Friday, April 3, 2009

All-Night Duty

Today I was supposed to be one of the safeties for the next obstacle course. Next Wednesday, we are going on through a Confidence Course with a Rappel Tower. We will rope climbs and other obstacles including rappelling from a 40-foot tower. But I had all-night duty tonight and had to finish the Echo Company newsletter, so I skipped the Rappel Tower training and will just be one of the climbers next week.

Beginning at 8 pm tonight, I sat in the battalion offices with another soldier and waited for something to happen. Nothing did. The soldier I had duty with joined the Army in 1992 so he is an old soldier compared to most soldiers, if not compared to me. We ordered a pizza and talked for hours. Both of us can remember life in a barracks before cell phones and personal computers when people actually talked to each other.

After midnight, I called a friend who was my roommate in Wiesbaden, Germany, in 1978. We were in a joint Army - Air Force barracks. He got out of the Air Force in 1978 and instead of going home to Arizona, he became a novice in a Lutheran Monastery in Darmstadt, Germany, and he has been a brother there ever since. After his novitiate, my roommate Cliff Almes became Bruder Timotheus. We have kept in touch ever since. He is the only American in his small brotherhood, so he is the network administrator and has always been the "fix-it" guy. One of the reputations Americans have is the ability to fix and operate machines. We talked for about an hour. Bruder Timotheus only comes to America every few years and I have only been back to Germany a few times since 1978. But we keep in touch by phone and email. I hope to be able to visit Cliff sometime after this deployment.

Land of Kanaan, Darmstadt, Germany

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