Saturday, May 23, 2009
A good welcome home. This Bud's for you, America.
Tuesday, May 12, 2009
That said, I never expected a whole lot, figured it wouldn't get much exposure and amount to little more than a notebook full of ramblings, stuffed under the bed or buried by dirty clothes in the closet, that sorta thing. I never really put a lot of intense thought into any of this, I just always sort of did it on a whim, very much in the moment, and when I was done I left it at that. On occasion, I went back and proofread, but usually not. So you can imagine what a kick in the ass it is to find that people read this of their own free will, and some even enjoy it. It still blows me away.
So thanks to everyone who has ever stopped to read, and to everyone who takes the time to email or comment and tell me to pull my head out of my ass or to otherwise opine and relate experiences. I never would have kept this rag up this whole time if it weren't for all the feedback. I get bored. So thanks for helping me complete this and giving me the kick in the ass I constantly need. The adventure continues at Rucksack To Backpack. Live free. Suspect.
Saturday, May 9, 2009
All the hoops, every last ring of the despicable circus, every detail, every mission, every CQ shift, every 3 AM drunken stagger through the barracks, every broken washing machine, every formation, all neatly categorized in a fat thick filing cabinet labeled "NO LONGER RELEVANT".
Sometime when I have a day to kill, I'll sit down and read this entire oddyssey from beginning to end, starting with the narrative from that dumb as shit nineteen year old kid, before there ever was a Suspect at all. I'll retrace all my steps and try to figure out where I was and where I am now. Get my bearings, nervously test the ground to be sure it's solid.
An unshaven, sparsely stubbled face behind a pair of Oakleys and unkempt hair will wear a tiny smirk from behind a sloped windshield, piercing through traffic on I-5. Riding off into the sunset, kid.
Yeah, I was never fully gone, but I was never really here either. A castaway in limbo, a wild rollercoaster of a trip that for all intents and purposes might not have even been real. Who I was and what I am now, well that's something that'll take some figuring out. Rising through the rubble of four years, I guess we have all the time in the world to piece that one together.
Depending on when you read this, I might already be out there amongst you. Hell, I have so many places to go and things to do, we'll cross paths and you won't even know it. A neat thought to be sure, but now's a good a time as any to pop ninja smoke and ghost the fuck out of here, roll credits, thanks for playing, ya don't have to go home but I ain't staying anywhere near this joint.
But first, let's share a parting chuckle, shall we?
MY DD-214 READS "HONORABLE DISCHARGE". HAHAHAHAHAHA! Yeah, a real All-American good ol' boy. My most honorable discharge was in the middle of a firefight in Baghdad, so joke's on you, Uncle Sam.
PEACE, and FUCK HONDA.
Thursday, May 7, 2009
Friday, May 1, 2009
I show up at the crack of noon, put the uniform on, and hunt down signatures and stamps and go-aheads with predatorial desire.
Briefings and briefings. A thousand copies of everything. They tell you to make seven copies, make seven hundred.
S-1 lost my leave packet. They didn't have it at Staff Duty. No sweat, I tell them. I pull out one of my umpteen copies. You can have this one. They sign it, and I slaughter every last walking tree from Lord of the Rings to make enough copies to thoroughly cover my ass.
Briefings. Briefings. Appointments. Drop gear off to have it laundered. Pity they won't launder EVERYTHING, but they clean a good chunk of it, less for me to do. Turning in gear will be a nightmare, a post all of its own.
And now I'm hunting signatures again. Yanking myself free from spiderwebs one thread at a time. This shit'll wear you out. Guess I'll have to sleep in til nine again. Life's rough when you're getting out. So rough. Doing things on your own terms? That's fuckin' scary, man! This is too much freedom! I need my inhaler!
I charged through an entire guantlet of signature hunting, only four remain. Finance and Final Out are to be done last. S-1 and CIF. CIF is the bitch. CIF is where I'm going next. CIF is where I'm going to learn to hate all over again.
I'm bringing $500.00 cash with me.
MADE IT, MOTHERFUCKER!
Chains falling off these wrists, and it's not real, how the hell could it be? Shock and disbelief, momentary paralysis, you gotta be fuckin' with me sarge. Then I saw the memo. An official looking memo with official dates and official lettered paragraphs and a signature and an insignia in the corner, and I damn near framed it right then and there.
My commander himself told me, "You're good to go."
I look all around me, completely skeptical. You can't do this shit to me, get my hopes up just to watch it all go down the shitter agai--
This shit's REAL, guy. As real as real gets, and gloriously so.
