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Hot weather? Try Arizona in July

I had to chuckle to myself a couple of days ago when I heard two people talking about the recent spate of hot weather in our area.

Now, temperatures in the upper 80s and low 90s are nothing to take lightly. There are some pretty severe consequences if you ignore the heat. Like a really bad sunburn.

But whenever I think about heat, I go back to my year in Arizona as a guest of the U.S. Army.

Prior to arriving in Fort Huachuca in late May of 1969, I knew little about the Grand Canyon State.

I had read about hot it got down in the desert, but you really don’t appreciate it until you get there.

There was a stretch of more than a month when the temperatures reached at least a 100 every day. So much for the dry heat theory.

My company, the Headquarters Co. of STRATCOM, was assigned to march in the July Fourth parade in nearby Bisbee that year.

The thermometer got over 114 degrees that day as we marched perhaps two miles with steel helmets on.

A few of the marchers ended up with cases of severe dehydration and had to taken to be the base hospital.

But one of the nice things about the Army was that they strongly encouraged sports among the troops.

That meant taking part in baseball, softball, flag football and basketball. Besides, if you were involved, you likely missed getting on the KP chart. That’s kitchen duty for civilians.

I took part in all of the sports for that reason.

Fortunately, the outdoor sports were scheduled in the relative cool of the evening, lowering some 25-30 degrees.

Of all the sports offered, flag football was the most interesting. Although no hitting was allowed, many players forgot about that once the ball was snapped.

The hospital dispensary always knew that flag football season had started by the number of cases they had to treat.

Because HHS STRATCOM had won the league title the previous season with 14-2 mark, our team was singled out by the rest of the league.

Understandably, very few players in the service return for a second year, and our inexperieced team took a few lumps and posted an 8-8 record.

Even in October and November, the temperatures could hit the 80s and that’s uncomfortable on a football field.

Stlll, it wasn’t bad duty. And I even had the chance for a round of golf on New Year’s Day in 1970.

That’s something you could never do in the Copper Country ….