So a while back, at work over lunch, the conversation turned to dentistry for some reason, and that reminded me of something that happened to me when I was back in the Army. After my tour in Germany, I finished things up at Ft. Polk Louisiana (where when everyone got their orders from my unit shutting down- the only one that said anything was Sgt. Dobbs, and he said ‘well son, the only thing I can say is I was there, and I got bit on the neck by a brown recluse‘). Nice.
So, a part of being state-side, is everyone gets to go to NTC (National Training Center in Death Valley near Ft. Irwin) for some good ol’ wargames – keep in mind, this was when the US still thought wars were fought with tanks. The thing with being out there for 30 days was that like war, if you have to go back to HQ for whatever, your crew has to shut down too. Guess what? I had a filling that came loose when I was out there (good thing I didn’t swallow it). Ever try to eat ANYTHING with no filling? Oh my- it’s amazing how nerves are able to transmit pain so well. So, what am I to do- go back to HQ? Nah, I’d say it’s time for some field dentistry. So, I grabbed my knife (a great 9″ fixed blade I still had for close encounters if I got sent to Iraq for Desert Storm), and rinsed my mouth out really good, lined the filling in the right place (while looking at a dusty HMMW-V side mirror), and use the knife to jam it back in. I heard this pop as it snapped into place, and the pain went away. Kid you not- I still have the filling in place, and it’s been there ever since.
On a side note, Death Valley rivaled the beauty of some of the most amazing German countrysides I’ve ever seen- I still remember sitting out there after the sunset (it cools down really fast in the desert) on the hood of the HMMW-V smoking a Swisher Sweet cigar (too funny), and seeing how beautiful the desert was. Definitely memories I’ll never forget.