As we prepared to deploy to Iraq, my brigade was inundated with information stressing the importance of proper hydration. None of us wanted to be a noncombat casualty and, thereby, a hindrance to our fellow Soldiers and the mission, so we all took the message to heart.
Experience has taught me to read the maintenance manual every time I work on my vehicle. It lists the dangers that can be involved with any of the components on which I may be working.
The nature of our business requires Soldiers to always be prepared to operate in severe weather conditions with extreme temperatures; however, heat injuries can occur even when temperatures aren’t extreme.
My unit had just completed a hugely successful three-week trip to the field at Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center in Twentynine Palms. We were all ready to get back to our base in sunny Southern California. But first we had to get our vehicles home safely.
What do more than 900 combat flight hours, four deployments, over 30 presidential protective details and 22 IEDs disabled have in common? The answer is none gave me the kind of angst as a decision I had to make in the summer of 1998. Sound strange? Read on.