Assumption of Command

14 March 2005

Who turned out the lights!

There is a big difference between basecamps in Kuwait and Iraq (besides the loud explosions). In Kuwait they have diesel powered light sets everywhere. Not only is the place lit up like a Christmas tree but it is loud as all get out. it is really hard to find peace and quiet there.

Now zoom north to Iraq. Here they don't bother to light the place up. It is harder to hit what you can't see. WOW is it dark at night. It reminds me of the old cartoons when a some poor guy has a bag or something placed over his head and says in a stupid voice, "Who turned out the lights!" literally you cannot see 2 feet in front of you.

The nice thing about the darkness is the Stars. This is the absolute brightest I have ever seen the stars. One of the first nights I was here, I was looking at the stars and almost fell into a 4 foot hole. That would have made for a bad day. It just amazing for a city boy like me to see the stars like this. I really didn't know there were that many. :) And if you think the stars are bright, go outside during a full moon. It almost feels like the sun is up.

Because its so dark, every one needs a good flashlight to keep them from falling into a 4 foot hole. There are many kinds of flashlights here. I have 2 that I use on a regular basis. For heavy duty work I use a Maglight D-Cell and for just walking around I have AAA Mini-mag. These work great. I got these from my friends in the same package that I got my sheets. One of the other popular flashlight designs are the little LED lights that clip onto the button hole of the top button, that we don't button, on our uniform. I don't know what the official brand name is, but we tend to call them "Pee Pee Lights", because they work so well as a hands free light in the Porta-Potty. But I guess you could have figured that out by the name :)