I found myself on a hilltop in south central Virginia the other day with some very fine men and women of a field artillery unit of the Virginia Army National Guard. An interesting day where they were learning to use new, upgraded howitzers. Coming from a military family I have nothing but respect for these soldiers. Getting to spend a day with this crew only increased my appreciation for what they do. Not only did they talk about their weapons training, they also talked about the relief work they do every year during winter storms, flooding and hurricane season. For all I know these folks could be on their way to Houston right now.
And from being around the military I am very familiar with the phrase "hurry up and wait." The live artillery fire was no exception. We waited and waited and waited until somebody said let's have lunch and out come the MREs (meals ready to eat, individual). No time to search through the meals for a favorite, just grab the one on top and I got Menu 18, Beef Ravioli in Meat Sauce. Sounded good.
So about the time I got the pack open, read the instructions, put the self-heating chemical packet in the bag with the ravioli and add the water that sets off the packet somebody yells that it is time to go. So I wolf down my barely heated ravioli, which was a fine meal. There were some packets leftover that I did not get to: Beef Snack (Hickory Flavored Beef Stick Chunked and Formed), Toaster Pastry with frosted brown sugar, and White Wheat Snack Bread TFF (I still haven't figured out the TFF part). For fun I tucked them in with my 16 meal packets for the fall sail. Might be interesting addition mixed in the the freeze dried meals from New Zealand and the cans of tuna from Italy.
It was a fine day with some very good people, and I was very glad to have been invited along.