In the 1990s I spent a couple of years Kansas wondering how a person with my MOS and a stupid amount of years invested in training wound up on an infantry post as a permanent duty station. That never did get very clear and eventually the whole unit moved overseas – which made more sense to begin with.
Beyond the fact that it was in Kansas, it was home for a few years. I braved the ice covered streets more than once trying to climb the hill up to HQ in a Mazda Protege with no snow tires or chains. My sig and I moved from a Manhattan (KS. Don’t get delusions of my grandeur, now) apartment and into condemned housing that we had to clean before we moved out (and they dozed it) and into brand new housing. Lots of stories there.
I was there when the FBI sectioned off the post using railroad cars as they searched for answers after the OKC bombing. It was a violation of home. Even though they were there doing their jobs, they were in our space. It gave everything a sense of wrongness to it.
And now we have another home grown terrorist. One who wanted to join ISIS and blow himself up to commit jihad. If you can believe what you read on the internet. Which I think is 98% intentional crap and 1.5% is well meaning but misled crap. I don’t know the truth. And neither does anyone else. That’s the thing about the internet. Smoke and mirrors.
It’s just that Ft Riley, decades later, still feels like home. And those that would do my home harm would be my enemy. But I don’t like the idea of strangers with train cars roaming my streets either.
And that’s about as real as I want to get.