When I see the detachment I see my sister

I see her Ford Escape with the US flag and armed infidel bumper sticker

I see her when I pass the flag pole, with the faded garnet and gold rocks

When I see the detachment I see the first memory I have of FSU

Tailgating and wearing my sister’s garnet dress


“Present card” the doors unlock with a loud switch.

I swing the door wide and peel my eyes for someone to greet

Army cadre walking up the stairs, but I bolt to the GMC lounge

And wooooosh, a ping pong ball headed straight at me

I dodge a cadet’s back swing and plop onto the cold leather couch


When I see the detachment, I see the old horse stables

But now, the building that harbors the military’s future

It keeps a year round temperature of below zero

The blankets hidden in the academic room prove it


I look to my shield on the wall

Peek at my gym bag shoved in the corner

Remember everyone’s leftovers in the fridge

Stuck with sticky notes that say “hands off or else”


When I see the detachment, I see myself

Resting after the treacherous walk to Diffenbaugh

Studying warrior knowledge

My mission is to fly fight and win


Thursday is the busiest day of the week

The detachment, the only safe place for us to release our shirt stays

Chick Fil A bags left all around, the jimmy johns biker at the door

Class starts in five minutes, I run up the stairs

Standby, room 'tench hut!


When I see the detachment I see my sister

Who put a Keurig in the lounge and keeps her fat textbooks on the bookshelf

I see the place where she spent her college career

That led her into her Air Force career


567187, it’s not a secret but somehow no one knows the code

I choose my favorite chair from the mismatched collection swirling about the room

I log onto the computer

An hour later the printer decides to work and spits out my talking paper


When I see the detachment

I see a runway of fighters getting ready to take off

Fuel tanks being loaded and missions being briefed

Because we will take off one day

And we'll see Det 145 from wherever the mission takes us

We’ll see home