Saturday, July 14, 2007

Transportation To and Fro Fort Bragg, NC

Let me start by saying that most of the really good stuff, the really juicy gossip, the absolute choicest cuts of Fort Bragg dish...I probably shouldn't share with you. I'm going to have to (gulp) self-censor--something that most of you know pains me to no end.

I'll just say crew and I have been so surrounded by hilariously cringeworthy beauricratic nonsense, that I don't even know where to begin. If anyone wants the full version of events, feel free to call...or just wait for me to publish the war memoirs (I Gambled and Lost--the Andrew Exnicios Story).

Still, propriety and appropriateness aside, the story of my arrival at Fort Bragg is a tale that requires telling.

Now, as most of you will recall, I flew up from Columbia, SC to Fayetteville, NC last Saturday. I rolled out with the 3 other officers who I processed through Fort Jackson with--Chris (Captain Cannon), LTC Smalls, and Major Newman. The four of us braved our two flights, hours of killing time at the airport, and arrived at Fayetteville Regional Airport at about 5 PM. We had been told that a specific representative from the unit would be waiting at the airport to pick us up.

We arrived at the airport, and were met by noone.

Now, this usually wouldn't have been that big a deal. After all, we really weren't expecting someone to come meet us on a Saturday evening, and we were four grown men, Army Officers all. But in this particular case, we had been left with nothing. We had no contact numbers. We had no building number. We had asked for all of this information, of course, but we had been told not to worry about it--someone would be waiting for us at the airport.

So, we waited. We waited for 15 minutes. And then another 30. At that point, it was pretty clear to us that noone was on their way to pick us up.

Not to be deterred, the team swung into action. LTC Smalls got online using his Verizon Mobile Card. I called up Matt Holmes, an old buddy of mine from Alaska and Oklahoma. LTC Smalls got a lead on which building might be our headquarters, and Matt--father of 4, mind you--generously offered to come pick us all up at the airport.

We drove onto Fort Bragg, and we called the Military Police to ask where on Post the building number in question was. We got directions, and as we approached the address, we began to see signs on the buildings for USACAPOC--the USArmy Civil Affairs and Psychological Operations Command--so we reckoned that we were at least in the ballpark.

As it turned out, we reckoned right. We opened up the door of the building in question, and there she was--the Captain that had promised to be waiting for us at the airport.

Without skipping a beat, or expressing even a modicum of surprise that we had suddenly shown up at her desk, the Captain looked up from her Lifetime TV and said "Hello, go ahead and sign in and take some linen."

My crew was stunned. Where was the apology, the excuses, the "Oh my God, I COMPLETELY forgot to pick you up at the airport???!" Instead, the Captain continued, completely unaffected by our sudden appearance.

"Yeah, the guy who has the keys to where you're staying is off post. Probably about 30 minutes away. Have you guys already eaten? Can you kill time for an hour or so while he shows up?"

Uhh, sure we muttered. We all slinked out of the office, and piled back into Matt's minivan. He took us to grab some grub. Upon returning to the office, the NCO was there, and...Dear God, there are about 7 more really important details to this story, and I just feel like I can't post them in this public forum. Let's just leave it at this...we left Fort Jackson at 7AM, and we didn't arrive at our final destination until 8PM. 165 miles in 13 hours.

It was probably--after my wedding day--the greatest day of my entire life.


nate said...

Perhaps these tales would be better told in a more private forum? Happy to analyze alternatives with you. Have you tried Pownce?

auntjoan said...

You win,this was much worse then our trip from Nashville.

EmployeeMegan said...

The greatest day of my life is when Duke won the championship, and Wade knows it. ;-)

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