Army officer reveals what gets found in military amnesty boxes


Ah, the Amnesty Box. That little box that is ubiquitously located at the end of a range day or deployment, the way a pot of gold (allegedly) sits at the end of a prison-sparing rainbow.

Many have passed it, a few have used it. Pretty much everybody has entertained the idea of raiding it. Like any locked mystery box that you can’t get into, the question often surfaces among those who pass it: what is in there?

Well, it turns out you might not actually want to know what goes into amnesty boxes- but we’re going to tell you, anyway.

Amnesty boxes range in size and color depending on where you are, but there is one simple rule when it comes to the little cases of decriminalization: anything goes in an amnesty box.

One former US Army officer who served during the beginning of the Iraq War was responsible for ensuring that no contraband made its way to Iraq as they prepared to invade.

“Oh, the stuff they put in those boxes 20-year-veteran Guy McCardle, Jr, said in a Quora forum.  “If you could put Sodom and Gomorrah in a box, you’d have it right there.”

McCardle described a menagerie of personally-owned sidearms an ammo, which most troops were warned about bringing to combat with them and decided not to test the warning by dumping them while they had a “get out of jail free” card.

But what seemed to surprise him most was the amount of pornography, which was banned due to the cultural sensitivities of both the region they were invading and the co-ed nature of the modern military.

“All kinds of porn,” he said. “The box was filled up to your knees in porn.  Keep in mind that most of the folks in these predominantly Muslim countries that we were going into would consider most of the magazines in your average American grocery store checkout line as porn. Mixed in with the porn were some blow up dolls.”

With all the guns and sex toys, one has to wonder if there were also drugs and alcohol (there was). McCardle said the box contained “mostly those little bottles like you’d get on commercial aircraft” and “a few small baggies of drugs,” presumably for snorting off the back of a fallen Saddam statue.

Lastly, there was an issue of pork products. “Once you board that aircraft,’ McCardle noted, ‘the deal is off, and you’re gonna find yourself in a world of hurt if you get caught with any bacon.”

“Anything even tangentially related to pork had to go,” he said. “Pork rinds?  In the box.  Slim Jims?  Not really sure exactly what all the hell goes into those, better safe than sorry.”

So what exactly happened to all of this stuff? Do officers and NCOs take it somewhere where it can’t be found and have wild parties, dry-firing pistols in the air as they suck down bottles of airplane vodka and ride blow-up dolls as their cohorts try not to laugh and choke on bacon jerky?

“[The] MPs took it somewhere and made it disappear,”  McCardle said.  “I ask no questions.”

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