04 June 2009

Doing laundry in a ........




From the Soldier side: "Hey boss, how do I wash my clothes in this thing?" One of my soldiers asked me one day.
One of the best parts of my time in Iraq was that I got sent to a lot of places. One of the worst parts of my time in Iraq was that I got sent to a lot of places…sometimes I planned the trip, sometimes higher ups did it. I was lucky and unlucky. The further you got away from the “flag pole” the better off I felt. The bad part about going to remote camps was they had a lot fewer luxuries.
Some examples:
Big camp you had big mess hall, lots of fat food. Small camp you may get MREs
Big camp you had rec center, with TV. Small camp you were lucky to have Internet.
Big camp you had bus service to big PX. Small camp you walked everywhere- but things were close because the camp was small.
Big camp you had KBR laundry service. Small camp you washed clothes by hand.
Big camp you had lots of offices to salute outside. Small camp you had a few officers who got mad if you saluted them (Sniper Check).

So, when we got sent to Al Asad (2nd time) then to Al Qaim before going to Camp Gannon, Iraq , they had a few services.
Desert Maytag
To wash you clothes at Al Qaim, the Marines had a simple method. I had used similar methods back packing and when I was a grunt. You take an old ice chest.---Fill with water, add soap and dirty clothes. Agitate by hand. Dump, rinse, squeeze and hang to dry.

I had a young Spec 4 who I enjoyed having on my team. He is a very good person, but at times he seemed a little lost when things were primitive. He went with my team to “out west” as I called it. When we got to Al Qaim, we had been away for about a week when he decided he needed to start cleaning some of his clothes. He came to me and asked how to use the “Desert Maytag” and I explained the above.
About 30 minutes later he came back to our tent. He was so proud of himself for being able to wash his clothes. He asked: “how long should I leave them hung up to dry?”
I told him about 15 minutes should dry them in the Iraqi heat. No ironing needed.

A few days later we road on a convoy further out west to a place even more primitive. If you want to hear about my night missions, let me know. I’ll be gone for about 2 weeks to do some Army Training. (summer camp)...and I'll have limited to no Internet access. See you in a few weeks.

2 comments:

coffeypot said...

I'd like to hear about your night missions...you are talking about patrolling and not about your bedroom prowess aren't you. Well, actually, it doesn't matter. I'd listen to both. Have fun on your two week deployment and bring plenty of pictures back and don’t forget your sunscreen and reading material and you iPod and be sure to carry plenty of clean underwear and socks and…hell, I’m not your mother. Just do it and hurry back.

Ally said...

15 minutes? Ouch, hat gives me a huge clue about how hot hot gets overthere. I'd seen a stove analogy but as a clothesline user, and non cook, this one really works. Eeeps.