Friday, August 27, 2004

Over There, Over There...

A friend of mine forwarded one of those happy-crappy-sappy e-mails that said if I don't delete and pass it along, someone's supposed to call me at night and say they love me. It further implored me to pray for our troops. Two things I don't do are chain e-mails and prayers, so I deleted it and broke the chain. Bwahaha! Besides, with my luck, I would've gotten a late night admission of love from some guy in prison.

Anyway, the e-mail was one of those "Remember our troops and the hardships they face" things. The pictures tell the story best, so:


In addition to the rotten living conditions, the awful food, and the fact that a bunch of people want to kill you, I remember a few other hardships. One was the Dear John letters. The ones that arrived after a few months were bad enough; bad, but expected. The worst were the ones written and mailed as soon as the soldiers shipped out. I remember several guys who got them with the first mail delivery. Naturally their ex's tried to shift the blame. "Dear Blank, I can't handle the possibility that my boyfriend/husband might be killed in combat, so I'm leaving you now because you joined the Army before we ever met."

Some soldiers who had purchased new cars found they had been repossessed, and not after a late payment. The less reputable dealerships just cancelled their accounts and took the cars back as soon as they left the country. In a similar vein, a lot of creditors welcomed us back by slapping us with late fees the day we returned. I had one try that on me - fortunately I proved it was a clerical error on their part, but I was still pissed because that was the first piece of mail I received upon returning (postmarked the day before, so I knew they were just waiting and salivating).

And, of course, there were the scorpions, and snakes, and lizards, and fuzzy purple worms, all of which were poisonous. And we had morons for leaders, hot weather and cold showers, and nasty, cruddy underwear that had only been washed by hand for months...

I was glad to get back. One of the first things I did was buy an espresso, then I burned my tongue because I had forgotten about the concept of hot food. Oh well, live and relearn.

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