Monday, August 1, 2016

I Hate the Army

No, I really don't but sometimes...

So, today, on my way to a meeting, I decided that I'd take a detour and drive David to his base. It gives me an hour or so to be with him, especially since I won't see him for another 16 days. We set off extra early...and about 30 minutes later, hit a HUGE traffic jam. We checked WAZE, which said he'd still get to his base 7 minutes early but he decided to send his commander a message just in case. We crawled to about 100 meters before the checkpoint (notice I'm not saying which one) and came to a complete and utter halt.

As traffic built up behind us, what we had there was a huge parking lot. People were getting out of their cars trying to figure out what was happening. From the distance, I could see that not a single car was making its way through the checkpoint.

David sent a message to his commanding officer, updating him, telling him that we were about 100 meters from the check point, that nothing was moving. We heard on the radio that there'd been an accident but to be honest, I doubt that was the reason. First, because of the length of time this "shut down" lasted and second because once we finally got past the checkpoint, there was no sign of any accident. There were some police speaking to a bunch of soldiers and all in all, it looked more suspicious. Had it really been an accident, we would have heard or seen ambulances (we didn't) and minutes after a car accident, we would have seen wrecked cars (we didn't). One bad enough to require closing the check point would have shown remnants - on the road, on the side of the road, something (there weren't).

Whatever the reason for closing the checkpoint, it finally opened and we traveled the remaining 30 minutes or so to his base, only to find, having arrived at 2:20 p.m. (i.e. 20 minutes late), that they intend to punish him.

And what is the punishment they plan? A lost day of vacation...which ordinarily would be bad enough but now will mean losing a day up north with the family, a day to go kayaking on the river. It means a long trip by multiple buses instead of the comfort of family and an air-conditioned car. It means so much lost, all for 20 minutes that were completely unavoidable.

I hate the army sometimes. He did nothing wrong. He called his commander. We left on time.

I hate the army sometimes.

P.S. For probably the second or third time ever, I plan to call the commanding officer and speak to him...hold only good thoughts in your head for the next few hours, please...

And the sequel is posted here: A Conversation that Ended in Tears

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