Monday, December 1, 2008

JCCS Training Family Portrait

I remember 6 months ago to the day, I posted a picture of the temperature gauge outside of our Battalion TOC as my way of welcoming June and the official start of summer. The temperature on the gauge displayed a reading well into the 100s.

At that point, the arrival of December was one of the farthest things from my mind along with the forthcoming reality that I would extend my stay out here for 90 days.

In very quick fashion, December first is upon us. Gone are the days of triple-digit temperatures. The climate is now more reflective of Southern California along with some rather intense thunderstorms thrown into the mix. These storms serve to usher in much cooler weather and create sloppy muddy conditions that are slow to dissipate. Temperatures dip into the 40's in the mornings making showering before bedtime a much more attractive option.

The other day, we took a photo of the training team out on our patio known as the "Crows Nest." I'm sharing this picture with you here, but it contains some oddities that require explanations.

Our Mobile Training Team returned yesterday from a week-long journey around Iraq stopping at a number of Forward Operating Bases in order to spread the kind of Holiday joy, love, and cheer that only JCCS-1 can provide. During the trip, one of our Chief Petty Officers (We have given him the callsign "Ted" since he bears a slight resemblance to Ted Bundy) drifted off to sleep in his tent for the night. Just prior to falling asleep, he had eaten an apple and dripped apple juice all over his hand. As he slept, a field mouse or rat discovered his apple-hand and took a nice juicy bite out of it.

This, of course, woke Ted up out of his comatose slumber. He grabbed his hand and realized it was bleeding profusely from the wound. He went to the medical facility immediately. The practitioner at the medical facility listened to Ted's story, took a look at the bite, and pulled this cookbook style medical publication from the shelf that may-as-well have been titled: 1001 Conditions and their Treatments. He thumbed through until he found "Rodent Bite," read the blurb beneath the title, and then prescribed antibiotics to Ted and sent him on his way.

When he told me his story this morning, I asked him if they had given him Rabies shots. His answer was that they told him Rodents aren't common carriers of the disease. Now, I've always been one to err on the side of caution and, if a wild mammal bites you, you should immediately get a pre-emptive rabies treatment. The other Chief with him took him aside and strongly urged him to go to our medical treatment facility here on VBC and explain to them what had happened and that he thought he needed the Rabies Vaccination.

I'm glad our other Chief did this and Ted went because this was the closest I've come in my military career to giving a direct order to someone in this senior a paygrade. Anyway, apparantly I wasn't out of my mind in my thought process because he returned from medical with a full compliment rabies vaccination and a follow-up shot schedule. Crisis averted!!

Once the seriousness of the situation had been quelled, it all gave way to some friendly facetious and sarcastic ribbing (Naval Aviation Style.) The comments started flying about them giving him his Distemper and Kennel Cough shots while he was down there along with neutering him and applying the all-too-familiar Kanine Lampshade to his neck to keep him from gnawing at his stitches. Taking it one step further, our Department Head, who has a BS Degree in Photoshop, turned our musings into a pseudo-reality.
From Left to Right: Squat, Me, Chief P, Bluto, and of course, Ted.

The other items I should probably explain are the clown noses which are a continuation of the Colouriphobia joke at the expense of our recently redeployed team member with the infamous "fear of clowns." The cigars are courtesy of Bob Williams who has a website called "Support Our Troops Online." Thanks Bob!! Much to our dismay, the beer is non-alcoholic.

I hope everyone had a Happy Thanksgiving and is looking forward to a wonderful Christmas/Honnikah season!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Good to hear from you. Be careful so you don't get rat-bit too!
Barb and Tony were here for the holiday. It is so good to have her within visiting distance.
Soon I will see my other daughter, I sure do miss her and you!
Winter is beginning to set in here even though today the temp was 59 degrees.
Take care and God bless. Love, Jo