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Location: LaGrange, Kentucky, United States

The opinions and interests of a husband, analyst and Iraq war veteran.


Wednesday, February 09, 2005

Re: I Never Got The Memo

Staff Seargent Daniel Felton at Schadenfreude jokes:
During the war, I was on-site at Camp Bucca when it was first built. I spent about five months at what was at the time a Prisoner of War (or EPW, as we call it now) camp.

How times change. I missed out on all the fun.

During my time in the Sand Carnival, as we dubbed the War in Iraq, I found myself immersed in a disturbing atmosphere of rampant sexism, racism, and all manner of other "-isms."

I did what I could at the time to put the brakes on what I thought was inapropriate behavior, but Abu Ghraib and this "mud wrestling night" at an MP camp prove that many leaders let this shit happen anyway.

War is weird. It's a truely surreal environment. If you haven't been there, it's hard to grasp how crazy the emotional landscape is. It's all too easy to get caught up in the heady feeling of power ("We're jolly green giants walking the Earth... With guns! When we rotate back to the world there won't be anyone left worth shooting!") It's up to the low-level leaders there on the ground, there on the scene to keep their men on task. Unfortunately, those leaders are among the youngest and least experienced and most susceptable to this crazy atmosphere.

War vets understand that things like these happen, because they know how the "fog of war" can cloud the thinking of otherwise rational people. I can only imagine the horror that these images evoke in the minds of civilians. But Staff Seargent Felton is certainly entitled to joke that he "missed out."

He understands the Sand Carnival. And his humor even more appreciated when you've been there ;)

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