Sunday, August 19, 2012

The Space Between FNG and GMX

I have talked before about how transient the population is here.  You are the FNG (Frigging New Guy) for only a few days before the next FNG walks through the door.  At 2-3 months you become referred to as a veteran.    In an average two week period there are at least 3 going away lunches, dinners or parties.  Most pass without notice,  just part of the routine, but every now and then there is a big departure that causes you to look back on your entire time in theatre  This week was one of those as the Commander left  and a new one came in.  

During the flurry of activity that it takes to change Commanders, there was time to reflect and reminders as to how many other folks you have known have left to go back to the States.  I put together the retrospective slide show, and as I looked through the pictures that I was forming the presentation from, I started to notice how many people in them that were now gone.  A lot of faces and names that have faded away over the months since they left.  I also started to notice how many folks in the pictures were still here and I began to calculate when they would leave and who would still be here when I left.  

At the actual ceremony today, during a low point, I did something similar to what many people do at a funeral - I tried to figure my return date from the today's date.  As I looked around the room, I could almost see in the faces of the gathered who was doing the same.  I also looked at the latest FNG and saw in their eyes confusion and a bit of jet lag.  They will get to this point in the near future, when they are no longer new but a veteran looking forward to being a GMX..

A high point today was the playing of the National Anthem.  I started thinking about all the hangers, warehouses and fields were I have stood either in uniform or with folks in uniform  and heard that play.  I have heard it played around the world (Australia, Germany, Japan, Italy, Turkey, and Guam) and from coast to coast in the US and it never fails to give me chills while affirming my choice of employer.   

Now that the melancholy is over:

Somethin' Funny: Falkor was messing with the one of the corners of the couch where the back and bottom cushions intersect with the arm.  He stuck his nose into the corner a couple of times,  then stuck his head in and couldn’t get it out.  His backend was nothing but flying paws as he tried to back out but couldn't.  When I finished laughing, I went and picked up the back cushion to release him.  He hopped down, shook himself off, and then turned and barked out the couch a few times before wandering off.

Some Learnin':  I came across an article on Kuwaitiful that guided me to a really interesting video about Kuwait's past.  I had never heard much of this info before and looking at the old footage was interesting.  It is only 10 minutes long and well worth a look.

Somethin' Really Kewl:  I was aware that they participated in Falconry over here, but I have yet to see it up close and personal. Another of the local blogs that I regularly read (2:48AM)  posted a link to this YouTube video that was shot in Abu Dhabi. The latter half of the video features some footage that was shot from a camera mounted atop a Falcon's head.  A very unique perspective. 

Sometimes nature is so much cooler than CGI could ever be.


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