I have marveled several times at just how drastically the standards of living change from a mega-FOB like Liberty to a smaller FOB to one of our small little outposts. Lately I’ve been staying at a tiny little JSS and after a while it starts to wear on you. Plywood walls begin closing in on you. The fact that the AC in your room only cools the room to a barely tolerable 88 degrees and you awake daily to a sweat soaked pillow begins to take its toll. You start craving some fresh fruit and vegetables, even if it is only apples and iceberg lettuce. Long days spent manning a hot joint operations center filled with Iraqis chain smoking cheap cigarettes, constantly offering you chai, speaking a tongue you can’t understand and totally violating the American concept of personal space makes you long for a vacation.
As luck would have it my platoon started running short on essential supplies like soap, deodorant, cigarettes and dip so we got sent to a nearby FOB for a couple days of refit. It is amazing the effect that a couple days of relaxation will have on you. I slept in a nice cool well air conditioned room for at least 9 hours a night. I ate meals that included salads, fruits and even once I splurged and savored a bowl of Baskin Robbins Cookies and Cream ice cream. I worked out in a clean gym that was air conditioned (the gym on my little JSS averages 120 during the days) and had plenty of cardio equipment. I sipped Cafe Lattes from Green Beans while I read pages out of Orthodoxy. After two days of living the, relatively speaking, good life on a real FOB I felt thoroughly refreshed and was ready to get back to work.
I guess God had something in mind when he instituted one day of rest every week. I think after this deployment I will be a bigger fan than ever before of the weekend, and not just because Saturday is the day the Gators play football.