Our quarters are comfortable enough: a concrete building with two powerful air conditioners, a couple of wall lockers per man, and some overhead lights. As shown in the photo, everyone has put up makeshift curtains to achieve some measure of privacy; each area has two or three soldiers, with about as much space as a small (very small) dorm room.
This is fine, but we just received word that we’ll be doubling the number of men in the bay, which means top bunks will be occupied and everyone will be jostling for space, with as many as four guys per cubicle. I visited another building that was crowded, and it seemed horrible – a true third-world situation, with stuff everywhere and constant noise and junk everywhere and sheets strung to the ceiling.
The whole thing seems strange, since in Iraq seven years ago we had two man rooms that were much larger; now we’re living in some kind of bizarro-world early-war situation where we have to cram as many people as possible into each building. Meanwhile, the Air Force personnel on base are getting a monthly stipend (rumored to be as much as $1000 a month) since the living conditions aren’t up to their standards, and they’re only living twenty to a building – we’ll be packing in fifty.
Along with the ban on civilian clothes, the living arrangement falls into the category of “it doesn’t suck enough,” which seems to be some kind of guiding principle at the HQ. The ban, by the way, continues unabated, though there’s hope on the horizon since the Tote Boat allegedly came into port today. Maybe once the luggage arrives we can rejoin the rest of the camp in embracing our REMF status. Of course, when we get our stuff from the boat, that means another three duffel bags and one footlocker per person (!) that we have to store in our already-crowded bay…