Living off post presented some unique experiences when it comes to alerts. There was a code word that was given to those who resided off post that would start us into action. Generally, there were some who had vehicles that could carry us straight to post.
One particular alert I can remember very clearly. Upon our arrival to post, we were met with the barrel of an M60 tank guarding the back gate of McNair Barracks. It could barely be seen due to the lights shining down the strasse. When I came around the corner to enter the company area, we were met with a sand bagged fighting position with the CQ challenging everyone who wanted to enter (so weird).
Once inside, we got all our gear together and moved it to the hallway near the platoon CP’s and then hit the armsroom line to draw weapons. I was an M60 assistant gunner at that time and so enjoyed carrying the f@$k you bag and tripod on top of everything else we carried in our rucks (which included everything we were issued in CIF). We then moved to the staging area behind the company area (big parking lot) and waited for the buses to show up. This was normally the time where they would “Endex” the alert.
Of course they waiting until we had loaded all our gear and loaded the bus and were driving to the back gate to leave post to actually call “Endex”. We returned to the parking lot, unloaded the buses, stored our gear, kept our weapons (to clean them) and went through a normal rest of the day.