A couple of times I found myself with the odd urge to forage for blueberries.
The range has a cleaning room, which I avail myself of for two reasons: Keeping my own cleaning kit pristine for when I really need it, and the avoidance of making a mess at home, for which my wife would give me at least 100 lashes. There was only one other shooter firing early this morning, an elderly gentleman with a First Cavalry Division baseball hat and a 505th PIR (Parachute Infantry Regiment – Part of the 82nd Airborne Division) windbreaker on. I greeted him and told him my son spent two years with “H-Minus” before moving on to his current duty station at the 4th Infantry Division’s First Brigade Combat Team, We talked a bit as we cleaned our weapons, about jump school, Benning, TINS (This is no s***) tales, and mutual acquaintances, then gathered up our targets and prepared to leave.
Noting the top target on my stack, he grinned and asked “Ranger or SF?”
“Just a broke down old Ranger sir, two years with Division LRSD (Long Range Surveillance Detachment) at Ord. I don’t fool with the green beanies, hell, I didn’t even volunteer for the Ranger Course – The old man got p***** off because I was snowbirding at 5-21 IN waiting on orders from DCSPERS and “encouraged” me to volunteer”, I told him.
“Yeah”, said the retired Lieutenant Colonel of Infantry, “I guess Shinseki figured if he issued the entire f****** army black berets they’d instantly become expert marksmen, over-max their PT tests, run through the Ranger stakes every weekend, and the heavens would open, filling their f******brains with field-craft. What an a**.”
I think I have a new shooting buddy. No, I’m certain of it…When I asked him what his Ranger Course class number was, he replied “The last hard class, sonny. You come out here this early on a holiday I guess we’ll run into each other again.”
Range work done and half of a freezing day off remaining, I suppose I’ll make the Chinese restaurant send over some Moo Shoo Chicken and Hot & Sour soup, then pick out a couple of movies to annoy my wife. I’m back on the road Wednesday, her wrath will have abated by the time I return.