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Old 01-14-2020, 11:58 PM   #161
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Originally Posted by Brewerbob View Post
Must have been a heat wave today.


P.S. How does a guy in AK, especially a guy that does a couple of hours of shoveling, not have a snow blower?
It was! It got up to +4! I don't have a snow blower because I moved. My old rental had one included. About two hours more shovelling and I shouldn't have to do it again.
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Old 01-15-2020, 03:11 PM   #162
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Day 10:

+4 degrees and lightly snowing. We added 3 inches of fine powder yesterday and another 1/2 inch this morning.

So, it was an adventure yesterday. I did my suicide prevention and budget classes in the morning, then drove to the RV lot.

I set up the generator inside the bus with the windows open and used it to run the block heater. My older generator kept sputtering out, so I apparently didn't succeed in fixing it, but the new generator ran. However, the exhaust set off my smoke/carbon monoxide detector even with everything opened up - it smelled awful inside. I then left to go back to post and turn in paperwork to schedule movers before heading back to the RV lot.

I crossed my fingers, turned the key and.... nothing. I hooked up jumper cables and put my bullet heater under the bus, waited 15 minutes, and.... nothing.

20200114_160352.jpg

$300 later for two Group 31 batteries, I turned the key and it fired up first crank. Success! The engine sounded a little rough for a couple minutes and then smoothed out.

But wait! What's that beeping? No air pressure? I pumped the brakes a few times and the pressure fell to 0. Crap...

I crawled under the bus in the snow a little bit and then changed tactics. I just let the engine (and the air dryer) run, and moved the bullet heater every few minutes to try to warm up all the brake lines. After about 15 minutes, it was building pressure slowly. After 45 minutes, it was back to normal. Success!

20200114_160458.jpg

15 minutes of shovelling snow and scraping ice off the windshield later, and I was ready to go. I put it into drive, hit the gas and... nothing. What the...?!? I put it in reverse, backed into the snow bank and jolted to a stop. Then, I put it back in forward and pushed the chock blocks out of the way.... I pushed through the 6 inches of powder all the way to the RV lot gate and drove back to the house.

The highways were scraped clear, so it was uneventful. My only issue was that my breath condensed and froze on the windshield (I still have no heat). This wasn't a problem except for when passing the dumbasses with their brights on.

I spent another couple hours retrieving my truck from the RV lot (28 miles from my house), then spent another two hours shovelling snow to make a nice work space for the bus.

20200115_110922.jpg

Today, I finished in-processing post from Iraq and then got my out-processing paperwork to go to Fort Benning. I haven't decided yet what to do on the bus today, but the temperature is supposed to drop later today to -28 or -17, depending on which forecast you believe.
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Old 01-15-2020, 03:19 PM   #163
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That's incredible, I won't even work on my bus when it's below 30 degrees here in Wisconsin. The coldest we've gotten is -5 so far (but only at night). Daytime temps are 25-40 degrees which must be balmy compared to where you're at.
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Old 01-15-2020, 06:21 PM   #164
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I feel like I can never complain about the weather where I am ever again.
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Old 01-15-2020, 07:06 PM   #165
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I feel like I can never complain about the weather where I am ever again.
I'm wearing shorts. But it's supposed to get down to 50 something next week.

Mad respect to OP serving our country in temps like that. But Fort Benning in the summer is a different kind of miserable.
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Old 01-15-2020, 10:41 PM   #166
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I emptied the bus and got a weigh ticket. 19780 lbs with a full tank of gas and no passengers. I left in the stove and other attached equipment but pulled out pots, pans, tools, etc. Driving to the weigh station at -6 with no heat isn't fun.

I had to pull all that stuff out anyway to do the spray foam.
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Old 01-16-2020, 05:51 AM   #167
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I emptied the bus and got a weigh ticket. 19780 lbs with a full tank of gas and no passengers.
Awesome, leaves you a ton of weight for customization.
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Old 01-16-2020, 12:01 PM   #168
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I always say I'll take 20F and snowing over 40F and raining. But below 0F is another thing.


I changed my sister's starter once in 20F weather (the high for the day), parked in snow and ice. The space was so tight I could not wear any kind of glove to turn the wrench to remove the 2 bolts. Took hours. Grab the wrench, quick as I can stick it up in there and give it a small turn (not alot of room for a large turn) drop it even quicker, and stick my hand with bones aching deeply under my armpit for several minutes for them to heat back up enough to move my fingers again to grab the wrench again...


More power to you!
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Old 01-17-2020, 02:38 AM   #169
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Day 11:

-10 today. The forecasts of -17 and -28 were way off. Of course, that's typical here.

