Life in the Danger Zone

It's a rainy night in early February, and the Filipinos at Camp Charlie, a coalition base 80 kilometers south of Baghdad, are ready to kick back after a long day of soldiering. Instead of eating another starchy meal in the mess hall, they fry some fish and slaughter a goat they've bought at the local market. To burn off its hair, they douse it with gasoline and light it on fire, before barbecuing it. Afterward, several soldiers adjourn to the barracks' meeting room and, snacking on shrimp chips and sipping nonalcoholic beer and diluted vodka, stay up until nearly midnight dancing...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!