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#1 Dec 03 2012 at 5:53 PM Rating: Good
Ghost in the Machine
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Whenever I'm out in the rain, I just think back to my military service.

One week in particular stands out: It was late November and we were out on a four-day drill (Monday morning to Thursday evening). It rained non-stop during the day and then the temperature dipped below the freezing point during the night. I remember one exceptionally cold night where I had been on guard duty in our camp for two hours, which involved lying completely still in the wet grass while staring into darkness with night vision goggles on, listening and looking for movement. My body was completely sore all over because of the shivering and my face was hurting because of my teeth clattering. When my replacement arrived and I got up, my clothes crunched like ice breaking on a lake. It was so loud the enemy team's scouts heard it and opened fire.

You feel kinda tired of life when a sergeant is berating you for alerting the enemy team with the sound of your frozen clothes, the result of you doing an outstanding job at not @#%^ing moving while on guard duty. Those four days were Hell on Earth and I'm surprised I kept it together that long, but they gave me perspective. Who gives a sh*t about 30 minutes in a drizzle or a downpour compared to 72 hours in alternating downpour and frost? 30 minutes is nothing, and once those 30 minutes are up, you get to spoil yourself with hot chocolate and blankets. You don't get yelled at and then have to climb into a wet, frozen sleeping bag in your wet, frozen clothes and sleep for three hours before having to get up again for some stupid march.

The only rainy situation I can't stand is when it's windy at the same time. The chill factor it causes brings back memories of that night in November when I was ready to lie down and die.
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