Oak Leaf #138

Consequences of an Election (by Robin Rowan) 

I was sitting in the mess hall at Al-Assad Air Base in Iraq near Mosul with my team from the Inspector General’s office when I saw the election results come in.

The mess hall, called a DFAC for “Dining Facility,” was basically a tent built to serve as a small building. It is fortified to be able to take an incoming rocket, and was the largest tent I had ever seen. On this day the DFAC was half full of Marines thankful to be out of the heat for a while. Everything was clean inside, but it’s hard to get the feel of sand off of you.

Folding metal chairs lined rows of long tables with white plastic tablecloths. Small vases were scattered with red, white, and blue decorations on them. I thought to myself, “It’s not a holiday is it?”


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