By Jennifer Woolwine

Caught in the Act

Military Veterans

baghdad to barnyard

October 18, 2020

I met David when my unit was deployed to Iraq. He was from another company and had volunteered to go with my unit. When we met, we knew right away we were meant to be. Three weeks from the day we met, David proposed. Our unit was sent to Kuwait to climatize for a month before we went to Iraq. There were thousands of large tents all over the base that housed around 100 people per tent, and we all slept on cots. There was absolutely no privacy except for the open bay shower tents and porta johns.

Even though David and I were engaged, we were not allowed to show any public displays of affection because it was considered unprofessional. Furthermore, David was a Staff Sergeant, and I was a Specialist, and that was looked down upon in the military as fraternization, so we had to keep our relationship a secret. When everyone found out about us, it was a cringe worthy moment.

Every evening, we would walk two miles to a smoothie stand on base. That smoothie shop made the best strawberry and banana smoothies I have ever had. It was worth the two-mile walk. Usually, on our stroll back to our tent, we would use the porta johns to hook up.

David and Me PT clothes.jpg

Earlier that week, our base received small trailers with indoor bathrooms. They had porcelain toilets and a sink, and everyone was ecstatic because sharing porta johns in 100 plus degree weather was not pleasant. David grabbed my hand, and we ran into one of the new bathroom trailers for privacy. We were doing what adults do when someone banged on the door! We covered our mouths, laughing and hoping not to get caught.

I started praying that the person would go away, but instead they kept knocking and then started kicking the door. David yelled an apology and said he would be out in a few minutes. I was so embarrassed and did not want to leave that trailer.  David devised a plan and stated he would walk out the door nonchalantly and distract whoever was waiting outside the door so I could exit without being noticed.

David opened the door, but not quietly, because there was a loud crash, and he was GONE. All I could see was a long dust trail. The damn door had fallen off the hinges and it was time to face the music.

As soon as I stepped out of the trailer, I spotted fifty soldiers of the French Armed Forces standing in formation directly in front of the trailer. The soldiers started clapping, cheering and whistling cat calls. I was mortified. I tend to laugh during the most inappropriate times, and this was no different.

I started laughing so hard I had tears streaming down my face. I did a fist pump in the air and started following the dust trail that David left behind. When I finally caught up to David, I remember smacking him repeatedly, screaming at him but also laughing while I described my most embarrassing moment ever.

David just shook his head in disbelief and stated, “At least it was the French Armed Forces and not people we knew.” Unfortunately, within a few hours, our whole unit had heard what happened. We received a lecture from our company commander, and I remember I was so humiliated, and my cheeks felt sunburnt. At the end of the lecture, our commander informed us that we were not the only couple that had been caught in the act on base. However, we were the only couple that had been caught by the French Armed Forces.

To this date, I still laugh and feel my cheeks getting warm, whenever I share this story. If you have a cringe worthy moment and would like to share, shoot me an email, I would love to read them. XOXO


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  1. Shawn Creamer says:

    I don’t think I can top that one!!

  2. Denise D says:

    This is so funny. I can feel how embarrassed you must have been. Wonder if they know you are now

  3. Angela says:

    Sounds so romantic

  4. Michele says:

    Oh my gosh! What a moment and a laughable moment!!

Jen Woolwine       Author

Jen is a combat veteran and wife who is passionate about animal rescue, homesteading, and mental health advocacy. Jen's amazing journey of transitioning from military service to homesteading can be followed on her blog and social media platforms @baghdadtobarnyard.

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