NapalmYou know that
smell of your house just before you leave for deployment? The smell of your
car, the smell of your young child’s hair as you hug them goodbye. The smell of
your wife’s lip gloss as you kiss her goodbye one more time.  The smell of your clean new uniform.  The smell of the C17 you board or  the rebreathed air in the contracted airliner
or even worse the ever present smell within a US Navy ship during your sail
overseas for a month…or seven?

You know that
smell after you have done an eight hour patrol in Ramadi, Helmand or any other
evil infested area with trash everywhere? You know the smell of the clp oil on
your weapon that has stained your hands, the unique smell of dirt that’s been
ingrained into the pores of your skin and won’t come off? The smell of spent
gun powder after you have just been in an ambush? The unique smell of HME (Home
Made Explosives) form an IED that some shit bag just detonated in attempting to kill you
and your Marines? How about the crystal clear smell of air in a freezing
Afghani night only to be interrupted by the unique cobra gun ship exhaust that
is orbiting above. The smell of a nice triple maduro cigar as you watch the sun
come up in a foreign land.  The ever
present oily transmission fluid dripping out of the CH46 onto your last set of
clean uniform as it moves you into a blocking position (if it isn’t dripping
oil, get off of it because that means it’s out of oil). The smell of a MRE
heater or the MRE spaghetti that you have been cherishing. The smell of foot bread.
The smell of the ultra soft,thin afghani dirt stuck in your nose. The smell of
your uniform & socks after 45 days and endless foot miles patrolling. The
smell of mortars impacting within your perimeter or even better the smell of a
multiple JDAM air strike on that mortar point of origin. The smell of enemy prisoners
within a detention facility. How about
the unique smell of blood clot out of your buddies  first aid kit or the smell of a body bag as
you prepare it for use. The smell of the medevac Blackhawk as it lifts out of
your LZ. The smell of the reporters that got tasked to visit you in the hot
area for their visit to Afghanistan. The smell of the burn pits of you combat
outpost. The smell of sandbags that line your sentry towers and the smell of
local tribal leader making you chai tea. The smell of victory.

You know, the
smell of a multi vehicle convoy taking you to Kandahar Airfield. The smell of
the USAF transport flying you to Qatar, the smell of fresh food cooking in
Qatar. The smell of the fresh soap you get in your first 30 minute shower in a
long time. The smell of  a spilled over spitter
bottle or the smell of Copenhagen. The smell of the inside of the airliner
flying you home. The smell of BBQ as the bus bringing you home nears the base.
The smell of your wife that you recognize as soon as you get off the bus
although she isn’t anywhere near you at the time. The smell of your grown child’s
hair. The smell of freedom. That’s, what this cologne smells like.

Time for a C-Gar


  1. Awesome writing Major. I was right there with you and all of our heroes as you described this. Thank you America’s military guardians.

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