Shelter from the rain became a premium during the mid-June storm that blew over the Camp Guernsey Joint Training Center, drenching hundreds of Arkansas soldiers who set up their cots on the parade field.
Several subordinate units of the 142nd Field Artillery Brigade were ushered from the parade field into the camp’s few hardstands already burgeoning with soldiers, on June 16.
“The soldiers liked the weather initially,” said Staff Sgt. Jeremiah Bosheers of the brigade’s 2nd Battalion. “(Camp) Shelby, the National Training Center in Fort Irwin, California, Fort Chaffee, no one else comes close. We all enjoyed our first week here.”
Then the thunderstorm and lightning came, and with soldiers sleeping in their pup tents, “That’s when they got nervous,” Bosheers said. “Our leadership took care of us. They found us a home when the weather went south.”
Soldiers filed into the Training Support Center, which houses weapons and vehicle simulators, and other training rooms across camp. Cubicles and hallways filled with other soldiers on cots, pallets and concrete slabs—a dry space.
First Sgt. Bobby Willis, of B Battery, 2-142nd Artillery Brigade, said the brigade was thin on shelters for soldiers coming out of the field. “I haven’t heard any of them complain though,” he said.
The day after the rain started, Spc. Jordan Springwater, of A Battery, took in his accommodations. “This is spacious. Last night, it was so crowded you couldn’t make it out. Everywhere that you see concrete now, there was a soldier sleeping. That is no exaggeration.”
Bosheers agreed, repeating the troops’ mantra: “Out of the weather, under a roof.”