Tri-Dave & Operation Caterpillar

Life in the Middle East is no bowl of cherries for the US military. But that doesn't mean that a life without access to wine, women, water, trees, bathrooms, shopping malls or ice cream parlors needs to be boring.

Just witness the results of the moustache-growing competition (code named Operation Caterpillar) launched by the comrades of our good friend and Navy SeeBee, Tri-Dave.

Other extreme sports experienced by the crew: catching up on LOST episodes on DVD, watching a broadcast football game in the middle of the night, and betting on another soldier's attempt to eat an entire block of cheese for $50.

Get more of an insight into life at

Overall the base has everything you could ask for and in some instances the amenities are better than most stateside bases. I live in a PCB (Pre-Constructed Building) in the “1400 Block” neighborhood. It is like a “suburb” of tract housing with a bunch of buildings, all exactly the same, for berthing. Each one holds up to 50+ people so the troops are really packed in. As an Officer, we have more room and I even get a corner since I am the senior person in my building. There are bunk beds galore and a bunk of wall lockers that I was able to use for privacy screening. I created a little pod and even put my Seabee Flag over the entry for a little more privacy. All the lights are on one switch so you have to get used to sleeping with lights on or getting ready in the dark, but it should not be too terrible.

[The outside temperature this August: 120 degrees Fahrenheit]