GIs in Iraq use shipping boxes to fashion private living areas
Stars and Stripes June 2, 2003
BAGHDAD, Iraq — Some U.S. soldiers deployed in Iraq have given new meaning to being “in the box.”
In northeast Baghdad, 2nd Armored Cavalry Regiment troops living in an Iraqi cigarette factory are using cardboard packing boxes to build some privacy.
Spc. Peter Muller, for example, has a 7-foot high cardboard wall around his cot, and he’s added a walk-in closet. A “Vietnam style” tunnel leads to his space.
“If I ever go homeless, I’ll know how to do it in style,” said Muller, 23, of Hudson City, N.J.
Pvt. Abraham Penton, of the Fort Polk, La.-based regiment, built his hooch underneath the steel girders of a cigarette assembly machine at the factory that soldiers call Camp Marlboro.
“We were able to get a little creative due to the natural terrain,” said Miami-native Penton, 19.
The soldiers have used a little ingenuity for their entertainment area. They can watch DVD movies on a laptop computer by taking 15 volts of direct current from the wall socket to charge a 12-volt car battery, which is hooked up to a power conditioner to convert it to 110-volt use, Muller said.
Some of the soldiers use stacks of flattened boxes for mattress pads. They say it’s better than sleeping on the hood of a Humvee.
Spc. Roger Young, 32, of Tyler, Texas, has an outer room with pictures of his wife and daughter taped on the walls and an inner room with his cot. An American flag hangs on his headboard.
“I like to be creative,” Young said.