When I was a soldier I was a heavy smoker. It helped with the stress and the nicotine treated my ADHD (yes, it's a thing).
Army "smoke pits" were interesting places. You hear all sorts of interesting conversations.
War stories, bar fight stories, international politics, the laws of physics...
You also hear about strapping a dildo to a bomb disposal robot and chasing a French stripper you met in the biker bar last night.
You know, army stuff.