Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Adjusting to Life at Home

Yesterday on the training ride there is a place where we usually slow down as we turn from State Highway 441 onto a narrow road with a creek on one side and a steep tree-covered hill on the other. The hill is dark all the way up to a north-south ridge so if there is any sun it is bright on the top of the ridge and dark all the way down to where we ride the road. Just after we turned onto this road Matt Hollenbach said, "Neil, look up there, three deer, no four." I looked and there they were, right on the ridge line standing parallel to the road.

They were back-lit, standing still and silhouetted from their hooves to their horns. They could not be better targets if they wore orange vests with bulls-eyes. What I should have seen was how beautiful nature is here compared to the dust, rock and vermin that is nature in southern Iraq. But as I looked at the deer and the afternoon sun and the trees, my first thought was "Get off the ridge you idiots! One shot and you are dinner!"

I suppose it will take a while before my view of a natural scene does not include range, target description, and rules of engagement.

When I first returned to America after serving on the border in Germany, I would occasionally be driving along a country road and look at the fields and tree lines in front of me as fields of fire for a tank or see places where a tank could be "hull-down" with it's hull protected from direct fire but with a clear view for the gunner's sights.

Speaking of riding, I really prefer riding without an M-16A4 rifle on my back.