Everyone else is getting ready to deploy whenever they do, getting in that mindset, and they tell me to go back to clearing. No way! Seriously?
And then I snap the hell out of it, and bolt out the door to get paperwork, set up appointments, collect signatures, clean gear, Tasmanian Devil-style chaos with one fever-dream in mind: GETTING OUT. Squirming and fighting out of a crocodile's mouth. Escape that would make Indiana Jones proud, with the signature Last Second Hat Save. Retarded with excitement, I'm not wasting ANY time. I'm good as gone, a ghost, a speeding bullet tying up loose ends and wrapping shit up good and firm. Oh yes, Lordy.
Sunday, April 26, 2009
All you rad and/or rotten bastards out there, if you come across anymore gold in the intarwebs, let me know and I'll link that good shit.
I found most of my miniDV tapes and only a few were broken. If I can find a way to charge the camera and get ahold of a firewire cable, I should be able to upload more videos. .50 cals perforating thick courtyard walls, explosions and more explosions, doors being kicked in, doors being kicked and not opening, breaking and entering, laughing at the IP's expense, an entire squad napping in a Stryker, who knows what else. I would've had video of us getting blown up on the rooftop, but at the last minute before I left the tent, I stuffed the camera back into my locker. Probably would've just broken the damn thing anyway.
Thursday, April 23, 2009
Your typical Suspect generally holds this sacred insignia on their chest, meaning that they are the rank of Specialist, a glorious rank where you typically aren't in charge of shit, but you aren't the little bitch private that has to do everything. In fact, a seasoned Suspect will do everything in his power to dump the workload on the privates. If questioned about it, the best answer in my humble opinion is, "Experience is the best teacher. I am educating this soldier so that he is a better asset to this unit, for sadly I will not always be here." Then tell the private that the Force will be with him, always. And THEN send that sadsap enlisted bitch to crawl under the Stryker and drain the filthy fetid water out of the hull. Laugh at will, because that used to be you.
A Suspect must be able to be walk the fine line between smartass and unpunishable. The most important lesson to learn is that Thou Shalt Not Give Thyself Enough Rope To Hang Thyself. At the same time, you are required by the unspoken code of suspects to make an ass of yourself on occasion. Fuck your pride, you can always claim that you were "being ironic" or "doing it for yuks", when really everyone (especially you) knows that you are legally retarded in the state of Arizona.
Actually, come to think of it, it's not very hard to be a suspect of sorts. A better guide would be titled "How To Emulate My Specific Brand Of Awesome" but you can't have it.
A Suspect is a sham artist. Appointment slips are magical and delicious, and as a bonus, a well-documented medical record is good to have when you want to claim that the Army gave you whiplash, even though it was really the forty pound box of asswhoopin' that was hand delivered to you at a Slayer concert.
Suspects were the assholes who taught the Iraqi children how to swear. By the time I made it to that beautiful holy land, small children were demanding candy and informing me of my sacriligious sexual preference. I say again, an eight year old Arab informed me that I was gay. I told him that Aladdin was really a cigar-loving Jew.
Oh yeah, also, now and again, Suspects pull some bullshit stunts. This could range from using food items as footballs, to mailing feces, to hitting the Air Force with indirect fire of a waterballoon nature, to flipping off friends only to find that it's really the First Sergeant, to... HEY! Did Samuel L Jackson ever do a Spike Lee movie? I think he did, but I can't remember.
Basically, to be a suspect, you have to be a douche and somehow be liked for it. Suspect is every shamming, scheming, planning E4 out there. Suspect is the Zack Morris of the Army. Suspect is the guy who knows when to stop fucking with someone but keeps on doing it anyway. He's the guy who attacks the first sign of weakness or sensitivity like a shark smelling blood. He'll tell you that recent polls indicate that your Jetta is a girl car and that your taste in music is a direct representation of your taste in other guys. Suspect is an asshole, and he's everywhere. I've met suspects who were ten times what I am. I chloroformed them.
Too long, didn't read?
A future Suspect:
Suspect: What A Dick.
Tuesday, April 21, 2009
Example: "You root for the Dallas Cowboys. Explain how this does NOT prove you like men?"
It was chill and relaxed, no one fucked with us. We just ran our mouths, and shot mortar rounds when we had to, then went back to chilling. Way better than being in garrison. Put a beret on me, and I'm pissed off.
