In 2003 I was part of the invasion force which crossed into Iraq. You could not imagine the organized chaos which ensued for the next four months until life normalized. I spent 13 months in Iraq and 9 years after my return the memories of the place will creep up on me from time to time but in the most part, I reminisce on positive recollections. One such remembrance smelled like crap. No really the memory really does smell like dung. It’s hard to explain but during the initial phase of the war there were no toilets, no electricity and no modern conveniences. One of our jobs while out in the forward operating area was to burn our feces. So we would do our business in a large metal drum or bucket. When the container filled, the chosen troops would pour Karosine into the bucket and burn our own excrement. It was a bit more difficult than that, a soldier would continually have to stir the muddy concoction and add more fuel into the mix. Well to say the least, it was a smelly job. It was during these times, which I met some of the best friends that I will ever have. Dan, Lewis, Keith, Matt and I would spend hours burning crap but we made the best of it. In fact, I can tell you that I have never laughed so much in my life then I did during that duty (excuse the pun). It was a relatively safe job at the time and if you were surrounded by good people it proved that even the crappiest job could be fun.
When I remember the war, I try to remember the positive times but endeavor to never forget the sacrifice made by those who have served.