Sunday, July 28, 2013
It's time to start posting again. I will be on active duty for three months beginning Wednesday, August 7. So in just two weeks I will be a full-time soldier. I am not going overseas and I'm only going someplace dangerous in the sense that I will be writing my bicycle in suburban Washington traffic.
I will be in Army journalism school at Fort Meade Maryland until November 5 of this year. You might wonder why the Army would send a 60 year old soldier to school. I have been trying to get into this school since I got back from Iraq in 2010. Last year I got the chance to possibly deploy with a Stryker brigade. That deployment would have started in November of this year. To get ready for the deployment I needed to be an Army trained public affairs Sgt. So the plan was that I would go to the school and then joined by deploying unit with the correct MOS or military occupational specialty.
President Obama announced in his State of the Union address that the United States would be leaving Afghanistan faster than the current schedule. This meant the deployment was canceled. But I had changed jobs in my unit and I needed this new MOS. So I am going to school at age 60 to learn how to do the job I have been doing as a civilian since 1978.
It may sound silly for me to do this but I am looking forward to this school. The military combines the training of all five services in public affairs so I will be in school with soldiers from the Marines, the Air Force, the Army, Navy, and even the Coast Guard. As you can imagine the military has the best crisis management training available. Crisis management has not been one of my specialties so I'm looking forward to learning from the best.
Anyway, I will write every day on active duty about what it's like to be in training with 20-year-olds from all five services. Or at least I will do my best to write every day. Homework first!!
Monday, July 1, 2013
My apologies for being off line for so long. I ran the Pennsylvania Tough Mudder on Sunday June 2 in the last wave of starters. One of my bicycle riding buddies and a body builder, Lois Olney, joined me for the event. It took three and a half hours for us to run almost 11 miles and clear 23 obstacles.
I went into the race thinking the Ice Enema would be the toughest obstacle. For that one, you run up a ladder, jump into a 6-foot deep, 20-foot long dumpster full of water and ice, swim under and obstacle in the middle and climb out the other side.
But that was not the worst. Two miles up the road we crawled under barbed wire with shock wires hanging from it. I got zapped in the head three times, saw flashes behind my eyes and got disoriented. I managed to shake it off and keep going, but the shocks were worse than the ice. In comparison to them, climbing walls, horizontal ladders and mud pits were a snap.
Lois and I rode to and from the event on single-speed mountain bikes.
We were WIPED out on the way home on the 50-mile car ride from where we parked.
About 10 miles into the drive, we saw an Arbys and both decided we needed meat. NOW!!!
When we stopped we looked at each other and sniffed. "Is that us?" The Tough Mudder was on a farm and we smelled like fertilizer. We both ordered food then went to our respective rest rooms for a quick change of clothes.
Six days later, Army summer camp began.
Tough Mudder vs. Ironman, Part 3
Tough Mudder vs. Ironman, Part 2
Tough Mudder vs. Ironman is Here
Second Tough Mudder Report
First Tough Mudder Finish
First Tough Mudder Photos
First Tough Mudder Entry
Ironman Bucket List