"Hahahaha, right, gotcha. Hey, Suspect, outta curiosity...weren't you supposed to be out a few days ago?"
Your mother's a whore. Rounds complete, Suspect out.
Wednesday, April 15, 2009
Oh well. I'm going to do what any logical person would do. I'm going to sit here and repeatedly punch myself in the testicles for a minimum of a half an hour while force feeding myself my enlistment contract. You're fucking crazy if you think I can stay positive about this all the time. This back and forth tug of war bipolar bullshit will drag anyone through the mud.
Also: spare yourself the keystrokes if you're dying to tell me to stop whining and that this is my duty/I signed up for it. I skim past those. That way, you're only wasting one person's time: yours.
Also: hail satan.
Sunday, April 12, 2009
Angry, embittered Suspect, yeah yeah, we get the point. Saw that routine a few dozen times. Fact of the matter is that I'm stuck. They got me, period, the end. After the initial rebellious phase, I decided that I wasn't going to draw attention to myself. Under the radar, stay out of trouble and escape with what little dignity I could pick up on my way out.
Now, things are different. I just want to do it. Get in the game. Play it by the rules. Suck it up and do the job. Hell, college is just a noun to me now. Not the near-tangible salvation it was a couple months ago. For the time being, I think it might not even exist. There are no schools. No careers.
There's only desert boots and green infantry carrier vehicles. 5.56mm tracers and cheat sheats with Arabic phrases on them. All it took was one little trip to Yakima to get that deployed feeling, and I was back. Loved it way more than being in garrison.
Let's face it, garrison fucking SUCKS. It's not til you're out THERE, doing the shit you're supposed to do, that you actually feel like you're in the real army.
Did some hard thinking about the Hajis. No, I don't hate all of them. They just depress me. The lifestyle they live, some of the mentalities, oh, and suicide bombers too. I'd like to see those folks join the peaceful world and just kick it. I'm sure our economies are on par right now anyway.
But I'm not Jesus. I'm not a diplomat. An "ambassador" of sorts. Fully armed. And I'm not changing shit. These wars aren't ever going to fucking stop, no matter how much chai I fry my taste buds with, how much bread I tear apart with greedy fingers, no matter how many soccer balls I give out or how many mistranslated jokes I tell.
It always comes back to one simple thing: pull security. S'all you can do. Make sure your gear is good to go, and scan your lane. Sweat. Watch. Sigh. Snap back to it. Get up and move out, a block later, take a knee, suck back a little water, scan for threats that aren't there. Scan again anyway. Think about your bunk. Snap out of it and scan. Ignore the monotony. Don't look at your watch. Don't look at the calendar. Don't count days. Just make sure your equipment and your vehicle are good, and keep pulling security. For one more year.
You'll never have that action movie face-to-face with your enemy. If somehow you did, you sure as shit wouldn't know, and would be rendering your pisspoor excuse for a greeting as you passed him by down the street.
Hearts and minds. They smile through clenched teeth and wave, all smiles. "Ha, yes, good, good Ameriki. Very nice, come tell us how to live. Please, Mr. Ameriki, wake my family up in the middle of the night for one of your little missions, ok? K, thanks, you dogshit. Tell your Obama to hurry up and send you pigs back to your desolate sinful NASCAR events."
I don't want to hate them. I just want to make sure we have an understanding. Leave us alone and let us do our job, we're trying to get out of your hair. I promise not to be a dick unless I have even the slightest inkling that I could be at risk, so when I'm in the states, I promise, I'm a nice guy. Just keep your distance, forgive the intrusion, this wasn't my idea, but I got a gun, and you guys got bombs, and I'd feel a lot worse putting an innocent deer down than I would some guy with a boomboom vest. Innocent deer tastes good, too. So y'see where I stand, right? Exactly. That's why YOU stand way the fuck over THERE. Thanks pal. Just doing my job, wait it out, ok? See you at the World Cup.
Dude, I'm just trying to get along. That's all. I chose a game that you can't quit until it's over, and we're in overtime right now. In overtime, you play your ass off. And like any game, there are rules. You don't get very far when you insist on breaking them and fighting the current. I just want to play the game, by the rules, to completion. Single minded focus. This is the job, this is what has to be done. Gotcha, let's fucking execute.
Family and friends are taking this way worse than I am. I accept it. I'm ready. I'm fucking IN TO IT. Personally, I'm tired of hearing about it. Stop-Loss? Dude, that's old news.
Get in. Complete the mission. Get out.
