As I near the two week mark of my stay here at Camp Atterbury (yes I'm still on US soil, the main reason I've refrained from updating this blog more often), I can't help but begin trying to understand what Tom Hanks must have felt like in his 2004 film The Terminal. If you've not seen the movie, Tom Hanks plays a tourist from the fictional country of Krakozhia trapped in JFK Airport for several months. While I'm confident I won't be here for months, I can certainly relate to the confused stares someone walking around for two weeks essentially in isolation is guaranteed to draw. Today it was most apparent as I went through the meal line for lunch, as the headcounter laughingly quipped "you're still here"?!?!
I am a firm believer in things happening for a reason, my current situation being a great example. These extra two weeks (most likely will total a bit over three) could not have provided me with a better home base to enjoy all beautiful Southern Indiana has to offer. Camp Atterbury sits in a very strategic logistical position between Indianapolis and Louisville, however I think it's the smaller towns this time of year I've enjoyed visiting the most. The past three years working with Lt. Governor Skillman have given me incredible opportunities to travel to these small towns, however just for meetings totaling at most several hours.
I can honestly say I'd never of had the opportunity to take the architectural tour in Columbus, mountain bike Brown County State Park, or take in a busy Friday afternoon on the streets of downtown Nashville without this delay in my deployment. Surprisingly enough, this "delay" is not all that unusual in terms of military logistics. When you look at how many young men and women you know that currently wear the uniform or have had the privilege of wearing it in the past, thank them for their service but also congratulate them for making the most of their time in the service. In my short seven years of serving, it amazes me how many opportunities I've had to see beautiful places such as Spain, Texas, and Colorado. Equally unfortunate to me are the missed opportunities by many over the years of getting out and going on a new adventure. It doesn't take many stories in "The Greatest Generation" to see how many of our most storied veterans learned so many valuable life lessons during their years of service.
If you've seen all of The Terminal, you know Tom Hanks really made the most out of his time in captivity and was quite creative in the process. By simply having an open mind and "rolling with the punches", he was able to accomplish his initial goal and ultimately came out ahead with yet one more life experience under his belt. Over the next week or however long I'm told to stay here at Camp Atterbury, it is my goal to get out and make the most of these days I've been "gifted".