Thursday, March 29, 2007

Perspective: It’s in the bag -- Plastic sacks help soldiers take care of business

Jake Gyllenhaal does latrine duty with the burn barrels in the movie 'Jarhead'

First, they did away with the time-honored GI tradition of spit-shining combat boots when they switched from scuff-prone leather to suede.

Now, another proud military pastime is poised to become extinct — stirring fecal matter in a tub of flaming diesel fuel.

Instead of relying on smelly, fly-infested burn barrels slipped under plywood out-houses, U.S. Army troops in remote outposts are being issued special plastic bags for taking care of business.

The plastic sacks, called Waste Alleviation Gel, or WAG bags, contain a special compound that looks like cat litter and turns human waste into a Jell-O-like mass.

Read the rest at Stars and Stripes