4th of July and Memory Lane

This morning I found myself thinking back on a specific 4th of July I’m sure
I will remember forever.  I was somewhere in the middle of a deployment to 
Baghdad and stationed at the airport; the one you may have seen on the news years ago when the war kicked off.

I was there in the summer, so the temps were between 110 and 130 degrees during the day; so yes, even the Devil showed up with ice water to help cool us down from the heat!  I remember the complete lack of clouds with the exception of one day a single little puffy cloud passed over the camp, otherwise nothing.  Also, the only plants that existed were these hard, thorny plants that you did not want to touch as I’m sure they would go all Little Shop of Horrors on you!

Well, as I said, given that this was the 4th of July, the base set out to do
some special things for us that included a performance by a rock band and of course a BBQ, both of which were good, but one links me to this day the most, and that’s the BBQ.

So as every good story starts with “Hold my beer!” “Watch this!” This one
starts with, “There I was”:

There I was, walking back from getting my plate of BBQ from the other side of camp, so about a ½ mile walk for me.  My plate was filled with BBQ ribs, corn, and mashed potato goodness.  Of course I had no worries about them getting cold on this traditionally hot day, more concerned of overcooked if anything, as this was something special!

Well, to this point, all the food I’ve had has pretty much been cafeteria
food, so this was a wonderful change, so when the rocket attacks began to rain down on the base, to no surprise, my first concern was to protect the food!!

Generally during an attack, you would drop to the ground, or dive into a
bunker, but that would mean dropping my plate and that just wasn’t going to happen! So on this fine and special day, all I did was drop to one knee and wait out the blast as they would usually come in 3 to 5 round burst.

Sure enough, after about 5 minutes from the last hit, the all clear
announcement came, and off I went back to work with food in hand and ready to enjoy with great music to follow a few hours later!
It’s funny the things you can get used to!

So in the spirit of the Independence holiday, I wanted to share a photo of
one of my favorite models, Kandi Kane sending a salute out to all the men and women in uniform making it happen for our freedom!


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