Every now and then I walk around the forward operating base (FOB) and notice that we haven't yet erased all of the murals and pictures of former Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein. One such mural appears along the side of a road on the base. Every few weeks, some pranksters will come along and replace Saddam Hussein's face with that of someone or something else: Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny, Richard Simmons, Optimus Prime, you get the picture.
Another mural of Saddam--much larger and untouched--resides outside of an office building on the FOB. I was traveling across the installation to talk to another battalion, when I spied the mural just across the street. Even though I was running late for the meeting, I knew that if I didn't get my picture taken with the former Iraqi dictator, I would probably never do so for the rest of my tour. I decided to run across the street and grab a few pictures of the mural. Then, spying some nearby Soldiers, I decided that I would ask them if they could grab a picture of me with Saddam Hussein.
But even before I could even ask them to hold my camera, the Soldiers were on to me. "Let me guess, Sir, you want your own Saddam Hussein picture, too?"
"Yeah. Let me guess, this happens quite a bit, right?"
"Sir, you're the third one today, and it's not even lunch time yet", he said, grabbing my camera. "This has probably been happening every single day since 2003...", he grumbled.