I can't eat, I can't shower...but they still give me internet access
So I’ve had quite the eventful day, although originally I wasn’t going to tell you about it. That happens sometimes out here –- things go down that are most definitely blog-worthy, but that aren’t necessarily supposed to become public knowledge. Such has been the case today. As usual I went to bed fairly late last night, although it could have been worse –- I killed the light at a little past 0130. I was soundly sleeping, far off in dreamland somewhere, when I was suddenly startled by three or four loud thuds on the wall of my room. It took a second before I was roused to full consciousness -– at first I thought I may have been dreaming. That’s when the door to my room opened and I saw “The Captain” standing there in full battle gear. “Josh, get up!” he said. “We’ve got an Alert and need you outside for accountability.” I rolled over and looked at the clock. 0530. Awesome. I hadn’t been up that early since God-knows-when, and certainly hadn’t been awoken that abruptly in much, much longer. I drug myself out of bed, and as I was putting on my shoes and “battle rattle” gear I kept wondering to myself why I had to go outside. “They know I’m here,” I kept thinking. “The Captain just saw me. Doesn’t that suffice for accountability?” I walked outside and joined all the other poor souls who’d been drug out of bed at “oh-dark-thirty” –- interestingly the first thing I noticed was that it’s actually surprisingly light out at 0530. So we’re all standing there, rubbing the sleep out of our eyes -- no one’s talking because no one’s in a great mood. I’m fairly sure half of us would have been content to lie down and go back to sleep right there on the ground. About ½ hour later they finally decided that we’d all been accounted for, and we were allowed to return to our rooms. The catch was that we weren’t allowed to leave our little compound under any circumstances. Thank God I have a coffee maker in my hut. I decided not to go back to sleep, and instead started some coffee and booted up the computer. I wrote a couple emails and fooled around on the web for roughly an hour before I headed back outside and bumped into my boss. “Are we allowed to go eat breakfast?” I asked him. “No,” he said, “We can’t go anywhere until they give the All Clear.” Sweet, now we’re not even allowed to eat. I went back to my room and started rummaging through boxes of months old junk food, when the boss came in and rescued me. “I was wrong,” he said, “We’re allowed to go eat, but only at the small DFAC right outside of our compound.” Thank God. I checked out with our compound’s “gate guard” (a new position that was hastily thrown together due to this alert), headed to the DFAC, and ate the first breakfast meal I’ve had in a months (I usually oversleep breakfast). It was actually really good. I left the DFAC and walked back into the compound, where I proceeded to check back in. I told the gate guard that she might as well leave me marked down as absent, because I was just going to grab my things and then head out to the shower. “Nope,” was the gate guard’s response, “you can’t leave to shower. Only to eat.” You’ve got to be kidding, I thought. “Can I go to work?” I asked her. She thought about it for a sec, and replied that I probably could but would need to get approval from The Captain first. I tracked down The Captain, and much to my relief he approved the 30-yard walk from our compound to the building I work in. I showed up at work at 0830, where I’ve now been stuck all day. We’re on total lockdown here –- I’ve been outside a few times to use the bathroom, but that’s it. The DFACs have been closed, and as a result I didn’t have much for lunch. Our military representatives were authorized to leave the compound to pick up box lunches for us, which consisted of stale sandwiches and chips. It wasn’t great, but it was food so I ate it. I figured a good meal at dinner would make up for it. No such luck however -– the email just came in as I am writing this to inform us that the DFACs will remain closed for dinner and midnight chow tonight. Looks like it’s MREs or another enticing box lunch for dinner. The DFACs are tentatively scheduled to re-open for breakfast tomorrow. It remains to be seen whether I’ll be allowed to shower tonight. So what’s the cause of all this fuss? Well, that’s the part I wasn’t sure I was supposed to tell you. I’m still not sure it’s something that the military wanted to get out, but I have no qualms telling you now because it appears it’s already been leaked to the press (for the record, it wasn’t me that leaked it). I saw the story here first. You can read another version here. All I’ve got to say is, I really hope they catch these guys.