Thursday, April 16, 2009

Then and Now: Barracks Rats


BARRACKS RATS IN NATIVE ENVIRONMENT


I am going to miss Fort Sill, Oklahoma. For those who are thinking, "You lived there 2-1/2 months, of course. . ." you should know that I am quite alone in my affection for our current duty station. In fact, at a meeting last night, several soldiers were delighted to hear about the kinds of video entertainment that is free at our next duty station. But eventually, they won't like the next duty station or the one after that.

They are barracks rats, a special sort of rodent who sits in his or her room and complains about Fort Wherever mostly because thy don't leave the room. I know I am a special case because I brought and borrowed bikes and rode almost 1,300 miles since our arrival. But other soldiers have walked, taken buses and seen many sights and enjoyed the mostly warm (and windy) weather since we arrived.

I am not sure, but the barracks rats may be worse now than before. In the 70s, there was only dayroom television and radios for entertainment, plus the completely outmoded books and conversation. With video games and personal computers, there are many more options for the sedentary soldier.