I spent the day working on the auxiliary heaters. I'm putting in 4 heaters, plus keeping the original windshield defroster. Not sure how it's going to work. Will it have enough heat? The original bus line was 1", but I'm using 5/8" arctic line for the coolant. Too late now to change. I'll post pictures tomorrow when I finish.

I'm using my kerosene heater in the bus. It needs a lot of ventilation, but it puts off 80,000 BTU, so I have turn it off after about 10 minutes when it hits 70 degrees. Of course, 20 minutes later, all the heat is gone again so I turn it back on at about 40 degrees.
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Old 01-17-2020, 09:28 AM   #170
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Biscuitsjam View Post
Day 10:
We added 3 inches of fine powder yesterday and another 1/2 inch this morning.
After all the shoveling yesterday.

Quote:

$300 later for two Group 31 batteries, I turned the key and it fired up first crank. Success! The engine sounded a little rough for a couple minutes and then smoothed out.

But wait! What's that beeping? No air pressure? I pumped the brakes a few times and the pressure fell to 0. Crap...

I crawled under the bus in the snow ... After about 15 minutes, ... After 45 minutes, it was back to normal. Success!

...then spent another two hours shoveling snow to make a nice work space for the bus.

15 minutes of shoveling snow and scraping ice off the windshield later,...

So, it was an adventure yesterday. I did my suicide prevention and budget classes in the morning, then drove to the RV lot.
This is why you have to do suicide prevention!! Too damn much shovelling.
And apparently the budget class is too little too late. You bought a skoolie. Talk about a money pit!!!

Quote:
and I was ready to go. I put it into drive, hit the gas and... nothing. What the...?!? I put it in reverse, backed into the snow bank and jolted to a stop. Then, I put it back in forward and pushed the chock blocks out of the way.... I pushed through the 6 inches of powder all the way to the RV lot gate and drove back to the house.
This is actually "normal" after sitting a long time. Air brakes fail in the on position. After sitting for months, they get stuck in that position.

Quote:
This wasn't a problem except for when passing the dumbasses with their brights on.
You're in a bus. Drift across the line and flash your lights at them. If they don't turn them down, stay in their lane.

Quote:
Today, I finished in-processing post from Iraq and then got my out-processing paperwork to go to Fort Benning. I haven't decided yet what to do on the bus today, but the temperature is supposed to drop later today to -28 or -17, depending on which forecast you believe.
1. When do you move to GA? 2. That explains the shoveling. I'm guessing you're a young guy. I'd have been shopping for a snow blower staring at that much shoveling.



Quote:
Originally Posted by musigenesis View Post
I feel like I can never complain about the weather where I am ever again.
I've spent a winter in Chicago and an Xmas in Minneapolis. Arrived in MN at -25. Tried to start the car teh next day. No dice. Pushed it in the garage and two kerosene heaters, nothing. When it warmed up to -15 outside, the car finally started the day before my leave was up. I feel I can complain about cold tho I've not seen the -70 that Fairbanks gets. I grew up in the SE. 104 and 70% humidity really REALLY sucks. Biscuits will find that out in GA. But I've never seen the 122 of Phoenix so I try not to complain about hot.

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Originally Posted by JDSquared View Post
But Fort Benning in the summer is a different kind of miserable.
The humidity makes for swamp balls.

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Originally Posted by Biscuitsjam View Post
I emptied the bus and got a weigh ticket. 19780 lbs with a full tank of gas and no passengers.
What length bus? I was 20,600 with no seats, no ceiling, no interior walls, no plywood floor, and 1/2 a 60 gallon tank of fuel. Only 200 of that was passenger; me.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mountain Gnome View Post
I always say I'll take 20F and snowing over 40F and raining.
Amen to that!!! [/quote]But below 0F is another thing.[/quote]I'm good to about 0F. Then is starts getting cold. Just like the phrase "it's not the heat but the humidity", the wind or lack of it at 0 makes a HUGE difference.