Wednesday, April 8, 2009
It's just one more deployment. I'm in.
Suspect signing off, showering up, terrorizing the populace once more. To anyone on I-5 that waved and I didn't wave back, sorry. I was probably yelling at a private. Here's your shout-out.
And another shout to the blonde in the gold Jeep, blowing kisses towards the big green monsters and involuntarily extended suckers protruding from them. I doubt she knew just how filthy we were.
Friday, April 3, 2009
Thursday, April 2, 2009
THE SHORT-TIMER’S CODE OF CONDUCT
I am an American short-timer. I serve in the forces into which I was so carelessly drafted/enlisted/recalled/stop-lossed. I am prepared to leave them at the time so designated by the Department of the Army, or sooner if at all possible.
I will never extend or re-enlist of my own free will. If I am in command, I will never allow my fellow short-timers to fraternize with the lifers.
If I am called before the Commanding Officer, I will continue to resist his re-enlistment talks by all means available. I will make every effort to escape.
If I should become the victim of an involuntary extension, I will keep the faith with my fellow short-timers. If I am the shortest, I will assume command; if not, I will obey the shortest.
When questioned, should I become the object of a re-enlistment interview, I am bound to give only my name, rank, service number, date of birth and date I am due to be discharged.
I will never forget that I am an American short-timer, responsible for my actions, and dedicated to the principles which have made carefree, happy civilians out of thousands of short-timers before me.
Never give in.
Wednesday, April 1, 2009
Hopefully you're sitting down. If you aren't, you might want to rethink your computer setup.
I re-enlisted for three years today.
Yeah yeah yeah, say what you want. I got a really good deal. 25 large. We're going to do the ceremony before close of business today. I'll post doctored/blurry pics as soon as I'm done.
Sunday, March 29, 2009
Good! BAM! STOP-LOSS!
Well shit, what can you do, right? An excellent question, Anon. Let's consider the options and attempt to provide an in-depth analysis. Feel free to mix-and-match possible decisions to create your own Suspect!
If your first thought is to wonder why this one is at the top of the list, fuck you.
To avoid deploying, one could, in theory, partake in excessive amounts of public...you know what, nevermind. This one's out.
I'd fuck me hard.
JUMP FEET FIRST INTO A WOODCHIPPER
This approach can be generally seen as counter-intuitive as it guarantees complete dismemberment, and ascertained to be very painful. An arduous process that will require the assistance of the other criminal from "Fargo". Steve Buscemi chose this option just to piss you off.
(I did not invent this method, it was borrowed from Encyclopedia Dramatica. I advise that no one go there. But now you will, and you'll wish you hadn't, and so will begin the decay of your moral and social fiber. Without further ado, I hereby CTRL + V)
"Stand at the top of a tall structure and make sure that there is something relatively soft such as grass, or a sleeping fat person, below. You should preferably be on the edge of some kind of overhang, such as a bridge.
Next, tie cheese wire around your neck, tight enough that it won't slip off under tension but loose enough not to choke you. Remember, you don't want to die looking like a Michael Hutchence wannabe. Nobody wants to be Michael Hutchence. Even Hutchence hated it.
Anyway, tie the cheese wire to something solid on top of the structure. Make sure that there is a good six or seven feet of slack. Now stand at the edge and glue your hands to the side of your head. If you are under the age of 16, you may wish to get a responsible but sociopathic adult to help you. Wait until your hands are glued solidly to your head. This has the added advantage of stopping you from calling for help if you change your mind (you fucking pussy).
Now jump off the structure. It'll only hurt for a second, when the cheese wire runs out of slack and slices through your neck. The overhang should stop you from bashing your now-severed head against the wall of the structure when the cutting motion jerks your body backwards.
You should hopefully land face down, although this is really out of your hands by now. Unlike your head, which is glued to them. This has the excellent effect of causing whoever finds your body to think that you have pulled your head off.
Guaranteed to break the ice at parties!
====The Awesome (Feat. Boom-Shaka-laka)====\ Same setup as "The Awesome" except one must prepare a basketball hoop at the bottom of the place of descent prior to the jump in the hopes of slam-dunking one's own face.
Guaranteed to break the ice at naughty parties"
This is when you say "Fuck this noise," and leave. No one tries to stop you, because if you're smart, you don't tell anyone. Smarter than suicide, though believed by some to be "career suicide" or "government job hirability suicide" or "not-taking-after-Ryan-Phillipe-in-a-shitty-movie suicide".
