We all know that guy who wherever he goes, he has an energy drink. But have you ever seen this on a large scale? Anybody who has spent time in the sand box has, it is called mass Rip It addiction. It is a weird phenomenon, either you never tried one or are shaking in a corner with one in each hand.
I was first exposed to this evil on my first deployment, these little innocent looking 8oz cans in the galley. We used to walk to the chow hall with empty back packs just so we could load up. Just thinking about it makes me itch and twitch.
We would grab a bite, and then walk to the cooler. We then would clean out the cooler of Rip It. My ruck would weigh 30lbs in Rip It’s alone. Many times we got chased by chow hall staff for cleaning them out. At one point I was knocking back 18 a day, how my heart didn’t explode I will never know.
The best part is they are free. Yup, you don’t have to pay a dime for all the heart popping goodness of Rip It. The thing is they don’t taste that great, and they don’t even give you energy, they just make you awake.
Working as a sailor in the Military aviation business you get comfortable in some pretty crazy places. Being 20 feet from a thousand pound propeller spinning at 13 thousand rpm. Or wedged in a microwave sized area three feet deep with electrical wires all around you. Hell, with the military in general you work in some less than favorable conditions. Problem is you get too comfortable. Eventually you get complacent and shit turns into a shitstorm. You work those lines near death, and you start to lose the fear. That fear can be double edged. Too much or too little and bad decisions get made.
Complacency is part of our everyday lives. You want proof? Look at your daily drive to work. How much goes into auto pilot? Are there moments where you cannot remember going from one stoplight to the next? You get so wrapped up in your head all else blurs by. My favorite example of complacency is cell phone zombies. I have witnessed the zombie horde bang, crash, and fall in the streets because of facebook. These are great examples of shit that kills people. The reports of the driver never saw the person in the street he ran over, but was answering a text. The person who swears their attacker came out of nowhere but was nose deep in snapchat.
One of my personal heroes Senator Daniel K. Inouye passed away yesterday, the Senator was the recipient of the Medal of Honor for his heroic actions in Italy during WW2 as a member of the famed 442nd Regimental Combat Team. After the war Inouye went on to become the second-longest serving U.S. Senator in history representing Hawaii.
Our country will greatly miss this American Hero who selflessly served his country for his entire life.
Senator Daniel K. Inouye’s Medal of Honor citation:
“Second Lieutenant Daniel K. Inouye distinguished himself by extraordinary heroism in action on 21 April 1945, in the vicinity of San Terenzo, Italy. While attacking a defended ridge guarding an important road junction, Second Lieutenant Inouye skillfully directed his platoon through a hail of automatic weapon and small arms fire, in a swift enveloping movement that resulted in the capture of an artillery and mortar post and brought his men to within 40 yards of the hostile force.
Emplaced in bunkers and rock formations, the enemy halted the advance with crossfire from three machine guns. With complete disregard for his personal safety, Second Lieutenant Inouye crawled up the treacherous slope to within five yards of the nearest machine gun and hurled two grenades, destroying the emplacement. Before the enemy could retaliate, he stood up and neutralized a second machine gun nest.
Although wounded by a sniper’s bullet, he continued to engage other hostile positions at close range until an exploding grenade shattered his right arm. Despite the intense pain, he refused evacuation and continued to direct his platoon until enemy resistance was broken and his men were again deployed in defensive positions. In the attack, 25 enemy soldiers were killed and eight others captured.
By his gallant, aggressive tactics and by his indomitable leadership, Second Lieutenant Inouye enabled his platoon to advance through formidable resistance, and was instrumental in the capture of the ridge. Second Lieutenant Inouye’s extraordinary heroism and devotion to duty are in keeping with the highest traditions of military service and reflect great credit on him, his unit, and the United States Army.”
His last word was “Aloha”
Even a powder blue everything wearing tool like Don Johnson knows how to properly wear a shoulder holster – what’s your excuse?
Every day I see an Officer or NCO walking around Iraq giving shoulder holsters a bad name by wearing them like a 12 year old going trick-o-treating. How you can screw up wearing something as simple as a shoulder holster be-founds me. I mean, all you do is put one arm through the big hole then repeat.
It’s bad enough that I have to stand in line at the chow hall with the barrel of your Beretta sticking out of the back end of your shoulder holster pointing directly at my face or chest. But it makes my eyes bleed every time I see an otherwise squared away looking soldier walking around wearing the suede shoulder holster + ACU combo.
For those of you who don’t know: In Iraq most Officers and NCO’s are issued a pistol instead of a rifle, probably so they won’t accidentally leave their M-4 propped against their desk next to the “T” body armor stand (with an inch of dust on their kit) when they make a PX run.
And inevitably every one of them will buy a cheap-ass locally made suede shoulder holster from the Hajji Bazaar. Besides looking completely ridiculous when worn over ACU’s – they can’t seem to figure out what the adjustable straps are for, so they just wear it at whatever length it was adjusted to when they bought it.
So how many wrong ways are there to wear a Shoulder Holster? About a dozen but here are my two favorites and the most commonly seen in Iraq:
Every army chow hall Sergeant in iraq
If you have ever been deployed to the Middle East you are probably familiar with the angry Sergeant found in every Chow Hall in-country. This winner is also known as the “Chow Hall Sergeant Ass-Hole” Militarous Douchebagnus.
This Mr. Angry, tough guy, FOBBIT Douchebag is easily recognized as he will be only military guy standing still (oddly almost at parade rest) either at the front of the chow hall starring down everyone in line or in the rear making sure that no-one dares take more than 2 sodas out.
This guy is probably one of the angriest people on a FOB – He is incapable of doing simple civilized human things like being polite to people (but he will run behind a general waiting to catch a turd) or saying hello back to someone (the Angry Chow Hall Sergeant is the master of the “Angry Chin Nod” hello response).
The reason for his anger is unknown, perhaps it is the fact he scored a 22 on his ASVAB, or possibly because he was given this valiant duty after getting his 3rd DUI.
The 442nd Regimental Combat Team, hiking up a muddy French road in the Chambois Sector, France, in late 1944.
Recently NPR aired a segment regarding the huge influx of Asian Americans joining the ranks of the armed services. However I was very angry at the comment she made that more Asian Americans are joining because of prominent soldiers who “look like them.”
Thus by huge almost cosmic coincidence I was reminded by my late night Wikipedia searches and James G about the 442nd Infantry Regimental Combat Team. This was an entirely Asian American fighting unit that served with distinction throughout World War 2.
21 members of the unit were recipients of the Medal of Honor. With a total of 9,486 purple hearts, one of its components the 100th infantry battalion was aptly dubbed the Purple Heart brigade.
Composed entirely of Nisei Japanese these second generation Japanese American citizens saw their families interned in relocation camps following the xenophobia as Japanese Americans were seen as interlopers.
Even in the face of such discrimination when the army asked for 1500 volunteers from Hawaii and 3000 from the mainland, nearly 10000 from Hawaii alone stepped forward to answer the call to arms.