Going to Oklahoma

Today: -1
Days Rated: 186
Average Day: 1.27

Of course, I waited until the last minute to finish packing. This is a hallmark of Coach planning.

Coach Planning

Figure out how much time I have, and how long it will take to complete the task. For example, if I have 6 hours before I need to leave for the airport, and it should take me 3 hours to finish packing, a normal person would pack their bag, and then spend the remainder of the time fooling around, relaxing, etc. Not me. I do my fooling around and relaxing first, and then when something comes up, like there’s something else I need to do, or the task is taking longer than it should, have to rush and get stressed out.

I decided today that it would be a good idea to finish beating Baldur’s Gate for PS2 before I finished packing. This makes plenty of sense to me. After all, I am not bringing my PS2, I’m putting it into storage. So how can I pack it away when the game’s not beaten yet? It doesn’t make much sense to Miller, who says old-person things, like “Why are you playing video games when your stuff isn’t even packed yet?” I ignore him and defeat the demons and dragons who are standing in the way of packing my bags. Then although I estimate it will take 3 hours to finish packing my stuff, beating the game took a little longer than I though, so I now only have 2 hours and 15 minutes, and packing will actually take 3 and a half hours.

Part of the problem is this packing list I was given. We can bring 2 duffel bags, a kit bag and an assault pack. The list also tells us where things should go. Our helmet and IBA are to be worn. Things we will need in Kuwait go in one bag, things we won’t need until we get into actual combat go into another. I am torn between following instructions and a little voice telling me that we are doing 3 months of training first, and I probably won’t need to wear body armor on a commercial flight from Alaska to Oklahoma. But then there is a little problem fitting things into the allotted bags. If I wear my body armor, helmet etc, everything fits OK. But if I put these things into one of the bags, then I have no room for things like civilian clothes, video games, books, etc, that I might need in the next 3 months. I decide to bring a 3rd duffel bag, and put the empty assault pack inside of it. I assume that I will be able to put these things into storage or send them home in the next three months before we go to the Middle East. I worry though, what if everyone makes fun of me for having too many bags? What if they won’t let me fly like this? What if they check the packing list at some point?

I give a lot of things to Miller, such as porno magazines and other random junk that are not needed, are not important enough to put into storage, but too valuable to throw out.

I go to dinner with Doe, a few hours before I’m supposed to leave. I am so nervous I can barely eat anything. All new people, going to war, doing who-knows-what…all of these things make me really jittery.

I go back and wait for SGT Preble, who’s supposed to give me a ride to the airport. Even though I have mentioned this to him at least 5 times, including calling him this morning to make sure that he shows up, I am wise enough to have a backup ride with Miller waiting. Sure enough, no Preble. Miller takes me to the airport and helps me manhandle my bags. I am still uncomfortable for several reasons. What if they don’t let me fly with all this stuff? My orders say 4 bags, but airline policy is always 2. I’m sure I’ll have more stuff than the others.

I am the second one there. SPC Dehnke and SGT Cole from 40th Cav get there first. They each have about 6 duffel bags. I don’t feel so bad anymore. Dehnke is waiting for Cole to check in, so I am the first one there. I manage to get all 4 bags checked in without paying any money out of my own pocket, by being nice, and letting them know that I am an important military personnel, on Official United States Business and that I Have Orders. Not really, but sometimes they waive the rules if they know you’re in the military and you are polite.

“We can make an exception this time,” the clerk says. “It’s only 2 extra bags. But you can imagine what would happen if everyone wanted to bring 2 extra bags!” I nod and say that I understand. That would be tragic. I manage to sneak away as the other five guys show up at the counter, each with approximately 6 duffel bags in tow.

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