We had a visit from our commanding general from home, BG Pat Wilson. With him came several other visitors as well as my good friend MAJ Chaplain Joel Miller. Joel was deployed to Iraq with the 115th Engineers. That was the group I was attached to several years ago. They were able to observe our training on the AK47. It’s the weapon used by the enemy. In the morning we learned about the weapon itself. In the afternoon, we went to the range and fired it. We had 3,000 rounds to use up so we got to fire quite a bit. The weapon does not fire as smoothly nor handle as well as our M4. It heats up quite fast. In fact, it gets so hot you have to wear gloves to shoot it. After firing the weapon, I was very grateful for my M4.
Here are a couple of pictures from that day.
If you look closely at the name tape on Joel's IBA, you'll see that it's not his, so don't let the name tape fool you. That's really Joel.
That afternoon, we had a command barbecue so General Wilson could mingle with us. It has been raining every afternoon for several weeks and that day was no exception. Fortunately, it rained a couple of hours before the actual barbecue. But, it was one of the larger down-pours we’ve had recently. In the field next to the pavilion where we were at, a huge puddle/small lake formed. As you all know, boys and water are like magnets. A football got thrown in the middle of the water so one of the LTs went in to get it and he really never came out. Later, a small group of insurgents converged on COL Jerry Acton, our commander for this mission, grabbed him and threw him into the pond. Of course we all got a good laugh. That opened Pandora’s box. A select few were then “helped” into the water. 1LT Dusty Kawai, one of my JAGs who I rate and write evaluations for, “helped” me into the water. Not very smart on his part!!
As they came for me, I decided to go willingly. In fact, I started to run towards the water. I think they thought I was trying to get away. As we approached the water, I was actually helping them into the water. For whatever reason, maybe my forward momentum, one of the guys fell in the water and I was able to get away. I got out of the water with only my feet getting wet. Of course, my “dryness” didn’t last for long. As I was running to get away, Dusty and the others caught me and eventually dragged me into the water. Since two of the three JAGs were now wet, it was decided that MAJ Paul Waldron, our other JAG, needed to be “helped” into the water. So here’s a picture of the three of us.