Sunday, August 02, 2009

Situational awareness

Recently, SPC C and I were out training, and once again I was practically face-down in the dirt with him almost on top of me. He told me to keep my head down, and that he'd let me know when I could move from my position.

He has a loaded weapon, and outweighs me by at least 140 pounds, so I tend not to argue much in those situations, I've noticed.

Soldiers are encouraged -- well, ordered, to be precise -- to maintain 360-degree situational awareness at all times. It's a pretty good plan, it would seem.

With my head down, and then rest of me in the dirt (or sand or mud -- or snow, I suppose, given where we're going), I don't have situational awareness of much except what's right in front of my eyes. That's a bit disconcerting, but mitigated by knowing that my right-hand man has clear vision and is a crack shot.

(As many of you have already pointed out to me, I'm a "crack pot", so there's no need to remind me of that fact at this point.)

So there I was on the ground, and next to me was a small bush with some rather lovely flowers blooming. I was a bit grateful for the distraction, actually, because I was very situationally aware of the myriad red ants that were swarming over me at the time.

I photographed the flowers later.

I did not photograph the ants.

Blessings and peace to one and all,

Fr. Tim, SJ

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