The End of Plan A

30 Mar

Part Four

                Wearing a uniform of the armed forces was very different in 2002 than it had been in 2001.  Each morning when I put it on I was overwhelmed with fear that I would fall short, that I would prove unworthy of the uniform.  In a strange twist of fate, my new orders were for the Armed Forces Institute of Pathology (dead people, dead people parts) in Washington, DC.

 Humbled… no, torn down… I wondered how I could have ever believed I had anything to offer.  Regardless of what I had learned, it became obvious that  I was still just a dumb kid holding to theories that still had not been tested, theories about myself and what I stood for.

                In my own special circle of hell, I grasped for any aspect of ‘Me’ that I could trust with certainty.  My tether came from my acting training.  In a strange way it makes perfect sense.  When I am given a script, I know very little about the character I am playing.  By deconstructing dialogue and action, studying responses to obstacles, the character becomes a person.  With this as my guide, I began to analyze my words, my actions and my reactions.

                AFIP proved to be a fitting location for my ‘play’.  Dramatic setting – the institute is housed in a retired presidential bomb shelter.  The functions performed by the staff (Anthrax testing, DNA Identification, Biohazard research, etc.) never allowed for a dull moment.  Factor in the radio broadcasts of the bombing in Afghanistan, a maniac shooting random folk on the street, media buzz words creating fear, hate crimes, racial profiling, a Gestapo –like agency and their ‘Patriot Act’… did I mention a war with Iraq and grumblings in Iran and North Korea? … Can you say DRAMATIC TENSION???             

                In the middle of all this, my character deployed to Dover Port Mortuary in Delaware with the Armed Forces Medical Examiner’s Office.          

                I am not sure how much of this I should tell you… I don’t know …  Anyway,  I deployed to Dover in March, 2003 and signed my discharge papers in November ’03.  I wanted nothing to do with politics

1 Comment

Posted by on March 30, 2010 in Coffee Shop Whore?


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One response to “The End of Plan A

  1. RichardWScott

    April 9, 2010 at 5:37 PM

    Very, very different from my own military experiences. But then, I was in a LONNNNG time ago.

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