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Diaries from the Desert, Part 2

In part 1, Private First Class JB Hogan told about his arrival in Kuwait. He continues the story here.

The final task at Camp Doha was to load the Bradleys onto the HET trucks. When we finally loaded all the vehicles, we drivers hopped into the cab section of the truck, but everyone else got on busses.

soldier draft

Nice highway. Pretty lights. Ahhh… Sleep.

Kaboom! The truck lunges violently off the road and into the dusty side paths. Due to the extreme vibration, I give up all hope of sleep. Foolishly I decide to watch the road. My driver dodges the small divots by hurtling directly into gaping potholes. I’m sure we went airborne.

It becomes a free-for-all once we hit the side roads. Cutting each other off, passing on the “shoulder,” foregoing the road altogether in favor of the wilderness. It is wild.

About 1 km from our outpost, we stop. The Bradleys will go the rest of the way under their own power. The sun is beginning to rise. It’s leering at us. “Give me eight hours, and I’ll have you crying for Mommy.”

soldier 2

We arrive in the Kabal. Our tents are okay. There are 12 men in each. They’ve got a tube running across the top to cool them off when the wind blows. [Editor’s note: He told us by phone that it’s 135–140° F during the day but cools off at night.] There is a double door airlock system to keep the dust down. But the battle against dust isn’t winnable. The Kuwaiti desert is not sand; it is dirt. Endless nasty dirt. And it blows all over. We have to clean our weapons 3 times a day just from walking around.

So far it hasn’t been too bad work-wise. Filling sand bags stinks, but they are relatively smart about when and for how long we do that. We have also worked a bit on the Brads but nothing major. Breakfast this morning was canned Mexican barf eggs. It was…filling. Lunch was an MRE. They haven’t started a chapel service yet. Supposed to be soon.

I’ll write more when stuff happens.

~ JB


from basic to baghdad From Basic to Baghdad is a compilation of letters and emails that J.B. Hogan sent home to his family detailing his experience in the Army. Available at Bright Ideas Press.

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