When they say “show time” it literally means the time you show up. It is not an attempt to sound cool nor is it an reliable indication about the time you will actually travel. For several sound logistical and security reasons, flights in war zones cannot be scheduled like commercial carriers. Besides, most of the time our personal travel considerations are not the highest priority. You usually cannot even find out the precise show time until a few hours before. That means you wait, then you rush to some uncomfortable location, hang around for an indeterminate time and then rush to the next one, which may well be just another waiting area.
Before someone starts thinking “Oh that is just like flying back home” – it ain’t. The funny thing about it, however, is that it is somewhat less annoying than the comparative comfort and predictability of travel back home. Expectations are lower. You expect to have to move your own luggage and help others move theirs, so you learn not to bring much. You expect uncertainty. You do not make appointments tightly. There is no first class travel, so you do not feel the sting of relative deprivation. You expect to spend a couple hours waiting, so you figure out something to do. Some people have developed the ability to fall asleep in seconds and sleep in almost any position. I can do that. I noticed people keeping journals. I do that too, so generally adaptations are simple, if not easy.