Delta Dreaming: Rain

It seems like it has been raining forever. The ground hasn’t been dry at Wattensaw since last fall. It is so soaked now that the least amount simply stands above ground until it evaporates or more rain comes. It appears that with global climate change, whatever the weather may do in a location, it may do more and more of it. This year it is rain. Two years ago it was the absence of rain.

It is beginning to remind me slightly of the end of 1967 and the beginning of 1968. I say slightly for this is nothing like a monsoon season. In one of those, it rains constantly in great sheets for days on end. Just when you think it will never stop, it doesn’t.

My job then was to sit in a tower or on a bunker for six hours, holding an M-16 assault rifle and staring into the jungle. It might be the six hours from noon until 1800 or it might be those awful hours from midnight to 0600. Any six hours can seem like an eternity at times.

No matter the time, you weren’t going to stay dry. A poncho was the standard gear, supplemented by black market raingear, items sent from home, or some apparatus purchased from a lucky soul who had reached that happy day when he was on his back way to “the land of the round-eyes.” As I say, it didn’t matter. After about two hours, a single rivulet of rain would find its way through some weakness in your gear. Another would join it, then another. It wouldn’t be long until you were soaked thoroughly from the inside out with three hours remaining on the watch.

Then you would start to shiver , badly during the “mid-watch.” Those we were guarding against didn’t seem to be bothered a lot by it. They only wore thin black coverings anyway, so they were accustomed to being soaked, and friends with discomfort. For us, it was about as miserable as a person could get. Of course none of us had been in the Ardennes during the winter of 1944.

            But, we survive the bad times and march on. Much of life is like that. No matter miserable we get, most of us remember when things were worse. I do.

So let it rain. At least it is not 1968.


Home - 1968
Home - 1968

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