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migliore Recommended
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Posted on Sat, Oct 30, 2010 18:53

Ya gotta love soldiers -- the gummint provides them with food, housing and clothing (never have to think about what you'll wear to work in the Army).  There are other important perks that come with the job, yet, as many people will react when you give them something, soldiers often want more and they want it handed to them on a silver platter.

 

Sometimes they act like the Army's also supposed to provide them with the perfect romantic partner and social life as well.  At Ft. Huachuca I had a group of tag-alongs from Goodfellow Air Force Base in San Angelo, Texas.  After basic training they had been sent to the Defense Language Institute in Monterrey, California at gummint expense before coming to Goodfellow where we received analytical training before heading to Ft. Huachuca.  Hard to think of any better place to be stationed than DLI. The weather is warm and the post overlooks the beautiful bay.  To put it mildly DLI is too much like a country club, so my young tag alongs were having trouble readjusting to real Army initial entry training.

 

At Goodfellow they were back under the watchful eye of their own personal Drill Sergeant.  They were back in an environment where fraternization was frowned upon, and even the several who had gotten married to classmates while at DLI had to live on post in separate barracks.  By the time they got to Ft. Huachuca, they were bucking and bridling in a big way, so our commander called a meeting to reiterate the rules.  I forget exactly how you had to toe the line, but the gist of it was that there were to be no romantic relationships with soldiers in your class unless you were already legally married.

 

These young'uns were linguists and fairly smart so they peppered the commander, a young Captain, with questions like, "What if we were already dating before we got here?" and other inquiries pointed in the same direction.  The Captain seemed to be getting flustered so I jumped in and asked, "Ma'am do you mind it I share a couple of thoughts with the group? To be honest, I've never seen anything like this in the military."  She was only too willing and immediately answered, "Yes, please, and neither have I."

 

For a moment I looked at the group as the soldiers awaited my words of wisdom.  Gradually I began to grin slightly and shake my head.  "You know, if any of you joined the Army to improve your social life, you may need to take a good long look at why you had so much trouble making friends when you were a civilian."  Again there was a silent pause, then the whole room including the commander burst out laughing.  "Give me a break," I said, "get a life, have some fun and if you're going to break the rules have the good sense not to get caught. But let's not have any more meetings about this."

 

Like many people, soldiers will often stay within their comfort zone, hanging out with people they know in places they are familiar with.  A little less than a year later, with that memory in mind, I headed to NATO HQ in southern Italy as the Kosovo campaign began.  I knew only a few words of Italian at that point yet I had promised myself that I would become immersed in Italian culture rather than indulging in the "barracks rat" routine.  In "Social Situation II" I'll explain what awaited me as I stepped off the plane in Napoli, Italia.  To be continued...

 

(Troops assembled at DLI - the post by the bay)


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migliore Recommended
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Posted on Sun, Oct 31, 2010 05:22

Mille grazie, ladies  Social Situation II will be more about "bel paese", Italia .  Buona fine settimana.



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Michelle0097
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Posted on Sat, Oct 30, 2010 19:13

Looking forward to Part II. Really enjoyed reading this one--thanks! :-)


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