Walls go up, tempers go down
February 21, 2013
FORWARD OPERATING BASE APACHE, Afghanistan - No one ever said deployment was easy. You have a seven-day work week, for months on end. You're cramped in the smallest possible faculties. The waiting line at the dining facility is always ludicrously long. The gym can't sustain its level of users, ever. Your showers are never quite hot enough. You can have up to twenty-three roommates at one time in a tent. Let's face it - deployment is a difficult experience, one that becomes a true test of patience for any individual. It's one of the chief reasons why not everyone is meant to be deployed as a soldier.
But deployment quality of life doesn't have to be quite so challenging, at least not for some of the soldiers assigned to Headquarter and Headquarters Company, 1st Armored Brigade Combat Team, Combined Task Force Raider, Third Infantry Division, assigned to Forward Operating Base Apache, Zabul Province, Afghanistan.
Through a sheer act of strength and consideration, the Raider Brigade soldiers have recently been installing wooden walls within the living tents, which - once finished - will offer every deployed resident a seven-by-seven-foot personal living space. This installation is 100 percent due to the work and dedication of the soldiers, and has in no way been contracted or produced by Forward Operating Base Apache contractors or civilian work force.
Volunteering their own tools and personal time, these soldiers have provided an indelible act of selfless service for their fellow comrades.
It takes approximately two full days - from start to finish - to complete this installation, providing there are no serious weather changes (which could affect the lumber). I was involved specifically with the walls of my own tent. Even spending an entire day with dust filling every pore I have, and a blister the shape of Texas on my hand, but it was worth the effort at the end of the day. It felt like a real accomplishment -and I got to relax in my new personal space at the end of the day.
Deployments are never easy. But thanks to the consideration and dedication of my fellow comrades-in-arms, life has gotten a little bit better for us all. Consideration of others goes a long way, and a personal living space raises the quality of life for us all, even if it's just a little.