Sunday, December 1, 2013
Sometimes I wonder, 'Why did I re-enlist at my age?'
Or 'What am I doing in the Army at 60?'
Then I get a chance to do something that only a soldier would think is awesome and then I think, 'I re-enlisted because I love this shit!'
On Saturday, the boys and I gave one of my friends a ride to the Philadelphia airport. We were in Philadelphia so it should have been a 15-minute trip. No problem.
We got on I-95 and drove quickly past the stadiums. I looked ahead at the long approach to the bridge over the Delaware.
We had just passed the last exit on this side of the Delaware River and all the traffic was stopped. I was in the left lane. It was a clear day. I could see a mile ahead. Just before the bridge itself all four lanes of traffic were stopped.
Nothing was moving and traffic was stacking up. Within seconds we came to a stop. I looked up the road at nearly a thousand cars four lanes wide. And I got angry. I knew at least one lane could get through no matter how bad the accident was.
I stopped the car and asked my passenger to get in the drivers seat. I happened to be wearing running shoes, so I took off running fast along the left side of the road past all the stopped cars to the accident site. Three cars were wrecked and twisted. The left lane was clear. A guy standing there was half-heartedly waving cars through.
I told him I am in the Army and can handle this. He went back to help with the accident.
I pointed at the first car in line, waved my arm and put my whole body into the motion. He moved, fast. Next car followed. I kept waving. Third car the driver's eyes wandered to the accident. I pointed straight at him and waved to get moving. If his windows were down he might have heard me yell encouragement using short words with CK sounds.
I kept wave, the cars started merging and moving. When anyone started gawking, I moved toward the car and waved to get moving. One guy slowed. His passenger rolled down the window and started video recording. I stood between him and the scene and told him to keep moving in a way that indicated his IQ was lower than a bag of ball peen hammers.
It was so much fun. Less than 10 minutes later, my car was passing the accident site. I jumped in and we took off.
Thanksgiving weekend was a lot of fun in many ways, but that ten minutes on the approach to the bridge showed me why I should be a soldier. I'm too old to be a cop.