Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Donkeys in the Desert

 Donkeys are cute animals although stubborn (kind of like me I guess) but if you pay them attention they are like a big dog and will follow you around and beg for attention. When I was in Iraq in 2004 I spent a few months based out of Ramadi. The compound we worked out of was next to the town, very bad place by the way and all that separated us from town was a fence/wall and guard towers. Donkeys would wander into the camp each afternoon. This used to bother me somewhat because the Army was in control of the perimeter at that time and did not want the donkeys in camp for various reasons and would round them up each day and heard them out, so I used to wonder if the fence was so secure donkeys could wander in at will without apparent detection what would stop the enemy from doing so, anyway this was life.

Iraqi people are not generally animal lovers and treat all animals as work animals or pests. Americans on the other hand like their animals especially US troops who are looking for any reminder of normal life in a combat area.
Pictured left here is 3 donkeys near our chow hall, the 2 in the back are light colored and harder to see.

Yours truly at right, with a donkey (another behind me begging for attention) near our hooch right at dark.

 Donkey trying to find some more treats. Corpsman (medic) in left of picture threatening to shoot donkey with 9mm pistol if he did not get away. He thought they carried disease.

Most troops were kind to donkeys and would feed them candy and give them a drink, the donkeys figured this out fairly quick and although they were rounded up and and sent "home" each night they always returned back to camp. (as seen in last picture)
One afternoon one young Marine took red spray paint painted a big "USMC" on the side of a light colored donkey. We never saw that donkey again although his friends returned each day.


  1. Duke, you should have packed one up and humped it home.

  2. I don't think they fit in the overhead compartment.

  3. That USMC donkey is probably out fighting radical Islam as we speak.

  4. Stephen, I tried to bring one home as "Organizational Equipment" but there was no listing in our TOA (table of allowance) and as Mudbug points out the don't fit in the aircraft.
    very well.
    Ausprepper, He might have gotten turned into a walking bomb.