Guest Blogger, Mike T: From the Battlefield to the Boardroom

As I woke up this morning I felt the cold rush over me as I slipped out from underneath the warmth of my bed, realizing it was going to be another cold one out there. The sun was barely up and I quietly walked by the PT room and headed down the corridor. Not to my surprise the sentry was once again asleep on duty until I grunted a bit and he shot up. It seems as if the cold never leaves your body, especially when you begin to get older. I approached the snack area to make myself a shake and grab some yogurt. After downing the vitamin shake to help control my B-12 issue (yes, I know it’s usually a chick thing!) I headed up to the sleep quarters and figured out what the attire of the day was going to be. I grabbed my pants and belt and continued to finish the process. I walked past the half asleep sentry and grunted once again in amusement as he picked his head up and rolled over. What a deal!

I departed through the main gate to my vehicle and turned it over, realizing I had forgotten my cool guy sun glasses and returned once again to retrieve them. Upon doing so, the vehicle was modestly warm and I hoped in. It was now 0730(L) and I was departing for my mission of the day…going to work! The funny thing was, I was wearing Armani grey slacks and white shirt with a dark blue Mens Express tie. The vehicle was my SUV, but the glasses were still “Cool Guy” Standard Issue Oakley’s! That sentry I happened to find passed out while on duty was my German Shepherd pup and the PT room was actually at PT room, but not filled with soldiers, only my wife. I have left the battlefield behind me about a year and half ago, somewhat of a physical distance from Golestan located in the Southern arena of the Stan.

My gun truck in now my silver SUV and my weapon is a cell phone and blackberry, not very intimidating but almost as effective. As I said, my uniform is what I like to refer to as boardroom armor. I no longer need to rely on OPORDS to get things done nor do I need to be reminded that I must shave and keep a neat military appearance; civilians do not mind beards and a bit longer hair. My problem is I think I left most of it back in the Stan! The battlefield is now in the boardrooms, teleconferences and last minute trips to “other areas” where my peers are at. The closest thing to an IED (Improvised Explosive Device) is the garbage can on the side of the hallway. Pieing the corner is a thing of the past, I know whip around the corner without a care in the world.

The day consists of a quiet lunch minus the feces blowing onto it, people not trying to kill you, and well my favorite, being inside a controlled climate. My C2 Center is now a comfortable chair, cherry desk, and all the lavish amenities any man would care for. I can come and go as I want without interference or worrying about the locals peering at me and reporting mine and others movements. I do not have to negotiate for supplies nor do I have to smell shit everywhere! That is a plus no matter what! The major and minor operations are mostly peaceful and respectful in nature, people are there to get along and help. The terms please and thank you ring out like a shotgun blast, the echoing of laughter is easy to find. A piece of mind for anyone who has worked in OEF/OIF would appreciate it.

They day draws to a conclusion as I depart from the building with a steady ray of sunshine to escort back to the vehicle, checking in with Household Six to make sure I do not need to do an emergency resupply before I head back to the house. All is good and I am green to go! Upon my arrival I am met with a bark of excitement and eagerness to play by the pup. I pet the cat who is eagerly awaiting his dish to be filled. I continue to Charlie Mike by walking the perimeter with Duke (the pup) and enjoy what seems to be the quietest part of my day. We break to pick up the mail and head towards the house. I shower in a clean bathroom that lacks the Afghan “touch”, dress, and head downstairs to begin creating an exceptional meal for my wife of less than one year.

As she arrives, the aromas of tonight’s meal beckons her for attention and in response a smile and a long kiss. In my mind it seems that boardroom warfare seems more desirable than its predecessor.

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