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WARNING..this post contains lots of references to Poo. Those with weak stomach may just want to skip it.

Well, I am finally home after my 3 month deployment to the Middle East.
The food was terrible. My mother says the reporters were impressed with the MRE's and even gained weight. It's easy to be impressed when you don't have to eat them at every meal. I didn't think they were so bad at first either, but after about 6 weeks, I would gag just smelling the heaters. The reason the reporters gained weight is because they probably didn't poo for a few weeks. MRE's are colon glue. Dehydrated, compressed, preserved meat and a cheese spread that wouldn't. Oh, you'd try to spread it, but it would simply roll itself up into a big, shiny, orange ball of caulk, and then later, bind your colon.
The toilets were nothing like the classy American port-o-potties you are used to. There was no blue chemical water, just pure poo stew. They would become full to the point where you couldn't sit down! They had a vent pipe that ran from the tank to the top of the john, and it produced some very startling breezes. At my first location, the port-o-johns were steel sheds, and you just can't imagine the Turkish bath like feel, but I digress (probably too late for some of you). During the worst sandstorm (right after the war started) a Marine was using a john at around 3:00 AM. The john blew over, door down and there he was, laying in the sewage until about 6:00 AM, when someone woke up and walked close enough to hear him screaming over the wind. I hope he got a medal.
No showers at first, then a week or so later, gang showers, no privacy. Someone kept poo-ing in the men's shower tent. I got a tonail fungus (I think).
12 women to a tent, Mice (really cute mice though) and spiders were also in the tents. We had a colony of big, carpenter ant sized ants move under out tent and they would crawl on us in our sleep. I'd feel crawlies on me, wake up, bolt upright, and of course, the ants would fall INTO my sleeping bag and there would be a scramble to get out and find them with my flash light before they could touch me again. I lay awake many nights for fear that one would crawl up my nose while I slept. They laughed at my mosquito net and managed to get in every night.
Sandstorms that plumb blew two entire tents away. You'd have sand plastered to your scalp, in your ears, nose, eyes…and no showers yet. Ear cleaning was painful. We'd all look like Umpa-Lumpa's by days end with our orange stained faces and white eye area from the goggles. Everything was dirty, everything was gritty. When I got to my final departure base, (which was a country club in comparison, with only 4 women per room and indoor plumbing) it took 8 hand washings to get the water to run clear. I washed a jacket in the sink to wear home and the water was chocolate milk colored for 7 washings. It took 12 washings to get clear water. Dirty, dirty, dirty.
People who just impressed the hell out of me and never complained about the conditions. Boys, who still had their baby fat on their faces going off to fight and many not returning. We had so many memorial services. There was an Army ranger who wasn't even old enough to drink yet. He's come by work and talk to me about his mom and her restless leg syndrome and how he worried, and he sorta liked chick movies, and his girlfriend wanted to get married and he wasn't so sure, and his dog that was staying with a friend and he hoped his friend wasn't giving the dog too much beer, and just a sweet kid who never came back from a mission. I wish I'd known his name, but I never asked. It didn't seem important at the time.
My Homecoming was great, although I flew for 21 combined hours and was afraid the plane would crash and I'd die before I could ever see my husband again. But, there he was, bouquet of roses in hand and there I was crying like a big baby. My cats were a bit leery of me at first, but that only lasted maybe 5 minutes, then they were begging for belly rubs and chin scratches. Hubby keeps wanting to go out to eat, but my appetite hasn't really returned yet and I can't eat much at a sitting. The fridge is empty except for a bottle of Italian dressing and some eggs that I think I bought before I left. Today is grocery shopping, unpacking, clothes washing and magazine reading day.
It's nice to be back and thanks for all the good thoughts.
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Welcome home. Thank you for your efforts and sacrifice to protect the rest of us.
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The toilets were nothing like the classy American port-o-potties you are used to.

I think we all need to start a campaign to get our men and women in uniform the finest port-a-potty technology: the iLoo.

http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story2&u=/030506/170/3zk3j.html&e=2



--WP

PS: Welcome home, hippeau.
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Welcome home, Hippeau - we missed you, and we're so glad you're safe and well.
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Wow. You really were in the thick of it. :( Thank God and America for people like you and may I say again it is so nice to see you on American soil. :)
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<lifting a pretend beer stein> Here's to a job well done! Yay, Hippeau

impolite
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Great anecdotes. The latrines...ah, the latrines. Burning poo was one of the finest work details I think a 1SG could have conceived, and I of course just aggraveted my young soldiers' frustrations when they drew this detail when I asked them if they planned on making 'Smores.

Mark, also not an MRE fan
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It's good that you're back and courageous that you went. I would have been freaked out immediately over the living conditions. The country needs more people like you, Hippeau. But at least now, you have answered my question about who cleans your house. And a damn fine job he does.

elizabeth
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wow wow and triple wow.

Welcome back and thanks for sharing that. There are far too few stories of what it is really like to be stationed in the desert and to have to endure those harsh conditions.

Glad you made it home and may you recover your appetite soon!

P.
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I remember the MRE's. I was bound up literally for a week when I started eating them. I'm not sure if it was also because of jittery nerves as well. Oh well, welcome back and thanks for driving on....
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I remember the MRE's. I was bound up literally for a week when I started eating them. I'm not sure if it was also because of jittery nerves as well. Oh well, welcome back and thanks for driving on....

Sounds like one of the best things you could send to a soldier on active duty is some dried apples. They absorb water and keeps things, um, moving. If only we had known.

P.
ps - dried apples area also good for expectant women whose bodies tend to absorb as much water as they can in order to provide amniotic fluid and water for the developing blood and tissue of the fetus.
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I've got plenty of poo stories here at the Duck house, so nothing fazes me.

Yet, living in those conditions (let alone fight a war) sounds positively awful.

But it's great to have you back and thank you for a job well done for our country.


Duck!
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Thank You.

CB
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Welcome home, and thank you

--sutton
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Hey, that wasn't bad. Remind me to tell you all about the average diaper condition around here...then again, don't. I'd like to forget, myself.

Thanks for going, thank $DEITY you're home safe, and enjoy being able to use a nice flushing American potty again. Or just being able to use the potty, period. I've eaten those MREs too, and paid the price. For a four-five day hike through the woods, it was great. For six weeks, um, er, well...HERE! Have a nice virtual chocolate chip cookie made with real butter and Hershey's chocolate chips! It's even reasonably fresh!!

Onward!
Tamarian
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Thanks Hippeau for sharing your story with us and thanks for the job well-done. I'm so glad you are home, safe and sound.

We are proud of you!
LuckyDog
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I am totally impressed with the courage and tenacity that you displayed in your willingness to fight for America. I will always remember that you gave up so much to stop the evil practices of Saddam's regime.

Cheers to all those who gave up their comfort and their lives to make this world a better place to live.

Thank you for your courageous service.
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Thanks so much for serving, for sharing, for putting up with crawlie things and for dealing with the sewage.

I think indoor plumbing is the best invention yet!

jak
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I can only say THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU to you and all like you
who served in our place! What courage was displayed in such horrible
conditions is too impressive to say.

We are all grateful to you for doing the job you were asked to do and
that needed to be done.

Bob
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Glad you're back, Mags. (that's what I call my sister, who is also in the service BTW)
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I'm late replying here, but BIG THANK YOU.

Glad you are home safe.

Cheryl B.
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Many sincere thanks for your service to our country!

(On a side note, does all this talk about poo mean that you will be changing your name to "Hip-POO-Flip"?)

jrsmith13
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