enough to award me the "Thinking Blogger" award. Unfortunately, this seems to involve some work, so I will settle for a "Will Eventually be Thinking after Much Resting" award, for now.