August 26, 2011

Totally Random

Today I had my first experience with a random vehicle inspection on post. Yes, two years (almost) in the army and this is my first vehicle inspection. I know, I'm lucky.

I drive onto post in the middle of the afternoon, when there is very little traffic. So I was surprised to see them direct me into a side lane. At first, I thought they were opening up another check point. I'm a little slow on gym days.

I parked in front of three guards. One came over to the side and asked me to open all my car doors and pop the hood and trunk. That's when I got nervous. I'm not used to driving the blue car much (new car pics to come soon, btw), so I wasn't really sure where those levers were. Sure, in the same general area as all other cars...but I still had to use my key fob to open the trunk. Or, I thought I did. After the fact I remembered our keyless entry meant I only had to push a button on the trunk. Oh well.

I get out of the car and one of the guards tells me to come stand behind the line with him, "So you can't make any sudden moves, har har." I laughed too.

"This is the first time I've had to do one of these," I said.

"Really?" He looked surprised. "Every time we pull someone over, they always say, 'Oh, this is the fourth time I've had to do this this week.'"

"Ha, I'll bet they do," I said.

"You know, it's not like that." He stopped smiling. "It's totally random. We have to pick random people to search, it's required."

"Yeah, I know."

"We don't remember who we've pulled over." He waves at the incoming traffic. "I just try to pull a car that's on its own, so it doesn't stop traffic."

"Sure, of course."

"We have to do this, you know."

"I know," I'm nodding. "I understand."

"People get upset, but we have to do this."

"Sure. Of course," I said, "I don't mind, because I'm not in a hurry. I'm sure if you're trying to make an appointment, it is pretty annoying." I smiled.

"Oh sure, everyone we pull over is trying to make an appointment, but we don't know that. We can't tell who is running late and who isn't." There's a definite I'm sorry in his voice.

"Of course. I'm just going to a friend's house, so ten minutes won't make a difference to me. But I'm sure for a lot of people, it's frustrating."

"Yeah." He nods.

The other guard comes over and says I'm clear. They say thank you and let me leave. But I'm pretty sure they wanted to say 'I'm sorry.'

8 comments:

  1. Ugh. What a thankless job. Poor guys. I always feel sorry for TSA workers too. Just trying to keep everyone safe!

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  2. I have never had my vehicle inspected luckily. I know my husband did once when he wasn't in uniform and he was super annoyed but obviously they have to do it to keep everyone safe!

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  3. I've done them quite a bit now. Of course, living on post, I go through the gates more often. For some reason, it seems I usually get pulled over when I'm headed home with food. Like fresh sushi. haha.

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  4. Everytime I've been on base, my car has been searched! I always just try to be nice because I'm sure they get the cranky people over and over

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  5. I've been inspected once too...they are installing gates here to swipe your cards and come in...no more live person checking your ID. It may be convenient but I am less than excited about it!!

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  6. I got inspected a few months ago. I was just annoyed because it was past bedtime and I was tired! But it was quick and they were nice.

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  7. Several years ago, shortly after 9/11, I got searched. This is before I was a milspouse. I had my brothers in the car and we were on our way to hockey practice (on-post) and then staying the night at our grandparents house. They had their air soft guns in the trunk!!!! I was SO scared they would see them and I would be in HUGE trouble. They never even noticed them but my heart was racing for quite a while after that!

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  8. Those poor guys probably get an ear-full every time they search someone. I remember the first time I got searched. I had driven down to GA to see Joe while he was in AIT. It was the first time I'd been on an army post since his BCT graduation...which had been a few weeks. Obviously I was already nervous and a little tired. So when they pulled me over, I all but freaked out. Not to mention my car was full of luggage. It was interesting, for sure. And then they asked me where I was going on post. Yeah, 'cause I knew that. It was seriously nerve racking. I think I was searched two or three times while he was at Gordon. Good times, but I never complained about it. They have a job to do and if searching cars keeps the post safe, I'm all for it. I wish they'd do that here, but clearly no one cares who gets on post with what here. *sigh*

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