The less you pack, the better. In fact, you should leave your TV. Better yet, leave it on. Offer to pick up food for a friend on your way out. You may even want to go so far as to create a convincing backstory over the course of several weeks that suggests you're sleeping with the wife of a Special Forces soldier. "Go visit" the nonexistent lover and never return. If you've pulled this off successfully, your chain of command will file a missing person report and assume that you've been chopped up into fine chunks and fed to dogs. The guys from CSI: Lame Army Crap will naturally assume that whatever the dogs didn't want where probably scattered in the impact area of one of the artillery ranges. Morbid jokes will follow, while you cruise down the highway, laughing (until you realize that you forgot to line up things like a job and money, and you spend the rest of your days fellating bums for the food they are given but don't want).
Sure, you spend longer than expected in the service, but life's already been getting on without you, so in reality, there is no transition. For a dramatic re-enactment of what this is like, go to the Evolution Of A Shitbag section somewhere on the right side of this garbage page, and read Part One, Part Two, and Part Three in a high pitched, snarky voice. Repeat until Terror surrenders or dies laughing at our ridiculous camoflauge.
APPLY FOR CONSCIENTIOUS OBJECTOR STATUS
To do this, simply fail at it, be laughed at and shunned, then do everything listed under "DEPLOY", and make sure you always eat your lunch alone. Vow to one day become a full-fledged beatnik.
DEFECT TO THE OTHER SIDE
This involves AWOL, and also results in you looking like a goofball on CNN when you get caught in Afghanistan romancing animals. Someone else already tried this, and he looked ridiculous. Risks include getting your ass blown away by your former comrades. An excellent choice if you appreciate irony and want to up the chances of a shitty indie film being made about you.
This will most likely just result in you having to sit on your ass and pull radio guard, still deployed. You'll make the same money you would outside the wire, and as long as you don't catch a rocket or mortar round to the skullet, and don't try "THE AWESOME" out of boredom, you'll probably be fine. But then again, if you're in this situation intentionally, you're probably a moron, and are frequently detonated by your First Sergeant, which is roughly on par with "FEET FIRST IN A WOODCHIPPER".
If you manage to get non-deployable status, you'll stay back on Rear Detachment and spend most of your days pulling 24 hours shifts at a desk, answering the occasional phone call and being terribly bored, wondering why they even bother to keep you. After enough sleep deprivation, you will likely try any and all of the above mentioned methods, in no particular order or limit to repetition (except woodchipper and the awesome).
TACKLE THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES
This one is experimental. If you enjoy thorough assbeatings and cavity searches, this may be the route for you. It does not guarantee that you'll be exempt from deployment, but you just may share a cell with the guy your comrades scoop up off the street when they go to work. At this point, go with either "GO GAY" or "THE AWESOME", because he will likely want some "fiki fiki". For an example of fiki fiki, kindly refer to any movie starring Heath Ledger and Jake Gyllenhaal about two cowboys when they spend too much time away from their wives. Do not associate this concept with "DEPLOY". Seriously, not cool.
Possible risks include failure. While it may rock to see the President punch some fool out on TV, it might not be so funny to you if it's YOUR candy ass being handed to you. Also, don't expect a bail out.
Go to hell, that joke was hilarious. Moving on.
GET MEDICALLY DISCHARGED
I obviously don't know shit about this one. A long and arduous process that if successfully done, can result in you getting disability money from Veteran's Affairs. Being a self-centered egoccentric author of several blogs about military angst does not constitute a severe medical handicap. While a doctor may call you a retard for signing your contract, he or she will not actually diagnose you with Retard.
If The Awesome and Woodchipper are too extreme for you, you might consider Horseback Riding.
BE DECLARED MENTALLY UNFIT TO DEPLOY
This can be a pain as the headshrinkers you'll get referred to work for the Army. Fingerpainting the walls and your own body with feces may provide a compelling argument, but only if you can stay in character. This is where some authors of angsty army blogs failed.
GET SUPER RICH
If I knew how to do this, I wouldn't be writing this article. I'd be paying your children a dollar an hour to make tennis shoes and advocating the continued use of the Stop-Loss policy. Oh, and I'd be heavily invested in KBR, something I should have done anyway but now is probably too late.
