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Burning poo

Sonny, a friend of mine from high school who was way better at track than me despite his non-aerodynamic bowl haircut, has been blogging from Afghanistan, where he's been deployed as a reservist for the past two weeks. Among the highlights:

So my platoon finally hit the ground yesterday and it brought a huge smile to my face when I saw them get off the bird. Even better, they came bearing gifts. For me, they brought a pistol with a new holster. Kinda cool, huh? Of course I have no ammunition for it and I've never fired one in my life - but it's the thought that counts, right? I'm sure I'll get it squared away eventually. Plus, the bad guys can't tell, right?


I ended up riding along on my first real convoy in a combat zone today. I felt pretty safe throughout though. We ended up driving through the city, and there'd be people all around. It was strange because I hadn't really had to interact with locals at all my whole time here. But today was pretty eye-opening. As we drove through the city, the males would tend to give us scowls and dirty looks. Some of them would smile at us, but most would be either negative or neutral. The kids, though...the kids are a blast. They'd run out to the road and cheer and wave. Some of them would give thumbs up signs or that hand sign that surfers give. It felt great to see that kind of response from all of the kids. I think, for the most part, that they're doing that in the hopes that we'll throw them stuff, like candy or water or whatever else. But we've been reminded over and over again not to do that because it could cause problems with kids rushing the vehicles and causing traffic jams. Anyway, I'm back in one piece still and things seem okay.

and finally,

Burning poo...there are about three or four Afghans that come in the gate every day to burn our poo for us. Oh, how I miss running water. You can see the columns of black smoke rising from the poo buckets every morning, and they burn throughout the day into early afternoon. And the smell lingers for hours. If you've never smelled it yourself, consider yourself one of the lucky ones.

You can read more of his near-daily updates at

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