Smoke Break Series

Among Marines, the cigarette is at once currency, reason to pause, and opportunity to bond. From Iraq to Okinawa, a study in photographs of a bad habit. Smoking is a way of relieving stress through the indulgence of an unhealthy addiction.

He who fights too long against dragons becomes a dragon himself; and if you gaze too long into the abyss, the abyss will gaze into you.

“Smoke Break Redux III” by Jayel Aheram. Twentynine Palms, California. November 30, 2007.
We were both tank scouts and we have set up position a few hundred yards away. Chris lights up, a smoke break even as we both cast a watchful eye on our tank.

“Smoke Break II” by Jayel Aheram. Al Anbar Province, Iraq. January 1, 2007.
Mase is one of the cleanest men I know. I refer to him to others as the “second cleanest after myself.”

“Smoke Break in Okinawa IV” by Jayel Aheram. Camp Hansen, Okinawa. February 6, 2008.
A knowing look.

“Smoke Break Redux IV” by Jayel Aheram. Twentynine Palms, California. November 30, 2007.
A much-needed nicotine fix.

“Smoke Break” by Jayel Aheram. Rawa, al-Anbar, Iraq. December 19, 2006.
One Marine’s low opinion of keeping your wits about you. Making sense of things drags you down, insanity is a far preferable (and a lot more enjoyable) option.
“Sanity is for the Weak!” by Jayel Aheram. Rawa, al-Anbar, Iraq. February 26, 2007.
You will not be catching me with a cigarette in my mouth. Well, not really. I have smoked about five sticks of them so far in the last six months. Each time I did, I liked it less and less. By the way, Newports smell nicer than Marlboro Reds. Just an opinion.

“Twizzler Break” featuring the photographer. Rawa, al-Anbar, Iraq. March 1, 2007.
He was not in a very good mood that day, smoking his noxious Iraqi-made cigarettes.

“Just Chillin'” by Jayel Aheram. Rawa, al-Anbar, Iraq. April 12, 2007.
“Smoke Break in Okinawa II” by Jayel Aheram. Camp Hansen, Okinawa. January 21, 2008.
Matt again, as we wait for final formation.

“Smoke Break Redux VI” by Jayel Aheram. Twentynine Palms, California. December 20, 2008.
“Smoke Break Redux I” by Jayel Aheram. Yuma, Arizona. October 16, 2007.