Subj: Grass Grows In Iraq (S553)
The photograph displayed above is genuine and shows Warrant Officer 1 Brook Turner tending a plot of grass with a pair of scissors at a military post north of Baghdad. The picture was taken by Staff Sgt. Mark Grimshaw in mid-July 2004, but evidently a problem with the camera's batteries caused the date/time stamp shown on the picture to reset to an earlier date rather than reflecting the date the photo was actually taken.
According to the Salem Statesman Journal:
[Turner] asked his wife to send him some grass seed because he missed the green he was accustomed to in Hawaii and before that in Oregon.
Kim Turner was happy to send her husband a little slice of home. She bought a packet of grass seed and a small hoe and mailed them with other goodies in a care box.
Brook prepared a spot behind the single-wide trailer he shares with a few other soldiers, lining the 3-foot-by-7-foot area with large rocks and adding some dirt.
As soon as the seed arrived, he planted it. He knew keeping the seed moist would be a challenge in the 125-degree heat.
His fellow soldiers teased him about his failed project, but he was determined to grow a patch of grass. He talked with some Iraqis civilians authorized to be on post, and arranged to buy some sod. He purchased seven 1-foot-by-3-foot patches.
Turner watered his lawn three times a day. He used a 5-gallon jug he filled in the bathroom, where the camp has running water. Planting plots of grass are just one of many ways soldiers decorate their tents at other arid