I remember a night, winter in Ft. Dix. We were on an all night patrol. I was carrying heavy gear, my rifle, and a radio because our squad was too small to have a separate ratelo operator from the squad leader. It was dark as ink, and there was a cutting wind. It was so cold it sliced through our uniforms like knives. We tried to turn our backs with the heavy rucksacks into the wind for shelter.
We suffered. We perservered. It felt like I would never be warm again, that I would be denied even the memory of warmth. We trudged on, boots in the sandy soil, fighting through creeping vines, slipping among the countless tall pines of southern New Jersey. My face was raw and chapped, the only exposed part of my body. I was red with windburn for a week after that.
I want to be cold like that again.