Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Goodbye Roomie

This morning at 3 am our roommate went home. He was a 22-year-old mechanic who joined us just three weeks ago, one of the later arrivals. He came here over the maximum weight, but his home unit sent him anyway. He was a great guy and we hoped he could lose weight fast enough to be able to deploy with us. But late last week the medical staff decided he could not lose weight fast enough to be ready to go and be healthy, so they sent him home.

So how overweight was our roommate? I don't know exactly because there is a complex formula called taping that takes into account the general size of a soldier's body to determine maximum weight. Specialist Big Dude weighed 335 pounds the day he arrived. He is a weightlifter. He has a size 19 neck and has trouble finding clothes in general and gloves in particular. Even Army XXLs are tight on him.

I only worked with him a few times in the motorpool, but it was clear he is a good mechanic. We were a team on the SAW (machine gun) range. I qualified. He was a sharpshooter and was one target away from expert (the best). He is also a sharpshooter with a rifle. But at his size, he can't run two miles at anything close to the maximum time. So he is back home now. I really will miss him when he is awake, but not when he is sleeping. He was in the bunk above me (Yes, we have very strong beds.) and snored so loud he made the bed shake. Some nights I would wait for the moment when he quit snoring and will myself to sleep before he started again.

Our first roommate lasted about a week before they sent him home. He had a previous back injury that was too severe for deployment. In a couple of days we get another roommate. I hope our room is not medical bad luck for him.

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