A few days ago I woke up to do my normal daily wake up routine, I turned on the computer, and logged on to the internet, OK I tried to log on to the internet. But to my chagrin the internet was not up. Getting up off my cot and making my way to the latrine I found others grumbling about the lack of internet service. We finally found out that we would be without internet for over 24 hours. This actually sucks because I found most people in my tent, to include myself, are addicted to the internet. Using the internet to check our emails, IM family, and even call home. Not to mention the time spent on google looking up odd facts, ending would be arguments and just wasting time. But sadly on this day we where without our most used means of entertainment. So as the day progressed we found other ways of wasting our time off.
Early on we found out we had the day off of missions. And I found that the guys brought back some of the old standby time wasting methods. Early on I jumped into a game of euchre, which I found myself sadly on the losing end of. I followed this up by a nap. Waking up to a fire fight, my tent mates got into a impromptu game of Call of Duty 4. After a lot of swearing, arguing, and even more swearing. We made our way to the ever popular chow hall. Eating chow and talking about the coming events and things we will do upon our return home. Afterwards we walked back some guys got into some more Call of Duty 4 and euchre, others chose Warhammer, some Risk, and my choice watching some movies. The night went relatively fast and I found we all went to bed a little earlier. Well rested and ready to go the next day we found our internet back on. And yes, suddenly we are back to business as usual.
Now before I hear the inevitable "Rob at least you have internet", I want everyone to know we pay 65 dollars a month for the somewhat suspect service we receive here. Now to some 65 bucks a month isn't much, but couple that with the internet bill at home and suddenly it is over 100 bucks, a lot for what we get paid here. There is also the fact that during certain times of the day the internet is slower than a snail, taking sometimes 10 minutes to load a screen. Not to mention we are limited to what we can view, in other words, to the chagrin of many no pornography. This is cool with most of us, but for some reason these days the filter has actually called a lot of different sites pornography. News sites, sports sites, and sites not even close to pornography have been know to bring up the feared "GO 1 (General Order #1) You have been reported" screen. Which for some reason if it isn't on your screen is hilarious, and can lead to some very funny moments and comments.
In all honesty, I actually think we are spoiled. The internet although a pain at times is not bad, and although 65 bucks is a lot for what we receive, our complaint are minuscule for the things we get in return. Like chances to talk to our family, blogs, and keep up with current events. Honestly, we are fortunate to have such things as internet, a chow hall, hot showers (sometimes), air conditioned living areas, and access to electricity to run our stuff. Five years ago we had none of these things. Only each other, some books, and maybe a C.D. player to pass time. Time seemed to crawl in those days. Today with all the stuff it seems time flies. Plus, I also realize not all soldiers have the options we have and this is another reason I am thankful. All in all, life here for a soldier is not bad, it can be tough some days. And being away from home does take its toll but for the most part most soldiers I know have little to complain about. And as I have said in the past "if we are only complaining about not having internet , we are lucky".