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Living conditions for Lejeune Marines change with the flip of a switch

4 Jun 2004 | Cpl. Shawn C. Rhodes

Camp Lejeune Marines deployed to Iraq are finally feeling some cool breezes blow their way.

That's thanks to the installation of electrical hardware in their living areas.

"I can't tell you how much this affects morale here," said Cpl. Kevin J. Klink, a Marine with Company G, 2nd Battalion, 2nd Marine Regiment.  "After a day of patrolling in the heat, we can actually look forward to coming back to our tent."

And it's not just the cool breezes either.  The Flagtown, N.J. Marine said he and his fellow Marines are enjoying the creature comforts only a live wire brings.

"We're taking advantage of the electricity in every way we can," Klink said.  "We've got a TV set up, and people can watch it or read or do whatever they want to enjoy their down time."

Temperatures regularly reach over a hundred degrees in the desert environment more than a thousand Marines call home.  The battalion's Marines were until recently returning from patrols to what many would call a cave - a dark, hot, tent that provided little relief from the day's toils.  That all changed with the flip of a switch.

Electricians from Regimental Combat Team 1 installed generators, wiring and air conditioning units for many tents here.  For the Marines, it's a blessing from above.

The air conditioning provides sweet relief to the rolling waves of heat outside the tents during the day.  Where previously misery was the staple feeling during a midday heat wave, now the Marines can find respite without having to seek shade.

"Last year during Operation Iraqi Freedom I, we were living in fighting holes and on concrete floors of abandoned buildings," Klink added.  "It's good to see our commanders doing their best to make it as nice here as they can for us,"

For many Marines, the electricity means more than air conditioning or TV.  Now they can use the evening hours to write home, read a book or ready their gear for the next day's missions.

"For me, reading is like my stress reliever," said Lance Cpl. Ryan P. Taylor, a rifleman in Company G from Stafford, Va.  "I like to escape this place by getting into a good story. Now that we have electricity I just need more free time to read!"