Saturday, October 14, 2006

A normal day

What is a normal day? Is it having the 9-5 Forty hour per week, home on weekends life or is it 24/7 in a war zone, surrounded by thousands of soldiers who are armed to the teeth, ready to kill, and hiding a puppy in their tent? Is it waking up in you bed at home dreading another day of commutes, office routine, going home and then doing it again or is it a day when you get up and wonder if today is the last time you will see your breakfast buddies alive?
Normal days change as our life changes. My normal day in Iraq is one of a monotone colored world with incoming fire, bunker calls, Battle Update Briefings, SitReps, LogReps, helicopters and armor. My normal day here is juggling tasks from getting new pads built at an airfield to making sure that some of my personnel get out to a conference in the US on time with their airline tickets, passports, cash advances, orders, reservations, bags, and some good humor.
Recladding CHUs (Containerized Housing Units - Trailers), ethics training, CAC (Continuous Access Card) renewals, workshops, fuel allocations, environmental leaves, Fire Fighting training, security clearances, proposals for construction, reviews of WBS (Work Breakdown Structures), and right sizing are the issues I dealt with today.
Sometimes I hurt people's feeling becuase I am so abrupt. I am brusqe at times but it is because I hate when people put up roadblocks and excuses to why things can't be done. Things CAN be done with enough planning and effort. The easiest thing in the world to say is NO. When poeple say "No. it can't be done" I challenge them. I ask them why and then defeat every argument. By tearing up the excuses one by one they come around to the conclusion that it can be done. I use metaphors a lot. I ask them, "How do you eat an elephant?" The answer is, "One bite at a time."
The war in Iraq is like that. The easy way is to say, "It's too hard. We can't win." The tough path is to eat the elephant. I am taking my bites. I take them one CHU at a time, one DFAC at a time, one subcontract at a time, one successful mail run at a time, one soldier manifested to a new base at a time, one light bulb repaired at a time.
My normal day is eating an elephant. What is yours?


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