In Afghanistan and Iraq, especially in the early years, soldiers burned their waste in big, open-air pits.
“A burn pit’s just a big hole in the ground. You push dirt up and just have trash there, and light it on fire and walk away,” says Army veteran Eric Mullins.
Mullins and I met up in Campus Martius Park in Detroit, near where he works.
He served in Iraq in 2003 and again in 2008. On his first tour, he was assigned to burn barrels of human waste.