The Sandbox

GWOT hot wash, straight from the wire

Welcome to The Sandbox, a forum for service members who have served or are currently serving in Iraq and Afghanistan, returned vets, spouses and caregivers. The Sandbox's focus is not on policy and partisanship (go to our Blowback page for that), but on the unclassified details of deployment -- the everyday, the extraordinary, the wonderful, the messed-up, the absurd. All correspondence is read, and as much as possible is posted, lightly edited. If you know someone who is deployed who might have something to say, please tell them about us. To submit a post click here.


November 27, 2006

Name: Teflon Don
Posting date: 11/27/06
Stationed in: Ramadi, Iraq
Milblog url:

Today was bleak. The temperature hovered near 55 degrees all day, and dipped down to 40 with the sunset. "Sunset" is a terrible word to describe it -- today was windy, and the recent lack of rain gave the breeze an abundance of fine dust to toss about like some mockery of snow. The sky was grey and hazy, and faded down into a greyish hue of tan as it dropped to meet the horizon. The sun didn't so much set as slowly disappear into the miasma. I never knew I would describe a sunset as regretful, but that's how it seemed to me today. Before the sun was ready to go, the wind grabbed him and dragged him down, stretching tentacles of dust across his face. At the last, just before he finally submitted, he was pale and grey like the world underneath him. More like the moon, and not at all brilliant, glorious, and full of color, as a sunset should be.

If the sky was dreary and grim today, the city was worse. The divorce of color from the sky betrayed even the piles of rubble of their former character. Nothing moved among the gaunt shells of buildings, save a few tatters of refuse lifted by the breeze. Not even the prowling packs of dogs ventured out of whatever holes they call home. As I stood and looked about, a gust caught the ash from my cigarette and tossed it away. The fire quickly dimmed, and a few more specks of grey drifted down to meet Iraq.


Great visual of a wretched place. Hope some sunshine finds it way there soon. Not likely? We're holding a spot for you back home.

The idea of hell as a place of barbques, accordians, and lost souls dancing around toasty fires for eternity is in error, I think. I think it must be a place on earth where humans have screwed-up very badly, where everything is so ruined and shattered that even nature has lost her will to heal.

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