CONTINGENCY OPERATING BASE QAYYARAH WEST, Iraq – Every trip to the post exchange or the coffee shop brings back memories of sixth grade.
Pogs were all the rage at Our Lady of Lourdes Elementary School in Slidell, La. Not sure why, but my classmates would collect thousands of the cardboard circles. They’d basically gamble them at lunch.
Now AAFES – the Army and Air Force Exchange Service – has brought these things back. They’re used in place of change throughout Iraq.
One side is the denomination – 25, 10 or 5 cents. The other side has photos of deployed soldiers: joes in front of a tank, guys dismounted from a Humvee, dude wearing Oakleys in front of a Stryker, etc.
I’ve become so accustomed to receiving them that when I went to the post office today, I looked at the (real) change the cashier handed me and jokingly asked my friend, “What the hell can I do with this?”