Friday, December 23, 2011

Hurry Up and Wait!

I was chatting with Mike Wear, who blogs at Just a Little Run, and he had a great suggestion for a post, so here it is!

In the Marine Corps, we spend a considerable amount of time rushing to get places only to sit around and wait for some uncontrollable factor to come to fruition.  Case in point - our trip overseas.  It started with a 0500 showtime at Camp Pendleton on Friday, 16 Dec.  There are a lot of things to do the morning of a deployment - draw weapons, load all of the baggage, validate rosters, etc.  Additionally, we had a lot of family members and friends show up to see us off (you can see pictures on our 1st Radio Battalion, Company C Facebook page).

Back in the old days, Marines went to war on ships, floating across the ocean for many weeks.  Luckily, we get to fly!  We headed to our Aerial Port of Embarkation and got weighed in and manifested for the flight.  Then we sat and waited for 15 hours...there were multiple delays because our plane was having mechanical issues.  Two separate times we gathered up all of our stuff and stood in a big formation waiting to load the plane, only to find out it was a false alarm!  So, hurry up and wait!

We finally made it to our second stop and offloaded to allow the crew to refuel the bird.  That should have taken about 2-3 hours....until they came in to make the announcement about a fuel leak that needed to be fixed.  The delays went on pretty much all day, with the airline telling us every few hours that it would "just be a few more hours"...Finally at 1500, they decided to send all of use to stay in a hotel.  We were just glad to have beds to sleep in - here's how we'd been sleeping at the terminal!

Additionally (and I'm totally not kidding!), they drove us to our hotel in a STRETCH HUMMER!!!  Totally crazy.  As Marines, we are used to riding in something just a step above a prison bus!

As expected, we had to head back to the terminal at 0200, only to wait all day long with the same routine...delay, delay, delay.  They did allow us to walk over to the store and the food court for lunch, but it made for a very long day.  Again, at 1500, they decided to send us to the hotel again, because the plane was not going to be ready tonight!

So, it hasn't been all that bad.  Here are some of the positives:
1) Due to the delay and getting to stay at the hotel, I've managed to squeeze in two runs!!!

2) The amazing volunteers of the USO provided us with delicious snacks and just friendly faces at both locations!

3) We are not sleeping on the cold, hard floor and I got to get two free nights in a Marriott!