EASTERN SAUDI ARABIA — Families across the nation have been separated because of the gulf crisis, but Lt. Col. John Moyer feels he suffered particularly bad timing.
Moyer was transferred to the El Toro Marine Corps Air Station in August, and a week later was sent to Saudi Arabia.
He returned in December, just in time to help his wife and four children move into their new home in Lake Forest, but was shipped back to the gulf on Jan. 6.
"I was there just long enough to hang the curtains," said Moyer, head of an aviation logistics squadron.
Maj. Judd Whitlock, executive officer of HMH-462, a Marine helicopter squadron from Tustin, just wanted to say thanks.
"Our squadron has been adopted by the kids at College Park Elementary in Irvine, and we've received wonderful support from the Elks Club of Laguna Beach, the Newport Marriott, and so many more people. Please tell them all how much we appreciate it."
If comic books and magazines were the diversions of past wars, the gulf crisis has gone decidedly high-tech. This year, the Nintendo Game Boy video challenge and portable cassette players have won the hearts of servicemen in the field.
Combat troops stationed in the desert spend evenings listening to tapes or hovering over the Game Boy, playing with the aid of a flashlight.
What's the hottest item at the Marine base exchanges in Saudi Arabia?
In the summer, it was cases of soda, Gatorade and ice cream. Now that it's winter, it's hot cocoa mix and plastic-foam cups of soup.
The always-popular items: Walkman cassette players, tapes, cigarettes, Pop Tarts, Pringles potato chips, M&Ms, and cheap, disposable underwear.
Among women Marines, hair conditioner and hair spray are the top sellers.