So today was kind of exciting and, as always, it brought up a lesson I learned early in our military life.
I went to base to attend a parish council meeting at the chapel. While we were there, a chaplain announced that the base was on an exercise and we might go to Force Protection Con Delta. Sure enough we did, but it wasn’t a huge problem because we were in the meeting and couldn’t go anywhere. Delta means the base is on lock down, kind of like universities or schools do when there is a threat. We couldn’t leave the base, or even the building, while in Delta.
But then, the chaplain announced that the exercise was paused because of a real-world situation. Real-world, as you can imagine, means the threat was not part of the exercise but real. Scary? Naw. I knew they would have it taken care shortly. It did mean we would be locked in the room we were in until the danger was passed.
It did remind me, however, of our first assignment in Georgia back in 1992. I remember I was on my way to a dentist appointment and got up to the gate only to find it closed. All the gates were closed. Back then I was new to the military and not a very patient person. After all, I was not in the military. I just lived on base and I was late. Plus, I didn’t understand why they would not let anyone off the base, but were still letting them on.
Later, as I was grousing about this problem to anyone who would listen, the vice wing commander told me that there was an alarm and procedure was to close the gates until they found out what the problem was. Security did not want someone who had just stolen something to get away. I felt sheepish. But I came to appreciate the knowledge that security forces are on base to keep us safe and protect the assets of the military. I still don’t like getting stuck at the gate, but at least now I understand and can be thankful that people care enough to keep me safe.
Being locked in a room for 30 minutes wasn’t too much of a hardship.