Sunday, November 23, 2008


Well, packing time has begun. In the military, packing is a way of life due to the frequent moves and short stays at places where you can't buy anything you forgot...

Learning how to fit the right things in a rucksack in such a way that they stay dry, allow you to accomplish the mission, and provide room for amenities (such as a book, snacks, a hackisack, etc) is a learned skill that soldiers pride themselves on. It's really kind of a fun experience every time to see who brought what and how when you get out in the field.

Bringing the required items to training or schools (usually ranging from 2 weeks to several weeks) is another struggle, as generally you have to fit the necessities into a duffel bag or two and carry them around with you as you fly somewhere and hope things don't get broke. Usually this ends with either many wrinkled pieces of clothing, an exploded tube of toothpaste, a broken souvenir, or something else you didn't plan for. Very similar to going on vacation in civilian life, except you have required gear and clothing you need to bring.

But now I'm at that time again for the long-term important packing. Painting the duffel bags with my last initial and part of my SSN, along with the unit's name and which bag of mine it is (A, B, or C). Putting in all of the things from a packing list that determines what I'll have over the next year. Trying to figure out where I'll have room to pack pictures, books, and other personal items. Figuring out which personal items I should bring. 

It's really kind of exciting and scary at the same time, putting your life into bags.