Quote:
I changed my sister's starter once in 20F weather (the high for the day), parked in snow and ice. The space was so tight I could not wear any kind of glove to turn the wrench to remove the 2 bolts. Took hours. Grab the wrench, quick as I can stick it up in there and give it a small turn (not alot of room for a large turn) drop it even quicker, and stick my hand with bones aching deeply under my armpit for several minutes for them to heat back up enough to move my fingers again to grab the wrench again...
Laying in the snow/ice? Even cardboard would help. A creeper is better. Best is a heated garage of course. Dry and 20 would be bad enough but I could last longer than that if it's dry. My hands are always cold even if they don't feel cold to me. When they start to hurt from the cold, then it takes that long to warm up again.
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Old 01-17-2020, 10:13 AM   #171
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The bus is a 36 foot 1998 Amtran RE on an International 3800 chassis. The data plate says it is rated at up to 36,000 lbs. That weight has all the seats taken out, but it does include an oven, 3x 20lb propane tanks, 1x 100lb propane tank, and a lot of carpentry (4-person couch, kitchen counters, walls, 4x bunk beds and master bed, plus some other misc. stuff). Basically, if it wasn't easily removable,, I left it in. I did remove two feet of snow from the roof though - I found it curious that none of that snow fell off driving down the road, even going over bumps. Fortunately, it was a fast job to push it off with a ladder and a shovel.

Fairbanks is interesting that it has very low humidity and almost never has any wind. When it gets really cold, you can get covered in snow and just brush it off without any melting. After an hour after knocking snow off the bus roof, I found that one of my pockets was half full of snow. It hadn't melted at all because of the cold outside and all the layers of long underwear insulating it from my skin...

I can lay down in the snow for a couple minutes with my thick jacket insulating me just fine. If I need to work for an extended period of time, I"ll put down a thick rug.

A couple hours to the east is Black Rapids cold weather training site - they have the same temperatures plus 20-40 mph winds.
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Old 01-17-2020, 10:32 AM   #172
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I'm from Georgia, so I'm very familiar with the heat. We make a point to do stuff outside year-round. Half the difficulty with the heat is your brain screaming at you - if you spend enough time outside, that'll turn off.

Kuwait this last September was 130+ degrees. On day 3 after leaving Alaska, we were at the rifle range in full body armor - no shade. We were at the range every other day for the next week - not pleasant but doable.

A little over a decade ago, I was patrolling in Iraq. Temperatures were always over 115 in July and August, with about 10 days over 120. We wore full body armor and the vehicle hydraulics added another 10 degrees to the heat. At those temperatures, you need to be very careful to drink enough water and get electrolytes - it's not possible to keep up during the day, but you can stay close, then catch back up overnight. After a while, the heat stops being painful, you just feel drained of all energy and every movement feels like it is in slow motion.

We did a few foot patrols too, but it cooled off to 100 or so before we did that. A Soldier with just his personal gear (body armor, weapon, ammo, water, 3 day assault pack) carries an average of 104 lbs. The weight goes up once you start distributing machine guns and their ammo, radios, batteries, etc. The strongest guys might have 140 or 150 lbs. It is physically painful just waiting for the patrol to start, but it is amazing what the human body can put up with.

I've also enjoyed the Mojave desert, the swamps of Louisianna and plenty of other pleasure spots the Army has sent me to.

20191121_150049.jpg
Al Asad, Iraq rifle range 2019
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Old 01-17-2020, 10:55 AM   #173
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Originally Posted by Biscuitsjam View Post
The bus is a 36 foot 1998 Amtran RE on an International 3800 chassis. The data plate says it is rated at up to 36,000 lbs. That weight has all the seats taken out, but it does include an oven, 3x 20lb propane tanks, 1x 100lb propane tank, and a lot of carpentry (4-person couch, kitchen counters, walls, 4x bunk beds and master bed, plus some other misc. stuff). Basically, if it wasn't easily removable,, I left it in. I did remove two feet of snow from the roof though - I found it curious that none of that snow fell off driving down the road, even going over bumps. Fortunately, it was a fast job to push it off with a ladder and a shovel.
I'm going to have to add you to the hate list. ;) My GWVR is only 33,000 for a 40' Blue Bird, 8.3L MT643. Tranny is 600 lbs by itself. I don't remember teh Cummins spec for the engine. My empty weight should be more than yours for the extra 4 feet but then too my GWVR should be higher. A little bus envy. Would be cool to see a comparison of equal buses and then another with options.
40' BB vs 40' Thomas vs. 40' Amtran all with their biggest engines. Then another with a 40' BB sporting the 5.0L vs the 8.3L throw in some trannys options, etc. Same with teh Thomas options and so on.

Quote:
Fairbanks is interesting that it has very low humidity and almost never has any wind. When it gets really cold, you can get covered in snow and just brush it off without any melting.
Took the tour bus from Seward to Denali and from Denali back to Anchorage. Got a great mix of drivers.

FB Driver ~ Anchorage sux!!!! It's wet, snowy, and windy as hell. You'd never get me to live there.

Anch driver ~ Fairbanks sux!!! It's so damn cold there. I'll take the snow. YOu'd never get me to live there.

