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Answered 2008-05-07 18:52:52

US Sailors (US Navy) & US Airmen (US Air Force) often had facilities to shower and shave, as they had larger and more modern bases. US Soldiers (US Army) & US Marines (US Marine Corps) had more primitive facilities, such as "Firebases" or just living in the field (for civilians who have never been in the military, being in the field is like "CAMPING"). "Firebases" were like old time army forts in the old west, during the frontier times in the United States (1800's). Water was taken from creeks/rivers and purified by the US Army Engineers with generaters & other engineering equipment. If the engineers weren't present, then the men had to use iodine tablets in their canteen water, to make it safe to drink. If there was no shower point (a tent with a portable shower), then baths had to be taken in the river or creek. The US Army/US Marine steel helmet (steel pot) was used as a water pot to shave in. An empty can of soda or beer was used to hold water to brush your teeth with. Tooth brushes were handed out in SP packages (Sundries Pack): A clear plastic bag containing cartons of cigarettes, tooth brushes, M & M candy, writing tablets, and blue colored ink pens, was handed about once a month; situations permitting. If not, the "C" ration accessary pack contained a piece of wood (looked like a crude toothpick) to brush your teeth with, using canteen water.

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