“I Could Use Some More Ammo”
In December of 1998, a Marine officer relayed a story told by Lt.Gen. Tommy R. Franks, who commands the 3rd U.S. Army and U.S. Army Forces Central Command:
“After all the briefs, the general ended the meeting relating a visit he made with the American ambassador to (Battalion Landing Team) 2/4 today, just hours after the accident,” the officer wrote. “The general reminded the assembled officers that Marines live in holes and don’t have a house to live in like ‘heavy forces.’ No tank or lots of tents to sleep in. They carry their ‘house’ on their back and they live in fighting holes. Although the Marines had just lost a buddy (in a humvee accident), their spirit was ‘uplifting’.
“He said a question by the ambassador to a Marine private drove the point home. The ambassador asked a private sitting in his hole, ‘how is it here in the hole?’ The private answered, ‘Kind of like the beach without water.’ The ambassador then asked, ‘If you could get something, what would you like to have?’
“Lt. Gen. Franks related most of us would have answered, ‘a hot meal’, ‘a cot’, ‘a shower,’ but this Marine private said, ‘I could use some more ammunition.’