There's some sort of stipulation that if you make 250 grand, or if that's your annual income, or something like that, I'm not sure, then you can get out due to a "change of lifestyle". What that means is that when you don't have to worry about money, you aren't afraid to tell people to fuck themselves, because you are rich and therefor better. Paltry re-enlistment bonuses are suddenly not so tempting, and the threat of having your pay reduced INduces laughter. You can also have strings pulled, because you're a rich dickhead and everyone hates you but needs money.
All in favor of the Save Suspect PayPal Fundraiser? Quarter mil, non-refundable. Anyone?
Well then it's back to my Nigerian Email Scams (yeah, I started those but no one falls for it).
KISS YOUR CONGRESSMAN'S ASS
Get deployed anyway, unless you followed my guide to "GET RICH".
BECOME A SCIENTOLOGIST
Seriously, I bet they could pull some strings. You're probably better off just doing your eight year obligation though. Couch jumping optional.
GET DIAGNOSED WITH ADHD
Kidding, turns out, that won't do it. The Adderall is free though. The Air Force might use that as excuse to get rid of your worthless ass, but the Army won't (until we revert back to a peacetime army, and you can get booted for being fat, failing PT standards, or any other number of things).
Side effects include driving your friends and superiors fucking NUTS and not being able to keep your story on one continuous blog.
GET THROWN IN PRISON
We pretty much covered this with TACKLE THE PRESIDENT. Seek a better course of action.
CREATE A NEW IDENTITY
With a simple home-made witness protection kit and sweet hacking skillz seen only in moviez, you too can be Jason Bourne. I'm not saying this is possible or a viable option, I'm just saying that if you ever run into a certain Theroy Roosefitch III, be sure to buy him things.
BURN AND DELETE YOUR UNIT'S DEPLOYMENT ORDERS
This is more of a hilarious way to accomplish "GET THROWN IN PRISON" than it is a way to get out of Stop-Loss. Use your sweet hax0r skillz. Enjoy fiki fiki. If the guards take pictures and circulate them on the internet, sue, and "GET RICH".
ASSEMBLE A JETPACK
This isn't so much a solution as it is a particularly freaking SWEET example of AWOL. Side effects include third degree burns on the buttocks.
GO 88 MPH
Ha, you fucking wish, clown. If you succeed, avoid all attempts your mother makes to seduce you. Invest in shit that will succeed (not ENRON or AIG). Claim to be a prophet. Prophesize shit from your history books. Get murdered.
Side effects MIGHT include turning into a werewolf, or Parkinson's Disease.
DISABLE THE TRACTOR BEAM AND LET OBI-WAN KENOBI TAKE THE HEAT
We were going to fly him to an old folk's home anyway.
BE JACK BAUER
Granted, everyone around you is either completely fucked, secretly a bad guy, your daughter, or a combination. Avoid turning into a vampire or picking on little kids on a journey to look at a dead guy.
BE IN A DIFFERENT BRANCH OF SERVICE
Yeah, the other ones don't do stop-loss apparently. Way to pick the only one that does. MENSA material for sure.
FAKE YOUR OWN DEATH
This is a pretty dickfaced move, and a bit extreme of a prank, but if you're sick enough to use it to get out of the Army, you might as well get a chuckle out of it. This is kind of where AWOL meets CREATE NEW IDENTITY, because now you don't have a social security number and can't get a job or go to the hospital or enlist (AH HA HA HA HA HA).
Bonus perk: Terminators can't find you unless Claire Danes fucks everything up.
GET BEAMED UP BY SCOTTY
Once he stops laughing and finally agrees to beam up your clothes, look around and realize that now you are stuck on a spaceship and more or less still involved with a military lifestyle. Also, if they deem you an "ensign", don't go on any missions. EVER.
INSPECT THE WARDROBE
Narnia probably isn't much better than Iraq if you really think about it. Climb back out of the wardrobe you freaking dolt. You look ridiculous.
STEAL THE NEVERENDING STORY
I only saw the first one, so I don't really know how it pans out. I'm just grabbing for straws at this point.
SIMPLY WALK INTO MORDOR
Throw the ring in the molten lava (throw the Terminator in there too if it followed you). This will end all the wars and whatnot, and the truth is that no one likes to be married, so just toss the ring but keep the receipt because jewelry stores usually cover volcano damage (in ancient times, during particularly aggressive volcanic eruptions, women would protect their husbands when the game was on by scooping and flinging the oozing lava away.)
FORGET WHAT YOU WERE TALKING ABOUT AND THEN FORGET EVERYTHING ELSE AFTER THAT, ESPECIALLY FORGET TO DEPLOY
This is considered AWOL and retarded, but will not garner a diagnosis of Retard.
