Sunday night I was in the tower for a few hours again as my friend had the last night of his class. Right around midnight he came out to relieve me, but I didn’t get back until 1:45. I headed home the way I normally go, but when I got to Disney Dr. (our main road), it was blocked off with red tape and cones. They were probably doing some de-mining or something. So I turned around and had to go all the way around the perimeter to get home. So I finally get in and check my e-mail and message boards to relax a bit and then went to bed about 2.
Monday was a pretty slow day again, other than a Fallen Comrade ceremony in the afternoon. We ended up standing on the flight line for quite a while as we were waiting for a Colonel and his Sergeant Major to show up. As I was standing there waiting, I was watching the sun getting closer and closer to the mountains. And I was not looking forward to the sun disappearing behind the mountains. When that happens, the temperature DROPS like 10 degrees or so within minutes. So there we were, standing, holding chunks of metal in our hands, and no gloves. But we made it through the ceremony and then got to go home to our nice warm (or too warm in my case) hooches. In the evening I went to Bible study at the chapel. There were just me and SSG Sarah Miller (National Guard) and Chaplain Ebb there, but we had a great time. We learned a little bit about the Hebrew language and talked about all kinds of stuff. I wish I had started doing this earlier in my time here.
Tuesday I slept again since I had to go do tower for my friend again. He needed to sleep Tuesday night to retake his ASVAB on Wednesday (the classes he was going to were to help him improve his score). So I spent the whole night in the tower this time, and boy was it a long night. Not only was it quiet outside the wire, but the radio was quiet. Usually people are always doing radio checks when they go on foot patrols and stuff (not necessary but they do it anyways), accidentally setting things on the talk button, etc. But we made it through, and after a small breakfast, I went to bed and slept (or tried to) for a few hours. I say tried to because it’s hard to sleep when there are saws and hammers being used less than 20 feet away from where your bed it. We are getting a roof built over our smoking/hang out area, and of course they were working on that when I was trying to sleep. Oh well, I needed to sleep over night anyways. Wednesday was another Fallen Comrade ceremony, but I wasn’t on it cuz I was sleeping. (No, I didn’t sleep through it – they didn’t need me for it. . .)
This morning I had a dry run for the Change of Command ceremony we are playing at tomorrow. Oh my! I think some of these MP’s have never done a ceremony before. The first time they ran through it, it was just short of a total disaster, and I was thinking that it was going to be a really long day. As the band operations person, my job at dry runs is two-fold – first, make sure that the band and whatever unit are on the same sheet of music as far as the order of the ceremony, special music requests (like we need the MP Regimental March for this one), etc. And second, to make sure that they are actually doing the ceremony properly according to regulation. Since the band does ceremonies all the time, and most of us could do one in our sleep, we are the subject matter experts. Well, they managed to stumble through it that first time and each time was slightly better. After 4 times through, I decided that everything would go fine and asked them if they needed me for anything else. They didn’t, so I left.
Shortly after I got back the ANA Band finally gets there (I had figured they’d be well underway by the time I got back a little after 10). We broke them down into sections to work only on the U.S. and Afghan National Anthems. Well, since you don’t need 3 trombonists to train 1 and the other 2 in the section hadn’t planned on me being there anyway because they didn’t know how long I would be at the dry run, I didn’t need to help out. So I went to my room and crocheted. After lunch I hung out in the rehearsal hall – our jazz combo and their “orchestra” (the small combo you saw in the video from last time) were having a big jam session. It was a lot of fun – especially when one of our guitar players started doing “Dueling Banjos”. Their keyboard player (not a piano, one of their traditional keyboard instruments) played it back by ear. That was really neat. Then our guys played a few tunes and their guys played a few tunes, and one guy danced to one of them. It was a lot of fun.
After they left, I relaxed for a while and crocheted and then I went to dinner and then to the chapel for my friend Sarah’s Confirmation class. She and Chaplain Ebb invited me to join them for her last couple of classes before she is Confirmed on 10 December. We had some really good discussions and totally lost track of time. My battle buddy came looking for me (he was over in the MWR building watching a movie and he also called his wife while he was there) because I had been gone so long.
Off to bed now – early morning tomorrow.