Tuesday, November 6, 2007

No day off in combat!

I'd like to think I don't normally write about how pitiful my life is and curse to the heavens, "Why Me, Lord?" I'd like to think that I have accepted my time here and shed a positive light on what I do. I'd like to think I don't feel worthless or angry because I am stuck on the FOB.

Today though, I feel like saying that I am tired and there is a big part of me that says, "Suck it up!" and I am okay with that. I have only had two days off since I got to Iraq in January and not many more than that since we were mobilized. I have worked a few six-hour days and many, many ten to sixteen-hour days.

One day I had off because a friend was killed; never want another day off like that again. The other day off was back in July to get things ready for my two weeks of R&R. Since August I have worked eight to thirteen hours a day, seven days a week. Okay, here is the "Suck it up!" part. We are all doing that, right? Wrong.

Many times when I am calling around to take care of business I hear, "Oh, he's not here today. Try back tomorrow." or "Oh, I can't do it tomorrow, it's my Maintenance Day." Maintenance Day; that's what we call it in the combat zone.

"We're in a Combat Zone! You don't get days off in combat!" I am often told.

I thought it was because we are short handed in my office. Barely enough soldiers to make the shifts. Man, if we just had another one or two soldiers in here we could get Maintenance Days too!

Well, recently we did get another soldier and can have another one or two if we need them. The answer was, "We don't need them."

"Don't need them?" I said. "If we had another one or two guys, we could alternate and have a damn day off now and then!"

"We're in a Combat Zone! You don't get days off in combat!" I was told again. All this time I had "Sucked it Up!" because we just didn't have the help. Often times I had thought a scheduling shift would have allowed someone to get some down time.

Then as more and more of our fellow Fobbits were unavailable due to days off I became jealous of them too. At least if I am stuck here on the FOB, I could get some time off now and then if I worked over there, but then these guys would be stuck pulling my load. Recently learning that isn't the case at all, makes me that much more ready to get out of here.