always waiting to load!

Originally uploaded by jayfherron

In my final years of trucking it always seemed ironic that the great majority of my loads where found on military bases-and moved to military bases. Sometimes we moved entire flight wings for the USAF. By flight wing-I mean the supporting equipment required to run a fleet of jets,or copters or planes. It all varied-sometimes not even making sense. For example-I loaded a perfectly good truck that could have been loaded with the equipment the truck next to me was loading…and the military could have loaded the truck I was intended to load and haul,and put two soldiers in it and let them go to where ever it needs to go. I remember once I hauled a tool box and an engine hoist and one 11′ long steel beam-loaded it in Maryland and hauled it to San Diego,to the Navy base there. An entire semi trailer practically empty-and not permitted to carry anything else because the military had full availability on the trailer. Something they could have loaded into a pick up truck and sent two young sailors across country-it would have made better sense.

Often we would load a brand new Bradly tank in York (PA) and carry it south to Ft.Stewart (GA) and load another tank and carry it to Texarkana (TX) and unload it,and there we’d load some kind of a machine or another and haul it to Chambersburg (PA) and then head back to York to make another circle. After a few times like that you wanted the circle to break.
Sometimes we’d just get to do it at Chambersburg-the truck would head back south towards Grove-and from there we’d haul a crane.
But to me-the ironic part was the military bases.

I don’t mind saying,I used to think about it along the miles. I was good at what I did-a million miles with out a damage claim of any kind…well,I did knock in a corner of a store-but I never wrecked a truck. I was in charge of a huge machine-it was like I captained my own ship,the highway was the open sea.

A military base has its own style of structure. I don’t know how to describe it-they are huge in space,like Fort Irwin in California,the drive from the main highway and up theirs was 50 miles easy. But the moment you got there you knew it was a military base. It just differs from any other type of industrial area-yet they all look the same. Fort Irwin was at least 50 miles in each direction-from the center. I have seen others just as large.

It seemed sometimes it was a bitter sweet hint of the life I might have had. In my own private world-giving it to me in a private way. I often loaded over size equipment and was skilled in anchoring the various machines to the trailer. Despite the building I cracked open-I never had a damaged piece of equipment.

The bitter sweet hint of life was from the part where the Navy crew would be involved almost everything-or the Marines would take charge of their ordinance,or the Air Force crew loaded the jet engine. The uniforms and aura of the place mingled with my past every time.

What a strange thing. To take refuge in a truck with a sleeping cabin attached to the rear-to be able to flee from relationships,isolating myself from others…all because of what took place in my life at barrack D. And here I am on military bases.

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