Category Archive : Military

The Holy Hand Grenade

I never saw or heard anything until the grenade landed right next to me.

I was able to grab it and toss it away from me before it went off, but it was too late – I’d been caught looking
the wrong way. Read More

The “N” Word

“N*gg*r!”

“N*gg*r!”

“N*gg*r!”

“N*gg*r!”

“N*gg*r!”

“N*gg*r!”

“N*gg*r!”

“n*gg*r…”

“n*gg*r…” Read More

Pledge of Allegiance

I wonder how many times I’ve said the Pledge of Allegiance in my life.

I’m betting it’s a lot more than I’ve sang the National Anthem. Read More

Gunner

“GUNNER – COAX – TROOPS!”

Thirty years ago I was an Army Reservist. Most of my weekend drills and two-week annual trainings were at Fort Huachuca, Arizona, a small base just a few miles north of the border with Mexico.

I was a tank gunner on an M60A3 Main Battle Tank and heard the phrase “GUNNER – COAX – TROOPS!” frequently. It was the command my tank commander would call out when we came across the simulated infantry targets scattered throughout our tank gunnery practice ranges. Read More

Prepared

I was prepared.

In 1992, when I was 24 years old, I could take apart, reassemble and do a function check on a Colt M1911A1 .45 caliber pistol in less than 45 seconds.

I was prepared.

I had qualified as an Expert shot every time I went to the range with the Army, even knocking down my targets while wearing a gas mask. When I pointed a pistol at targets they went down. Read More

Farts

I can’t believe I’m going to write a blog about farts, but I’m going to because I can’t get this thought out of my head.

My mother once told me that I could fart sunshine. Read More

Division and Faith

25 years ago a white Army van dropped me off on the corner of Division and Faith.

I was 25 years old and had just come on Active Duty with the military after experiencing the most difficult year of my life. In the previous year I’d lost my father, a marriage and my job and I was looking for a fresh start. A new direction. A rebirth. Read More

Spirit of ’76

I remember the blast.

I remember the crunchy grass and a setting sun.

I remember the crackling flashes and the eggy, ashy smell. Read More

The Army Did It To Me

“The Army is doing this to me.”

I used to hear that phrase, or some form of it, nearly every day. Read More

Where To Stand

I wrote a lot this past year. It’s what I do when I’m trying to make sense of things. Read More

Full of Shit

Shit.

There. Got your attention, didn’t I? Read More

Hurry Up And Wait

Hurry up and wait.

During my years in the Army this was probably the most common phrase I heard and one of the few phrases used throughout all the branches of the military. We had different missions, different uniforms, different ranks, different words for the same things, even everyday things like where we went to the bathroom (we called it a latrine, the Navy called it a head, the Air Force called it who knows what and the Marines just go wherever). Read More