It’s Not Just War That’s Hell

When I, long last, returned from Iraq in late 2004, I had to relearn how to behave in normal society.I was only gone for 13 months, but in that time I, like everyone else, had to acquire basic survival skills because these wars we were fighting weren’t at all like the ones of the past. Any and every person, local, might be a threat and in fact we were trained to treat all as threats until we could verify otherwise. That was the easy part. Getting used to the food, not just MRE’s but actual “hot food” from a mess hall was one way to lose weight whether you needed to or not. Don’t get me wrong, they tried like hell to provide the best possible. Unless you were in the rear areas, those mostly came down to wishful thinking. Why? Forward areas that had mess halls usually had 2 choices for the evenings entree: some sort of chicken and what I always referred to as “mystery meat”. So, whenI came back to the States, it was a while before I ever wanted to have chicken of any sort” friend, baked, boiled, whatever. Years later, when I’m preparing a menu (fancy!) I rarely consider cooking chicken. War is hell. The food is worse.

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