Quote:
A couple hours to the east is Black Rapids cold weather training site - they have the same temperatures plus 20-40 mph winds.
That would be some interesting training especially for this FL native. In a swamp, I could probably make due in an emergency even without real training. In AK, aside from eating as much fat as I can get my hands on and digging into the snow for shelter, I haven't got a clue. Survival Man as seen on TV. At least he isn't a Bear Grills hack.
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Old 01-17-2020, 11:02 AM   #174
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I'm going to have to add you to the hate list. ;) My GWVR is only 33,000 for a 40' Blue Bird, 8.3L MT643. Tranny is 600 lbs by itself. I don't remember teh Cummins spec for the engine. My empty weight should be more than yours for the extra 4 feet but then too my GWVR should be higher. A little bus envy. Would be cool to see a comparison of equal buses and then another with options.
I've got a 32' Bluebird with 36000 GWVR. 5.9 24valve Cummins Allison 2000 trans. It weighed 17,200 coming home and I dumped about 900lbs since at the scrap yard with seats and hoses and all. I wonder what makes yours lower capacity.
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Old 01-17-2020, 11:08 AM   #175
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Originally Posted by Biscuitsjam View Post
I'm from Georgia, so I'm very familiar with the heat. We make a point to do stuff outside year-round. Half the difficulty with the heat is your brain screaming at you - if you spend enough time outside, that'll turn off.

Kuwait this last September was 130+ degrees. On day 3 after leaving Alaska, we were at the rifle range in full body armor - no shade. We were at the range every other day for the next week - not pleasant but doable.

A little over a decade ago, I was patrolling in Iraq. Temperatures were always over 115 in July and August, with about 10 days over 120. We wore full body armor and the vehicle hydraulics added another 10 degrees to the heat. At those temperatures, you need to be very careful to drink enough water and get electrolytes - it's not possible to keep up during the day, but you can stay close, then catch back up overnight. After a while, the heat stops being painful, you just feel drained of all energy and every movement feels like it is in slow motion.

We did a few foot patrols too, but it cooled off to 100 or so before we did that. A Soldier with just his personal gear (body armor, weapon, ammo, water, 3 day assault pack) carries an average of 104 lbs. The weight goes up once you start distributing machine guns and their ammo, radios, batteries, etc. The strongest guys might have 140 or 150 lbs. It is physically painful just waiting for the patrol to start, but it is amazing what the human body can put up with.

I've also enjoyed the Mojave desert, the swamps of Louisianna and plenty of other pleasure spots the Army has sent me to.
You're a beast or criminally insane. Hopefully not both.

I moved from FL to SC. Moved again from SC to MD. Need to move again. All because of the heat. I do NOT like swamp balls. I've done the Seirra Nevadas at 104... same temp as FL. If you made me guess the temp, I would have said 80~85. It wasn't bad. Sweating in FL/GA doesn't do any good.It just won't evap.


My pack weight when hiking is about 35 lbs once topped off with food and water. Went to Isle Royale with my normal stuff but got teh hair brained idea to take my camera gear as well. At the ranger dock on the island they have a fish scale to weigh your pack. I should have done it on the way out, not the way in. It was 54 lbs. It was a 4th of July weekend and temps were (guessing) around 90 without being FL humid. The 6 or 7 mile hike up and over the spine of the island was brutal. And that was when I wasn't carrying an extra 25~30 lbs of fat around my waist.


All that said, I still want to do a thru hike of the Appalachian Trail but you and your 120+lb packs can eat a bag of dixs. Ain't no way in hell. There's a reason I went Navy. If I'm going 20 miles, it's by boat or taxi. Not a forced march to nowhere with 100lbs of crap.
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Old 01-17-2020, 11:09 AM   #176
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221771_1012992838877_1065_n.jpg
Kids following us on patrol, Yusifiyah, Iraq 2005
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All of our company's HMMWVs, our M113, and two of our supply trucks were destroyed that deployment. Only 1 KIA but lots of purple hearts - armor works. In this incident, a HMMWV was damaged by an IED and hooked to a tow bar. A second IED caught both vehicles on fire. The heat twisted the metal. No casualties from the incident in this picture.
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My tank destroying a house used by an IED trigger man, Mullah Fayyad, Iraq, 2005
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The roof of my tank after an IED. I got hit by three that day.
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One of our other tanks after an IED. The 800lb #1 skirt was thrown 300 yards. It's hard to tell in the picture, but the front end is sitting in a crater. No casualties.
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This handmic saved an infantryman's life. Shrapnel went through his HMMWV door and into his hand holding this handmic. If he hadn't been holding the mic, it would have gone into head. He took care of his Soldiers and then called for his own MEDEVAC over the radio using his other hand to hold the mic.
222221_1012996278963_84_n.jpg
Kids showing off Iraq
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Old 01-17-2020, 11:15 AM   #177
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Originally Posted by JDSquared View Post
I've got a 32' Bluebird with 36000 GWVR. 5.9 24valve Cummins Allison 2000 trans. It weighed 17,200 coming home and I dumped about 900lbs since at the scrap yard with seats and hoses and all. I wonder what makes yours lower capacity.
In the car world, it's suspension/brakes first. Engine/gearing second. Discounting wheelbase since we are buses.

