While killing time on Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri, I drove through the post enjoying the fall colors. Owing to the fact that the post deserves its name “Lost in the Woods,” the fall colors are abundant.
At one point, I found myself driving along a road next to the barracks (single soldier housing) utilized primarily by the 4th Maneuver Enhancement Brigade, a support unit for the 1st Infantry Division. I received a call from a client, so I stopped on the side of the road and took the call on my smartphone. When the call was finished, I looked at my phone to see a multitude of available WiFi hotspots radiating from the barracks.
I know from my experience with WiFi hotspots that you can give your router a particular name or go with the factory settings. From my observation, the former is far more popular than the latter. I transcribed what I saw on my handy legal pad.
As I scanned through the dozens of names, I noticed a pattern. In fact, not a pattern, but a story. It is a story about soldiers getting along in their barracks, communal-living situation. It is a story of love, comraderie, and tension.
Here is that story.
It starts with those who have no personality, hanging out near the bottom of it all. You have Linksys and Belkin, with an occasional Print Server 6432e1 or Station 63487599 mixed in their ranks. They don’t want attention. They don’t want company. They just want to be left alone, and left alone they shall be.
A drive around the corner finds a gathering of those who are not ashamed of who they are. Elizabeth seems to be getting close to Joe, but izzy is trying to expand his reach toward Elizabeth with his own savvy ways.
SGT Bateman is always watching to make sure that vonbargen and Hurst are minding their manners around Kline, because of his sensitivity.
Walker and Reverri annoy Kennet-work. After all, he is a serious type who has no use for their shenanigans. So, they migrate over to CTrain–always the party animal. However, they are still careful about what they do, because SkyCops27 is constantly on the prowl looking for lawbreakers. That doesn’t deter MaxBlackburn, the boldest of them all.
Poor Fokkai. He’s ridiculed by everyone. Sometimes, a name can be painful, and his provides hours of raucous gutter-humor.
The yankees are represented proudly. Oh, why won’t they just go away with their $12 billion payroll.
Then we get to the uncomfortable stuff. JimBob is loud and proud, always talking about how the south should rise again. He’s quite opinionated, and constantly transmits his low-brow drawl. This causes hard-feelings in the neighborhood–especially with Harlem-World(212), just around the corner on 110th Street. Tension is rising.
But, then there are Balls, just hanging around and not bothering anyone. Days pass, and there they are for all to see. Things aren’t always pleasant for them, though. Every day, at almost the same time, they find themselves dangling precariously close to TheShit.