Support our mission
 
Lance Cpl. Chandler Pierce of Santa Rosa, Calif., and Weapons Company, 2nd Battalion, 1st Marine Regiment, guarding the toilet-cleaning crew as it works its way around Camp Baharia, Iraq.
Lance Cpl. Chandler Pierce of Santa Rosa, Calif., and Weapons Company, 2nd Battalion, 1st Marine Regiment, guarding the toilet-cleaning crew as it works its way around Camp Baharia, Iraq. (Charlie Coon / S&S)
Lance Cpl. Chandler Pierce of Santa Rosa, Calif., and Weapons Company, 2nd Battalion, 1st Marine Regiment, guarding the toilet-cleaning crew as it works its way around Camp Baharia, Iraq.
Lance Cpl. Chandler Pierce of Santa Rosa, Calif., and Weapons Company, 2nd Battalion, 1st Marine Regiment, guarding the toilet-cleaning crew as it works its way around Camp Baharia, Iraq. (Charlie Coon / S&S)
Country music fans perform a line dance at Camp Arifjan's zone two Morale, Welfare and Recreation courtyard Monday night in Kuwait. MWR managers said Country and Western night always has the biggest turnout.
Country music fans perform a line dance at Camp Arifjan's zone two Morale, Welfare and Recreation courtyard Monday night in Kuwait. MWR managers said Country and Western night always has the biggest turnout. (Fred Zimmerman / S&S)
Corpsman 2nd Class Robert Hamilton of Jacksonville, N.C., oversees four other Navy corpsmen who are attached to the 2nd Light Armored Reconnaissance Company at Camp Baharia, Iraq.
Corpsman 2nd Class Robert Hamilton of Jacksonville, N.C., oversees four other Navy corpsmen who are attached to the 2nd Light Armored Reconnaissance Company at Camp Baharia, Iraq. (Charlie Coon / S&S)

Lance Cpl. Chandler Pierce of Santa Rosa, Calif., 2nd Battalion, 1st Marine Regiment, got the unsavory job this week of guarding a mostly-Iraqi work crew as it cleaned the Camp Baharia’s 134 portable toilets.

“I’ve smelled better,” said Pierce, 22, as he stood downwind from the toilet truck as it passed through the 2nd Light Armored Reconnaissance Company’s camp.

The crew used a large vacuum hose attached to the truck to suck the johns dry and then washed them down with a power sprayer, leaving behind a fresh roll of toilet paper in each. Pierce said his job was to make sure the crew didn’t put bombs in the latrines.

Pierce, of course, isn’t the first U.S. servicemember to pull latrine duty; he isn’t even the first in his family.

“My father [former Army Sgt. Earl Pierce] used to tell me stories about how he used to burn the [waste] back in Vietnam,” he said.

Dancing the night away

Music fans can enjoy the latest tunes and put on their dancing shoes at the Morale, Welfare and Recreation zone 2 courtyard on Camp Arifjan, Kuwait.

Troops can swing their partners each Monday during country & Western night, followed by Tuesday’s latest R&B sounds. Wednesdays are reserved for techno/trance music, and Thursdays feature the laid back sounds of reggae. Budding stars can make themselves known at open microphone/karaoke night on Fridays, and MWR spices things up on Saturdays for salsa night. The music, being spun by volunteer troops, begins at 7:30 p.m. each night and ends at 11 p.m.

Other MWR sites on the smaller “sub-camps” on Camp Arifjan — Truckville, Camden Yards and Arlington — also hold the themed music nights, but not on the same days.

MWR managers said the most popular night at each facility is country & Western night. They said honkey tonk fans will travel to each MWR location for their country night. The salsa night runs a close second, they said.

Air Force Tech Sgt. Charles Daniels, with the 887th Expeditionary Security Forces Squadron, said he’s not surprised with the musically themed nights.

“I went TDY to Turkey and they had country night there,” he said. “I also went to Korea and they had it there, too.”

Daniels said it may not be the typical saloon back home, he said it does bring a piece of the States to the desert.

Use what works

Since the 2nd LAR company is an infantry-mechanized unit and no women are assigned to it, it was odd to see a small stack of tampons in its one-room aid station. It turns out, though, that medics think they’re perfect for quickly treating some gunshot wounds.

“They fit and they swell,” said Corpsman 2nd Class Robert Hamilton, who heads the company’s medical staff. “You use whatever you can get hands on.”

Hamilton, of Jacksonville, N.C., said he picked up the technique from other corpsmen, but he hasn’t yet had to utilize it. Hamilton said sanitary napkins also come in handy, even in all-male units.

“It’s just a means of soaking up fluid during treatment,” he said.

Migrated

stars and stripes videos

around the web

Sign Up for Daily Headlines

Sign-up to receive a daily email of today’s top military news stories from Stars and Stripes and top news outlets from around the world.

Sign up