Excerpts from a letter written by 20-year-old Army Pfc. Bryan Griffith from a forward position in Saudi Arabia to his family in Taylorsville:

Today some jerk started yelling "Redcon" (air attack) and we scattered for cover. Sure enough, four jets went over just off the ground, but they were ours and he knew it. He stood there laughing, but right now he's not laughing. They had a good talk with him. When he yelled that, I saw the jets and ran. I wasn't fully under cover before I recognized them as ours, but to be honest I was scared and I have never moved quicker.The other night I had guard duty at the listening point approximately one-half mile out into the desert from camp. My job was to detect anyone sneaking up to camp and alert the guards back at camp via a field telephone. Anyway, it was an eerie feeling sitting out there with an M-60 machine gun, an M-16 and enough rounds to kill half the camels in this forsaken desert, which there are quite a few. I lived through the night with only a mild heart attack when the field phone rang and I jumped half out of the bunker! It sounds like a wood frog and I almost shot it. I got a good laugh out of it later.

Let's see, the animal life here is great. They have only creatures that would be in your worst nightmare, except for the camels. The scorpions here make the ones in El Paso look like play toys. The ones here are green or black, ugly as sin. Only seen one snake, a sand viper. One of the guys climbed into his foxhole and flew back out without touching anything because Mr. Viper thought the hole was only big enough for him. But we persuaded him differently with a shovel. The beetles are huge and ugly and the only way to kill them is by running them over with a combat loaded (68 ton) M-1A1 tank.

One of the Marines out here shot a camel with a LAW (light antitank weapon); now he's being charged with destruction of Saudi property. There wasn't enough of the camel left for hamburger, which brings up food. We still eat 2 MREs (Meals, Ready-to-Eat) a day and sometimes a hot meal, which is food that comes in aluminum tins that they warm up . . .