When people head off on vacation, it’s unfortunately not all that unusual for them to purchase items from endangered species that they may either knowingly or unknowingly bring back to the U.S. or their own country of origin. Turns out the Afghan people have discovered a burgeoning trade in the sale of furs from certain endangered species that soldiers have provided the primary market for… Of course, they’re certainly not on vacation, but that doesn’t prevent them from wanting to bring something unique back either. That’s why the military and the EPA are starting a joint operation to educate soldiers about the legal fines of up to $100,000 for knowingly shipping or bringing back the parts of endangered species, as well as the fact that they’re simply not going to be allowed to ship them to begin with… And while I’m not fool enough to think there won’t be at least one person who will figure out a way to beat the system, I am genuinely hopeful that the vast majority of soldiers will do the right thing once they realize what they’ve actually been doing. I mean really, how many of us are readily aware that in Afghanistan the Marco Polo sheep exists and is endangered? I must admit that I certainly didn’t, and there’s no guarantee even the Afghans themselves understand which of their local species are endangered. So the campaign to educate soldiers will also spend time working to educate the Afghan people as to what an endangered species actually is, and that leaving them be is the best way to protect it for future generations. But I must admit that there's a certain irony in all of this, as the endangered species list is itself becoming endangered in the U.S.... An unfortunate example of "Do as I say and not as I do"?