This past weekend was my first drill weekend with my new unit in the Virginia National Guard. I was nervous. I’ve been at the same unit for the entire 6 years I’ve been in and this is my first time at a unit I don’t know. But it went relatively well.
It was a three day drill and I had to report Thursday night. My boys did not want me to leave. They can always tell when I’m packing to leave and they tend to follow me around.
Thursday night, my unit convoyed down to Ft. Pickett, South of Richmond. I drove one of the big trucks down there.
This weekend was our yearly medical checks. We get our teeth and vision checked, vaccines updated and girls get to take a pregnancy test (among other things we do). Unfortunately, because I was the “new guy,” I wasn’t on the list. Friday I sat around all day, reading and killing time. Lunch was an MRE (Meals Ready to Eat). That was the most exciting part of my day.
Sadly, there are only one or two good things in each package.
Saturday I was pushed through the medical and dental I didn’t do Friday. My teeth are alright, although I “need to floss more” (which I believe is a generic sentence said to everyone). I got some blood taken for my HIV test (everyone in the Army gets it) and I was lucky enough that I didn’t need any vaccines. Oh, and I’m not pregnant – as if that was even a question. Funny enough, by the time I got there, they had ran out of pregnancy test and ran to Walmart to pick some up. We keep it classy here. Usually, this whole process takes ALL day, but this year they tried a new system that worked wonderfully. Working my way through dental took about a half hour, and medical only took 45 minutes. In the whole 6 years I’ve been in, this is the fastest I’ve ever been through this process. It was incredible.
Saturday also consisted of reviewing records that we need to have on file. They update your emergency contacts and your life insurance (if you want it – I’m still worth more alive than dead!!). Waiting in line took more time than the actual review did. Normal Army.
That night, I had dinner (Chinese!) and got to hang out with the girls in our barracks, which consisted of an open bay. The best part of drill weekends is usually the down time we have. We ended up staying up pretty late considering we had to be up at 0430.
My snack this weekend. AH-MAZINGNESS.
Sunday morning was EARLY. Four-thirty in the morning comes earlier than you’d know. It was also SO. COLD. It had to be under 20 degrees that morning and I lost feeling in my ears after the first 5 minutes outside. It was freezing. After cleaning up and a quick breakfast, we got our trucks ready and warmed them up the best we could. After getting out on the road, we took a quick pit stop at a gas station, where I got breakfast.
Super healthy, no?
There was a light dusting of snow when we got back to our unit and they let us go home. The first snow of the season that finally stuck!
I got home and promptly fell asleep on the couch. For my first weekend, it wasn’t too bad. And I only have a year left in the Guard. Time to start counting down!
What did you do this weekend?