Sunday, December 25, 2016

A Letter from Iraq

A Letter from Iraq
This time of year we look around and reflect on the things we are thankful for, consider what we’ve accomplished, and anticipate the changes we want to make for the New Year.

As everyone reflects, I encourage you to take a moment to consider what a blessing it is to have the absolute basics and offer prayers for those that don’t. For instance; our troops.

While you may think this is a post highlighting what they’ve endured or how we should be more grateful, let me change direction. I offer instead, merry words of wisdom and laughter to brighten your night (while also, reminding you how great things are because really, you aren’t burning trash to stay warm….)

A letter from my brother while he was in Iraq. For those that have different “reading voices,” I plead with you to carefully select and proceed with the most sarcastic tone you have saved. He should be a writer; right?!

“Parents, sibling, and pets, (we only had one pet, please also note the lack of “dear”)

How goes it back in the land of running water, flushing toilets, warm beds, and food besides MRE’s? Hope all is well, health is good, knees are healing (mother had a knee replacement surgery), colleges are accepting (written during my senior year) and jobs are hiring. Over here in the land of sand, with bottled water, dig your own toilet, smelly sleeping bags, and nothing besides MRE’s (MRE=Meals Ready to Eat, disgusting freeze dried food that has only marginally gotten better with time) and VGR’s (economy sized MRE’s for groups, we call them Useless Grunt Rations), everything is cold and dusty, as is to be expected.
We have begun this wonderful mission where we stay up most nights in the freeing cold, in a screen line, where our LAV’s are spread in a line, and we look for smugglers. It’s so gay, it makes Elton John look straight.
Last showered approximately 5 pairs of socks ago. Have stopped judging things by time, only by whether or not I can stomach the smell and feel of my socks another day. It will be approximately 3-4 more pairs of socks until my mission of scrubbing the jungle of fungi and bacteria off all anatomical parts is achieved.
The best mornings are when we resupply and have a lot of trash so that we can make a fire to stay warm. Sort of like homeless people. We build trash fires to stay warm and are wearing pretty much everything we own to stay warm. It’s sad, it really is (contrary to popular belief, the average at night in the winter in Iraq is 30’s). We rely on other people’s handouts (packages), our packs could be considered our shopping cart, because it has the majority of our possessions in it, and our bathing habits aren’t what you would call regular. Not saying we smell, but I could probably throw one of those aforementioned socks into a florist, and put them out of business. We’re an assault on the olfactory system (Brandon has to be fancy with his big words, it’s how you perceive smell), smashing into it like Katrina into New Orleans (I think his sense of sensitivity and political correctness went out the window in those conditions…just kidding he never had either of those). Every night I get into my sleeping bag, it’s like the Hulk Hogan of bad smells slapping into the face.
Well, that’s it from this dusty, desolate, domain. Hopefully the next time correspondence is exchanged, we will have bathed and done laundry. I almost feel bad for the laundry people, and then I remember they stay on base all day and night. Those bastards.

                                                                                    Love you all,
                                                                                    Son, sibling, owner”

*Everything in blue is my addition for context*