Memories of Army Truckin’
I have a number of memories stored up about driving trucks overseas while in the army. Some of them involve the “snake eaters” of the Green Berets.
During my final overseas tour (they now call it a deployment) I was in the land of the rising sun and on my very first (no field duty) Corps level Field Training Exercise North Wind ’89 to the northern island of Hokkaido. Keep in mind I’m an army senior transportation sergeant (E-7) with 20 years active duty, and sitting behind a field desk as a dispatcher and I’m not real happy.
I also have the job of transporting soldiers to and from the airport as well as out to training locations in a right hand steering Isuzu minivan. This particular day I’m transporting an A-Team to the rifle range over a snow and ice covered dirt road we call a tank trail. Inside the van is an entire A-Team complete with rucksacks, gear and weapons needed on the rifle range where they will be qualifying soldiers from the 25th Infantry Division out of Hawaii.
Everyone was joking and carrying on as we bounced along the snow covered dirt road. The Captain was sitting on the engine cover between the two front seats. He leaned over and asked, “Sergeant how long have you been in Japan?” That was an easy question so I answered, “Two weeks sir!” Boy howdy did it get quiet in the van. All we heard was the creaking and squeaking as the van bounced along.
After seemingly catching his breath he asked a follow up question, “Where did you come from before Japan?” Without hesitating I said, “Fort Carson sir!” Immediately it was like everyone collectively breathed a sigh of relief and the joking and carrying on continued until I dropped them off at the range.
As I drove away I thought to myself, why does everyone think Colorado is the land of snow and ice? Prior to ending up in Japan I had been stationed at Fort Carson for almost 4 years. My office had been a conex container in the motor pool. I spent quite a bit of time in the field or out to some remote training location and don’t seem to remember any “big ones” dumping snow. Oh that would come a few years later when we got hit with “the big one” in 96 or 97. – I am the Real Truckmaster!