Our dreams of a lakeside camp evaporated, much like the water in the lake itself. But we had riders and 150 horses to think about and they would soon be riding in and expecting to see the mangers standing and filled with hay. And water for their horses. Water? It turned out that we had a ‘dry’ camp. The only water available was going to be the remains of the lake and it was located a couple of hundred yards away from the manger line. Too far!
Luckily, we had a Marine Corps Liaison officer with us. Groups like ours weren’t allowed to simply wander about the base unescorted, and so we asked him what he could do for us? The Marines quickly came to our rescue with ‘water buffaloes’, large trailers with water tanks on them and as many as we needed. And each came with a jeep and a Marine to make certain they were replaced as soon as they ran dry.
And since they had selected Privates to deliver this water, they would stand at attention and call us ‘Sir’ every time we spoke to them. Fun! After a week on the ride, there was finally someone lower than us on the social scale.