Thursday, September 1, 2011

Bridge of No Return - (Korea) Day 276

Our NCOIC giving a little speech after getting pinned, 
the bridge of No Return in the background.

Work call this morning was at 0800, but I was up early and decided to head in early at about 0740. There was a meeting at 0900, so I started setting up for it to give everyone a head start. Once the meeting started I had time to do one SkillPort and some schoolwork. I then got a call from Special K who needed my assistance. We had to gather up a number of frames that we use for awards and take them back to the arts and crafts center. The new general decided he wanted a different shaped coin, so now none of the frames fit this coin. (The general's coin is put in the frame along with the certificate for a number of awards that are given out).

I took the remaining SUV from the exercise and Special K took the office car. Unfortunately when he was loading his car, he dropped about 5 frames…we had to toss them because of the damage. Once we dropped off all the frames we ate lunch at the small food court on the south side of post. After that we returned the exercise SUV and checked our office car out for another week. Not sure why we can't check it out for a month or more at a time, sometimes it can be a hassle getting it there once a week…and a waste of time.

When we arrived back at the office we changed into our class b uniform. The class b uniform is the dress uniform, but the top is the short sleeve and it only has the name, rank and the branch badge. For some reason my pants seem a little tighter…hmmmm.

We headed to a bus that had about 15 or so people in it for the ceremony. The drive is long, so I put in my headphones and took a nap. At one point something woke me up and I practically jumped out of my seat. I hate it when that happens! We headed to the DMZ to a place called "The Bridge of No Return". I've seen it before on the tours that I've had, but we were not allowed to get out because we did not have enough protection in case there was an incident. For the ceremony there were around 5 or so soldiers there, but only armed with pistols. The bridge itself crosses the line between north and south Korea. It was used at one point to exchange prisoners . Both sides were given the choice to cross or remain if they chose, but once they made the decision and crossed…they were not allowed to return.

We had the ceremony for our NCOIC who was being promoted to Sergeant First Class (E-7). She asked me earlier in the week if I could read the "Attention To Orders". I'm not a public speaker, in fact earlier in life I had terrible fears of doing so. The army has forced me many times out of my comfort zone. There are times when you're ordered to do something you have no desire or even afraid to do, but you have to just do it. Surprisingly I wasn't too nervous about reading this for the ceremony…I wasn't excited either. Reading the "Attention To Orders" is basically me reading the orders that were given to our NCOIC for her promotion. When I started reading them everyone has to stand at attention, then when I'm done she got pinned with her new rank. It all went smooth…I had to make sure to read in a loud and clear voice since we were outside. I just hope I don't get nominated for more public speaking.

We then boarded the bus and headed back to the office. We arrived back shortly before 1800, so our KATUSA and SPC Mick were let go so they could get to the DFAC before it closed. I stayed back and cleaned up the office before taking off. Since we got back late, I did not work out once again. That gets a little frustrating. I plan to get back on track tomorrow and the rest of the weekend for sure. Instead I took a shower, ate, and then did schoolwork…then a TV show before bed.

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