Friday, July 10, 2020

Day Two Writing - Still deployed and writing some about it

These were the temp buildings we started in, not where we are now.

So, yesterday I talked about how I had some experience of being deployed with the military. Well, the main reason I was thinking about that yesterday is something happened here recently where a person on a backup crew complained pretty hardcore. I'm not talking about just whining and complaining just to complain. I'm talking about writing an email to all the leadership and even threatening to go to a higher authority with these complaints. I think what's bothering me is how that backup crew group has this trip even easier than the primary crews have it. Due to the nature of our mission, there's a small group of people here that aren't flying regularly, well, at all really. Their mission is not in high demand, so they're not being tasked to fly. So, they've been doing building-watch. Basically, they come in for about eight hours one or two days a week. Now, I don't want to put down this crew. For the most part, they're doing just fine. They come in, work their shift and that's that. They make it so that the regular ground support team doesn't have to work extra-long shifts and more days out of the week. My knee-jerk reaction was, how could we make it easier for that backup crew? Give them more days off? How do you give someone more time off if they're already not going into work? I suppose they could go home, but that defeats the purpose of having them out here. They're here for a special rare mission and mission support. If we sent them home then we couldn't do the missions that they're here to support. I get it, we're all away from home and that sucks, but really?!

Another thought that hit me as I was out for a run this morning was this. Everyone ought to get the worst possible stuff that their job can give them early in their career. For example, in my own military career. I had only been in for less than two years when my son was due to be born and the military forced me to miss his birth, for training?! What!? That was some crap and an absolutely stupid situation that my leadership had no reason to put me through. At the time I didn't know this, but I did have recourse and I could have appealed to a higher-level authority. If I had done so, I probably would have been able to see my son's birth. Then, not long after finishing all my training, I got sent overseas on a deployment to Afghanistan. It wasn't as bad as other's experiences with that country, but as far as my cushy, flying, intel job, that was about as bad as it gets. I was away from home for training for three months, then in-country for six months. Nine total months away from home. Then, after I got home I was put on another trip. This time one month for training and six months in-country. I left for training after only being home for five months. Technically breaking the rules about 1-to-1 time off deployment because the training trips technically didn't count as deployment time.

I have these tough experiences in my history and they've given me an interesting and I think, good perspective on other things. Like when I heard about what our schedule was to be like here I thought, "Well, I've had much worse!" Or, "It could be much worse!" If you start off with the worst your job can throw at you, the rest is easy.