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So what do you do when nature calls and you are in a combat zone? In combat, you have to shit tactically. What I mean is... if you don't have to go... you need to force it and go. Any break you get... there a few things you have to ask yourself.
- Am I dehydrated?
- How much water do I have?
- Do I have to go?
If you need to go, you better make it fast. The Army doesn't wait for personal breaks. In fact, there should be a manual on this. Because when you are in the midst of an engagement, be it a fire fight, patrol, or just out and about... you just can't pull up to a 7-11 and use the toilet. There has been times where I've seen people had to go during morning runs. What do you do? Well... you just go. That easy. You shit while running. I saw that while in basic training at Fort Benning. Dude had to shit... we were on a three mile run, he just went. I will never forget that scene. Brown sliding down his legs mixed with sweat. Oh you have to be there to smell it!
Now... there were times when we were out on patrol and I had to go. We were clearing this village complex that was about 300x300 meters. There was empty artillery shells buried everywhere and weapons caches. The people in this particular area were giving us a lot of problems. For whatever reason, I was usually almost always in charge of securing the inhabitants. I had to guard them, make sure they don't run off, they don't do anything stupid while everyone else is doing search and seizure operation.
I was watching a young women and her daughter when all of a sudden... my gut bubbles. As my eyes fill with brown, I call over to the medic who was near me. I say, "Doc! I gotta shit" He replies..."What do you want me to do about it?"
So being the good infantry man that I was, I dropped my draws, poped a squat and shat in front of the young women, and her daughter. With my little wang hanging and all the brown exploding out of my ass, they stared at me in disgust, and I stared back at them feeling relief.
I then called over to Doc again, "Hey Doc, you got shit paper?"
He replies, "Sorry"
Then I take my wallet out... pull out some old receipts that I had in it and wiped my bum with it. I rip off a part of my T-shirt and finish it off.
All the while I have the family looking at me. They were holding each other tightly and I would imagine very disgusted at this American soldier. What a way to win the hearts and mind. I just shat in front of an Iraqi family while my platoon destroyed their houses, dug holes in their farm land, drove all over their crops, and took their men as prisoners.
This was an example of shitting tactically. There was no one that could have relieved me, no one was close enough. Doc's responsibility was to watch after the guys and to assist in the search. I was the only one tasked to guard a women and child. #1 of Army general orders is: I will guard everything within the limits of my post and quit my post only when properly relieved.
I had no relief, therefore I continued my mission and accommodated my bowel needs.
Another time, me and a few other guys were manning a check point with the Iraqi Civil Defense Corps. I had the Iraqi squirt. You get these horrible diarrhea that lasts for a day or two every now and then in Iraq. These would be horrible explosive bouts of diarrhea. Well... we were manning a checkpoint, we had to search vehicles. There was traffic everywhere. What do you do? Luckily for me the highway was flanked on both sides by a giant berm. I go over the berm and do my business there. Just my luck that I had an entire Iraqi family over that berm about 250 meters away from me. Being the good infantryman that I was... I dropped draws and proceeded to greet them with my brown Hershey highway. What was funny was that they at first waved at me fanatically and as soon as I squat... they just looked on in disbelief.
In combat, there are no bathroom breaks. In combat, there are no bathrooms, in combat, there is no such thing as personal pride, or shame, you are never too good to do something. You have to let go of whatever you were holding on to, and do the unthinkable. I really didn't have any problem doing what I did in front of them. I just wish that I had a proper toilet to do it in. Squatting and pooping isn't that fun.