I once had this problem during a mission of several days in central Bosnia.We had to “clean” a mountainous area with our group, which means nothing more than tracking down and destroying scattered enemy units.
Ready on the first day, it started to rain.We had to hurry so as not to lose touch with the rest of our brigade, so we were soon exhausted.
To make matters worse, the first symptoms of diarrhoea began to set in with me.And when I thought that things couldn’t get any worse now, my group leader came up to me and ordered me to go to the top of the formation, to the so-called Pointman position!The Pointman is the first soldier in the group to be the first to be shot, ambushed or kick on a mine.
There was no way to refuse the order and say, “I’m sorry, but I’ve just got the flitzkacke!” Each of us had our own personal problems: my group leader had only recently returned from the hospital after being shot in the leg and I saw that he was still humbling a bit.Still, he didn’t complain. I said to myself, “Teeth bite together and keep going!”
I went to our paramedic and asked him if he had coal tablets with him, but he didn’t even know what it was.The next day it rained again and the rain would not stop until the end of our operation.
We were in a hurry more than ever.Every time we took a break, I ran to the next bush or tree and emptied my intestines. I didn’t care if someone was watching me or what the others might think. I felt pathetic! Cold sweat ran over my face, my stomach cramped and I was exhausted after only a few kilometers.
But at the same time I was the pointman and was looking for the enemy.It was the constant tension and adrenaline that kept me from getting into my pants: as long as I was scared or excited, I didn’t feel my abdominal pain and I didn’t have the urge to empty my gut. But as soon as there was a quiet moment, I had to hurry to make it to the next bush.
I was just coming back from one of my “sessions” when our paramedic saw me and asked what was going on with me.I said, “I’m got the shit! What do you think, why did I ask you about the charcoal tablets?” To my astonishment, he replied to me, “That’s why you wanted them? Well, I don’t have these tablets, but I have other medications to treat your diarrhea…”
I almost ripped the pills out of his hand and swallowed them dry, without water.I soon felt much better. My diarrhea was healed, but my stomach was now completely empty. We had natised almost nothing and I got hungry. The enemy was gone and all we had to do was go down the mountains and make contact with the rest of our brigade.
We were all at the end of our power when we finally reached an asphalt road.A few hundred meters down the road we saw two trucks of our brigade waiting for us. Hungry, tired and miserable as we were, these two trucks were the most beautiful thing we had ever seen!