Sunday, June 19, 2011

Vietnam -- Ponchoes sucked

If there ever was one piece of military TA-50 gear that made you more miserable than the cold drizzly rain, hands down, it had to be the poncho.

I'm hoping and praying that piece of equipment was replaced by something more sensible than what we had in Vietnam. It consisted of a hood jacket and a pair of pants that had suspenders which never seemed to stay on your shoulders.

The poncho was a rubber coated fabric. And was dyed -- as most Army clothing was dyed -- olive green. It was not made out of Gore Tex which would have made it lighter and breathable.

Meaning, it trapped body heat.  Unless you were doing guard duty or something that required you to wear it during the winter time, anytime before or after those months, the poncho was really hot to wear.

You could bear to wear it as a temporary rain suit -- say for from 5 to 10 minutes to get you from point A to point B.  However, having to wear it for hours on end would get you just as wet from perspiring than not wearing it at all.

Meaning, if you had guard duty on a warm rainy night, you brought your poncho out with you and never wore it until you had to.  The bunkers were relatively dry -- although most smelled like pea -- and since most of us stayed in the bunkers until the Officer Of The Day (OOD) made his rounds to your station and you had to come out and challenge him.

Today, with both sexes out in combat zones, I'm hoping that kind of misery has been replaced by a breathable material such as Gore Tex and doesn't smell like BO plenty after you're wore it for a while.

No comments: