After almost a steady week of blinding sandstorms, the weather has finally quieted down here.
Sandstorms bring us all kinds of pain and misery.
First of all, they effect the mission. When the sandstorms are so bad that aircraft can't fly, the roads get shut down. Thats actually a good thing. The powers that be don't want us out running the roads unless they can get a MEDEVAC chopper or a couple APaches gun ships to us if we need them. So in a way, I'm okay with that.
On the other hand, it's frustrating as hell. When the roads aren's open, we can't do our job of escorting convoys. They troops get all geared up, inspect their convoys, prep their vehicles.....then sit and wait. Everyone knows hat the Army is all about hurry-up and wait. But it's still an ass kicker. What makes is worse is when it happens for days on end. One day of no movement due to sandstorms is bearable. But day after day is killer. It really saps alot out of the troops.
Besides the troops being frustrated about not moving, all the people pushing supplies up north get frustrated too. It takes lots of fuel, food and supplies to keep the war supplied. If the trucks hauling those fuel, food and supplies aren't moving, lots of people get real ancy. We plan for thing like this of course. It's not like Joe isn't going to eat if the trucks don't move North from Kuwait. But there are contracts to keep and timelines to meet. In the end, the weather gets better, trucks get moving and Joe gets his ice cream.
On a more personal level, I hate sand storms. I really hate them.
In order to really feel what a sandstorm is like, you need to do two things. First, point a hair dryer at your face and turn it on full blast. Keep it about 4 inches from your face. Next, have someone throw sand in your face. It's kind of like having your face exfoliated with a sandblasted. After walking in a sandstorm, you'll find sand in places you never knew you could get sand in.
And sand here isn't like your typical beach sand. Much of it is very fine. Almost like sugar. When the wind whips at your tent or building, the sugary sand seeps in through every crack and crevice. When I got back to my room yesterday it was as if I had a small snow drift of sand wrom the wind forceing it through the crack in my door. When your're driving down the road in a sandstorm, the wind pushes the sand across the pavement just like a snow storm back home in Michigan.
But it's sunny out today. Just a little haze on the horizon. Maybe it'll last for a few days before the next storm hits. CM, Micah