It's not just the half-shot knees and some other joints; it's the heat. I just don't handle it as well as I used to. Yeah, it's anywhere from 101-105 lately, but I'm wearing pants or shorts and a shirt. The troops are in heat at least this high, often more, with a considerably less comfortable style of dress. To borrow from a couple of messages from the son his first time in Iraq:
We weighed my body armor today, 90lbs, thats with full battle load of ammo, shoulder guards, side plates, and other useful items.
The useful items?
Camelback attached to the back, starts out the day with 6lbs of ice and 2 liters of water; lasts about four hours, then back to the water bottles.
candy for the local kids
spare lenses for the goggles
a cloth gaiter to pull up and filter out some of the dust.
Add about 3lbs for the helmet and 8 for the m4, plus whatever else you carry like a flashlight, machine gun ammo, etc. and the weight jumps up there quick.
The area they were in when he sent that: daily highs 120-125F. The infantry walking with what were sometimes considerably more of a load for long distances over lousy terrain.
Getting old sucks.