The Big One

I prayed the whole way to work — thanking God for protecting me from what could’ve happened when I veered off the path. I allowed myself to be distracted rather than focusing on things that I could control. Worrying about Operation Desert Shield and how this declaration of war would affect me led to a…

Off the Path

I spent the weekend resting and trying to convince Adrian that I wasn’t interested in Tony from the Chapel.  That’s how Eric referred to him when he spoke his name with a crinkled nose as if he had just smelled something rancid. When I realized that Tony had sent both bouquets, I treated him to…

Dropping Like Flies

It didn’t take long to find out who sent the flowers. Eric shared his disapproval all day, but I had to ignore him.  We had plenty to keep us busy and couldn’t afford the luxury of a negative thought. We had been working extended hours in anticipation of a potential skirmish in the Middle East. The…

Skeeter Wings

The first few weeks at the Base Commander’s Office were busy. I was always running hither and yon, answering phones, making slides on a plotter, remembering not to jump up and salute every time an officer walked in the room. After all, everyone in our building was an officer except Pat, Eric, and me. Pat…

Take the Long Way Home

I left church feeling a lot better about this place. The mass I attended reminded me of the 7:00 AM mass in my home town — all parishioners were over 40 (or so it seemed), and the celebrant was nearly twice the average age of the parishioners. At 19, everybody seems old except you and…

Maybe We’re Not Doomed After All

The next morning I woke up early and headed upstairs to the day room.  There were a few guys up there sprawled out on couches — some hungover from their shenanigans of the previous night; others were playing video games which I assume they had started doing last night. I asked one guy how far…

Doomed

There was more than a modicum of fear associated with this move. I spent the rest of the week perseverating over the tiniest of details. How long is the flight? What if I have to go to the restroom on the flight? How will I get around on base? I don’t have a car. I…

Week Six

The last week of tech school was a slow one — at least it seemed to unfold in slow motion for me.  Everybody I knew had gotten orders to go someplace overseas: Japan, Korea, Germany, Spain and Portugal. When given the opportunity to choose someplace exotic weeks ago, I played it safe in an attempt…

Eye of the Tiger

Things were a little different at Keesler AFB.  We got into formation between 5:30 and 6:00, did a quick roll call, and hit the road each morning — slender, black leather portfolio in one hand, and a flashlight in the other. I was somewhere in the middle of the pack — not short enough to…