Inside Central Louisiana's Fort Polk military base, 100,000 acres of snake-infested pine forest is designated as a training area, known as "The Box", where, each month, about 5,000 soldiers readying for tours in Afghanistan or Iraq, are trained in a full dress rehearsal for war.
Mock towns built by Hollywood set designers are constructed from shipping containers covered in painted and sculpted polystyrene. The towns are filled with details -- mock fresh fish on ice, mock fruit stands, even mock butchered animal heads. Dozens of actors work around the clock, acting out their designated status of green (friendly), amber (neutral), and anti-coalition (red). The actors try to take cover during regular skirmishes between the U.S. forces and Taliban fighters, and between raids, they piece together jigsaw puzzles, play cards, or cook gumbo and cajun beans.