Sunday, September 24, 2017


While running in Rock Creek Park on Saturday, I saw a couple of young men in blue tee shirts standing at the foot of Bingham Road. I'd have liked to have been able to read their tee shirts, but I couldn't. Then in the parking lot of a picnic grove I saw an easel set up, and near it nine or a dozen camouflage packs laid down. A young woman stood in Beach Drive with a clipboard, so I asked her.

It was a ROTC field exercise, she said. Her blue tee shirt read "Hoya Battalion" on the front, and she had on camouflage trousers. I went on my way. On the return leg of the run, at Wise Road and Oregon Avenue, I saw a young man in the same outfit. He had a five-gallon jerrycan on the trunk of his car.

Thirty and more years ago I would see the Georgetown University ROTC contingent in full camouflage utilities, getting their coffee at near campus before their duties began. On reflection, I am a  bit surprised that I never saw them out in the woods then, for I ran a lot more in those days.

I hope that the camouflage trousers went straight into the wash after the exercise. Rock Creek Park has a great deal of poison ivy, and the oils from the leaves can remain effective on unwashed clothes.

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