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November 27, 2014

Iraq After The War

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Iraq - A Report From The Frontlines

This is f___ing insane! Here I am in a little Eureka tent in the middle of Iraq during a dirt-storm smelling like a three day old corpse writing a letter on a computer. Oh I forgot to mention the fact that I have a bottle of Iraq's finest whiskey as well. This s___ would peel the tar off a road. It has little things floating in it but I don't really give a f___. I am going to drink some and hope I don't go blind. This country is not dry but we are prohibited from drinking. It seems like the politically correct thing now is to go to war without drinking. Well f____ that, I'm gonna drink tonight. This whole thing has been a mess from the beginning and it appears as though it will only get worse in the end. You will have to forgive me if I fail to break this up into proper paragraphs, I am just gonna ramble along and indent a few times just because. Just read along and pretend I am talking to you. Why don't we say "indent" when we talk? I guess it's because of inflection or some such nonsense. Anyhow, if I indent in the wrong place, just bear with it. Iraq, what a s___-hole this country is. I have been all the way to Baghdad and it all looks the same. It's one giant slum. In the country the people live in mud huts. Everything is dirt colored. I am south of Baghdad at a military airfield near a town called Al-XXX. We just left a dirt field that was by a town called An-XXXXXX or something like that. Every town here is Al something or other. We moved here and guess what? Another dirt field. We own the whole country and we choose to set up in dirt fields. They tell us the serious fighting is done and we are pretty much safe. There are no known enemy units left intact. Funny thing is that some of these people still want to shoot at Americans. I guess they didn't get the word, or perhaps they are pissed at us for liberating their country from them, for them. I guess they don't understand how good it was for us to invade their country. There is nothing like a good invasion by the infidels to put the local population in a first-rate mood. It really elevates the mood to a new level. I can see why these people are pissed off all the time, hell our homeless people live better then this in the states. Just to reinforce how well we have it we drive down the road in hundreds of truck throwing food out the windows to them. I bet that makes them proud, eating the infidel's trash. I wonder what the Koran has to say about that. We are winning there hearts and minds! In the Viet-Nam war they had a saying "We will win your hearts and minds or burn your f___ing huts down!" Well, how in the hell do you burn a mud hut down? I guess we will have to pour bottled water on them and melt them. As I sit here in my tent with the wind beating the s___ out of it and dirt filtering through the walls I am happy. I am living above ground! Can you believe I think living in a tent is a luxury? It's a small two man tent and I have it all to myself. I have a folding stretcher that was liberated by a Staff Sergeant and given to me. It just fits in the tent and has become my bed. It's not wide enough for my shoulders, and it's only three inches off the floor but it sure beats sleeping on cardboard in the bottom of a hole. I fill up the tent and I am not really sure who they use to measure these things to determine that they are two man tents. I guess they use skinny midgets as test dummies because I would have to be spooning with my tent-mate to fit two of us in here. The Marine Corps still frowns on those same sex relationships so I am forced to live alone. Most of the Marines are not of the midget variety so they rotate nights in the tent and nights in the dirt. I can't imagine being in here with another body that stinks as bad as I do. I would most likely puke or cause him to puke, either way it would just be fowler then it is now. It's been over a month since my last shower, and some days it's over a hundred degrees in the shade. Yes sir! You work up a sweat just breathing air. We do wash ourselves but pouring water over your head with a canteen cup and rubbing the mud around with a dirty rag doesn't really give you that Saturday night going on a date clean feeling. We call it changing the mud. I change the mud at least every three days so I am clean! In between mud changing's I wipe myself down with baby wipes. There is something about a 6'1" man armed with a rifle, pistol and a couple hand-grenades smelling like a baby's ass that is just not right. They really need to come up with commando scented baby wipes so we smell right. How the hell can you take over nations smelling like a baby's ass? It's embarrassing! We need to smell the part. The toilets. Yes in deed I can live in my bathroom after this. Have you ever thought of how nice that would be? Out here we have these lovely s__ers. I would say they were outhouses but that would be a lie. An outhouse would be an improvement over these things we have. There are three stalls or I should say three holes in which to drop a load in. They are not round holes they are triangular. It is simply a sheet of plywood and three holes. There are no seats so you just sit on the plywood. When you drop your load it falls into half a 55 gallon drum and there it sits so you may view the last Marines load. Now in a normal outhouse you would find a deep hole underneath and when it gets พ's of the way full you would dig a new hole and move the outhouse over that hole. You would fill in the old hole and be done for a month or so. Here in the Marine Corps we like to create new and fun things to do so we opt out on that method. We prefer to burn it. Oh yum what a treat. You find a group of Marines and assign them the job of burning the s___ers. It takes about four hours and five gallons of diesel fuel to burn one can. There are three in each s___er and they may only burn two at a time so at least one is available for deposits. These s___ers must be at least 50 feet from a work or sleep area. They surround the camp so no matter which way the wind blows you can have the lovely aroma of scorched s___ drifting through your area. It takes about eight hours to burn all three so you get eight hours of fragrance each day. It's not the most pleasant smell I have ever inhaled and when you accompany that with the aroma of baby wipes and sweating bodies it's just plane nasal overload. Imagine smelling a sweaty baby's ass packed with burnt s___, covered in dust