Friday, January 11, 2008

Hello World

Welcome to The New Normal and thanks for stopping by. I'll get into who I am and why I'm doing this in more detail in latter posts, but for now, this says all that needs to be said:

8:00 AM - Tuesday, September 11th, 2001. Having just completed my civic duty of casting my ballot in the NYC primary elections, I'm sitting on the X28 express bus working it's way up Church Street towards my job in mid-town Manhattan. As I had done countless times before, I gazed at the usual street scene of the throngs coming and going around the World Trade Center, paying attention to nothing in particular. Although I didn't know it, I would never, ever see this scene again.

120800RSEP01*. I am walking up Church Street in battle dress uniform, full combat gear, and armed with an Army issue 9mm Berreta pistol loaded with hollow point bullets on loan from the NYPD. Before me is a scene of horror beyond my ability to express with words. I am numbed by the sur-realness of it all. Although I didn't know it, this would now be my life, this would be the new normal.

110300RJAN08/111230DJAN08** - 6 years and 4 months later I am with my wife and children in Brooklyn for as much precious time I can hoard away from Big Army. I am a week away from getting on a bus to begin a journey that will find my way to Afghanistan. Just in time for the Taliban's Spring Offensive. I sense this story is heading towards some sort of denouement. I dread what I don't know.

More to follow....

* This is the Date/Time Group (DTG) format used by the military for expressing time and date. The format reads as: the day's date, the time in 24 hour clock format, the time zone designation, the month, the year.

** Time Zone Romeo (R) is Eastern Standard Time. Time Zone Delta (D) plus 30 minutes is the time in Afghanistan. Time Zone Zulu (Z), is Greenwhich Mean Time.

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