Jack from www.gusmcoy.com writes:
I was already on all fours at this point, with my ass in the air like a god-damn Fergie video. I crawled on all fours with my head down, just wanting to make it to the TP. It was becoming a race for time.
read the full story…
The 2003 invasion of Iraq was one of the few times during the Global War on Terror that American Marines have lived in a long period of natural squalor. This was the period before the contracted DFAC (military dining facility), phone center, and laundry facility took a grip in the country. All throughout March and April of that year, the men of 1st Marine Division not only battled a retreating Iraqi Army, but they were living on the move with little food or rest. One MRE (Meal Ready to Eat) a day was the standard for the tired Marines. The monotony of eating the processed meal was becoming overwhelming, and the destitute young men were becoming weak. Lucky for them, the war planners had one more mission for them at the end of the offensive.
The pacification of Tikrit would become 1st Marine Division’s crowning achievement. Three light armored reconnaissance battalions were sent north in the war’s final days to take Saddam Hussein’s hometown. This mission completed the longest land invasion in the history of the United States Marine Corps and solidified US victory. Remember when our kick-ass President let everybody in the world know of our triumph, when he arrived on the USS Abraham Lincoln via Navy 1 and proclaimed, “Mission Accomplished!”
The local population came out in droves to greet us, their great liberators. Dancing in the streets ensued, celebratory fire rang out, and Michael Jackson’s “Beat it” drowned out the Muslim call to prayer. It was a celebration to end all.
My fellow Marines called me Chewy, after Chewbacca, the universe’s favorite hairy sidekick. This name was given to me by my superiors after I showed up to the unit and was immediately questioned about my shaving practices. I gave my face as much Gillette attention as any other good Marine would, but my genetic predisposition to quick facial hair growth gave me the reputation of being someone who needed to constantly have my hygiene practices monitored. Once they realized it was just the way I was, the harassment over me shaving stopped, but the name stuck.
I had become just as caught up with the festivities as the local Iraqis after we took Tikrit. The leadership in my company was having an increasingly difficult time keeping the reins on myself and my comrades. When the elderly Iraqi woman came out of her home with a fresh plate of chicken, it was too much to resist.
“Don’t mind if I do,” was the first thing I said as I grabbed for the delicious looking bird.
This young PFC violently pushed my fellow warriors aside in order to taste the hot, sweet, coveted poultry. I gorged on chicken and guzzled chai as if it was beer at a frat party. I was satisfying the appetite that I had been yearning for a month now. The grease from the chicken dripped down my chin as I chewed and stuffed my happy mouth. With my stomach full, and my hunger satisfied, I joined in with the other Marines in the second thing we longed for, sleep. When I climbed up into my armored vehicle, I rolled happily into the driver’s seat to take a long nap.
1330- I close my eyes
1345- I wake, “Something’s not right.”
I felt something stingy moving up my back. I arched my back to investigate the problem.
I had soiled myself. This grown man, this warrior and liberator, this Marine had soiled himself in his vehicle of war. In order to properly correct this quandary, I had to move slowly and wisely so I could avoid spreading the mess anymore around my body. Ashamed and bewildered, I poked my head outside of the driver’s compartment hatch. I was still so tired and worn that all I wanted to do was change my trousers and resume my rest. My pack was hanging on the side of the vehicle, and it needed to be accessed in order to grab some new trousers. Like most Marines in the company, I only brought two sets of camouflage utilities with me over the border. One that I was wearing and one spare.
Unfortunately for me, a mortar round had sent shards of shrapnel ripping through my pack a few days earlier. I put on the new hole riddled trousers and quietly packed away the soiled ones so as not to be noticed by my comrades who would most likely never let me live it down. Rest, I just wanted rest. It was embarrassing, but I needed sleep. Operations would be resuming soon.
1405- I close my eyes
1440- I wake
In the back of the 14-ton vehicle, a Marine known as Mr B was awoken by my blood curdling scream coming from the driver’s compartment.
“Chewy, you OK?” he asked.
My voice cracked and I shamefully replied, “I fuckin’ shit myself.”
Tears were beginning to build under my eyes. Bootcamp had taken all of my pride and freedoms away. Throughout my short time in the Marine Corps, I had learned there was no such thing as privacy. But this was something I had never dealt with. I had no control over anything anymore. Not even my hall of fame regions. Earlier, I was being hailed as a hero by a grateful people, but I had now managed to hit rock bottom in the matter of an hour. ROCK FUCKIN’ BOTTOM!
