Plywood, Bolt Cutters and Stolen British Meat... My 4th of July Story.
For months we had been occupying a house on the outskirts of an Iraqi city and for that entire time we had nothing but frozen food labeled "Fit For Prison Use" (I am not lying, that was on the packaging). As the 4th of July neared we decided we would do whatever possible to create a meal that would rival a backyard BBQ back in the states.
We built a "smoker" out of a barrel and some scrap metal laying around the backyard and bribed some locals with a few pieces of not-so-warped 3/4" plywood for some charcoal, lighter fluid (so we wouldn't have to use "MOGAS" to light the charcoal), and wood chips. Now came the hard part..."acquiring" some meat.
We found ourselves on a larger British compound; we asked around for some good meat, but were quickly denied. So after some snooping we watched the cooks transferring meat from a refrigerated Connex to the chow hall. Once the team agreed that the meat would better serve an American 4th of July celebration, rather than a British lunch, we waited for the afternoon mortar attack that occurred like clockwork. Utilizing this distraction we raided the British meat locker using the universal key(aka "bolt cutters")and quickly exfiled the area.
This being the first "home cooked" meal in months, coupled with the fact that we had taken this meat from a British compound to celebrate American independence from the British, made it the best tasting meal ever. Followed with a game of soccer against some locals, and a night sky filled with star clusters, flares, and a couple cases of "near-beer"; we all felt almost normal.
P.S. Weeks later we returned to the British compound to a surprisingly warm welcome. They found the idea of stolen British meat being used on American 4th of July celebration to be quite ironic. They were a good group of guys.