Thursday, May 6, 2010

Sir, Yes Sir!

I used to be intimated when meeting higher ranking officials, especially military officers – Generals to be specific. I literally froze during a presentation to an Air Force general at Malmstrom Air Force Base in Montana updating him on ongoing projects at the base. In Iraq, the Corps of Engineers’ Gulf Region Commander, a general, ran me ragged as I showed him around the Baghdad Police College projects. Here we were, a guy much older than I am and a bit paunchier than I was, both of us wearing full uniform with Kevlar helmet and vest, on a hot day, walking briskly around a large campus, as I tried to keep up with him. I was short of breath, sweating like a pig, and he keeps barking my name for construction updates – “Antonio, where are we with this building? Antonio, has the sewer line issue been resolved?”. The rest of the general’s entourage probably felt like I did, but we had to keep up with him.

I don’t interact with them as much, but having worked in deployed regions such as Iraq and Bosnia, sometimes it is hard to avoid them. I am more comfortable dealing with their underlings – the NCO’s, Lieutenants, Captains, and Majors.

The following are pictures with a few generals who I have crossed paths with:

Group photo with BG McCoy (standing, 4th from the left) after I hosted the USACE Gulf Region Commander at my Residence Office in Camp Taji, Iraq.

Receiving a coin from BG Bostick at one of my project site in Camp Taji.

Receiving a coin from BG Weber, NATO HQ Sarajevo Commander, at Eagle Base in Tuzla, Bosnia.

Receiving a service award from MG Wightman, NATO HQ Sarajevo Commander, in Sarajevo.

Receiving a coin from BG Semonite, USACE North Atlantic Division Commander, at my cubicle in Wiesbaden, Germany.

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