We may have the world’s largest and most technologically advanced military, but that doesn’t mean that things don’t slip through the cracks.

In fact, one of the inherent problems of having such a behemoth of defense is that it’s a constant challenge to meet the needs of soldiers as they arise.

Though we all wish this wasn’t the case, soldiers often find themselves having to be creative and make do with what they have.

Luckily, soldiers have friends and family at home who can and do send out care packages – since they aren’t caring for an entire military force, they can be a bit more responsive.

Perhaps that’s why moms, wives, and various military support organizations started sending silly string over to soldiers.

It isn’t for fun, mind you. It seems the soldiers had found an inventive use for the relatively inexpensive novelty:

Photo Credit: did you know?

Sources: 1, 2

Here’s a video of how it works:

And the innovation doesn’t stop there.

Soldiers also use tampons to plug wounds. They do come packaged in sanitary wrappers, they include an applicator, and the string makes it easy for doctors to remove them later.

They also eat matches so that they can sweat the sulphur out and deter mosquitos. Some soldiers even wear flea collars on their wrists and ankles to keep the bugs at bay.

Condoms over a gun muzzle keeps sand from getting in.

A trash bag filled with water, detergent, and clothes, then tossed in the back of a roaming truck for a couple days makes a fine washing machine.

They’ve even been using instant coffee like chewing tobacco to keep awake during night watches.

Still no magic trick to keep from entering pre-emptive oil wars, but you never know…

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