Friday, May 29, 2009

The Heat Is On

For six months, I have heard about the infamous high heat of Iraq during the Spring and Summer months. I tried to imagine what it would be like, comparing it to the humid heat of the South. But it is a different type of heat, a dry desert heat about which I've heard. Soldiers returning from Iraq often compared it to a hair dryer. I am finding now, as we have been in triple-digit temperatures for a week, that the "hair dryer" comparison is accurate. Wearing full body armor and spending any amount of time outside will result in torrents of sweat soaking the entire uniform. We drink several quarts of water a day just to stave off the dehydration that so easily befalls people living and working in this climate. The highest temperature so far has been about 111 degrees, and they say it will get hotter. It will stay this way until about September, I am told. This year, I have experienced two extremes of weather - the single-digit temperatures of the New Jersey winter back at Fort Dix, and now the triple-digit temperatures of Iraq.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009


I am the 211th MPAD's newest non-commissioned officer. I officially received my sergeant stripes in a promotion ceremony last week. Our other newly-minted NCOs, SGTs Fardette, Anderson and Logue all helped me prepare by rehearsing the promotion ceremony and the NCO creed. The ceremony was held in the evening, and it turned out to be great weather. We had a cookout afteward and everybody had fun. I was humbled that the unit would hold a cookout for me on my promotion day. It feels good to have my stripes now, after my promotion paperwork disappeared somewhere in Texas. Another packet was submitted here in Iraq. Now, with rank comes more responsibility and accountability. That means less complaining and fewer excuses. Thank you 211th for helping me with my promotion.