I had an interesting first week with my new unit. I finally met all the rest of the members of the OMLT team I will be a part of Monday morning during our departure ceremony. Just about all the members on the team have at least one deployment under their belt, and several of us already have a combat patch. All of which is a good thing, as we will be bringing a good wealth of experience to this adventure.
It was really awesome to have Govenor Pawlenty come and speak at our departure ceremony, I can understand why a lot of folks think he will be a strong contender in the next presidential race. In the short time that he spoke, he just stood up and seemed to say all of the right things.
Tuesday morning we returned to the Armory, loaded up our gear and began our journey to Ft Polk. While inventoring our gear I was surprised to find out that I will be one of the M203 gunners. I am kind of excited to head out to the range and launch some grenades down range from my rifle, unfortunately with that comes several extra pounds of ammo that I will have to strap to my vest (yet another reason for me to spend a lot of time at the gym over the next year). Had a pretty uneventful flight and ride to Ft Polk. The only probably is that I was put in a six man room with four other officers, and I ended up getting one of the top bunks.
Wednesday through Friday was spent in-processing here at Ft Sill. A few of the folks were kind of frustrated because we were given classes on things that we had already completed back at home. Wednesday afternoon I got an anthrax booster shot, and a couple others which I don't remember, all I know is that Friday afternoon my arms were still a little sore. Fortunately I did not have to get a small pox shot again. I am a little concerned though as we were told that we will have to take malaria pills when we get in country. I will have to do a little bit more research on them. Thursday we got a new issue of uniforms. Some of things I can envision that I will have to box up and mail home, because I will never need them. There were a couple things which I didn't get, which I was expecting I would receive, which I might have to purchase when I get in country. I only have a couple PT uniforms here at Ft Polk, and really don't want to purchase any more, because I have several back in storage.
Friday evening after a briefing from our new training company we were told we would have the weekend free. This morning we went to PX and Clothing and Sales to pick up what ever items we might still need. Several of the guys bought some new boots, I held off on any major purchases. This evening we are planning to go into town to try and get a descent meal. The food here at our local dining facility isn't that bad, however restaraunt food is always better for some reason. I'm hoping we will find a restaraunt that serves boiled craw-fish! Tomorrow (Sunday) off to church, and then Monday I believe we will start drivers training.
Thus far in my short time here at Fort Polk, I am pleased with my experience here. When I mentioned to other Army folks that I was coming here, everyone rolled their eyes from all the bad memories that they have of this place. I hoping that it won't be that bad while I am here; sure it will suck but most nights I will be able to sleep in a descent rack.