I am a Marine Corps veteran, songwriter, and, in a not-so-sudden and overly dramatized turn of events, have recently returned to my youthful pursuit of history education and aspirant authorship. I like gardening, serving the community, and watching slow artsy movies. As always I continue to take pleasure in crafting small, detailed, delicate things with my dexterous hands.
Today in SLC it is overcast, with a weather report threatening light rain over the next several days. While technically the Salt Lake Valley is a desert, it is a paradise teeming with life compared to western Anbar Province in Iraq. An early summer storm there would look like the one above. Called a "Habob", these fully formed sand or dust storms were always a spectacle. When blowing in to our camp, it looked like an approaching wall of animated dirt:
I remember this particular storm well, as several of us had gathered around a laptop to watch a bootleg of Star Wars Episode III, when our Corporal burst excitedly into our 'hooch', exclaiming that we simply must come outside at that instant. I was a little bothered to be interrupted during Star Wars, but it was worth the interruption. We sat outside for maybe five minutes or so, watching the storm roll in. Here we are, as the dusty clouds began to roll over and enfold our base:
Finally, as the heart of the Habob engulfed us, it was as if we had been transplanted suddenly to Mars or some other alien locale: