Tuesday, October 03, 2006

respectfully submitted

My husband is on month 10 of a 12 month deployment to Iraq. His ability to maintain a sense of humor helps us, his family, laugh more and worry less. Here’s one of my favorite tales of his Baghdad exploits from an email he sent a couple of weeks ago:

We received a request (Letter of Technical Direction or LOTD) to have someone do an estimate for a grass soccer field in one of the driest (if there is such a thing) parts of Iraq for military folks on base to have a sports field. Always trying to be helpful, I provided my recommendations below:
In accordance with the attached LOTD [deleted], specifically the provision to give a recommendation of the type of grass to use on the XXXX soccer field. After consultation with our horticulture staff, we recommend the soccer field be planted in dirt. Attached is a photo of a similar field planted in dirt.

Advantages of dirt are:

  • Highly drought resistant – dirt can go many seasons without rain or watering and will still make a full recovery.
  • Economical – adequate dirt can be shipped from many European countries and provides all the coverage necessary for a lush brown field.
  • Low seeding rate – the dispersion of dirt seeds can be set to a very low number of dirt seeds per sq meter. After only a short period of time, dirt will expand to fill the area between the seeds and once a strong root bed is initiated, dirt will continue to thrive for many generations.
  • Resistant to high traffic – dirt can withstand the abuse of large amounts of both vehicle and pedestrian traffic prone to many soccer fields. Dirt is unique among the considered options due to the fact that after heavy periods of traffic, only a small amount of neglect is required before dirt returns to its normal state.
  • Discourages grazing from livestock – there are very few cases of stray livestock grazing dirt beyond its ability to repair itself.
  • Low maintenance cost – dirt grows very slowly and as a result, only requires infrequent trimming to maintain a healthy brown color and to prevent it from creeping into neighboring fields.

Disadvantages of dirt are:

  • Under extreme cases, dirt can undergo a chemical change when mixed with ordinary water. The results are a thick, dark, and slippery substance that can be spread to the surrounding area by vehicles, humans or animals. However, this is not a permanent change and the condition can generally be reversed by the application of direct sunlight.

Other viable ground coverings considered were:

  • Gravel
  • Sand
  • Shale

Very Respectfully,


Blogger brigita said...

I played in a soccer league in Seattle where we typically played on fields of "all weather sand," so dirt sounds pretty ok to me! Hope your man will be returning to his girls soon. :)

9:30 PM  

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