Wednesday, March 23, 2011

If You Don't Decompress, You Might Get Bent (Out Of Shape)

At least they had the sense to not say "Welcome Home."
Kuwait is the place for in- and out-processing from the US Central Command. We have to complete something called WTP in order to get our tickets home. WTP, or Warrior Transition Program, is the navy's answer to stressed out sailors returning from combat deployments. In a few days, God and navy willing, we expect to board planes for Germany and the US. 

WTP Sign
Our mission here is something called decompression. The navy's idea of decompression involves more living in open bay tents confined to a military base in a desert country with communal latrines. Feeling that stress relief? Now, we've been living in open bay tents confined to military bases in desert countries since being relieved two weeks ago but that is just quibbling. The good news is that they have some fast food chains and a bigger exchange and the weather is rather pleasant in Kuwait at this time of year.

Springle plaque from the memorial wall.
There is a nice tent that was erected in honor of CDR Charles Springle, a social worker attached to the 55th Medical Brigade, who was killed in 2009 by a soldier returning from Iraq. The tent has pergo flooring, an internet cafe, leather couches, and a large video game room with lots of realistic, multi-player war games (no joke) if you wish.
Springle Center

Decompression might be a first person shooter combat game, say XBOX HALO 3. Comfy chair is naturally the key.

We have some suggestions for the WTP. First that we skip it altogether. (Denied.) Or that it be moved from a desert military base to Italy or Germany for some real R&R. (Not going to happen.) Or finally that they change the name to WTF (By that I mean the Warrior Transition Funstop. What did you think I meant?). Funny how no one listens to us.

One last sad note. I bought a fold-up camping chair eight long months ago while in pre-deployment training at Ft. Dix. Possibly the best $10 I ever spent. It has been with me through Ft. Dix, Kuwait, Kandahar, FOB Lagman, and back to Kuwait. Alas, its journey must come to an end. Regretfully I leave it behind. In honor of my chair, I present the three pillars of deployment: chair, cigar, dirt.

Iconic pose.

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