Have you ever been stuck in a detention zone/waiting area of a United States military base?
I have. (That’s meant to have an air of bragging associated with it.)
As some of you may know, I was on tour for (roughly) two years and the collection of stories you obtain while on the road are priceless. Several of my tour stories include going to military bases all over the USA.
As a plain old regular citizen of this country, I had never had a reason to visit our military bases and thus, I was left in the dark about such awesome things as streets named “Destroyer Way” and decommissioned tanks and aircrafts lining the roads of such bases.
There are plenty of things to brag about when you witness the US military at work but I’m going to focus on the one time I almost couldn’t make it on base.
Now, there are several levels of heightened security that each base can be on and to be honest, I know nothing about the significance of these levels. I do know that when I was attempting to gain access one day the base was on high alert. We approached the armed guards at the gate in our 44 foot long trailer were we handed over IDs and waited, and waited and waited until the once indifferent armed guard became stern as he asked us to pull our truck over to the side and then have a seat in the waiting area.
The waiting area was a 30’ by 15’ area sectioned off by concrete barricades and partially covered by a tarp. It contained 1 metal bench, a wind swept dust floor, 24,786 small flying bugs (give or take), and the severe penetration of 90 degree sun rays. I know, without a doubt that the people in our military experience situations incomparable to my own, but in my boredom/heat exhaustion I began to daydream that I was G.I. Jane forced into imprisonment by these armed guards.
Minutes ticked on into hours and I decided that I wouldn’t let my prison sentence be waisted time. Life is too short. I started on my tan out in the open air but the sun was too strong. I suspect the military has found a way to compound the intensity of the sun in specific and strategic ways. So, I began doing exercises using the metal bench in the shaded section of my cell and when I couldn’t summon up any more Gene Simmons moves, I convinced the other prisoners (my co-workers) to teach me some boxing moves. Hook, hook, upper cut…ticked the time.
It turns out, most bases, including those on high alert, have very specific procedures to allow people on base. They involve background checks, processed paperwork and a sponsor who is willing to vouch for you and escort you onto the base. There was some confusion with our sponsor who somehow forgot/wasn’t informed about our arrival, hence the several hour wait. I’d like to blame the military guards for the huge delay but they had gigantic guns loaded with live bullet and were trained to kill people with my very own tax dollars so I’m willing to take responsibility for the mistake.
I hope to never be detained again but if, for some reason, the circumstance arises, Gene Simmons better watch out. I will be using the time to perfect my work out video that you can all purchase for 3 easy payments of $19.99 plus shipping.
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