Traveling Soldier- yeah, that’s the story of my life. The first sentence in my essay, Million Dollar Baby, pretty much sums it up: It seems as though I was born on the road.
I traveled a lot before I went in the Army; a lot while I was in, and a WHOLE lot more after. After the Army I was in trucking and heavy equipment rental, sales and transport, and I covered more than two million miles across the U.S. and Canada.
That kind of time on the road gives a person a lot of time to think.
I thought a lot about where I’d been in the Army. The tour in Korea in ’89-90, and right after that, deployment to the Middle East for the Persian Gulf War. When I say, “Right after that,” that means; “fifty-nine days from landing at LAX to leaving from the airfield at Fort Benning, Georgia.”
After thinking about it for a while; I started writing about it.
So, what does a Traveling Soldier travel with? First of all is the rucksack from the surplus store. It has held up surprisingly well, considering the $50 price tag. It has gone to LA, San Diego, on Operation Freedom Bird, a trip to Vietnam, and more veteran events and meetings than I can count. It is getting a little hammered; but that’s the way it goes.
What does a Traveling Soldier write with? This is the part that usually cracks everyone up. I do most of my written work on a 2005 IBM T60 ThinkPad that I bought for $100 on eBay. It runs XP, I put Office 2003 on it, and it works like a charm. If it took a dive on me, got ripped off or whatever; I would just buy another one. I back up all my content on these Gorilla flash drives, and back up the flash drives. This machine does not go on the Internet; no antivirus necessary. I don’t watch videos; I don’t surf with it.
I write with that $100 computer. I write hard and fast with it, and I carry a spare battery for it to avoid having to plug in. (With the side benefit of pissing of all the places that remove or block access to their plugs.) I have a regular and extended-capacity battery that I carry for a total of about seven hours of writing time.
After seven straight hours of writing, I need recharged more than the computer.
OK, that’s it for now. I look forward to getting to know any of you that come by.