Wednesday, July 01, 2009


Everybody in the National Guard coming back from a year in Iraq (and Afghanistan, it would seem) has to take a tuberculin skin test. They’re not particularly painful; they’re just annoying in that the test is administered (subcutaneously) one day and the results are read 48 hours later.

This means at least three days at the demobilization site.

SFC McG and I have wound up in the same room here at Summer Camp as we’d had last year, and it’s now looking as though we were trend-setters in that regard. There had been another Chaplain Detachment team that had showed up shortly after we arrived last year, and they were housed for a month in the barracks with the other Soldiers going through the mobilization process (forty bunks to each room).

Not surprisingly, they were more than a bit annoyed that SFC McG and I had our own room in a quiet building somewhat off the beaten path.

Those other guys were told that it was a mistake that SFC McG and I were placed in that building, that it had happened because I arrived on 03JUL08 after everyone who knew better had left, and that a Major who was working the desk that night had overstepped his authority in placing us there.

But that they weren’t going to move us.

This year, that other Unit Ministry Team has been housed in that same building with us as they demobilize at the same time we are. Another UMT that’s in the process of mobilizing for a year Down Range has also been placed in our building.

So much for SFC McG and I having been put there last year by mistake, I guess! We were just the vanguard of the new way of doing things.

Last year, though, he and I at least had a small electric fan I’d brought with me, seeing as the air conditioning in that building doesn’t work so well. This year, it is sauna time pretty much all hours of the day and night, with the air barely moving.

The other UMT is a bit disconcerted by that fact.

Be careful what you pray for, I guess!

Blessings and peace to one and all,

Fr. Tim, SJ

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