Bootprints and The Hummer

By Allan Wall

Editor’s note: As a special service for our readers, WND is running a series of dispatches from Allan Wall chronicling his transition from civilian life as he prepares to fight with his National Guard unit in Iraq. Allan will write for us as often as he is able to let our readers vicariously experience what people in his position are going through. We hope you will check regularly for Allan’s dispatches and encourage your friends and family to do likewise.

When you spend some time on Army bases, you get a feel for the vast stream of continuity in their histories.

These bases have been in use for years and years. When you think of all the soldiers who have passed through them, and where they went afterward, it’s quite impressive.

At Army posts, I’ve seen the foundations of no-longer existing buildings, out in the bush, almost invisible due to the vegetation that has grown up around or over them. But, they are still there, relics of an earlier period.

Also, when you get out in the woods, in the training areas, you can see items discarded by soldiers of the past. Old C-ration cans, for example, the kind the Army hasn’t used in years. Or old soft drink cans, the kinds no longer in use. Such items are reminders of soldiers who trained there in years past. Who knows where they went later, and what came of them?

It’s humbling to think of all the soldiers who have passed through such places. And what will future soldiers think of us?

The most famous military vehicle in history is probably the Jeep. Developed in 1940, within 75 days it was delivered to the Army and made its mark in World War II, in every theater . It was the war’s most widely used vehicle.

The term “Jeep” was derived from the initials G.P., standing for “General Purpose,” the vehicle’s official designation.

The Jeep served its purpose well, and even spawned a popular civilian spinoff.

Eventually, the Army decided to replace it, and in the 1980s, introduced the Humvee, or “Hummer.”

The Humvee’s official name is “High Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicle,” HMMWV, or “Humvee.”

And it is extremely versatile. It’s a four-wheel-drive vehicle that runs on diesel. It can be used as a command-and-control vehicle, it can transport troops, weapons, equipment. It can be used as an ambulance. It can serve as a mount for a weapons system.

The Humvee has seen a lot of action in Iraq. To adapt to the situation, it’s now being armored to increase its effectiveness.