Things That Make You Go Hmmmm…...


The desert has always been an odd mix of everything.  You truly never know what to expect.  One of the things that caught me by surprise was on my trip to the pool the other day.  Amidst the lounge chairs, sitting proud and still, was a bench with Ronald McDonald sitting on it…..really?  A complete non-sequitor.  I could not believe with all the rotations that have come in and out of this base that he has not disappeared on the final flight off station of a C-17 or C-130.  But then I saw that someone (who must know the airlifters penchant to steal items to decorate their squadrons at home) wisely has chained him to the concrete pad on which he sat.  I did not have a camera to get my own moment with Ronald but I googled a photo of him to show you here.  Now why is Ronald McDonald visiting us here in the desert?  Much of the character of these bases evolves over time.  Things that are created and left by someone who has taken a life break to come over and do their part of the mission for a span of time.  As I was googling for the photos of Ronald McDonald to show you, I came upon these picture of the McDonalds that used to be at this base; and Ronald sat right out front.  Wow….I am sad I missed that era. I could really go for a Quarter Pounder with Cheese about now.  I have a feeling though, that once it was known that the McDonalds was closing, that someone took Ronald and put him somewhere he would be safe from the demolition.  The pool has 8 foot high walls around it and it was a good hiding place….being that he is still here, even today.  By the way, the subway is still here.


Our rooms are like that too.  When you are assigned a room, you inherit the improvements of the previous tenant.  Your TV, refrigerator, furniture and mood lights are all a product of each person who lived there and what they contributed to your little space.  I have a particularly good trash can.  Like I have said before, it is the little things.

As we approach the halfway mark of this rotation, I am assessing this one compared to the other ones I have completed.  This one, so far, is the best for several reasons.  Just like the collections of “stuff” that make up the personality of this base, the personalities of the personnel make up the essence of the rotation.  I have never been on a rotation that was so full of kindness and peace.  This compilation of squadron mates really has a grasp on the brevity of each situation we face, good and bad and a sense of cooporation to get the mission done.  A group of our folks are forward deployed.  On arrival, they faced a very difficult siituation with no place to stay and had to erect a tent in which to sleep and conduct operations.  Each day we see that they are conducting and completing the mission despite the hand they have been dealt.  There have been a few times in the past few years that my love of the miltiary machine and faith in its people has faltered but this deployment has really renewed it.  I am so proud to be serving with these folks and if you are reading this and your love one is deployed with us…be proud.  The 115th AS is serving with honor and distinction here and forward each and everyday.

© Patricia Murray 2014