A typical day in Delta is an atypical day anywhere else. Therefore, we may say that “a typical day in Delta is a typically atypical day.”

As I recall my reveille was somewhere between zero-dark and zero-dark-thirty (-ish). I pull myself into my kitchen where I had assembled a coffee preparation sequence the night before with only the slightest movements remaining to initiate the cook (economy of motion).

I stupor-proofed the process by attaching an oversized plastic button over the top of the coffeemaker’s “start” button in the event my sleepy state might cause me to miss several times trying to press it. That failure I suffered exactly one time in the past before I rectified it. By my estimate I lost six-tenths of a second from my morning by missing that communist button — unacceptable!

Jumping into my combat-parked truck I skillfully maneuver my coffee mug tipping it slightly into the direction of travel to preclude it from spilling as I speed ahead. On the way to the compound, I keep a lookout for signs of my neighbor and great Delta friend Patrick Arthur McNamara and his motorcycle, as they both were known to incidentally crash into the wood line. Mac laid his bike down at an interval pressing the speed margin hard to shave off those last few tenths of a second from his travel time just like a man possessed.

We both hated windshield time because it robbed us of productivity. I staved off the sting of time loss with books on tape. This morning Kurt Vonnegut’s Slaughter House Five (Schlachthof Funf) was blaring over my CD player, and so it went. Shooting through the pine woods on a shortcut that McNamara discovered on his bike I was mindful of fauna in my headlights, otherwise, I introduced higher and higher speed.

The guard at the front gate runs his thumb over the photo on my Unit access badge and renders a sharp salute that I always return. I catch the ghost of a figure running by wearing a gas mask and knew it was my brother Ironclad heading out to run the obstacle course — alone — a thing that was severely frowned on by the Unit with safety in mind. Mad-dashing into the team room to grab my gas mask I high-tailed it to catch up with him for a PT even that I regret to this very minute.

Stumbling into a quick shower I race the clock to make it to breakfast with a couple of the squadron boys who have just begun to arrive. I always tried to get in a good workout before the day began in case fluid events ruined my noon and/or evening workouts. Navigating the obstacle course(s) wearing a gas mask was enough to keep a man from feeling guilty for the rest of the day if he did nothing else.

Back in our team room, our next-door neighbor Bart from assault team A comes in while we were grabbing guns and kit for range fire. This was Bart’s morning ritual without deviation: he goes to Guido’s locker next to mine and begins shaving with Guido’s electric razor as he roots through the team leader’s locker looking for hardboiled eggs that he was known to bring back from the chow hall in the morning.