Sunday, March 14, 2010

New Experiences

There are TONS of routines and traditions in the Army.  Those in the civilian world are probably familiar with things such as PT in the mornings and formations but did you know that everyday they play bugle recordings over the loud speakers (which can be heard if you're outside at our house about 4 or 5 miles from post on quiet days) to announce the beginning of the day (Reveille), lunch (Dinner Call), the end of the work day (Retreat) and bed time (Taps)?  Each base/post sets their own time for these announcements (and can add additional ones if they choose).  If I'm not mistaking, they play at 0600 (6am), 1200 (noon), 1700 (5pm) and 2100 (9pm) where I am.  During Reveille and Retreat, they raise/lower the flag for the day and if you are driving on post you are SUPPOSED to stop your car, get out and face the flag (or sound of the music if you don't know where the flag is).  Since we don't live on post and never have, I rarely ever experience the total stoppage of activity on post as I try to avoid post during the busy times when thousands of soldiers are coming/going. (I've figured out the perfect time to go to the zoo commissary is between 3 and 330 when most people are picking up their children from school) However, yesterday, Jason and I were visiting friends on post and heading home right at the time of Retreat and happened to be driving right past the flag at 4:58 when the strangest thing happened:

This little guy stopped us from driving any farther (even though we would have made it off post by 5pm)

So we sat and waited until we heard the familiar sound, then my husband dutifully got out of the car and stood at attention while I sat in the car taking pictures on my phone, avoiding the rain

while they lowered the flag for the day


Nancy said...

That is funny. We used to be stationed at Ft. Huachuca, so I got my first taste of having having to stop the car for taps or what have you (it was our first time living on any base). 10 years later and we are living on a base again- but I had totally forgotten about all of that. So the first time it happened I was walking to the exchange and noticed everyone was stopped. It took a minute to register what the heck was going on? I laughed at myself then- duh! Luckily- the Navy doesn't make the guys get out of the car and stand at attention- only if you are outside.

HaithBears said...

this halt of activity is normal for west point, but i didn't know they stopped traffic here until i got stuck in your spot one afternoon. also raining. also sat in the car. woops!