We were traveling about 4 hours away from where I live in order to go to the range. The unit took hummers and convoyed down to Camp Gruber. This isn't my favorite place to go because it is pretty much out in the middle of no where. However I have had a few really good drills there. This month however it was the last place I wanted to be. Sara is close to having her baby and I was really worried that she would go into labor while I was there and I wouldn't make it back in time. Luckily the unit sorted out the issues and I was able to drive myself to Camp Gruber. This is actually the first time in 11 years that I took my own vehicle instead of going in the convoy. I found it quite nice having a ride to the store or where ever I wanted to go. Realistically it wasn't that big of a deal because the only place to go was a Shopette that had next to nothing in it.
I left on Friday morning a couple hours before I really needed to. I wanted time to stop by the store for a few necessities, I always try to give myself some extra time in case of traffic or road construciton and I also wanted the option to stop and take a few photos if I saw something of interest along the way.
This additional time afforded me the opportunity to take a few photos of what appeared to be a derailed train just outside of Camp Gruber. It appeared that the pieces had been there for quite some time. I found it strange that the train company hasn't bother to pick up the piece's and at least take them to a scrap yard.
Even though it is technically trash, I found the old rusted pieces to be interesting.
Once I finally stopped with the photos and was heading back to the truck, I noticed my boot felt strange. So I stopped to have a look. I have been requesting new boots for almost two years. A year ago when we went to this same range I complained loudly because the soles where coming off of my boots and I had to wear another pair that are to small. The smaller boots left huge blisters on my feet so Stephen used some gorilla glue to put the soles back on. However that gorilla glue didn't work to well because the soles were starting to come off the next day. I have walked around for almost two years with the soles of my boots showing this gap between the sole and the actual boot. Well Friday the sole of one my boots came completely off all the way up to the toe, there was about an inch of sole actually still attached. I hobbled back to the truck and drove through the gate at Gruber and headed straight to the Shoppette. Now years ago that little shoppette actually sold boots and some clothes. Unfortunately they no longer sell boots unless you want to order them and wait for delivery. I wouldn't wait for delivery so I opted to buy a package of super glue that had a photo of some one gluing together a portion of their tennis shoe together. Good enough I would give it a try.
As I was looking for boots or glue every time I took a step the sole of my boot (which is rubber) would smack against the tile floor and make this crazy squeaky squeal sound, the sound would echo through the entire store. Typically the shoppette which does not offer a lot doesn't have a lot of customers, on Friday there were about five people standing around in there talking while I was flapping and squeaking up and down the isles looking for glue.So in an attempt to not flap and squeak I was dragging my foot across the floor like a crazy person.
Now I personally would be laughing really hard if I had seen some one in my position, I wasn't exactly laughing though. It was to funny but I was embarrassed and just wanted to run out of the store. Instead I drug my flapping boot up to the counter and bought myself some super glue. I then drug my boot out the door and stopped right there in the door way to sort this crap out. I mean dang the parking lot is half a block away and I can only drag my foot for so long before some one is gonna ask me if I a out of my mind. So I opened two little tubes of super glue and squirted them onto the detached sole of my boot and then stepped down on it. Just then I realized that I would need to stand there for a few minutes until the glue dried. So I pretended to be sorting out some stuff in my shopping bag for a while until I felt like the glue was probably set. Lucky for me the sole of my boot is still on. I am now thinking I should have got a couple extra tubes because the other boot needs to be glued back together as it currently looks like it may come off soon.
Once I was able to walk with out causing a flapping squealing scene I went on over to the barracks where we were going to be staying and started looking for people from my unit.The long weekend had began!
Gruber. The ranges never work properly and most of the time at least half of the people do not qualify. The pop up targets either don't pop up or no matter how many times you hit them they don't fall down. This weekend was no exception. We fuddled through the range, cleaned our weapons and fell into bed exhausted. Knowing that my time in the guard is limited, promotion points are well pointless for me so once I verified that I didn't need to qualify I took my bolo and opted to not refire. Instead I spent the refire time taking a few photos.
I loved this flag, the flag is flown at the range to indicate that the range is hot and live rounds are being fired. Regardless of it's meaning the flag was pretty amazing on this very windy day.
This morning once the convoy headed back to the unit, those of us who drove ourselves there staid behind and cleared the barracks and turned the keys back over to the full time staff at Gruber. Then it was freedom time to head back home. I did stop on the way home for one last set of photos. I am only posting one photo from these. I am not really sure what this plant does but we have driven by there early in the morning when it is cold and there is a huge amount of steam coming off of the plant. I always wish I had my camera with me.Today it was to late in the day to get the steam but I still stopped and took a few shots.
There was one thing this weekend that got my mind to wondering what the heck! So before I end I think I must just go ahead and address this. Friday during our evening formation when they informed us of the next days order of events the 1st SGT informed us that every one needs to be very careful about what they say on their face book or MySpace or any other similar site.This warning was issued because apparently some soldier went on his/her facebook and blasted their unit and named names of officers and aired their opinion. Now before I voice my opinion let me state clearly that my unit recently got a new Commander and I don't know at all, the only thing I have heard about him is that he is extremely family orientated that is it. I also barely know my 1st SGT, I have had to go to him with an issue and a question and both times he handled the situation or answered my question with no problems. I honestly have no reason to blast either of them and any reference I make in this blog about my Commander or 1st SGT is being made in a hypothetical term not a specific real situation.
With that said, I have to think that as soldiers, most of the people that I know in the military has at one time or another been deployed, spent time doing state side missions or supporting their country in one way or another. It is our job, what we sign up for and what is expected of soldiers. Most of them do this with out hesitation. However if soldiers in general are defending our country and the rights that are afforded to Americans then how in the hell is anyone going to take away one of America's basic rights from the very people who are maintaining those rights for all of us. Do we not all have freedom of speech? Are we not all allowed to speak our minds on our own time? I mean isn't it called Myspace because it is my space and place that I can do with as I pretty much please? If I feel that my commander is a dumb ass isn't it my right to express that opinion on my personal web page, or any where else I feel free? As long as I am not posting anything that is illegal then don't I have the right to post all day long and express my opinion? I personally haven't ever blasted my unit on any of my pages, but if ever my commander or 1st SGT or any other person in my unit gives me cause to call them a dumb ass or a selfish ass hole, well expect to see it in flaming letters on here and on every other page I have. And if the military wants to argue with me about it I suppose I would be the person to challenge the opposition and request to see written law that proves I don't have a legal right to express my opinion. Just my random thoughts on the subject.