On our second deployment, Corporal Ryan’s squad caught a puppy out in the city. They carried it back through the front gate of Camp Baharia in the machine-gun turret of the lead Humvee. Lieutenant Fischer didn’t notice for the first week. We named the puppy after the dirt-filled HESCO barriers we built to fortify the abandoned Iraqi guard compound we lived in. On Wednesdays, a truck brought hot breakfast over from the main camp. Hesco ate at least one piece of bacon from everybody. The rest of the week he ate MREs. His farts started smelling like ours.


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