I'm now beginning to think that signing up for the United States Army was a mistake.
While I am all for defending my country from all enemies (foreign and domestic), I am not so sure about the location where I am currently at. It is September here in Iraq, but it feels more like the dead of summer. Relentless heat, with no rain in sight, and having to cope with being fully dressed while carrying a heavy load upon my back.
And praying for some drinkable water in the process before I (or my other comrades) pass out from the extreme temperatures. As an example, yesterday's high was reported to be 130 degrees.
The Humvee I drove yesterday had air conditioning, but tell that to my parched, sunburned body. While it was 130 outside, on the inside it was 110 degrees. Only 20 degrees cooler, but not really enough to make a difference: it still felt like I was in the middle of a sauna.
Didn't help that I had long sleeves, long pants, and fifty pounds (plus) upon my back. Putting down my backpack and my weaponry into my "cooled down" Humvee never felt so good!!
Besides the heat, we soldiers also have to contend with people who don't speak our language (or people who would like nothing more than to harm us; they are the enemy), massive sandstorms that blacken the Iraqi sky until it's as black as midnight, vile-tasting food, and even critters, including spiders that are as big as your hand. Camel-spiders they're called. These giant arachids like to follow you (or your shadow), so they can get relief from the blistering heat. Sometimes I find 'em in my shoes or boots, or even in my barrack at night.
Gad! If there's one thing that is guaranteed to creep me out, it's spiders, especially these that are as big (if not even bigger) than my hand!! *cringe, cringe*
If I don't see another camel-spider, it will be a moment too soon before I do! *eep!*
I'd give anything to hvve my commander send me elsewhere to finish my Army duty ... like, for example, Fairbanks, Alaska! Suddenly 40 below temperatures sound like a walk in the park: I am going to talk to my supervisor/commander to see if he can have me transferred to Alaska. I've had more than enough of being in hell!
I wouldn't be surprised to see the devil, himself, here, lounging in a lawnchair, drinking a jalapeno-spiced tea mixture, enjoying the heat, saying, "Ahh, bring it on, baby, bring it on!"