Thursday, January 24, 2008

Saudi Arabia

President Bush's tour of the Middle East last week, and his meeting with King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia, brings to mind WD's "tour" of the country back in 1999. He spent the spring and summer of that year at Prince Sultan Air Base in Al Kharj--about 50 miles from Riyadh. As a member of Security Forces, he searched vehicles for bombs, manned M-60 posts, and stretched miles of concertina wire (or c-wire).

I asked WD to give me one word to describe Saudi Arabia. He said, "Flies. Stink. Heat. Scorpions." It's impossible for WD to say just one word about anything.

While he was there, a local Arab would come through the gates with a delivery truck bringing pita bread to the Pakistanis and Indians who were rebuilding the air traffic control tower. He would chit chat with the Americans, giving them some of the pita bread while security forces checked his truck. It was fresh and warm and so flavorful compared to the daily dose of bland chicken and rice that they were being served in the chow hall. It became a highlight of their day.

One day, while searching the man's delivery truck, WD found a couple of drums of diesel, bags of fertilizer, and a car battery charger. Just a few components to make a pretty good size bomb. The proper authorities were called in and they never saw the man again. Or the pita bread. And the poor Pakistanis and Indians were forced to eat from the Burger King and Pizza Inn on base.

Stumble Upon Toolbar

1 comment:

  1. Hi Allison,
    Thanks for that story about WD in Saudia Arabia. That bought back memories of when he was over there and we got a few letters from him. Robert and I enjoy reading all of your stories.


Thanks for commenting!