The campground turned out to be a field of Sagebrush and thorny busholas (scientific name) that had been partially graded. A real dust bowl.
The Boys seemed to be able to overlook it because of the distractions brought by the National Guard.
They had Hummers with big guns mounted on top. They brought machine guns to hold and aim.
I assume they doubled checked to make sure they were not loaded.
They also had a Black hawk helicopter and the crew were there. On Saturday they had three parachute drops.
I had the chance to talk with one of the crew. Now I had just assumed that this chopper was an old decommissioned thing just used for recruiting. I was wrong and the crew member informed me that the crew and the chopper were together in all kinds of weather and had been in Iraq last year for a tour of duty. This soldier said he had watched a black hawk get the tail rotor shot off and the bird* went down. The bird* in the picture went down and picked up the whole crew of the downed bird* and took them back to base. the next day an apache attack helicopter came in and made the whole area safe for a recovery truck to go salvage the wreckage. He then showed me where three bullet holes had been repaired where they had taken fire on an other sortie. As he was talking, I realized this guy had put his life on the line for all that freedom stuff.
At the end I wanted to say thanks for that. But I just said thanks. and he said "no problem"
And I wanted to say. "No, not thanks for answering my lame questions, but thanks for being a soldier and protecting freedoms, life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness at the risk of your own life!"
But I couldn't trust myself to say that without getting choked up. So I just walked away.
But thanks for all that Soldier boy!
* he didn't use the word bird. I just thought it would be cool if there was a nick name for helicopters and bird would be a good one.