Friday, May 8, 2009

Bitching at Breakfast

After Wednesday's 5k race, a few of us who ran in the event met for breakfast. There happened to be an empty seat opposite me. Before I had two bites of my French Toast, an angry sergeant from our unit sat down in that empty seat and asked, "Why the f$#k do I have run a 5k race every Wednesday?" The question was rhetorical. He did stop talking so I kept eating. "I hate running. . .We only have to run 2 miles for the PT test so why should run 3 miles. . ."

In Kuwait our base had a 5k race every Wednesday and our base in Iraq decided to do the same. The officer in charge of our physical training program decided it would be a good thing to get the whole company together once a week for this event, so I talked to the organizer after the race. He was delighted to have more people running. The organizer and I talked at 0645. I showered and got to chow by 0730. Word had spread through most of the company by then even though some of us live as far as a mile from each other.

I should point out that the sergeant who was so upset scores well on the PT test, volunteers for tough duty and is a natural leader. But he has decided that running 5k once per week is an unfair imposition on him.

When he calmed down enough to start eating I asked, "So what about the rocket attack. Did that bother you?"

"F#$k no. We're in a combat zone. I expect that. It was a few rockets. They didn't hit shit anyway.' He paused for breath.

"But why do we have to get up at 5 in the morning just to go run, I mean what the f. . ." and he was off again.

For most of my friends back home, a 5k morning run would be a pleasant or at least neutral experience, especially since it could even be a 5k walk. On the other hand, a few ill-aimed rockets that fell anywhere in the immediate area would still be the occasion of very strenuous complaints to every level of government not to mention "must sell" real estate prices.

The Philosopher of War and Terror and Politics: Hannah Arendt

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