Boots On the Ground

With the term ‘Boots on the Ground’ back in the news, I am reminded of a previous ‘Boots’ story.  Having just returned from Israel where boots unfortunately but necessarily had to be on the ground in and around Gaza recently, I offer this tale…….
We were advised to bring thick work socks. 
Volunteers arriving in Israel to provide essential civilian support services at various army bases had that advisory on their suggested packing lists. 
Here’s why …..
When standard olive drab uniforms which serve as work clothes for volunteers are issued, the quartermaster at your assigned Israeli army base makes an attempt to accommodate body-type diversity by doling out sets ofSmall, Medium, and Large trousers & shirts. Trouble is, the sets are not necessarily matched, nor do they fit! 
Boots are supposed to be another matter …. in theory. 
My group was asked for individual shoe sizes. That sounded like good news and we anticipated a reasonably comfortable fit. In reality few of us knew whether a USA 10Medium was a European equivalent 43, 44, or 45. So, even with metric system precision, our boot sizes were an approximation. Hence the recommendation for packing ‘thick work socks’. If adequately thick, the inevitable blisters resulting from an ‘almost’ fit might be avoided. Luckily my socks met the thickness challenge, adequately handling gaps between heel, toe, and the stiff, unforgiving leather. Overall, the uniform worked out well …. so long as the belt was made tight enough to hold up over-sized pants.
Somehow in the end we actually looked like a unit …. and performed admirably. 

David G.(Click to read David’s previous blog posts)

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