AT643 is 4 speed with a final ratio of 1:1 with my 4.xx gear ratio and R11x22.5 tires. I dunno what a 2000 weighs but my engine has to be a fair amount heavier but should also make up for the GWVR with more torque.
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Old 01-17-2020, 11:45 AM   #178
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My pack weight when hiking is about 35 lbs once topped off with food and water.

...

All that said, I still want to do a thru hike of the Appalachian Trail but you and your 120+lb packs can eat a bag of dixs. Ain't no way in hell. There's a reason I went Navy. If I'm going 20 miles, it's by boat or taxi. Not a forced march to nowhere with 100lbs of crap.
Our packs are also around 35 lbs. But, add 8 lbs of uniform/boots, 35 lbs of body armor, a 5 lb helmet, 12 lbs of water, 8 lbs of ammo, an 8 lb rifle...

In combat, you can drop the assault pack (and we sometimes pared it way down if we knew we weren't going far), but that's still a lot of weight. The Haqqanis can scamper straight up the side of the mountains of Afghanistan, but we can't follow so fast.

The Army takes a huge toll on your body though. I'll probably medically retire within the next few years. They've tried to convince me a few times already, but I can't fight it forever.
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Old 01-17-2020, 01:06 PM   #179
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Our packs are also around 35 lbs. But, add 8 lbs of uniform/boots, 35 lbs of body armor, a 5 lb helmet, 12 lbs of water,
I'm carrying 3L of water. East coast, often when I don't have to (many water sources). On a hot day with no refills I might drink all 3L. I sweat like a stuck pig but usually don't go thru more than 2L. Buddy of mine hardly sweats at all but drinks at least twice as much water as me. I'm kind of an anomaly on water consumption.

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8 lbs of ammo, an 8 lb rifle...
What the hell caliber are you using??? 8 lbs of 5.56 has to be a few hundred rounds. I've not weighed by AR; might be that much.

Quote:
The Haqqanis can scamper straight up the side of the mountains of Afghanistan, but we can't follow so fast.
I'm not scampering but then I'm also not getting shot at. Also a very conscious choice when joining the military. There's a fair amount of family tradition of Navy in my family but I remember thinking "Which branch am I least likely to get shot at?". The last time a Navy ship was lost... I'm going Navy!!

Quote:
The Army takes a huge toll on your body though. I'll probably medically retire within the next few years. They've tried to convince me a few times already, but I can't fight it forever.
1) Does it come with full retirement pay?
2) Can I leave NOW?
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Old 01-17-2020, 04:07 PM   #180
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I'm carrying 3L of water. East coast, often when I don't have to (many water sources). On a hot day with no refills I might drink all 3L. I sweat like a stuck pig but usually don't go thru more than 2L. Buddy of mine hardly sweats at all but drinks at least twice as much water as me. I'm kind of an anomaly on water consumption.
It depends on the temperature and level of exertion. Your body can absorb up to about a liter an hour - in extreme heat, you really do need that much. On patrol, the standard is usually 5 liters carried.

Quote:
What the hell caliber are you using??? 8 lbs of 5.56 has to be a few hundred rounds. I've not weighed by AR; might be that much.
Each 30-round M4 magazine weighs about 1.1 lbs, so 7 of them is just under 8 lbs. The M4A1 is about 7.8 lbs, plus a 6 oz. optic, 7.5 oz. laser, and 7 oz sling, so closer to 9 lbs altogether.

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1) Does it come with full retirement pay?
2) Can I leave NOW?
It's complicated. The evaluation process takes about 6 months and then you get a percentage, like 10% disabled, 30% disabled, etc. There are also two different payment systems, VA disability and Military Medical Retirement, and the rules for both are confusing. Payments can range between $142/month (10% disability VA payment) and $6583/month (100% medical military retirement). So, I'd guess I'd get somewhere between those two extemes?
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