The images and voices of the original Star Wars keeping running through my brain, “stay on target, stay on target, stay on target,” says the Rebel pilot as he maneuvers through the topography of the Death Star before he fires that fatal blow to its core…
Drama Queen, maybe, distracted writer, definitely. My short term goal is to narrate my 6+ months on deployment to Bosnia. I dutifully kept a journal, this should be easy, but I’m mentally, physically and most of all emotionally distracted by the present. I also want to write about the current political climate as well as the emotional roller coaster of facing another year-long deployment (the hub is off again). I want to write about the power of friendships and the need for more gentle words, love and kindness in todays world. Finally, I want to write about my friendship with my new neighbor who lost his wife to a stroke recently and our long talks and developing friendship. If only I had a boss and a deadline—that would make it so much easier!
I’ve decided to travel back to Bosnia for today.
12 October 2002
I went to my first “liaison meeting” today. I quickly learned this was just an excuse to get the nationalities together to drink. So, we broke the rules and drank. (We are under “General Order #1” but the other nationalities were not so they stocked the booze and we locked up our guns for these events.)
The room was filled with Dutch, Fins, Danes, Russians, Frenchies, Italians and Americans. Michelle (the woman I was replacing) and I were the only US Air Force people, and there were 2 US Army girls there too. This was clearly a social function and it was fun—the wine was good. I was glad to have Michelle by my side since I was so new. As the night progressed the Army girls got randy and hung all over the guys—gag. I have no idea if they were married though it usually doesn’t matter anyway.
13 October 2002
It’s Sunday night. Today was the base “Oktoberfest.” For the first time, the leadership let everyone dress in civilian clothes and drink 2 beers. The Air Force personnel had to turn in our weapons for the day—apparently the Army can drink with their guns? Yikes.
Everyone seemed to have a good time. The “tent” was set up with a ton of board games and card games but it was mostly an opportunity to hang out together and talk over a beer (most of us chose wine over the beer because they didn’t measure their pours and, after doing some quick math, we figured out that we got a smidge more alcohol in our SOLO cups this way). After a couple of hours, I was bored since I didn’t know many people and civilian clothes didn’t seem like a special treat to me yet.
After Oktoberfest, I checked out a couple of movies from our in-house movie rental shop (pretty sweet deal, thanks to awesome people who donate movies for troops), washed my clothes, hit the dining facility (DFac) called Shane and then FINALLY really cleaned my hooch. This room is now clean. It was really nasty when I moved—feels better now.
I’m ready to take over the job now. I don’t think it will be difficult—in fact, I’ll be challenged to keep myself productive. I really wish I could be in a targeting job working a real mission instead of sitting in a peacekeeping role/unit providing current intel to a sexist, asshole who doesn’t even like intel.
My new boss is Colonel Joe Jackhole (ok, that’s not really his name but it will be throughout this blog). He’s touchy-feely, sarcastic, cynical, rude, arrogant, and completely unlikeable. He’s been in the AF for 28 years and is an old EF-111 pilot—that jet has been retired for at least 5 years so I don’t know what he’s getting paid for now. He is in AETC when he’s not sexually harassing female intel officers in Bosnia.
Anyway, I’m not going to dwell on him anymore tonight…time for bed.
I’m watching Birdcage—it’s a good laugh.
“Danger UXO Area”signs were all over the base…it was smart to just stay on the path!
Fast Forward: As I read this, then typed it, then thought about it again…I found it infuriating how some things never change. Always a sexist wanker in charge somewhere. Another thought was that I CHOSE Bosnia over the desert, where the crap was about to hit the fan…coulda woulda shoulda.