Wednesday, August 19, 2009



Barracks life is still a novelty to me, as it turns out. While we were at Summer Camp - West, I was in a bay with only three other guys. The mattresses were old, but not too bad.

Here at Summer Camp - North I'm in a building with almost 90 guys in four bays. I lucked out, in that our bay only has 16 (eight sets of bunk beds, rather than twelve). However, by the time I got to the barracks, the only bunk left was an upper bunk, with springs that sag precariously.

My "dainty 305" Chaplain Assistant is on the lower bunk.

While I was in Iraq, I wound up in an upper bunk on two occasions while traveling, and each time, my arthritis made for a difficult ascent and descent. I decided to move my mattress onto the floor here at Summer Camp - North, since it would have the double effect of making it a lot easier to get into and out of bed, as well as providing much, much more back support than the really saggy springs would.

This, of course, horrified other officers and senior NCOs. Each suggested that SPC C take the upper bunk, but I demurred. Given how saggy the springs are already, I really didn't want to have to think about having all that mass directly above me.

Unfortunately, SPC C can give "The Snorer" from Iraq a run for his money, and that combined with the other snorers in the room made for an unquiet night for me. It didn't help that the lights in the bay weren't extinguished until after midnight, and then finally once they were out, people continued to talk on the phone, watch movies with the sound up pretty loud, and otherwise rattle around making noise.

SPC C was already sawing wood (like MSG McG, he appears to be able to sleep anytime, anywhere) long before the lights went out.

Somone's alarm went off at 0400 this morning, so I'm awake and my day has begun.

"This is the day that the Lord has made. Let us rejoice and be glad in it." (Ps 118:24)

Or something.

Blessings and peace to one and all,

Fr. Tim, SJ

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