Dad’s story: A turd in the fourth
There's a chance the soldier took his protective goggles off briefly during training in The Box - 1,000 barren square miles at Fort Irwin where soldiers prepare for desert warfare.
Then again, maybe he did it routinely and finally got busted when the post's commanding general happened by and saw him.
Whether it was a momentary lapse or a sloppy habit, the attention he drew from the top was enough to earn his entire unit - Dad's unit - The Turd of the Week award.
Dad says there's a trophy to go with the award. The way he describes it is about what you're imagining. What a way for Dad to mark his fourth week here.
Joking and Turd of the Week aside, eye safety is a serious issue. The wind can be brutal at times, whipping up dirt and dust in the housing areas. It was so bad our first two days on post that Big Guy swore Boots had pink eye. It's even worse in The Box.
There are stories - I can't verify them, so they could be urban legend - of a soldier blinded after wearing contact lenses in the box. I cringe just thinking of the pain of all those tiny projectiles nailing a lens to an eyeball.
At least the pain of the Turd of the Week is nothing more than slight embarrassment. Or maybe major embarrassment in this case.
Copyright 2009 Debra Legg.