Monday, August 14, 2023

My Memory of the War in Iraq 20 years later: August 2023

 “From: Whitehead Col Michael

    Sent: Sunday, August 10, 2003 8:50 AM

    Subject: It is HOT here”

“Did I mention that it is hot here? I mean really, really, REALLY hot. I'm from Florida and I know hot, and this is HOT. My buddy Phil McMillan from Blountstown, Florida says that it is so hot he saw two fire hydrants fighting over a dog. What a miserable place this country is! This place is so screwed up because anyone with any sense left several millennia ago.

My new residence in an air conditioned tent. My cot, chair, black trunk and sleeping bag that I have slept in for 3 months without benefit of cleaning.

The official forecast is 116 degrees, but someone saw a thermometer (in the shade) by a tent in the parking lot at midday and the temp was 142 degrees.

We sent a convoy down south to Talill Airbase Thursday to link up with a convoy from Kuwait, and the temp in Talill was 128 degrees. When they opened up an air-conditioned tent for the troops in the Palace two weeks ago, not everyone moved down. "We like it up here," they said. They are now deserting the Palace like rats from a sinking ship. One holdout said that the LOW temp in the Palace last night was 99 degrees. All that stone in the Palace absorbs the heat during the day and cooks everyone at night. Plus, the breezes that were a godsend in June and July have disappeared. Larry West finally gave up and moved in our tent with us last night.

I went to run last night a 7 PM and I felt a little sluggish. Actually, I felt a lot sluggish. I had a bottle of ice water waiting for me when I got back, but I still took a long time to cool down. The water in the shower is even warm, and doesn't provide any relief. The shower tent, with all the people and water, is like a sauna. I don't even dry off. I just put on my shorts and shower shoes, and walk outside to put on my sneakers. By the time I walk back to my tent, the water has evaporated off me and I stay a lot cooler in the mean time. Tricks of the trade.

Did I mention that it's hot here?

Of course, this could all be a lot worse. I could be patrolling downtown Baghdad every day, for instance.”

Excerpt From

Messages from Babylon

Michael Whitehead

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