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 . . . . . :)


Blogger Michelle said...

I feel the same way about all the guys/gals in uniform. When I had my gall bladder surgery, it was on post and my mom was with me while Eric pulled the car around. She just thought it was so neat watching all the people walking around the hospital in their uniforms. I love it.

When we lived here 4 yrs ago, we lived really close to the impact zone and the first time I was woke up by artillery I was wondering what in the world was going on lol. I think it's really kind of enjoyable, once you get used to it lol

9/17/07, 11:07 AM  
Blogger Michelle said...

I am completely with you. We do not live on base (because they will not let our dog on base) but everytime I go through the gate it just make me realize what all is going on...

9/18/07, 1:09 AM  
Blogger vanessa said...

It's funny reading that because it is our norm to see all the military stuff all day everyday. When we go home or on vacation is the only time we notice a difference. My MIL is in Killeen now. She also likes being around all that military stuff.
Have a good day

9/19/07, 4:49 AM  
Blogger ABW said...

I was thinking about that the other day, wondering what people think when they drive through Killeen. There were tanks on the train, Soldiers cleaning the roadsides, and uniforms everywhere. My mom was an AF brat and loves seeing all the military stuff here.

P.S. We used to live right inside the main gate and I could hear Tapes, Reville, etc. I loved it.

9/21/07, 8:58 PM  
Blogger Sue said...

Oh what a nice post this is..and I can identify with everything you say. How often we visited Laurie when she lived in the barracks at her first duty station after AIT. She was there for 3 years - and each time we visited we tried to stay on post in the guest housing or in one of the other guest housing areas. One morning we woke up to tanks going by and a drill sgt. shouting...well never mind what he was shouting. :) But whenever we visit Laurie and Stephen we enjoy so much the time spent on post or with other soldiers. And I enjoy spotting guys with short hair cuts in places like home depot or the mall because you can tell a mile away...these are military people. I burst with pride also when people have occasion to ask Stephen if he is military...and then listen to the pride in his voice when he tells the person..."yes and my wife is also."
People who don't have loved ones serving sometimes forget that women who serve aren't big and bulky - but they are strong and filled with courage just the same. Yes...there is great wonder in the way these men and women live their lives - on post and off, there is something to be said for it all.
Maybe it's because they don't take life for granted?
Blessings to your soldiers and to you, mom.

9/23/07, 1:38 PM  
Blogger Claire said...

I always feel safer when I am on base. I don't necessarily become haphazard with my safety, but when I see a bunch of guys in uniform I know that there is some safety to be had if needed.

10/1/07, 7:15 PM  

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