The first thing I noticed when I took off my protective vest was the hot desert air riffling through my sweat drenched uniform. It was evening in the deserts of Iraq and I was part of a Military Convoy that stopped into a friendly outpost for some rest and resupply. I was young and my experience in the desert was nonexistent until a month ago, when I was shipped over “there” to defend freedom or whatever. With my experience in the desert being so little, it was a surprise to me when I learned that when the hot desert sun began to dip below the horizon the temperature went with it. It was almost as if the heat decided to hitch a ride on the back of the sun leaving me behind to shiver in my pool of sweat. Tonight, was not any different, and so I climbed atop the hood of my vehicle, directly over the running engine, to watch the sun make its colorful escape. As I laid there staring at the horizon the sky began to transform itself from a blazing blue oven to something that could be found in the mind of an abstract painter. Beautiful turquoise bands of color back lit obsidian finger like clouds, and wherever the sun touched the sky, it became a glowing kaleidoscope of reds and oranges. This magnificent vista stretched as far as the eye could see, unmarred by sky scrapers, or fluorescent lights. As I watched this display of the wild, of nature, I forgot where I was. I was no longer a scared little boy in a faraway land, instead I was just there, present in the moment I shared with the sun.