You Know You Have Been in Iraq Too Long When:
When mortars land near your compound and you roll over in bed and think “still way off, I got another 5 minutes”
When you start humming with the Arabic song playing on the radio on the shuttle bus
Every woman that reports to your unit starts looking attractive
Every guy that reports to your unit starts looking attractive
You walk an extra 6 blocks to eat at the KBR (contractor run) dining facility to have the exact same food they are serving in your dining facility because you think it tastes better
You actually volunteer for convoy security duty because you still haven’t seen the country yet
You start picturing your wife in traditional Arab dress
The contractors have more fire power than the military combat units. (This is true)
You take the time to add your lines to this list
You’ve spent $200 dollars at Haji mart on DVDs buying Basic Instinct, 9 and ½ weeks, and Body of Evidence just for the sex scenes
You drink the water from the tap because you want to drop 20 pounds in two weeks
Driving around in SUVs with weapons pointed out the windows and forcing cars off the road seems very normal to you
You can put your body armor and helmet on in the dark in under 5 seconds
When the organization you work for has changed its name more than 3 times
When you can actually talk to people in the United States on a cell phone, yet you can’t get people on their cell phone a block away
When you actually spend more time writing e-mail about the dog in the compound versus how to conduct the fight in Najaf
Your idea of a fun Thursday night is to go to the Palace pool to watch the State Department folks get drunk, naked and try to pick each other up
When you actually get excited to get a package that contains 3 pair of socks, 12 bars of soap and a Victoria Secret Catalog
When you start to enjoy the rocking of the trailer every time the MEDEVAC choppers fly over
You memorized every episode from the 4th Season of Sex in the City
You enjoy the audience commentary while watching a movie bought at Haji mart
You see celebratory fire going over the compound at night and think, “wow the colors are so pretty” and want to fire back
Your thinking of buying real estate in the green zone
Your idea of sex is 20 minutes of Instant Messaging with your wife on the computer, OK, 10 minutes, who are you kidding?
You wake up and think Baghdad, I am still in friggin Baghdad
You make the new guy show you his count down timer just to make you feel better about your time you have left in country
You’re in the Army and you start saying Ooorah
You’re in the Marines and you start saying Hooah
You’re in the Navy and you realize you are in the middle of the desert, the exact opposite of being in the middle of the ocean, where one might normally find the Navy.
You’re in the Air Force, and you’re on the plane home because an Air Force tour is too short to have been a long Iraq tour. Ignore this list, zoomie, you won’t get it.
You only notice the stench of Haji funk when its not there
You plan on removing all trees and grass in your yard when you get home so it will look more natural
You forget there are other colors than brown that can be found in places other than power point slides
The temp drops down to 102 degrees and you shiver while reaching for your Gortex jacket
You have noticed a change of season, from long, hot and dry to short, cold and wet.
When you call home and your kids ask “Who is this?”
You call home and your wife says hello Bill (your name is Sam)
When you go on R&R, you duct tape your child to the roof of your car, hand him a pellet rifle, and assign him a sector of fire for the ride to “The Olive Garden.”
When you can comfortably shave and brush your teeth using bottled water, but don’t mind showering in the “non-potable” local water.
While on R&R, you look out the window and find Nature, which leads you to wonder who stole your sandbags.
When some of the contractors wear their DCUs (Desert pattern camouflage uniform) more properly than some of your soldiers.
When 12 hours is a short work day
You go Battle Captains!
When, During the BUA, “DIV asked MNSTC-I for the FRAGO that MNC-I was supposed to publish, but couldn’t because MNF-I hadn’t weighed in, since they were too inundated with MOD and MOI war-gaming the JCCs within the ISF to square us away!” is a valid comment and generates no questions.
When you start using words like G’day mate, Cheers, and Bloody hell as part of your normal vocabulary
When you have your opinions printed in the STARS and STRIPES more than 3 times
When the palace catches fire and instead of helping to put it out you grab a bag of marshmallows and start roasting
When you step into any office and there are 6 colonels, 12 lieutenant colonels, 15 majors, and 8 captains supervising the work of 1 sergeant
When you end every phone conversation with “Out”
When you’re ordered to get an air mission together on short notice because it’s a “Hot priority” only to have the Major call back once he is in the air to ask “Does anyone know where I am going?”
When the weapon buyback program has become so successful that you have issued the same AK-47 to the Iraqi army 3 times
When you can actually tell the difference between the sound of an exploding car and an exploding mortar
When on R & R you tell your wife that your weapon status is Red and your looking for the clearing barrel
When on R&R you go to Church and wonder why no one is wearing body armor or carrying an automatic weapon to the service
You see an indirect fire attack take out a generator and get angry at the enemy for not hitting the one that powers your computer
You see an indirect fire attack take out an air conditioner and your vigor to fight is renewed
You yell at the FNG for shouting incoming when the rounds don’t impact close enough to hit your tent with dirt
You know that you need to run inside immediately after any win of an Iraqi sports team to keep from being hit by celebratory fire
You decide for that for shits and grins – lets take a run around Lost Lake at Camp Victory to see if we can get shot at by the sniper
You never worry about oversleeping because if the morning call to prayers doesn’t wake you, the daily 0430 mortar attack will (most mornings)
The highlight of your shopping experience at the PX is to see that they got in a new shipment of Schick Tracer razor blades
When you send out your laundry and your whites become grayer, your blacks become grayer and your DCU’s become grayer – makes it easier to sort loads…
You get offended by people wearing clean, pressed DCU’s
You decide that it is a better course of action to pull your blankets over your head than put on your body armor during a mortar attack – the woobee will save you and at least you are comfortable
You make a contest out of seeing who can wear their uniform for more days before becoming entirely disgusted with themselves
You wonder if the fish served at dinner really was carp caught out of the Tigris or Camp Victory’s lake
You find it completely acceptable to pick your nose while talking to a complete stranger or member of the opposite sex
A rocket or a mortar really isn’t a big deal until the crater it leaves is big enough to trip over in the dark on the way to the latrine
You go to a social gathering and intermittent gun fire or explosions don’t even cause a pause in the conversation