AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH… Men in uniform get all the ladies. maybe that’s why i enlisted 12 years ago. I could live with that story. Teenage boys are, after all, young, dumb and full of c…crazy ideas about women… so i wish i could say that i enlisted because I had heard that men in uniform get all the ladies but that would be a lie. granted, that was certainly a part of the allure, but as for me, i was also full of crazy ideas about america and freedom and democracy and apple pie and Toby Keith and Chevy pick-up trucks.
I never even gave it a second thought. guys like me go into the military. well-mannered, god fearing americans like me serve their country no questions asked. terrorists or no terrorists, we serve. Happily. and we don’t get involved in politics. just keep our noses clean, stay frosty, keep our heads on a swivel and do our patriotic duty. For god, family and country we sign away our own freedom and do whatever the government tells us to. occupy a flooded out New Orleans and treat its residents like prisoners? of course. Occupy Iraq and treat it’s residents like animals? absolutely. all in the name of freedom and democracy. in the name of saving freedom from being destroyed by those who hate us for our freedom, and to give them freedom. Iraqi freedom and Enduring freedom.
Just as our granddads nuked Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and firebombed the city of Dresden, nearly killing a young prisoner of war named Kurt Vonnegut Jr in the process (though leaving the railroads and death camps of Europe intact) ‘to save the Jews of Europe’… and our dads and uncles burned down villages in Vietnam to ‘save democracy from heartless commies’… our generation was called upon to save something more important than the Jews of Europe and the democracy of Vietnam, our generation was called upon to save the most important thing of all: ‘FREEDOM’ Or something like that.
And to give democracy and freedom to Afghanistan. Give democracy and freedom to Iraq… and bada bing , bada boom democracy and freedom for all, of course, after a boot in their asses (since it’s the american way) as a lil’ bit of revenge for 9/11!!! And we’ll live happily ever after in the best, greatest country in the world, with our uniform loving gals cooking for us and making us babies and getting us ice cold beers when the game is on, with our illusion of freedom intact (thanks for ruining that, Edward Snowden)
No, I didn’t enlist just for the uniform to get the ladies, I did it to protect an illusion of america, a fantastical idea I was socialized with of the nation i grew up loving and pledging my allegiance to, a nation i was brainwashed from an early age to believe was the greatest nation on earth. I enlisted because I thought we were the good guys. …and because I’d heard that the ladies love a man in uniform. I was crushed when i slowly started to realize that I had been lied to my entire life about pretty much everything.
In hindsight, the price of the uniform wasn’t worth the shallow women that it attracted. In hindsight, the ‘greatest generation’ (quote, unquote) ever, was forced into WW2 for a self-serving government that cared more about gaining access to the markets of post-WW2 Europe, and preventing Japan from shoring up its own backyard, than it did liberating death camps (or opening the gates of american internment camps) or not slaughtering tens of thousands of innocent civilians with an atomic bomb. But they did look quite dapper in those uniforms, which the ladies of course, just loved.
And WW2 was remembered as ‘the good war’. the real history of Vietnam is being re-written by delusional jingoists as a fight between good and evil. And our wars? Well, with 99% of americans not having to sacrifice blood or treasure, and with no-talent socialites, pop singers, and duck hunters filling out entire news cycles… and with ample amounts of bread and circuses, no one cares that we’re still over there. still coming home maimed and mentally broken… or in flag draped boxes.
But, at the end of the day, the ladies still love a man in uniform, whether he’ll become one of the 22 veterans committing suicide every day, or not. So, as long as the uniforms look sharp as hell and the chest candy keeps them dreaming of becoming the next Audie Murphy, the young and dumb teenage boys will keep on signing up…because of these crazy ideas about women just loving a man in uniform.
*I fully understand that some of both men and women are attracted to both men and women in uniform, but this was based off the saying ‘women love a man in uniform’, which I was told by friends and family members when I enlisted just after high school in 2002. I would imagine that this theory also entices some high school kids to join JROTC. As a society, we must think about what a uniform represents. The Nazis wore uniforms, which I’m sure the women just loved*