Improvisational theater of combat


January 02, 2002

In late November, 1,000 U.S. Marines arrived in Afghanistan to pursue the United States' war against terrorism. At first, digging in was a full-time job. The Marines had to dig foxholes - fighting holes, they call them - out of the desert. They ate and slept and worked in the holes. Gradually, they acquired a few comforts as they built latrines and put in generators for electricity.

The Marines had to call upon their ingenuity to accomplish day-to-day needs such as taking a shower and getting a shave. And sometimes they still find themselves sleeping on the ground, though they have been able to occupy a few buildings where they can sleep and read and relax. Soon, the Marines will be leaving their home away from home. Pentagon officials have announced that troops from the Army's Screaming Eagles, the 101st Airborne Division based at Fort Campbell, Ky., will be sent in to relieve the Marines. The Screaming Eagles are expected to begin a long-term deployment of American forces in Afghanistan.

They'd better bring showers.

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