Wow! Where to start? Before I begin, I have to say that today has to be without question the hardest day of my life. As I worked my way through the long line to get screened, began to get the first taste of what the next year of my life would be like. My family stood only a few feet away, yet I was now separated from them. I saw the tears, but I was no longer able to give anyone a hug and say how much I loved them all. I do love them all so very much and miss them terribly.
I saw that Erin has already posted about the "bag adventure". Let me tell you, I can heft around 80 lb bags of cement, but the awkward shape of my duffel bag made it next to impossible to carry in any reasonable manner. I had to laugh when the lady at the counter asked my how many people was I hiding in there.
For the most part my flights were uneventful with only a couple of hiccups. I had to deal with a rude counter person in Seattle that didn't really seem to understand what time it was. I was not able to getting a boarding pass for my connecting flight while in Spokane, so I had to get one in Seattle. The lady was inpatient and kept saying that she wasn't going to be able to get her stuff done if we kept asking her questions. So sorry, my flight leaves in 25 minutes and I need a boarding pass!
The flight to Atlanta was incredibly bumpy. We went side to side and up and down most of the way. On the inside of the plane it feels like you are going all over the place, but in reality the plane is only moving a few inches in any direction. Weird. One of the funniest things that I have seen recently was in the airport terminal. They had this room for smoking and it was packed. All you could see was this haze and people walking around in it. Has anyone heard of ventilation? When the door opened smoke poured out in to the concourse like when Jeff Spicoli opened the door to the van in Fast Times.
Once we got to Atlanta, I was able to retrieve my humongous bag and then begin another 3+ hour trip in a commuter van. I sat next to a guy that is on his way to Afghanistan. He has been deployed in Iraq for the last four years and is taking this new assignment. All and all he is a nice guy, but a little loose on details and facts. As I remember from my military days, there are always guys who "know" everything. He was trying to convince me that I was missing vital documents and would not be able to get on base when we got there. He was flabbergasted that I did not pick up and call my recruiter at midnight. I had to chuckle when he forgot his jacket at the depot and we had to turn the van around.
We finally got to Fort Benning CRC at about 1:30 AM. By the time we processed in and got to our rooms it was about 2:30 AM. As I quietly dragged my huge bag to the room I was assigned, I was greeted with the loudest snoring I have ever heard in my life. Is that irony or what? We had to be started early Saturday so it meant very little sleep as you can imagine. It was easier to deal with since the party posse had been keeping me up all night for the last week or so.
On to tomorrow!