11-26-2003, 05:46 PM #1
I know this is long but PLEASE READ!
This is 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 sh!t would peel the tar off a road. It has
little things floating in it but I don't really give a f!ck. 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!ck 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.
Iraq, what a sh!t-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!cking 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 sh!t 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 sh!tters. 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 3/4'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 sh!tters. It takes about four hours and five gallons of diesel fuel to
burn one can. There are three in each sh!tter and they may only burn two at
a time so at least one is available for deposits. These sh!tters 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 sh!t 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 sh!t, 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 sh!t.
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 sh!t 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 sh!tbag!
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 sh!t? 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.
11-26-2003, 05:52 PM #2
ummmmm nope.. thats to long I just read the last paragraph!!
11-26-2003, 06:03 PM #3
it was good you should read it bigol'
11-26-2003, 06:05 PM #4
**** that was long... the only thing that hits me right away is that I miss my X even more than I did before. Call me a wuzz or whatever.
11-26-2003, 06:11 PM #5
Nice read.....but long....lol
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