10 September 2008


In the wilds!  OK - so the tents have wood floors, bunkbeds and wall lockers.  And electricity.  And there's a PX (trailer).  And internet connectivity.  But the connectivity is spotty, and the tents are tents, so it's the field and we're roughing it.
We aren't going to be out here for very long, but I suppose it's a box that must be checked.  And we all know that those boxes will be checked.  Boxes get checked, or Soldiers die.
Sorry - I let the mob' bitterness win for a second there.  I woke up with a case of the chapped heinie this morning, and never really got my false motivation level where it belongs.
One interesting thing they've done with the "FOB" (forward operating base) concept here is play a recorded "call to prayer" over loudspeakers at the appropriate times.  One of those occurred as we were dragging bags into our tents.  One of our specialists, another recovering jarhead for whom this will be the second Big Trip, looked and me and shared his opinion.
"I really didn't miss that at all."
Sometimes, when I was in Iraq, the sun would be going down.  Dust would hang in the air, and it would be a thousand degrees.  The whole country seemed to smell of burning trash, human shit and rage.  And then the mosques would start up with the prayer call.
I don't speak Arabic, but I know what it always sounded like to me - You're about as far from home as you can get.  This place might as well be Mars, for all you understand about it.  Learn fast.