Archive for September, 2009

Working on FOB Delta

Author: Jon

Since we’ve been here at FOB Delta, it’s been a steady routine that has kept my men and I busy and working hard.  I suppose it wouldn’t be a breach in security to tell you we’re building the perimeter road, for if the enemy checks my blog for sensitive information, I’d imagine he has seen us from the town.  My squad works 5 days of the week building the road and half a day doing preventative checks and services (PMCS).  Basically, we go over our equipment very well to find anything that may be wrong or may go wrong soon.  It’s very tiring work for we wear our body armor and Kevlar (helmets) all day so as to mitigate any enemy from trying to take pot shots and getting lucky.  So far, so good on that account.  The 120 F (average) heat also wears you down.  Two weeks ago we had a couple days in a row where it reached 140 F.  If you want to feel what that is like for us, do the following:  Put on a sturdy jacket and tie two 20lb dumbells so they rest, one in front of you and one in back, over your shoulders. This represents the body armor and equipment. Put on a wool hat to simulate the helmet.  Ensure you are wearing long pants and boots as well.  Once you’ve donned all this, turn your oven to about 160F and sit in front of it with the door open for 8 hours.  Needless to say I have an awesome tan on my hands, neck and the parts of my face where my Kevlar straps don’t cover.  My normally, dark brown arm hair is almost completely blond and everyday I return to the barracks covered in dust and salt.  If you are wondering why salt, do yourself a favor and get a manual labor job to find out.  It’ll build character and you’ll appreciate things you took for granted.

I digress, I don’t mean to bitch or seek sympathy, but to enlighten all what our experience entails.  On a more personal note, I find trying to run a job site with 8 – 10 soldiers under me with 5 – 7 pieces of equipment running continuously is even more tiring than the heat.  Or more truthfully,the combination of both is exhausting at the best of times and overwhelming at the worst.  In the end, being able to look behind us and seeing the miles of road we’ve built is a reward worth all the sweat and toil.  Knowing the benefit it will bring our fellow soldiers who are posted at this camp and hopefully the Iraqi’s who inherit it after the US soldiers leave, also makes our deeds worth doing.

The work makes the time fly by and hard work does more for keeping our minds busy than anything else we could do.  Being exhausted at the end of the day has it perks, too.

To all, I hope everything is going well and I apologize for the great delay at which this latest post comes.  Here are a few pictures of what we have been doing.