11 August 2009

Top Ten Things That Abby Won’t Miss About Iraq

10 – Chicken. With rice.

9 – Wearing long pants, boots, a t-shirt and a jacket. In the Middle East. In the summer. If you’re going outside the wire, you can exchange the t-shirt and jacket for a long-sleeve fire-retardant shirt , body armor and gloves.

8 – Fleas.

7 – Clear eye protection. We may all be volunteers, but none of us wanted to grow up and look like seventh-grade shop students whenever the sun goes down.

6 – Endless NCO meetings devoted to deciphering the latest memo from yet another sergeant major with nothing better to do than send out strongly worded but vague policy statements on the wear of the fleece cap.

5 – The 200 yard trudge through the dark to the shower trailer. Hell, the shower trailer. I never took any pictures because they would have made you vomit. And the female shower trailer was the good one.

4 – Weird demands from company headquarters to complete online certifications on systems we couldn’t access. Increasingly hostile messages from company ignoring all appeals for some sort of guidance on access issues.

3 – Observing the effects of Army chow on everyone else’s gastrointestinal systems every time you visit the green closet.

2 – Microgrants. God, I hate microgrants. You would hate them, too, if you were familiar with them.

1 – Holidays with fake, contrived cheer. I’m a zillion miles away from home, sitting in the dirt for reasons that occasionally escape me. Rather than the chaplain’s brief and the UGR-A processed turkey dinner, how about a fifth of whiskey and some privacy?