Camp Life For Seabees No Vacation - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

04/12/03

Camp Life For Seabees No Vacation

By Nathan Mihelich
Embedded Reporter

There are a lot of ups and downs living in the desert, and it can definitely be a hassle traveling from place to place.

Each Seabee travels with half of a tent. When the Seabees first made camp in Iraq, the pounding sounds of the stakes were some of the only sounds in the desert.

"I'm SWC William Roland, what's up mom? I miss you and I'll hopefully see you soon," Roland said as he explained how to put together a tent. "You put your poles together, then you take your stakes and put in each one of the tent's little eyelet's. You use your E-Tool to pound in the stakes. Sometimes you have to fight with these a little bit, but sometimes not. I have slept in one of these in our field exercise, they're a tad hard to get into with all your gear."

Keeping all their gear in the ready position is important because the Seabees could get ambushed at any time.

"Maybe they didn't see what they expected to see when they got across the border, but there's more ahead about 15 or 20 clicks that way. There are still people that have not been corralled. There's artillery over in that section," NMCB 133 Commander Doug Morton said.

"If the marines yell 'react' or 'stand two', if you're working, no matter where you're working at, get to the nearest outer burm and give them rounds down range to help them out. If there's artillery coming in, make yourself as small as you can. Get in the fetal position and hit the deck. If you hear horn blasts, put on your gas masks," SW1 Tomme of Gulfport said.

Although in a war zone, these Seabees understand the importance of faith, values and a time for personal reflection. Battalion chaplain Paul Rumry holds a church service each Sunday.

"I welcome you here to this chapel in the desert, in Iraq of all places, and we're going to hold a Christian service. Gracious heavenly father, we give you thanks for watching over us and keeping us safe," Rumry said.

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