Sunday, February 7, 2010

Week 3 - Weapons, Weapons and More Weapons

Week 3's blog is being typed from the comfort of my rack thanks to Judi and Aunt Nanny who mailed my laptop and enough beef jerky and Doritos to last me a month. Thanks ladies!! This entire week was spent on weapons training. Monday morning we shot the M9 pistol in "low-light" conditions, which is Army slang for in the dark, at 0500 in 20 degree temperatures - great fun. More classroom stuff in the afternoon. Tuesday was spent practicing for quals with the M16. So, if you practiced on Tuesday you would think you would shoot the real thing on Wednesday, right? Wrong! Wednesday was more practice. This time with pop-up targets, actually kind of fun. Thursday was M16 quals then the most sobering lecture of the course - Improvised Explosive Devises (IEDs). I don't want to get into it much, because I hate thinking about it, but it is my greatest concern about going to Afghanistan. I am really hoping when our team has to travel we are flown in a helicopter and not in a convoy. Friday we were all given the opportunity to fire the "big guns" - the 50 cal and M249. I posted a picture of the 50 cal. If you look at the bullets below it, they cover the entire length of your hand. I was not a big fan of this evolution, but there was some serious testosterone flying around with those bullets. Saturday we went back to the M16 simulator and practiced a "shoot - don't shoot" exercise where they played a video of terrorists in crowded areas and you had to determine who to shoot or not shoot. That was it for the training this week, only 3 days left then we are supposed to fly to Kuwait on Thursday.

I did get out to dinner the last two nights. We went to Hooters on Friday. It was nice to have a beer.... or five. Last night we went to a brick oven pizza place, it was no Moon Hotel, but it was pretty good. Tonight we are going out to watch the Super Bowl. One of the Nurse Anesthetists is from NOLA, so I guess I'm rooting for the Saints.

It has been really nice to be able to talk with Judi every night and vent my frustrations with this Army stuff, but it hit me Friday that once I leave for Afghanistan I don't know how often I will get to hear her voice. That's gonna blow! I'm sure her sisters are taking care of her and Cowher, especially with all the snow. And if a certain someone sees her struggling in the snow and instead of stopping to help he takes a picture something should be done to his drink the next time he comes into the Fire Club (got it Becky Bird).

Almost forgot, I need to clarify that the South Beach Diet Bars that one might prefer are the one's with at least 10 grams of protein per bar. I'm sure no one would care if you sent the one's with more than 10 grams of protein.

Take care all,


p.s. Would it be possible for someone in the Eckenrode clan to print these posts and take them to Pap and Gram? Thanks!!


  1. the young rezk's have also been reading your blogs!! and today as I was reading Mackenzie came over and sat with me and said that's GOOBER!!! she was quite excited to recognize you, and a little while later asked to see the picture of Goober again it was so cute that we had to let you know! Hope all is well, been praying for you.

    Julie, Rick, Kenzie and Maddie

  2. UJ Please be safe and tell RK we all said hello we will be praying every day for your safe return
    Miss Nenna

  3. I am going to keep looking for those south beach bars John and when I find them I intend to eat one just to see what is so good about them. Happpy traveling and I am glad you enjoyed the care package. the next will be filled with some smelly stuff maybe.
    Take care and be safe. Nancy