CROWS Training

My mission, which I have no choice but to accept, is to arrive in Grayling, MI with the right equipment and stay five days. Prior to my mission, I cashed in my near inoperable Nissan Pathfinder which had been taking up space behind the family garage for the past few months. With a jump, I was able to drive it one last time. I followed my brother to my vehicle’s  final destination: the recycle yard.  My small jeep like SUV weighed in at 3600 lbs. I walked away holding a check totalling almost half the sum I had purchased it five years ago. It would probably be the most profitable vehicle I would ever own. It had earned back all the money that I had initially put into it in college from renting it to those in need. It had also played the main role in my lawn business those almost four years of operation. Now, it’s final contribution to my wallet would equal almost a ⅔ of my paycheck from Aspen Technologies Inc.

With my deployment date drawing nigh, I would not be making plans to buy another vehicle until my return. Since I had parked my expended vehicle some months ago, transportation became a complicated endeavor which would require planning, coordination, and a lot of upfront cash. In not having a vehicle, I have found that my budget for transportation hadn’t changed much. If anything, it has been more expensive and consequential not owning a vehicle. I would have to coordinate transportation across the state of Michigan from Wixom to Big Rapids every month for drill. This time, I would have the fortune of borrowing the family van. Since my mother and sister were going to Florida for the week, the vehicle wouldn’t be needed. It was convenient timing.
I packed up and hit the road after the Sunday morning service. The nearly four hour drive breezed by as I listened to my favorite podcasts and started into a few audio books. One of the audio books, “Incognito” is about the functions of the brain. I found it ironic that the author while often referencing evolution seemingly missing his own contradiction stating in passing that the brain of animals and humans come equipped with pre-programing and it would be impossible for a brain with a “blank slate” to learn anything. This clearly indicates the impossibility of the ubiquitous theory of interspecific evolution. Some caution the reading of material that doesn’t support a biblical view. I have found it easy to distinguish between fact and theory and furthermore, I can often use the scientific studies to further support the Bible.

I arrived at the Super 8 and checked in. Across the road was a conveniently located Arbie’s. I went in and ordered a Reuben sandwich. Before I finished filling my complimentary cup of water, my food was on the counter, hot, and ready. I sat down and watched some of the Boston vs NY Yankees game. I noticed someone slowly making their way passed the tables by me. He was apparently a completely blind man, searching for a table. He passed me and passed another man who looked at him in sort of a startle wide eyed manner. The blind man continued down the other restaurant wall, all the way to the corner, then back tracked one booth from the wall. I wondered why he picked that particular booth instead of just picking the booth in the corner. I soon finished and returned to the hotel.

I noticed a sign in my room that encouraged patrons to open the window and view the critters that were likely to be in view. I opened the window and sure enough there were birds. Some were startled by my opening the window. The sign also indicated that patrons would likely see deer too. There were deer feeders in the middle of the yard by nearly every window and woods followed not much further, but I didn’t see any deer.

I turned on the TV and found the Discovery channel. I was pleased to find that the new series “Curiosity” was soon to be on. Steven Hawkins, an atheist, gives his answer and arguments for the question, “Did God create the universe?” I found his conclusion and explanation, intended to debunk the possibility of God’s authorship of creation, to actually support it. Hawkins’ explanation was that God couldn’t have created the universe since there was no time in which God could create it. Since the biblical God isn’t confined to time, I don’t know how this revered doctor of cosmology could possibly conclude that. Furthermore, the Bible says, “In the beginning, God created…” It doesn’t say, “Before the beginning.” Therefore, it could be said in other words, “When time started, God created.”
For fun, I’ll continue the scripture in scientific terminology as I understand it to demonstrate the Bible’s astounding relevance to what we know in science today. “When time began, God created space and matter. Matter was without form and empty and there was no energy. And God’s Spirit moved in the unformed matter. Then God said, ‘Let there be energy’ and it was so. And God divided positive energy from negative energy and called the positive energy day and the negative energy night. And God said let there be space between the unformed matter and let it divide into two categories; liquid and gas. God called space heaven. And God said, ‘let the liquid be gathered together and let solid matter appear. God called the solid matter Earth and the liquid He called seas. God said, ‘Let the solid matter produce many kinds of vegetation.’ And God said, ‘Let there be lights in the space of the heavens and let them divide the positive energy from the negative energy, and let them represent time…’ And God said, ‘Let the liquid produce birds and all the sea creatures.’ …And God said, ‘Let the solid matter also produce creatures to roam the land.’ Then God created man (and woman) to represent Himself. God told them be productive, reproductive, and bring the matter energy and genetics under their power.

As we understand science and history and as we apply a scientific vocabulary to the proverbial words represent, we can see the continued and ever increasing relevance of Genesis chapter one. Earlier last century, man brought matter energy under his control IE the atom and nuclear bomb/power plants. Recently man has begun genetic manipulation. Often, the Bible has multiple applications. As I have distinguished here, recent history reveals a long overdue fulfillment of those original commands of God.

Meeting the Instructors

Somehow my mind learned the instructors names the first day, all six of them. Jeff was the lead instructor. He had a hillbilly accent and personality. It was all too obvious over the course of the week that he picked on minorities to answer questions in review more so than the rest of us. He would sometimes ask review questions methodically down the row and then just skip to one of the black guys in another row. We had three black guys, an Asian and a Hispanic. He even got the Gonzales’ name wrong; calling on him as Garcia. This was especially odd since our uniforms have our last names on display in plain view. I never heard any complaints from them but at the end of the course on the course review, I mentioned the obvious bias.

Brian was secondary senior instructor. Dan and Steve were the tech guys. They stayed in the back and were hardly heard from. Bob was a likable guy, and an effective instructor. Vern was a goober looking guy who was new to the crew. Jeff introduced him erroneously as Vince. To Vern’s apparently mild frustration, I was corrected on the practical driving exercise on Thursday. I told him that he was the first person I even knew with his name. When I referenced the fictional character, Earnest, he sarcastically proclaimed that he had never heard that before.

Our testing was more practical than academic. We spent plenty of time installing the interchangeable weapons on the weapons station. By the end of the week, I could almost install and uninstall any corresponding weapon blindfolded. The weapon station weighed in at about three hundred pounds.

Four up armored Humvees were parked outside the duel garage.

We used the garage as a classroom. In the back of the classroom was a row of computers; used as simulators for the CROWS training. Jeff emphasized, half joking, that they were training simulations and not games. Between training we were aloud to put our skills to the test on these “simulations”.

Friday was the big day. We set up two of  the Humvees with 50 calibers (M2) and the other two with 30 calibers (240 B’s) and went to the range. I was determined to shoot the “50”. It was practically the only weapon I had not shot since I joined the Army ten years ago. I got my wish. It was a powerful gun. Even though the weapons station absorbs 80% of the recoil, the up armored Humvee shook with each discharge. The kickback was so powerful that the accuracy diminished after about 300 meters if you let it go on automatic. Single shots were accurate up to 1600 meters. In addition to orange targets, there were two condemned cars within 100 meters and two very large targets at the back of the range. The big round targets which appeared to be some two stories high at about 1000 meters and perhaps 1500 lowered when you hit them. I was able to hit the first one, but had no good fortune on the furthest.

Sadly, this is all that was written for this document.



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