I read a fascinating article titled Marines in Marjah: War by the Numbers.
In the first two months of a seven-month tour, U.S. Marine Cpl. Chuck Martin has been in 16 firefights.
He's done laundry twice, mailed five letters and received two. He's spent 378 hours on post and 256 hours on patrol. He's crossed 140 miles (230 kilometers) of thorny bomb-laced farmland and waist-high trenches of water on foot.
Along the way, he's ripped eight pairs of pants, ruined two pairs of boots, and downed 1,350 half-liter bottles of water. His platoon has killed at least eight militants in battle and nine farm animals in crossfire. The rugged outposts he's lived in have been shot at 46 times.
Interesting stuff. So, I started thinking about the homefront. Here's my homefront version of War by the Numbers:
In the first two months of her husband's seven-month tour, Andi has spent 80 hours compiling detailed lists of things she plans to accomplish while her husband is away. Not actually checking things off the list, mind you, but simply recording things which should be done.
She's spent 1,000 hours online hoping for an email or some form of communication from her husband. But mostly, those hours were spent just surfing the web, blogging and stalking other milspouse blogs and forums. She's spent 360 hours laying in bed and only 120 hours actually sleeping. The other 240 hours were spent watching really bad late-night TV, staring at the ceiling or wondering if someone was trying to break in her house.
She's consumed 60 English Muffins for breakfast and 240 cans of Progresso Minestrone soup for lunch and dinner. Can you say, Groundhog Day?
Andi has gone through one razor blade, no hair color and no foundation. Andi and her razor, hair color and make-upseemed to drift apart about the time her husband walked out the door. She feels sure they will reunite sometime in the future. Like the day before her husband returns....
Give us your Homefront by the Numbers.