Fort Polk Guardian 07-06-2018

Viewpoint 2/ The Guardian , a civilian enter- prise newspaper, is an authorized publication for members of the U.S. Army. Contents of the Guardian are not necessarily official views of, or en- dorsed by, the U.S. Government, De- partment of Defense, Department of the Army or Fort Polk. The Guardian is published weekly by the Public Affairs Office, Joint Readiness Training Center and Fort Polk. Printed circulation is 13,000. Everything advertised in this publication shall be made available for purchase, use or patronage with- out regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, marital status, physical handicap, political affiliation or any other nonmerit factor of the purchaser, user or patron. A confirmed violation of this policy of equal opportunity by an ad- vertiser will result in the refusal to print advertising from that source. All editorial content of the Guardian is prepared, edited, pro- vided and approved by the Public Af- fairs Office, Joint Readiness Training Center and Fort Polk. The Guardian is printed by the Natchitoches Times , a private firm in no way connected with the Depart- ment of the Army, under exclusive written contract with Fort Polk. The civilian printer is responsible for com- mercial advertising. The appearance of advertising in this publication, including inserts and supplements, does not constitute en- dorsement by the Department of the Army or the Natchitoches Times of the products or services advertised. Guardian Editorial Staff Brig. Gen. Patrick D. Frank Joint Readiness Training Center and Fort Polk commanding general Col. Jarrett Thomas II Garrison commander Kim Reischling Information strategies officer Chuck Cannon Editor Jean Dubiel Angie Thorne Staff writers Editorial Offices Building 4919, Magnolia Street Fort Polk, LA 71459-5060 Voice (337) 531-4033 Fax (337) 531-1401 Email: Trading post ads: Fort Polk Homepage Advertising For advertising contact (337) 404-7242 Email: sales@ FORT POLK, La. — The word summer evokes visions of sun, white beaches, fruity tropical cocktails, great tans — without the possibility or pain of sunburns — and beach bods — without the effort of intense exercise and fad diets. If only the re- ality lived up to the hype. Oh there’s plenty of sun, but the day-to-day of living in Louisiana from June 21 to Sept. 22 (summer- time in all its glory) is vastly different than those classic “fun in the sun” images synonymous with the season’s ag- gressively promoted marketing and advertising campaigns. First off, the white sand and clear water are hard to find. Though Louisiana is a coastal state, it isn’t known for its beguiling beaches. The state’s lot in life leans more toward murky, muddy waters and bayous instead of the crystal blue green waves that can be found on the shores of our neighbors in Alabama, Florida and the Bahamas. That lack of tropical breezes and beachy paradises don’t make it easy to manage the heat. I was born and raised here, folks; I know it can be hot and uncomfortable. If tempera- tures are in the 90s or above and there’s no humidity, walking outside can feel like being cooked in a con- vection oven. If there is rain in the forecast, it’s humid and a simple trip to and from the car feels like you’re being steamed in a large sauna. The sweat begins the second you walk out your door. No makeup for you ladies — unless you like the raccoon look. Then there’s the fact that if you choose to ignore the dangers of the heat, it could actually do you bodily harm. Dehydra- tion, sun- burn and heat exhaus- tion/heat stroke aren’t exactly the results you want from a day spent outside. The best way to stay safe is to use caution and be pre- pared by slathering on suntan lotion and drinking lots of water. Did I mention all that warm weather and abundance of water makes for the perfect breeding grounds for bugs in just about every shape and size? It doesn’t take long for a new Louisiana resident to fig- ure out they are just a walking, talk- ing snack for mosquitos, horse flies, fire ants and more. Even if you aren’t what’s on the menu, the sheer volume of annoying buzzing, stinging, flying and crawl- ing critters can certainly make life entertaining and vastly improve your fly-swatting aim and stomping prowess — you get lots of practice after all. Ok, so many of the above facts can’t be changed and I’ll admit these discomforts can make it more diffi- cult to enjoy time spent outside, but it’s not impossible — especially if you are headed to a cool and refresh- ing pool. Learning to deal with the chal- lenges Louisiana throws your way in terms of heat intensity is more than made up for in a wide variety of fun outdoor activities and the lure of blessed air conditioning once the fun is done. After all, it’s the best time of year to get out and camp, canoe, kayak, hike, garden and swim. Then there are the experiences like eating barbecue and potato salad at a picnic table; discovering the many merits of a downhome crawfish boil; enjoying an ice cold refreshment while swinging or rocking on a porch; attending one of the many festivals or outdoor concerts; explor- ing the history that practically oozes from every corner of the state or hundreds of other fun and wonder- ful activities that you and your Fami- ly can try. In the end, it will be worth it. So, yes, welcome summer with open arms and courageously go forth with the knowledge that you won’t let a little heat keep you from the good times you are bound to have with a little effort and a lot of sweat (sorry). Editor’s note: If you are interested in subscribing to Fort Polk Things To do List, email kimberly.k.reis- . How to survive, enjoy a Louisiana heat wave In our view Guardian staff asked Fort Polk residents, “What is your favorite thing about sum- mer?” Here are their responses: Spc. Hakeem Gip- son: "The pool is open." Spc. Coy Miley: "I can ride in my car with the top down." Forrest Bailey: "Go- ing on vacation." Guardian July 6, 2018 Spc. Stephanie Betts: "I'm excited about going home on block leave to visit my family." By ANGIE THORNE Guardian staff writer Commentary For advertising contact Theresa Larue ( ) - Email: sales