Since I have neglected to keep this thing updated, I appear to be rapidly approaching my retirement date and we are just now getting to Desert Shield. I will see if I can sum that whole thing up in one post.
We arrived in Saudi Arabia on New Years eve 1990 (see last post) and spent a few days in Tent City, which was an area at the port in which we lived in tents (probably how it got the name). Here, I was introduced to community bathrooms. I don’t mean several urinals and toilets in a little room, I am talking about a small shack made of plywood and screen. The plywood went up about 3 feet then it was screened in from there on up. You would walk in and there would be three toilet seats side by side and you would just sit next to your buddy (or stranger) and do your doodoo while watching the world go by outside. The first few times, it was a bit intimidating, but that goes away after a while.
After a few days there, we traveled for what seemed like forever in custom outfitted buses, and by custom I mean these babies were loaded with really narrow seats, a nice customized smell, things hanging off the windows and a broken bathroom. On our way to our destination we would pass by trucks carrying our tanks and other vehicles, if a truck was broken down and it was your vehicle on it, you got off the bus and sat with it. Thankfully, ours was not on one of those trucks. Funny thing, I cannot remember where we got off the bus and how we got to our final destination in the middle of the desert, but somehow we ended up in the middle of the desert with nothing to see but the curvature of the earth in all directions.
We sat there for a long time waiting for something to happen and endured several sand storms that would entirely block out the noon time sun. One storm hit at night and blew away the tent that most of the guys were sleeping in. When I say “blew away”, I mean it, it was gone and never to be seen again. We tried many things to cure boredom but most of them did not work. We tried volleyball but were told we could not because they were afraid that the Antropine Injectors that we carried inside our protective masks would get hit and go off. What is an Antropine Injector you ask? It is the second line of defense (first being your mask) against chemical attacks. If you get hit with an attack without your mask on, you jab one of these babies into your keg and a nice long needle shoots out and gives you a nice dose of antropine. This, will supposedly save, or prolong, your life. I believe I ended up digging holes, some to live in, some for trash and also learned how to play spades and became pretty good at chess.
Well, since this post is a little longer then expected, I will have to continue later on. I will try to find some photos of the sand storms and maybe even the holes and wooden poop shacks and get those up. That’s all for now.