Between 1500 and 1600 this afternoon I was racing around collecting signatures like a kid on a scavenger hunt.
In military speak – it is called “clearing.” You have to check out at a number of locations for various reasons. For example, you have to clear finance to make sure that you have enough cash to last to your next stop. You have to clear the baggage room to make sure that they don’t wind up with stuff of yours staying here while you are on a flight off to some other country or another.
And, most obviously, you have to clear medical. It is why you were here in the first place!
Most individuals are on a flight to the US from here; headed to home station for further treatment. Some on commerical flights and some regulated through the evac system. A few of us got done what we came to do and head back to the deployment. The bad thing about people not returning is a stready drain in prepared manpower downrange. It is why we now have a number of medical specialists deployed who really don’t have much of a combat trauma role, but can make a difference on diagnosing disease and keeping the ok in theater. Cardiology and Dermatology are classic examples.
I hate to say it, but there are a fair number who just don’t want to go back. Usually it is those with medial problems rather than those with injuries or combat trauma. I think the fact of getting injured might just be a bit more acceptable than getting ill and it might just leave a number of soldiers feeling like they are still part of the unit. Attitude is everything.
So there I was, at almost every turn explaining to people that no – I was not headed to the US, I was headed back to Bagram. After collecting all those signatures, I received my orders. In the morning the very few of us headed back downrange will clear billeting, bus over to the PAX terminal and get manifested (I hope).
Unlike downrange – this is Space-R = Space-Required. I had been hopeful that rank might help. Maybe, maybe not, rumor has that there is some BG who has been stranded for a few days. Here is hoping that it is because of flight lack, not because of no space on flights that are going!
But anyway – I have orders. If I don’t get out, we will get bused to ROB and billeted there. Not for fun and games but because it is a lock down location where they will be able to find us and load us up on no notice should a plane suddenly express a desire for passengers.
Now, if the PX had not been closed today for inventory (I kid you not), my day would have been perfect.
Oh!!!! You need to see this! Real Ice Fishing for those of you who don’t have enough snow and ice. Some people actually (about 10,000) have a good time with a line, hook and hole in the ice!