PEE THE BED FOR AS LONG AS IT TAKES
Probably not going to work unless you're still in basic training, which if you're reading this, you aren't. Also, if you're stop-lossed, you probably aren't in basic training. Pee the bed anyway.
Make sure to get all sorts of medical documentation, and a piece of paper that says that you pretty much can't do fucking ANYTHING. The downside is that you pretty much can't do fucking ANYTHING.
Full blown AIDS will net you a 100% disability rating for the rest of your life and the Army takes care of you. Unfortunately, you have AIDS. You're probably better of deploying unless you're Magic Johnson, in which case it's AAAAAARIGHT!
GET ABDUCTED BY ALIENS
Make sure you get abducted by the right kind. Carry a bottle of water in case it's the dudes from "Signs". Always have a cold in case it's the creatures from "War Of The Worlds". Quit shaking the fucking camera if it's the things from "Cloverfield". Have Will Smith with you at all times for obvious reasons. Reese's pieces for E.T., Scully if the aliens have a minibar (she was in Maxim last year I think, so don't tell me she hasn't aged well). Bring Buffalo Bill if the aliens are women and are trapped in a well. Better yet, don't. If the aliens are Kevin Spacey, bring an underage blonde just in case.
In all situations, be prepared to be anally penetrated. Fiki fiki.
PAY IT FORWARD
I figure by now, if you have to do three goddamn favors every time a person does you ONE favor, the world should be THIS FAR from total peace. But since no one is going to listen to the offspring of Forrest Gump, select something else from the list.
GET FROZEN IN CARBONITE
How bad can it be?
RUN OUT OF IDEAS
Refer back to "GET DEPLOYED".
Thursday, March 26, 2009
You hear about the IRR, but it won't happen to you. You probably won't get stop-lossed, except for maybe an extra couple months or something. Not that much of a sacrifice, it's new and exciting. The fucking ARMY, dude! Kickass!
And then maybe one day it hits you with the force of a Mac truck. You sacrifice EVERYTHING. Put it all on the line, gambled with all you got and more. Can't be who you want to be. You have to fit into a mold, a very specific one. There's reasons for all of it, yeah, I got it.
Specific haircut, clean shaven, natural hair color only, no piercings, restrictions on tattoos, where you can go and what you can do, how you conduct yourself. You completely give yourself away. No longer your own. That's a hard fact when it stands up and stares you down and you realize just how wrong you were about your world from the day you inked up those government forms.
I still don't regret enlisting, I probably never will. I do regret that immediately after things take an incredibly positive turn in life, the Army needs more. And the Army comes first, no matter what you think or how you feel.
Not gonna like it, gonna do it anyway. What, something's fucked up in the world and soldiers are getting the short end of the stick? That isn't news.
Sunday, March 15, 2009
Saturday, March 14, 2009
(This isn't the official be-all, end-all, just an example I was able to find online that looked mighty official and felt like it had that Tom Clancy touch. Excerpts below. And remember, knowing is half the "FFFFFFFFFFFFFFFUUUUUUUUU--" -Suspect)
"Stop Loss" is a program which allows the service to temporarily halt all separations and retirement during times of war, deployments, or National Emergency. The Army has issued a "Stop Loss" in conjunction with the "War on Terrorism." Below is the first message issued concerning the Stop Loss Program for the Army:
1. THIS MESSAGE SUPERSEDES PREVIOUS STOP LOSS MESSAGE REFERENCED IN
2. AS A RESULT OF APPROVAL OF A LIMITED STOP LOSS IN ACCORDANCE WITH
REFERENCES R THROUGH V ABOVE, THE PROVISIONS OF REGULATIONS GOVERNING
VOLUNTARY RETIREMENTS, SEPARATIONS, AND RELEASES FROM ACTIVE DUTY
(REFRADS) OF MEMBERS OF THE TOTAL ARMY AS OUTLINED IN PARTS I
(ENLISTED) AND II (OFFICERS) ARE SUSPENDED, EXCEPT AS SPECIFIED IN
PART III (ALL).
