as Bruce reminded me last month when I mentioned the temperatures in Phoenix. He remembers me welcoming him to Kuwait at 0200 on 21 July 04 with a temp of 112F.
That was eight years ago as the world turns, the calendar leaves fly away and I spin further out of control. I was near the end of a very long 15 months in the desert away from family.
To say that I was glad to see him and start my departure countdown would have been an understatement.
In true ARCENT-KU fashion, I had recruited my successor. Few, if any of us were willing to leave our escape in the hands of the slugs at PERSCOM (or HRC or whatever fancy title they were using that month). It was obvious that we were moving into a long term basing stance in Kuwait. It was equally obvious that no one in their right mind would want to live on Arifjan.
But if you are command sponsored (and not too many of those positions around) you get to live off post. My good buddy Bruce, by dint of having been insane enough to work in Saudi and enough fortitude for him and his family to survive the ordeal with sense of humor intact seemed the perfect candidate. We managed to get it organized, get the orders cut and have him on the ground before the Command realized what was happening.
Never mind that I never would have stuck a good friend with the command structure that feel into place after my iteration.
I escaped, he and his wife Better survived two years (plus or minus a few days) and we have since moved on with our lives.
Last year I went in and out of Kuwait a couple of times while deployed to Afghanistan. Neither the heat nor the sand had changed a bit.