My word. Will this rain never cease?
It seems like it’s been raining every day in May, and as I glanced at the seven-day forecast on Tuesday, we’re due for more showers and thunderstorms in the days ahead.
All of that is great and needed for drought-stricken Texas; however, I don’t see any signs of a drought when I’m out and about or driving to and from work.
Still, I’m sure there are a lot of lakes throughout the state that need refilling after years of depletion.
But, man, I really feel for soldiers in the field right now.
Perhaps the most annoying thing about being a tanker, or any soldier for that matter, is the rain and mud. Sure, there’s Army-issued rain gear, but if it rains long enough, you’re going to get wet.
Your uniform will get wet. Your socks will get wet. Your T-shirt will get wet. Your wallet will get wet. Your writing pad will get wet. If you’re lucky, your underwear won’t get wet. Key word: lucky.
All that said, the absolute worst is doing tank maintenance in the field on rainy days. On a hot, clear day, Fort Hood’s tank trails and firing ranges are covered in the soft, fluffy dust that comes from heavy tanks and other vehicles constantly driving on the dirt roads. But when it rains, that soft, fine dust becomes thick, stick-to-everything mud.
For the most part, tank and other Army vehicle maintenance is boots-on-the-ground, labor intensive, get-dirty work. When mud is factored in, that “dirty work” is multiplied by a 1,000. And don’t even get me started when there is a broken track or a road wheel in need of replacement.
And contrary to prior belief, a tank can get stuck in the mud … very thick, deep mud. When that happens, another tank or maintenance vehicle must use tow cables to come and tow the stuck tank out of the mud. The tank crew has to attach those cables to each vehicle, which can also be a very messy job if it’s muddy out.
Muddy days are not one of the things I miss about being an Army tanker. All that said, there a few things more refreshing than coming back to the barracks for a hot shower after days of wallowing in the mud at Fort Hood’s training area.
Stay dry, my friends.