Military stories from past to present, both wars.

Sand in my Crack

January 22nd, 2006 Posted in The SandGram v1.0

Hey guys,

Saturday afternoon here and the winds have picked up to over 30 miles an hour and that creates giant sand storms across the desert. I thought we would be ok with the rain that has fallen in the past couple of days, but as my weather guys explained to me “Sir, the high pressure system forced warm air down onto the desert and dried things out, hence a “mild” sand storm”.

Because of this, fine dust is pushed through every crevice and hole in the buildings/tents/cans etc so that you always have a layer of dust on all of your items including the food you eat. People ask if it’s hard to breath, the answer is it’s so minuscule; you just kind of get use to it. It happened pretty fast and the visibility dropped down to about a ¼ mile which grounded an Air Force C130 from Alaska.

The crew was asleep in the back waiting to pick up some passengers and didn’t realize they were socked in till they looked out the front window and couldn’t see the control tower next to them. Running into our building to call their command, you could hear the stress in their voice “Sir, I did know what to do… this might not clear till the morning and we’re scheduled to depart back to Alaska in the morning… Yes Sir…but Sir, that’s not fair, can’t you hold the flight? Really Sir, 3 months out here is way too long” the female copilot was more worried about getting to the gym on base in Kuwait to do her yoga one last time, the others were a bit down. All of us here loved it. See, Marines come out here for either a 7 month tour or one year. The Air Force stays for 3 months then heads home. The C17 guys out of Charleston only spend two weeks at a wack out here. (Tax Free four years now)
“Hey Captain, don’t worry, we’ll hook you up with a nice place to stay here” Stay here!!!! You could see the look of dismay on his face as the thought of being the only crew to have spent the night on a forward operating base crossed his mind. Actually he was probably thinking about all the extra medals he and his crew would get being here, maybe the Bronze Star or a John Kerry Purple heart. He looks up and whines some more “Sir, we appreciate the offer but we’re out of here as soon as the weather allows.” I mention to the Cpl that we’ll probably receive a bunch of IDF rocket attacks tonight because the Chuckleheads in the local town know a giant sky pig is stuck on deck here. Maybe we should move her over to some obscure part of the airfield so they don’t miss her and blow up our building “this time”.

“This Time???” Now they really want to leave. I’m just kidding of course but you are allowed a lot of room when you’re messing around with the Air Farce. “Hey did you guys bring your flak vest out of the plane?” Now the worry lines are building on this guys face. We turn on AFN, which stands for Armed Forces Network but if you watch it, you would think it’s Air Force News. “Hey, check it out, “Tora,Tora,Tora” is on, grab a seat, I think you’ll be here for awhile. Five hours later the dust calms down enough for at least a ½ mile of vis and these guys, within minutes to go before their second duty day crew rest waiver expires, run to the plane faster then Sen. Murtha can change his mind, start engines and boom they are out of here!! I believe they would have been the first crew (Air Farce that is) to have actually spent the night here since the war. The weather did cause me to cancel my visit to see Capt B. but we’ll reschedule that.

When the jet guys divert in here, they love it!! We go up and smoke Cigars up on top of our Tower that we fixed up called the “Bada Bing”. Life is good, but then again, these are Marine fighter pilots and easily entertained. All Marines put on their Green trousers before they put on their Gold Pilot wings, that is what makes us different. We all love being Marines!!! OOhhh RRRhhhaa.
I hope this picture comes through and you get a feel for the dust here. You guys have a great day and I’d like to thank Captain B for his extreme patience in helping me with my “Code” on the blog. I owe ya brother!!!

Semper Fi,