How war has changed. Saigon. Comfort women. An embarrassing shot from the medic. Booze. Pot. Secrets from wives at home. Soldiers here say, "not this time."
Now they're worried the tables have turned, and that the soldiers' wives are on the make while they live like monks on bases.
"The extent of our social lives is a trip to the porta-john with an FHM magazine," a soldier told me. The troops worry about "Jody."
I'd never heard of it. I know al-Qaida in Iraq, the Mahdi army, and other nefarious death squads that want to kill American troops. But "Jody?" I drew a blank.
A soldier filled me in:
"Jody is the guy that's back home with your wife or your girlfriend," he said, suddenly deadly serious. "He's the guy hiding behind a corner, behind the curtain, hiding in the closet.
"I just hope that I never meet Jody. That's how I feel about it. You never want that to happen to you and you try not to be Jody yourself."
Song for ‘Jody’
The troops told me about cadences, the "work songs" some sing while doing PT (physical training), dedicated to "Jody."
"Ain't no use in going back
Jody's got your Cadillac
Ain't no use in calling home
Jody's got your girl and gone
Ain't no use in feeling blue
Jody's got your sister too
Took away my faded jeans
Now I'm wearing Army greens"
But is it true? Are more soldiers' spouses cheating as deployments pile up? I know of no reliable data. But soldiers here do worry about it, and from what I was told this past week on base, the Jodies should worry too.
One very large, very serious soldier told me, "That Jody just better make sure he's not around when I get back (he paused to spit out some chewing tobacco), that's all I can tell you, or he's gonna have some problems."
- Life beyond the violence
Suicide attacks and murders due to sectarian conflict continue around Iraq. See how residents live their lives amid the attacks.