Sunday is a day for rest, reflection, and relaxation – even in a place called Iraq. Sunday on the day on the base is referred to as Mountain Time, for the 10th Mountain Division, who acts as our higher, higher headquarters. On Mountain Time no one comes into the office until after lunch.
Lately, Mountain Time has led to taking a day off. As a commander, I don’t have a problem with this at all. It makes no sense to make up work for people to do. I won’t do it. I simply won’t do it. If my guys don’t have missions that day, it’s okay with me. Of course I do go into the office, at least three times during the day to check email and do administrative work in peace and quiet. I’m not the only one either, at some point during the day everyone in a leadership position seems to float through the office.
Recently, some of troops have broken out their game systems and linked them into one large system. I am talking about the XboX360. For those who don’t know what I am talking about let me explain. An XboX system is a video game system that can have up to four players on a single game box on one television. Four game boxes can be linked with four televisions, thus sixteen players can play at one time.
This past Sunday, we linked up just such a system and had fifteen players at one time. The game was Halo3, one of the most popular video games in the world. Once everything was hooked up, video violence ensued. For two solid hours grown men and young Soldiers hunted, shot, sniped, punched, and blew each other up. Threats were made and later recanted. New guys, rookies, were made fun of, and old veterans showed no mercy. I dished it out as good as I got it. There was swearing, shouting, laughing and cheering.
If you were an outsider you would have thought we were nuts.
However, for two solid hours were absolutely forgot we were in a place called Iraq.