Friday, September 14, 2007

A trip to Fort Hood

I spent a couple nights at Fort Hood the past week. I had business in San Antonio and stopped over to visit with Katie and Seth . . . they live halfway, so it breaks up the drive nicely. Every time I stay with them on post, I feel like I'm in a special country. Kevin and Seth and Katie have lived on and near military bases or posts for so long that they take for granted some of the things that make them so special . . . at least to me . . . things you just don't find anywhere else. For instance . . .

1. Military uniforms . . . you see people in Army ACUs everywhere you go . . . even off the post or base. They were at the gas station, the grocery store, the restaurant . . . everywhere I looked. Okay, maybe I'm the only person that gets a kick out of that, but they were everywhere.

2. Reveille . . . where else can you get a wake-up call like that. I asked Katie if I could sleep with a window open so I could hear it in the morning and she laughed. Okay, again, I may be the only person who likes to be awakened by a bugle call, but it sure put a smile on my face as I stretched and woke up. I missed the other two bugle calls. I didn't get there in time to hear Retreat, and with the house all closed up later that night, I couldn't hear Taps when it was played. . . and I did so want to hear Taps while I was there. There's just something so meaningful and moving about that one. I can recall talking to Kevin on the phone some nights while he was living in the dorms at Barksdale. He always had to go out on his balcony to get reception for his phone . . . those dorms were like bunkers . . . and he'd stop talking when Taps was played and I could hear it in the background. It was cool!!!

3. Helicopters . . . they were flying back and forth between the air field and the field where maneuvers were taking place . . . four at a time . . . it was great. What can I say, I love watching military helicopters and planes. Did I mention how many Mothers Days I've spent at the air show at Barksdale AFB while Kevin was stationed there? Well, it was quite a few, and I'd do it again in a heartbeat. I love air shows on military bases . . . regular civilian air shows can't hold a candle to them. The one we went to in Alaska was really cool, with paratroopers and everything. Anyway, it was cool watching the helicopters come and go.

4. Artillery . . . yep, I'm talking big booms that would sometimes rattle the walls of their house. You didn't have to leave a window open to hear it either. Katie and I sat out on the front porch drinking hot tea, enjoying the cool morning breeze, and listening to artillery in the distance blowing something to Kingdom come. It was awesome!!!

5. Flags . . . at the front gate, at every building, and waving from front porches in the housing area . . . alot more than you see in Dallas . . . and it makes my heart sing when I see so many American flags. What can I say, I'm a diehard patriot. I sometimes sit in my backyard and just watch the flag flutter in the breeze over our house.

Being at Fort Hood evokes so many feelings in me that it's sometimes hard to sort them all out, but I know it fills me with feelings of pride and a sense of awe that I don't find out here in the "real world." I really like it there . . . . . :)