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.


August 14, 2007

Name: SFC Toby Nunn
Posting date: 8/14/07
Stationed in: Kuwait / Iraq
Hometown: Oakland, CA via Terrace B.C. Canada
Milblog url:

After months of training and anticipation, Bad Voo Doo and I have made it to our destination. Yesterday after a quick range shoot we finished our trip to our home away from home. Some of us have been here in this camp before and kind of knew what to expect, but for the most part we are all curious about the place we are going to hang our hats.

The Kuwaiti Desert is pretty lackluster. There are no major terrain features, just flat sandy horizons. The camp sticks out like a sore thumb because of the buildings and structures in the middle of an otherwise sandy void. We had a taste of living in decent accommodations at our last stop, so our expectation was high. I had enjoyed Starbucks and good shelter. What more can a guy ask for?

The little “village” that our tents make looks like a Korean War era base. The men are living eight men to a tent. The tents are GP Mediums so that affords them about 6’x’6’x6’ of living space. The cots are the same old military/camping style, which is better than sleeping on the ground. I imagine that I will be hitting sweetie up for a pillow and such, but will have to come up with some kind of bedding here. I just can’t sleep in a sleeping bag for a year. I am sure my boys (my kids) would think it was cool, and would like to do that, but I don’t have “Lightning McQueen” or “Spiderman” on mine and a great mother to wash it every other day.

The tent is outfitted with an air-conditioning unit that slightly cools it down during the day, and is successful enough at night to get a head start on the day. Dark-colored tents in a desert tend to get hot, believe it or not. There are no wind breaks in the desert, so the wind and sand comes forever. I will have to add Visine to my feel-free-to-send list. The tent I live in with some other NCOs has rips and tears that we have been trying to mend with the ever-famous duct tape, to keep the sand out. It is a futile effort, so we keep everything that is of value covered in plastic. I am currently typing this post through a clear plastic bag so that my investment in my Mac stays safe.

I let the guys get settled a bit yesterday, then walked around to get a feel for how they were getting on. I am proud to say that the men of Bad Voo Doo will always do their best to make a bad situation livable. As I was walking through the sand-filled gusts talking with the men, SGT Borda asked me what I thought of this place. It put me in a difficult position, because I wanted to whine about the living conditions, but I knew that if I did that then they could too. The best I could come up with was, "Remember those old Legionnaire Films?"


rock on with the've invested well.

Don't start worrying until they bring the camels around for transportation.

6x6x6? That's still more living space than we had in the "frontier days" of OIF 1 and were using the circus style tents to house 2-3 platoons each.

A/C and Starbucks? Sounds like things have gotten dug in pretty well. You should do fine.

Good luck, keep your head down, and remember its a totally different war from the last go around.

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