and you would about have it. I almost forgot the buzzing sensation you get while sitting on the hole. Flies! Hundreds of them, as soon as you drop trousers they attack. They are all over you and when you look at the mess below you realize what must be on their little feet. Perhaps these flies hover when they eat so they aren't tracking other peoples poop all over you. Do flies really barf on their food before they eat it? If they do that means as I empty my bowels I am getting a paintjob on my ass consisting of fly puke and someone else s___. Speaking of bugs, well I have fleas! Yes, indeed fleas! They are eating me alive. I guess they are sand fleas or some other nice sounding name. These little monsters just eat and eat and then I scratch and scratch. All of the scratching tends to rip open the skin and then you bleed. Now bleeding is a sure sign that you are among the living so I guess that is good in a sense. The problem is how to keep the little scabs and bloody wounds from becoming dirty and infected when you can't shower. That takes a little work and so far I have not found the answer. I am working on it. We were told that the dirt has an extremely high fecal content so we should avoid consuming it. We should wash ourselves regularly and avoid the dust. As I sit here covered in fecal laced dust I wonder how I am supposed to accomplish all of these things. I guess I will figure out a way to stop the wind and then we won't have dust storms. I am working on that but until then I will just drink my fecal mochas and enjoy the new taste sensations. I wonder if Starbucks will have that on the menu for us when we get home. Here in Iraq we also have mosquitoes, they attack right at sundown just like a normal mosquito. The only real difference between these here in Iraq and ours back in the land of flush toilets would be malaria. These mosquitoes are of the almost lethal variety. Knowing this makes you beat the crap out of yourself for about an hour each night and adds a whole new meaning to watching the sunset. After an hour of sunset aerobics we can then crawl into our sleeping bags to feed the fleas for a few hours. After feeding the little vampire fleas all night we rise to a bright sunny day! Soon it will climb into the triple digits and the wind will give us a fresh dusting of fecal powder to stick in the sweat produced because of the heat. When a Marine out here is eating and he says this tastes like s___ you can take that to the bank! He knows what he is talking about because the Preventive Medicine Technician gave us a class on the fecal content in the dirt of our little piece of Iraq. I must not forget my sleeping bag. Gosh what a treat that is. I have been sleeping in it since February and now it's May. I have slept in my bag at the bottoms of holes I dug, under vehicles, on top of vehicles, beside vehicles and inside vehicles. I have slept in my bag through sandstorms, rainstorms and brainstorms. I have even been known to sleep in my bag though explosions. Pretty much no matter what the day brings I end up in my bag. It's been a month since my last shower and guess what? I'll sleep in my bag that way too. There is so much grime and slime on it that the fecal dust won't even shake off anymore so I guess now I sleep in a s___bag! This is a desert so you may wonder where we get our water. I will tell you. It comes from the Tigris and the Euphrates rivers. It's dredged up from a canal about four miles from our pile of dirt. They attempt to purify it but I guess the science is not exact because we have all had Saddams Revenge. It's pretty good stuff because you get to throw-up from the top and the bottom. Sometimes you get to do them both at the same time. This is accompanied by a fever and wonderful stomach cramps. When you add the heat and constant sweating, bug-bites, lack of real showers filthy clothing and fecal dust everywhere it's lots of fun! Don't drink the water and then you get dehydrated so you end up the same way. At least when they re-hydrate you at the battalion aid station you get clean pure water. The only draw back to that method of re-hydration is the fact that you receive your water via an intravenous injection (IV). Well that's not fun either but at least you can pick your method of sickness. Drinking the water or not drinking the water it's the same damm thing. I know this all sounds pretty fun but it's really not. You don't want to plan your next camping trip with Iraq as a stop. This is not on the top ten lists of must see places. Some say that this is the birthplace of civilization, if that's true then God (if there is one) has a sense of humor. He is one funny entity. All joking aside as I look at these people and all that they don't have I am thankful for the things we do have as Americans. Most of these people don't know what a phone is and have never heard of cable TV. They don't have running water and they live worse everyday then I am living right now. The things we expect they don't even dream of. I wish everyone back there in the states could come over here and live like this for a week. How many relationships built on true love ended today over something that really doesn't mean s___? Just because someone got unhappy? We demand to be happy and run as soon as it gets rough. Do you want to know what rough is? In my eyes it's seeing children begging for our garbage on the side of the road. Seeing children happy when we toss food to them that we ourselves won't eat, seeing a Childs face light up because you gave him a bottle of clean water to drink. That is rough; imagine your child having to do that. We as Americans let everything else get in the way of what is important. Take a look around you and be thankful for what you have. Don't look at the house, cars, or your bank account for they mean nothing. Look at the ones you love, and what they really mean to you. Are those things that bother you all that important? Try to imagine your loved one living like I am. Imagine them living like these people live. I have been a Marine for 21 years and this has been the most rewarding thing I have done. I only have to imagine my son begging for food and I can see what's important. I and those around me are doing this so people we don't even know don't have to watch their children beg for food. Turn off the TV, Shut out the world for a night, draw your loved ones close and spend some time with them. They are all that matters. I am glad I got to visit because it reminds me to be thankful that I am an American. I am thankful.

(identity withheld)

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