Friday, September 15, 2006

The Dust

The road we take between Camp Blackhorse and the KMTC (Kabul Military Training Center) is not paved. It’s just a dusty, dirty wide spot in the road. The dust is terrible. It’s a fine, powdery substance, much like talcum powder. It gets everywhere. Riding in a humvee I can taste it, feel it grinding between my teeth. I hate that, but it’s nothing like being the gunner. The gunner stands in the turret and gets the full brunt of the dirty, nasty stuff. If you don’t have a mask or a scarf, it can be miserable.

Such was Merrill’s mistake the other day. He forgot his mask and had not scarf. This is what he looked like after the drive between the two locations.

This day was particularly bad. We had to leave the main “road” and I use that term loosely. We drove on the shoulder through several inches of the dust. It was so thick, we could not see the vehicle in front of us. Poor Merrill was in the last vehicle with our humvee in front and a construction truck in front of us. It was a bad, bad day for driving.

Oh, did I mention that we’re told that there are like 49 parts per billion of fecal matter in the dust. Maybe it’s higher, I don’t remember. Lovely thought, isn’t it?

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