Instead of losing 15lbs in Iraq, now the average soldier in Baghdad is gaining ten. Hidden in the bloat is a segue into the outrageous profits reaped by KBR, Burger King and Pizza Hut. In the end it is the warrior who pays the price.
Passing time in a rec tent back in Kuwait, I chat with a soft-spoken 28-year-old sergeant who is preparing to fly back into the caldron of Baghdadâ€™s Sadr City after three weeks of R&R in Georgia. In a room strewn with crepe paper palm trees and plastic hula skirts left over from the previous nightâ€™s â€œSpring Fling Luau,â€ the two of us look like attendees at a cornball junior prom. But the sergeantâ€™s mind is a long way from such frivolities: He has recently lost his squad leader, and two other soldiers from his area of operations were killed a few days later.
Burying his head in his hands as we talk, he says: â€œAll the Burger Kings in the world wouldnâ€™t be enough for this. Some of us are on our third or fourth tours, and we just canâ€™t do this anymoreâ€”we really canâ€™t.â€