Jan 27th, 2005, 24-hour layover in Maryland - I approach the Air Mobility Command terminal at BWI with my military travel paperwork in one hand, and my luggage in the other.
"I'm sorry sir, but the wrong person signed these papers. You need contracting officer Major [X] to sign this document to board this flight to Qatar."
Though I was under the distinct impression I cleared all my military travel issues at Travis Airbase six days earlier, it appears
I will be denied boarding this flight unless correct this oversight. Tick-tock, tick-tock ...
With my departure time just six hours away, I scrambled on a dialup connection at BWI trying to reach my contacts in Balad and Kuwait to get the proper authorization before the military charter took off to the Middle East.
If my life is an episode of '24' this would be the part where I pull a rabbit out of a hat and manage to board the flight with a last-minute gambit, but alas, in spite of all the international phone calls placed and frantic emails, the deadline came and went - and I ended up trapped in Baltimore to watch my flight take off without me.
Next flight out to Qatar is Feb 6th, and it is unclear I can reach the proper authorities in time. *Headslap*
With work meetings back in Oakland scheduled for mid-February, it is unclear whether I can even make it in-country and back out in time. Abort Mission? Y/N
Am in New Orleans right now for reasons too labyrinthine to go into detail.
More detailed updates to come.