Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Town Hall - (Korea) Day 331

The Town Hall event at Collier Field House with The Secretary of Defense.
Korean media & of course AFN were there to cover the event.

Had to wake up at 0440 this morning to quickly get dressed and shave. Our NCOIC was going to arrive at 0500 to do a pre-check on our rooms, but I received a text that she had to make sure her kid got to school. We had the room inspection at 0530 as promised. A number of NCOs came through the barracks inspecting all of our rooms. I heard that one of the NCOs got really mad at PV2 Charlie because he had a spoon in his freezer?? They came to my room and didn't like the bathroom. Said I needed to scrub the floor, then it was over. I tried to lay down and rest a bit, but I was already up so I just laid there for an hour until I had to start getting ready for work.

Work call was at 0830, I was told to see our master sergeant in admin. When I got down there she said to make sure everyone in our office knows she's only the IMO on paper because of her rank. She doesn't want to do any IMO work, she wants me and PV2 Charlie to be the "go to" people. I was fine with that and it makes sense, but she was actually a little pissed off. No worries, I knew where she was coming from and let her know I'd pass on the word. Sometimes when someone has a problem they automatically go to the highest ranking person even if that isn't the correct solution. She can't really help them with anything except ask me to fix the problem or put in a help desk ticket.

We then start our morning with our normal Wednesday meeting in the secret conference room. This time I have PV2 Charlie do everything from scratch. He needs some instruction here and there, but he's coming along. He should be good to go for the next meeting. After it finished we cleaned up and when we arrived back at our office we helped clean up from another meeting that was in the top secret conference room.

Once finished it was lunch time, but before we left we heard that we have to be back early to head to a "town hall" and that was all the information we got. So I quickly ate at the food court and then headed towards the movie theatre which is where the pre-town hall brief was going to be. We were instructed that the secretary of defense will be conducting a town hall and told that we could not bring in bags, knives, any weapons, or even multi-function tools. Luckily our NCOIC told us to bring some reading material, because we sat in that theatre for a little over an hour total waiting for everyone to get accounted for and for the buses to arrive, so I grabbed my iPad before heading there.

We then all boarded buses and headed to Collier Field House which is not too far away, but they wanted us all to arrive at the same time. We then waited outside the gym for a little over a half hour while secret service checked the gym and had their dogs sniff all around. Security was pretty tight. We went through metal detectors and had to show ID to get in. Most of our office had to attend. I think there were a lot of people "voluntold" to go because they wanted to make sure all the seats were full and there was no embarrassment to the post by having any empty seats. This worked because all the seats were indeed full.

We sat and waited for about another 2.5 hours with a couple of briefs here and there getting us ready. I read a lot of my book during this time and also showed Special K a number of photos on my iPad to pass the time. Finally Leon Panetta, The Secretary of Defense, came in and gave a bit of a speech. He thanked everyone for serving and promoted public service, giving back to the country. Made me feel proud to serve even though I've made plenty of sacrifices to do so.

He then answered a few questions and then had everyone line up for a picture and gave everyone in attendance a coin, which was pretty cool. We're told we'll receive the photo at some point…we'll see.

By now it's getting late and we all head back to the office and then leave. I get back to my room around 1830. It's late and I have a dehydration headache, so I decide not to workout. Instead I drink water, eat dinner, drink some more water and watch CSI: Miami & NY while drinking more water. I then do some schoolwork before heading to bed. It's been a strange day, but I'm glad I was able to attend the Town Meeting with The Secretary of Defense. Not too many people can say they've done that or received his coin which beats my previous highest coin which was a 4-star coin…not too bad.

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