“The canals had big, thick reeds, almost like trees, growing up from them so it was hard to see what was inside the reeds or to the other side of the canals. And then all of a sudden, as we were walking we saw something run through the weeds in one of the canals. It was large and black, a blur it was moving so fast. Now we were all chattering at once. What was that?
“That was a cougar. It had to be a cougar,” I said.
“No, that was a bear. Looked like a bear to me. That was a bear,” Jerry said.
“You know when we invaded a lot of animals escaped from the zoo. It could have been a cougar.”
Jerry again said it was a bear and then one of the other guys said, “There are no bears in this part of the world.”
This silly argument went on for quite a while. We were all laughing and having a good time. Our mission had been pointless, so this helped lighten the mood. Someone even said they thought it was a ninja because a ninja is just as plausible as a bear or a cougar in the middle of Iraq.”


Noah Galloway, Living with No Excuses: The Remarkable Rebirth of an American Soldier
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