I work out at the Gym most days,
And vow to not get fat,
Or get all crispy sunburned,
Thanks to my Boonie Hat!
For those soldiers over here who are either fashion conscious, or are blessed with sufficient quantities of melanin, they generally spurn the 2 1/2" brimmed Boonie Hat. But for those of us who sport the Celtic Glow, turning red after 30 seconds worth of exposure to the fierce desert sun, our Boonie Hats are treasured and constant companions. Yes, they look incredibly dorky, especially with the floppy brim and unstructured crown, and they take up more room in our cargo pocket when we are in the mess hall, but those are minor flaws. The alternative headgear, aka the Patrol Cap or PC, looks more like what G.I. Joe would wear, but it lacks any ventilation, and the front bill is barely adequate to shade the eyes. (Everyone here is in solid agreement about our happiness that the beret is not allowed over here!)
While my Boonie Hat is developing a battered and stained appearance, I've been reluctant to wash it for fear that it will shrink or otherwise become unwearable. (I hand-washed my patrol cap, and it shrank just enough to make it very uncomfortable...) I've ordered a spare which, if my previous experience with the Army uniform supply system is any indicator, will likely show up 10 months from now.
While before my return I will likely discard most of my already-decomposing deployment uniforms, I plan on keeping my beloved Boonie as a memento of this desert vacation...but promise not to wear it except occasionally, and only in the privacy of my home...when my spousal unit is away. The dogs will no doubt enjoy the aroma, which in a year will be similar to green tripe.