Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Hey, Hey Captain Jack

Hey, Hey Captain Jack

Last tour the title of one of my blog entries was "Retention in a war zone is kind of like trying to sell matches to a guy who is on fire." Retention is the name the Army uses for trying to keep people in the Army or getting them to reenlist.

Meet me down by the railroad tracks

The picture at the beginning of this post is from one of our local portapotties. Obviously someone felt the need to voice their opinion about reenlistment. And I probably looked strange taking pictures in a portapotty.

With that weapon in my hand

It is hard to explain why someone would reenlist. They are always trying to get us to reenlist by offering monetary bonuses and other perks. They also try to appeal to our sense of duty and Country. I know I don't really feel like reenlisting when I'm on a muddy road, changing a 300 pound tire, in full battle rattle, while it's pouring rain.

I’m gonna be a fightin' man

Or when we are sitting on the side of the road for seven hours waiting for Explosive Ordinance Disposal (EOD) to come disarm a bomb that we found. Or when we drive five hours to pick up something at another FOB only to find out it was already picked up. Three weeks ago.

The best I can

But there is something inexplicable about being in the military. Those who have never served don't know what it is. In fact, I have served and I can't really explain it either. Maybe it's the camaraderie. Or the mission we are accomplishing overall. Or you really just love your job in the military.

For Uncle Sam

It almost makes you want to reenlist then a mission comes up where you are on the road for four days without seeing a chow hall or bed. Or you get stuck with five days of extra work because someone who far outranks you didn't do their job. Or you realize that you have spent almost three and a half years of your six year Reserve contract on Active Duty.

Reup you’re crazy

But when you think about getting out it's hard to imagine. You know the chances of you staying out for the rest of your life are slim. You know that you will miss it even if you can't explain why in words.

Reup you’re out of your mind

My new contract begins today.

Hey, Hey Captain Jack

Just don't ask me to explain why.

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