Like the plagiaristic prostitute I am, I will now steal a trademark from someone dear to me. A series called "Lessons Learned". Here are some lessons I've learned in/about the army/Iraq.

-It is generally not a good idea to respond to radio traffic by saying, "That's a big, throbbing negative."

-If you throw soccer balls from a moving vehicle, children will chase you like super zombies in a George Romero movie.

-It is rude to taunt children with an uninflated soccer ball as you drive past.

-Telling the driver to "thrust" his way through an intersection and making continuous innuendo regarding symbols of phallic aggression will result in a loss of headset priveleges.

-Shooting things is fun.

-If you damage your own equipment, it'll probably never be fixed and your best bet is to use Gorilla Tape.

-Running while drunk can sometimes be unpleasant, but running while hung over is far worse.

-The word "Sarge" is no longer acceptable in the army.

-It's your fault. Always.

-It's considered rude to taunt friends attempting to quit smoking by waving cigarettes in front of them.

-Children are only afraid when you aren't trying to scare them. Making the conscious attempt will only entertain them.

-Never ask an Iraqi soldier about his sex life, or even allow the conversation to somehow drift there, which it will. You might not like what you hear.

-Never tell your platoon sergeant about any stories involving transsexuals in foreign countries, as he will alter the story and spread it around the company. Lulz ensue, but not for you.

-Don't drop your dogtags in the toilet.

-It's considered rude to take a brand new private, get him drunk, and take him to a strip club to watch him blow an entire paycheck.

-It's also rude if you run out of alcohol and decide to sneak through the barracks, trying every door until you find a locked one, and raiding their refrigerator for bottles of Bacardi.

-It gets you fucked up though.

-Don't piss when you wake up in the morning. That makes the surprise urinalysis much easier.

-When going to the aid station, inform them that your level of pain is 8, 9, or 10. This increases your chance of getting good drugs. But odds are, you won't, especially if you really are hurting.

-Motrin doesn't do shit.

-You are wrong.

-It is unwise to roadmarch with stubbly pubes (not learned from personal experience).

-It is not cool to wander around the barracks without a shirt on when you hear a female voice (learned by observing douchebags).

-You picked the wrong job.

-It is generally unwise to challenge a superior with a phrase such as, "You won't do it."

-College really was a good idea.

-Duck when entering low doorways of Iraqi houses.

-Energy drinks are bad before missions. Unless you enjoy vomiting off of the side of a Stryker (which I sort of did).

-It's rude to teach Iraqi children to chant, "USA! USA! USA!"

-If it's funny, it's probably rude.

-Breaking and entering is extremely fun.

-Breaking is fun.

-Entering without breaking is not that great.

-It is unwise to mock another company and/or their motto while they are in formation and their commander is standing behind them. This results in threats of having eyes snatched from their sockets, and pushups.

-It is unwise to point and laugh at someone who has to do pushups. You will join them.

-Volunteering never helps you out.

-If you don't clean your room, you run the risk of having to sleep outside.

-It is unwise to climb a mountain, start a fire, and get very drunk, but it IS fun to tell your drunk friends that you saw a mountain lion.

-Children seem to grasp the concept of the middle finger.

-Dogs and paintball guns go together very well.

-I am a bad person.

-iPods are for music, too.

-Launching water balloons at the Air Force can be excellent stress relief.

-It is unwise to inform a superior of their shortcomings.

-If I want to do it, it is probably unwise, and likely rude as well.

That's all I can think of for now. There's more, and there certainly will be even more, but that's all you get until later.


  1. Anonymous said...
    There's more, and there certainly will be even more, but that's all you get until later.

    You're funny, but kinda mean, babycakes.
    Jenni said...
    You make me proud

    themorethingschange... said...
    "If you don't clean your room, you run the risk of having to sleep outside."

    LOL! Have you been reading your old posts!?! I'm thinking I recognize several Ft Lewis stories...

    Anonymous said...

    r u havin fun yet?
    Big Tobacco said...
    Water baloons at the Air force? Why stop at water baloons. Apples from the DEFAC have much better fragmentation. Antics ensue when you make them explosive with the primers from practice grenades.
    Not that I've ever done that or anything.
    BigD said...
    Suspect, you are very funny...especially the dogtags in the toilet story! (My personal fave so far. I am a Pediatric ICU nurse and I have spent a lot of time playing in baby pee, poop and all kinds of other vile body fluids!)
    Your sense of humor has not been damaged by your days in Purgatory. Hang in there guy, you make me proud too!!!!
    2SBCT Mom said...
    Happy Easter!!

    You're in my prayers every day.
    Earl said...
    What you share makes me think you are really an old, old young man, or very wise.
    Anonymous said...
    Your shell serves you well. Carry it w/you for protection, and God willing, lay it down when you are safe to ease out from under the weight of its burden.
    Anonymous said...
    Happy Easter! Good thing, that shell. Glad to hear you grasped, embraced even, the concept of serenity. Sake really helps, I know. How'd ya do with raw fish?

    Actually, you're encountering another cultures' shell, one of politeness and serenity. Like your own, it's a product of their culture. Actually, all Japanese are insane. You just haven't really pissed them off yet.

    You can try again, next trip. I can just tell you're going to succeed eventually. Someone as seriously dedicated to the concept of being a career asshole cannot possibly fail.

    Hopefully, the self-destructive aspect of this can be morphed into STFU and enjoy the ride while you watch others pose, posture and prostitute themselves. What you see, is very likely true, but your monologue says you haven't yet adapted to your present environment. I'm still working on it, but I can forsee innocent merriment in my future.

    Which means, mercifully, that I should STFU and go back to watching. Prayers, of course, for the salvation and preservation of your mean, nasty ass. . . Green Zone got hit, so that's probably opening day ceremonys in Iraq.
    Red said...
    Happy Easter and holy shit I think I hurt myself laughing. Thanks!
    Anonymous said...
    I'm watching "Goonies" in your honor. Just wanted to share. But you can't consider yourself a true soldier 'til you play sponge tag with military vehicles at night... with your platoon sgt. as "it". Ok so maybe that's an MP thing. I'm wondering what you can possibly get you that beats the water balloon sling shot. Should we ask the Air Force guys??? Let me know. Those bad-ass wannabes need to be "home-schooled" suspect style...

    aunt Sandy
    Vixen said...
    Glad you had an awesome vacation, sucks that you're back in hell and that's the best lesson list ever. But, you forgot one: Don't rear-end each others humvees, they crash, roll and you end up looking ridiculous if you get stuck inside.
    Jessie said...
    Psst, you can't be a plagiarist until your first name is Cassie. Sorry, sugar. You don't qualify. ;) You haven't lifted ferret articles and put them in your cheesy bodice ripper. Keep trying, though. You'll get there.
    Anonymous said...
    Why do you think you're a bad person? There are a handful of good ppl in the world & a handful of bad. Most of us are neutral, though, and subject to change in accordance to circumstances. So whatever you've done that makes you think you're bad, don't be too hard on yourself--most of us probably would have done the same thing.

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