As 2011 comes to a close, I have to reflect back on days when prior to running a night operation I instructed members of my squad to fill their canteens to reduce the noise as we moved. In some instances, canteens were simply left behind whether out of ignorance or a perceived operational necessity.
The need to hydrate is more basic than the dynamics of a soldier operating in arid regions. Hydration is a life form requirement, a fundamental necessity of all living organisms.
I am always amused by the classic westerns where the villain, or at times the good guy, is lost in a desert and is beaten to the ground by a scorching sun, grabbing on to his throat as he expires. Although very dramatic, real-world dehydration is far more insidious.
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