Embrace the SUCK..
It was 130 degrees Fahrenheit in the shade. To stay hydrated during the firefight we were mixing dry Gatorade in pint size water bottles to a thickness of maple syrup. You would pour it down your throat faster than you could chug a beer at bachelor’s party. The Gatorade chaser was then washed down with two more bottles of water. Swallow. Repeat. Welcome to the Red Desert.
The early morning insertion was equally torturous. Sealed in the back on a light armored vehicle, we came in during the early hours before sunrise. The temperatures had dropped to around 100 degrees Fahrenheit. That’s when the gun fights started. We were locked down in the back of the armored tin can. The circulation fan was broken. The air thick, muggy and smothering. Our clothes became soaked to the bone with our own sweat. No one talked. All you could do was breathe, focus and make it to the next minute. We did that for over 3 hours. It was everything you could do to not lose your mind.
The rule is simple: you either get tough or you die. If you want to whine… go hang out at the coffee shops in Kandahar or back home. This was not a place for the weak. This was not a place for the participation trophy winners. This was hell… and we were determined to conquer it.
The only way to do it was Embrace the SUCK.