SORGHUM ROLLS By Greg Hopgood, 2 Section C Coy 1 RAR, Somalia

Whilst serving as a forward scout in 2 Section 7 Platoon Charlie 1 RAR, I had a very uncomfortable eight-hour night patrol. It all started one mid-afternoon when our platoon sergeant came back with some homemade sorghum rolls made in the local market place. We were always warned not to eat ANY local food as the water was contaminated with cholera and all sorts of disease. Well, after two months of combat rats I thought I would give it a go so I got my ham slice and cream cheese that I’d saved from my American meal ready to eat and made a very tasty ham and cheese roll. It was delicious – yummo!
Well, just after this we were given a warning order and to move out in five mins. We saddled up in our APC and headed to this location that seemed to take forever. Our platoon soon put in a secure harbour and was soon put on stand to. It was at this time that I had this sickly grumbling feeling in my stomach. I was not well.
My section commander, Cpl Braekmans, came over and told me that we were the forward section out of our company and we were to move out in five mins. He proceeded to give me my nav checkpoints, compass bearings and if I had any problems, I was to check with him at any time by calling him up with our squad radio.
By this time I was sweating and holding my arse cheeks together. Braeks pointed and said move out. I told him I needed to take a shit. He told me to fuck off and get moving as we had window timings and he did not want to hold up the company as we had to cordon a village by early morning. It was a serious op as Delta was the search company. I knew the importance of this mission so I stood up and completely shit myself in front of my section. It ran all down my legs and gathered at my blousing around my GP boots, then soaked into my socks. The section just wet themselves in laughter, but I was in a big mess and stunk to high heaven!
I guess they were thankful I was well ahead of them being the scout. I continued this for about four hours into the patrol and Braeks was not keen on checking my navigation too often.
One week later I showered and had a change of cams.

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