At a combat outpost in northeastern Afghanistan where donkeys are a valuable source of transportation for goods, one soldier decided to purchase a local donkey for $200.
That was a great idea and everyone was in agreement. So now we have a donkey, that we promptly name “”Jack””, for obvious reasons. We pile water and MREs (meals ready to eat) on him every few days to take up to the personnel at the observation post 400 meters up the mountain just south of our location. One day we put 4 cases of MREs on Jack and he walks slowly up the almost 75 degree angle hill. He gets slower with each step and only gets about 10 meters up the hill when he flips over backwards and comes tumbling down the hill, MREs and all! Jack stops at the bottom of the hill, gets up, looks at us, and starts to continue up the hill. We stopped the determined animal, took 2 of the boxes off his back, and up Jack goes without any problems.
Later on in the month, we find out more things that Jack is interested in or “”has talent”” doing. By one of the living areas we call “”b-huts””, there is an old ammunition can that is used for cigarette butts. Well, Jack decided to turn it over and eat all the butts, I assume, so the soldiers would not have to get their hands dirty and empty the “”butt can””. We later noticed that there are no cigarette butts in site on the ground anywhere, so Jack is also a “”squared-away”” soldier and conducts outstanding “”police calls””(details which pick up trash).
The last thing, and probably the funniest, was what Jack did the day before I rotated back to my camp from the outpost and left him to harass the other platoon. We cooked a huge pot of spaghetti noodles and sauce in out outdoor kitchen over an open fire. Everyone had eaten dinner except my Lieutenant, and when he went to get some spaghetti about 2 hours after everyone else had eaten, he found Jack in the kitchen with noodles strewn all over the ground. Jack was nose down in the sauce pot and bellowing out donkey noises, obviously because he was in hog (uh, donkey) heaven!