3. NOTE THAT NOTHING IN THIS MESSAGE PREVENTS OR DELAYS THE REFRAD
OF RESERVE COMPONENT SOLDIERS ON ACTIVE DUTY FOR TRAINING (ADT),
ANNUAL TRAINING (AT), ACTIVE DUTY FOR SPECIAL WORK (ADSW), ACTIVE
GUARD RESERVE (AGR) DUTY UP -TITLE 10 AND -TITLE 32, TEMPORARY TOURS
OF ACTIVE DUTY (TTAD), ON CALL TO ACTIVE DUTY UP 10 USC 12302
(PARTIAL MOBILIZATION) OR ON A CALL TO ACTIVE DUTY UNDER 10 USC 12304
PRESIDENTIAL SELECTED RESERVE CALL UP (PSRC) (SEE PARAGRAPH 10B).
PART I FOR ENLISTED SOLDIERS:
SECTION 1 ACTIVE ARMY
4. ALL ENLISTMENTS, REENLISTMENTS, EXTENSIONS, PERIODS OF OBLIGATED
SERVICE, AND OTHER PERIODS OF ACTIVE DUTY (EXCEPT PARTIAL
MOBILIZATION, WHICH IS NOT AFFECTED BY STOP LOSS) FOR ACTIVE ARMY
SOLDIERS SPECIFIED IN PARA 4A(1) ARE EXTENDED, SUBJECT TO THE
EXCEPTIONS NOTED IN PARA 10, UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE.
(1) STOP LOSS IS APPLIED TO SOLDIERS LISTED BELOW WHO HAVE A
PRIMARY MOS (PMOS) WITH AN ETS DATE ON OR AFTER THE CORRESPONDING ETS
EFFECTIVE DATE, WHO HAVE NOT BEGUN TRANSITION LEAVE PRIOR TO THE
CORRESPONDING TRANSITION LEAVE EFFECTIVE DATE. SOLDIERS WILL BE
RETAINED SUBJECT TO PARA 3 AND 10:
(List of MOS not applicable to this post. -Suspect)
(2) STOP LOSS HAS BEEN LIFTED FOR PMOS' 81T, 92R, 96D, 96H,
96Z, 97Z, 98G (RUSSIAN AND SPANISH LINGUISTS ONLY), 98H, 98J, 98K,
AND 98Z. REFER TO REF W FOR SPECIFIC IMPLEMENTATION GUIDANCE.
B. PROCEDURES: SOLDIERS IDENTIFIED IN PARAGRAPH 4A(1) WILL HAVE
THEIR ETS CHANGED TO 24 DECEMBER 2031 IN THE TOTAL ARMY PERSONNEL
DATABASE (TAPDB) BY HQDA (THIS IS A NOTIONAL AND ARBITRARY DATE FOR
TRACKING PURPOSES AND DOES NOT CONSTITUTE THE SOLDIERS' TRUE ETS
DATE). THIS ETS CHANGE WILL BE AUTOMATICALLY POSTED TO THE DEFENSE
JOINT MILITARY PAY SYSTEMS (DJMS), THE DEFENSE ENROLLMENT ELIGIBILITY
REPORTING SYSTEM (DEERS), AND THE STANDARD INSTALLATION/ DIVISION
PERSONNEL SYSTEM (SIDPERS). INSTALLATIONS SHOULD SEE ETS DATES
CHANGE IN SIDPERS NOT LATER THAN FIVE (5) DAYS AFTER THE EFFECTIVE
DATE OF THIS MESSAGE AND WILL BE ABLE TO QUERY THE SIDPERS DATA BASE
USING AN AD HOC QUERY TO IDENTIFY SOLDIERS WHO HQDA INDICATES ARE
AFFECTED BY STOP LOSS. INSTALLATIONS MUST MANAGE THESE SOLDIERS TO
ENSURE THEY DO NOT SEPARATE PRIOR TO THE TERMINATION OF THEIR STOP
LOSS STATUS IAW GUIDANCE PROVIDED IN THIS MILPER MESSAGE. UPON
TERMINATION OF STOP LOSS, ETS DATES WILL BE READJUSTED IAW MILPER
INSTRUCTIONS. HQDA POC FOR SIDPERS ISSUES IS THE SUPER SERVER HELP
DESK, COMM. 1-866-433-9196.
C. COMMANDERS WILL CONTINUE TO ENCOURAGE SOLDIERS TO EXTEND OR
REENLIST. SOLDIERS WHO REENLIST DURING THE PERIOD OF INVOLUNTARY
EXTENSION WILL HAVE THEIR ETS DATE CHANGED TO THEIR ACTUAL ETS DATE
AS A RESULT OF THE REENLISTEMENT AND WILL CONTINUE TO BE ELIGIBLE FOR
PAYMENT OF ACCRUED LEAVE (IAW AR 600-8-10).