• April 14, 2009
  • 15

Where the Wild Things Are

During my previous deployment to Iraq I had to contend with all types of exotic creatures which made our lives that much more interesting. These included mosquitoes which extracted blood by the pint, chupacabra sightings which turned out to be feral cats living in our garbage can, and an army of mice which could chew through armored bulkheads, if they thought something edible was on the other side.

This trip I have had to contend with swarms of gnats which blow into your face like an winged tornado. The phenomenon becomes quite interesting during physical exercise. So far I have only swallowed seven of them. It is a far more pleasant experience than keeping your mouth firmly closed and snorting one up a nostril though. Trust me.

As spring moves into summer, we are expected to see an increase in snake activity. Among the various neuro and hemotoxic fiends which inhabit the area are the Desert Black Snake, the Persian Sand Viper, and the Blunt-Nosed Viper. (look closely at boot)All come equipped with a full range of lethality, not unlike your average Marine.

Also available are the nocturnal joys of the local arachnid population. My favorite is the Death Stalker Scorpion. This creature lives throughout Iraq and we are told is very neurotoxic. Fortunately for humanity it is only “relatively aggressive”. Not a trait I admire in predators but for my own safety I’ll take what I can get.

 At night here on Al Assad you can hear the din of strange creatures cavorting about. Some have assumed wild dogs are roaming the area. Others suppose they are coyotes of some kind. The other night one of these lurking nightmares was caught in a live trap by animal control on base.

 That friends, is a wild striped hyena. It looks like some ferocious space dog thing which may have attacked Captain Kirk in an old Star Trek episode. Here is another picture:

Seems there is a pack of these creatures prowling the base. Here is some video:

When I leave the company office at night, I now do it at a full sprint.

Semper Fidelis,

America’s 1st Sgt
/ / / /


  1. Akelamalu, “Crickey!” That’s what I said. The other night it was pitch
    black as I walked from the showers to the hootch. Armed with only a bar
    of soap I remember thinking, “Aw man, wild striped hyenas…”

    T, heebee jeebies, I’m the one facing down mythological creatures AND
    terrorists in the same deployment. Sinbad never even had it like this!

    SuperRobot, no worries, humans are by far the more dangerous threat.

    CoffeyPot, yeah, but then I’d have to get its shots and clean up hyena
    crap around the company area. Policing up Marines is bad enough thanks.

    Katherine, don’t worry, Marines are bred to face nightmares. Besides, we
    got guns ‘n’ stuff.

    Southern, the real horror show was when I and my Company Gunny walked
    through the living areas yesterday. Let the disciplining begin!

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