Reflections from Day 1 (John Buck)

Wow, where to begin?  My first day here in Bahrain and I have to admit I woke up before the alarm went off in anticipation of seeing and spending time with the troops.  Our first stop was at a highly classified location which was amazing and proved to be an eye opener to see what they entail on a daily basis.  At our second stop, we visited the airbase and had the opportunity to have lunch with Army, Navy, and Air Force personnel.  This allowed me to have personal conversations with the troops and learn more about their roles in the military.  I met a gentleman from Kentucky who basically does overall maintenance on computers and electronics.  I also met some pilots from New Jersey and yes I did get them to do a fist pump!  After lunch, we were able to check out their living arrangements.  I don’t know what I was expecting, but it happen to be a much smaller and confined than I had anticipated. It is hard to believe how they cram that many guys into a small community tent.  Plus all they had were sheets separating them for individual privacy.   As they were taking us through the tent, they said the temperature can get up to 120 degrees during the height of the summer and the AC unit did not look big enough to pump out a lot of air conditioning.  Just one more humbling reminder of what the men and women go through to protect us and make our lives comfortable and safe in the United States and around the world.  After a 45 minute autograph session at the same base, we headed over to see the world famous Tree of Life.  For as much significance as this tree possesses, it definitely did not seem to be well preserved for being a national landmark.  Other than a small iron fence around the base of the tree, it appeared vandalized with name carvings, dates, and other stuff you can imagine. From there we went to a military base and hosted a baseball clinic for kids ranging from the ages of 7 through 13.  The camp came with good timing as it gave me a second boost of energy due to the long day. The kids had a great time and of course we ended up getting more out of those kids than they got out of us.  It was one of those experiences that I will never forget.  As I write this blog before I shower up and prepare to hit the town of Bahrain for a good dinner, I can only imagine what tomorrow is going to entail for us.  We start bright and early training with the Marines and it should be a good one if I survive.  Rumor has it they are the best of the best.

3 Comments

John, on behalf of my son Trenton (age 7), a big thanks to you, Logan, Jeff, and Andre for taking the time to visit our baseball team on our humble sandlot and spending individual time with the kids. They had a great time and I know they learned something as well. You guys seemed to have some fun too :) FYI, now I have to go get some Marlins gear next time back in the states as both my kids are now calling themselves Marlins :) And thanks for visiting our troops!…Craig Wilson

John, as Mr. Samson stated, you are a natural teacher and future coach! Thanks for the time with the kids today. My son Tanner is still walking around the flat “squishing the bug”. Safe travels and rest assured you guys left a lasting impression on the youth players today. Tanner is a big fan now and can’t wait to see you on the armed forces network this year.

Cheers,
Paul Flusche

Thank you for visiting us in Bahrain. Yeah the tents aren’t that comfortable, but after a long day of work, I love saying “I can’t wait to get back to the tent”. It’s home! I also want to thank you for pushing me in the back as I was about to dunk on you (not really but it could happen). Shot were wayyyy off and on behalf of my Chief, he was shooting with his eyes closed and that’s why the ball went over the fence :) . LOL! But anyways, we really appreciate you all taking the time out to come visit!

Have a good one,

Zae Belcher

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