Imagine for a moment....

Imagine for a moment.....

I see things differently now that I'm an Army wife. I've never been one to like extreme temperatures. I like a nice 60-70 degree F. outside. Anything else I tend to complain about. But it's different now. I'm not saying I still don't complain, I just try to be careful about where I am and who the recipient of my complaint is.

So for just a moment play along. Think of the hottest day of the year. For me in Texas that's around 110-115F. Now go to your stored winter clothes and pull out your warmest outfit and put it on. Don't forget a hat. Find a backpack laying around and fill it with 50-80 pounds of whatever you can find. 10-five pound bags of sugar would be great. Put the backpack on now. Now find a fan and get the gunk from your vacuum cleaner, you know the sand and dust that's in there. Rig it up by the oven so the gunk is blowing in your face. Before you turn the fan on turn on the oven to it's lowest setting and after it preheats turn it off and open the door. Now turn the fan on and and stand there for as long as you can. Bet it's not long. It's not quite realistic, perhaps it's not even close to what our soldiers endure everyday during the hot summer months in the middle east.

When my husband first reenlisted and was in Ft. Sill for a short while I went down to visit him. I don't think I EVER shut up about how hot it was and how miserable I felt. I did not realize how selfish and inconsiderate I was being. Or how very tolerant was my husband was being with me. On one particularly hot day we were walking out of a shoppette and I complained how hot it was. My husband in his gentle way stopped me and pointed out a truck. I'm not sure of what type but it has a canvas cover and rail seats in the back for transporting soldiers. The back of the truck was packed with soldiers, sitting, standing and squatting and more getting in.

Now I'm a little dense at times, especially when I am miserable. He asked me to notice what they were wearing. They were dressed in full battle gear. (The average Army trooper’s gear now approaches 125 pounds. Reference ) Then it occurred to me how completely, totally and miserably HOT they had to be. And not a single one was complaining or fanning themselves. They just dealt with it.

Yes, I was a newbie. Yes, my eyes opened a great deal that day.

I had to go somewhere the other day and it was 102F outside. I grabbed a bottle of water to take with me. I ran into the place for 30 minutes and when I came back out my water could have been used for a cup of tea. It immediately made me wonder about soldiers in the field or on missions and how often they must drink warm water.

They sacrifice so much for us. When you hear of sweat and blood they give, it is no lie. I don't think unless you have been there, a soldier, in their shoes you can fully comprehend. I know I can't. It makes my heart swell with pride for every one of them while at the same time breaking for all they go through.

So this summer when you think about how hot it is, stop for a moment and think of soldier that doesn't get to escape to an air conditioned room when they want or get a cool drink of water when they want. They have to tough it out. Army Strong. And unless you have a bottle of ice water to hand to a soldier in uniform, never tell them how hot it is. Better yet, don't say anything, just offer them the ice water.

Beginning of sandstorm. From my husband, Tikrit 2010.

Soldier in heat and sandstorm.  No credits found.
Reposted from Over 40 Army Wife June 8, 2011. 


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