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Going into a warzone takes a lot of equipment. And a lot of patience. Few things move with more deliberate, grinding slowness than a military bureaucracy. So while I waited for embed approval and/or the continents of Australia and Antarctica to merge, I put together a shopping list.

Big ticket items are fairly obvious. Flak jackets, for not being blown up. Cameras, for photographing other things being blown up. Helmets and impact-resistant sunglasses and flame-proof gloves, for further non-blow-upableness. Pants. Underwear doesn’t make the cut, with the long intervals of time between bathing and the extreme sweat-producing heat. I was explicitly advised to skip the undies and bring gym shorts to sleep in, so as to “let that junk dry out.” Wiser words.

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