Monday, May 19, 2014

The Military Version of a Roller Coaster

To avoid dumping too much Army on you at once, I present to you the ever so exciting...
Each Monday, you'll get a piece of my training experience:  What I learned, how I feel about it and why I still like the Army after it all. 

 Today I'll share a bit about my experience at Annual Training which will be referred to from here on out as AT. 
Let me start with this:  Wisconsin is cold.  It rained nearly the entire time we were there. If it wasn't raining, it was at least very gloomy  We saw the sun maybe 3 or 4 days out of the 21 days that we were there. That meant that we always had to have on warming layers as well as our vests with our magazine pouches loaded down with blank ammo, carry our weapons around as well as wearing all these thick layers to keep us warm. It's uncomfortable. Almost as uncomfortable as that run-on sentence I just wrote...
We were off to a very poor start. 
Although there were plenty of things to complain about, there were a few fantastic training opportunities that we were afforded.  The first one we did was a humvee roll-over training. In this training, you get inside a humvee up on a machine, and they roll it around and teach you how to react when it happens.  As the lightest one in my group, I was selected for the "gunner" position. Each person sits in a certain seat and has a job to do in the even of a roll-over.  
The gunner's job is to drop down out of the turret (that's basically the gunner's hatch) and be held onto by the other passenger in the vehicle (the gunner doesn't have a seat belt.)Well, unfortunately, my fellow passengers were not all on the same page, and I sort of flew all over that damn humvee. It was so scary! All I could think to do was press my hands up against the turret and hope for the best.  Everyone was shouting and there were little foam ammo cans rolling around and hitting me in the face...It was a crazy experience. 
Lucky for you, I found a video of the exact simulator. Take a look.
When we all climbed out, I realized that my face was kind of hurting. Well I hadn't realized it at the time, but I smacked my face on the only un-padded part of the turret.  I walked away with a nasty bruise on my face that people commented on for about two weeks. Luckily, it's gone now, but it made my head hurt for days.  I guess that's what I get for embracing the military version of a roller coaster...
Check it out.  See that dirt smudge? Not dirt.  It also stretched a little and changed from purple to green to yellow. 
It sucked wearing that bruise around for nearly two weeks, but I think I got some valuable training out of it.  The Army can be frustrating and hard, but they sure let us do some cool shit every now and then. If you ever get the chance to try anything like this out, I suggest you go ahead and give it a shot. 


Jen said...

Awesome girl! :) We are having a spouses challenge day coming up and I'm excited to be "army" for a day haha. My husband just laughed.

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