Best Defense

Annals of sucky deployments: The life of a major marooned in southern Iraq

Army Maj. Jayson Stewart summarizes his 2008 tour of duty as an advisor to a unit of the Iraqi border patrol that actually was based more than 40 miles away from him. "There was a period there where I didn’t get out for four months, and I was only able to entice them to come ...

idovermani/Flickr
idovermani/Flickr

Army Maj. Jayson Stewart summarizes his 2008 tour of duty as an advisor to a unit of the Iraqi border patrol that actually was based more than 40 miles away from him. "There was a period there where I didn’t get out for four months, and I was only able to entice them to come and see me probably once every two to three weeks."

I see this maybe as a Tom Hanks movie. Or John Candy, if he were still with us.

I hope that nobody else has to go through that same experience, because it did suck. I was able to build my own little stadium seating inside one of the more concrete rooms and turned one of my Armed Forces Network receivers and hooked it up to the one-eyed monster and put it on a seven-foot by eight-foot screen and was able to watch football, because I couldn’t go anywhere and I couldn’t do anything.

I think that fits my definition of hell: Isolated in southern Iraq with nothing to do and a year to do it in.

Thomas E. Ricks covered the U.S. military from 1991 to 2008 for the Wall Street Journal and then the Washington Post. He can be reached at ricksblogcomment@gmail.com. Twitter: @tomricks1

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