Mr B immediately took it upon himself to mock me in every possible way. Marines will always protect each other in combat and on the hunt for ass, that’s about it. Any other time Marines interact with each other it is a stream of insults in order to mentally breakdown your brother. Sickness in war is as old as conflict itself. A warrior teasing his comrades for being sick in the field is also as old as conflict.
Mr B was informing anybody within earshot of my predicament, “Hey Fish, Chewy got shit everywhere.”
Ike, the gunner of the vehicle approached us junior Marines, “Hey…Corporal Ike, Chewy shit himself.”
Ike responded, “That’s nice. 2nd platoon found a weapons cache. Grab the C-4, we’re movin’ in 5 mikes.” He then calmly turned to me and added, “You smell like an infant. Change your pants.”
I now stood on my vehicle facing the greatest dilemma of my life. In my left hand I held the trousers from my private embarrassment. In the right, I held the public one. It was my only two sets of camouflage bottoms. I gazed at the two pairs of pants with my eyes half open and my mouth dropped. I stared at these pants with a lifeless thousand yard stare. I had five minutes to make the decision of which trouser had the least amount of stomach problem on it. It was a tossup. I had learned early on in my Marine training that quick thinking can mean the difference between life and death. So I chose the first incident, put my bottoms on, sat in the driver’s seat, and waited for movement.
The 15 minute drive to the open field where the weapons were to be detonated was the most miserable experience of my enlistment. As soon as we stepped off from our position, I felt it brewing again. What did I care? How worse could it get? I drove the massive vehicle weaving through back alleys of the ancient city and pushing through oxen herds. Sweat began to pour out of my brows as I held in my tears. On that drive, I became so consumed with the question of “should I just go again?” I was able to hold off long enough to arrive at the destination. As soon as my platoon pulled up to the detonation site, I hurled myself over the vehicle and made a mad dash for the open field.
The next part of the story is almost too graphic to print. To say the least, I wreaked havoc. The Marines of my company had gathered around to watch the spectacle at this point. They laughed and mocked me as I was struggling to save my health. The worst part was not that my fellow brothers-in-arms were laughing at me, but as I lifted my head I saw that the local peoples-who were originally drawn to the site by the “big boom” that was about to happen-were watching in horror as my bright white ass defamed their land. Men, women, and children saw this American in the worst of my existence. After their initial shock, they too began to cackle. It was the purest form of shock and awe. I slumped over on my side and held my arms up slowly as if it was my last dramatic breath.
“Mr B…Mr B,” I said in a half-weeping, half-moaning voice, “Shit paper! Give it!”
Mr B just stood there hesitantly as the timed detonation was drawing near.
“You fuckin’ ass butt! Please!” I screamed.
The MREs given to the troops always contained toilet paper. The Marines of my vehicle had spent months accumulating these wipes. With that, Mr B grabbed the Ziploc full of TP in the back and hurled it towards me. It landed a good ten feet away from me.
I was already on all fours at this point, with my ass in the air like a god-damn Fergie video. I crawled on all fours with my head down, just wanting to make it to the TP. It was becoming a race for time. When I reached my destination, I knew that I could not solve this problem with a simple wipe of my ass. There was a problem to solve and I needed to find the most probable solution. I grabbed the wipe with the laughter still ringing in the background. I shuffled it around, twisting it, smoothing it, molding it until it became what my fellow Marines would later refer to as a work of art. It was perfectly soft, ergonomic, and phallic in design. It would be used to plug what I had self-admitted I had no control over anymore. It became standard for the Marines who would become sick later. It became known as the MAN-PON. I then did what all of you are expecting…I shoved it up my ass to plug the uncontrollable.
Afterwards, I reluctantly double timed my way back to the vehicle with my head down.
The C-4 detonated the thousand pounds or so of small-arms weapons while this relieved Teufel Hunden walked back to my comrades. Lucky for me, there was an empty ammo can I was able to use to scrub the thread soaked stains from the rear of my trousers. I was still sick, tired, and embarrassed from the couple of hours my world was turned upside down.
The next few nights, I volunteered for every single watch throughout the day and night. It didn’t matter how much sleep I would lose, or how much boredom I would endure. I would do anything to avoid falling back asleep. The MAN-PON held up strong throughout the next few days, and while I came upon this solution through my own misery, the Marines of our battalion would adopt it as the standard practice to combat explosive situations.