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To all the American veterans past and present, thank you for your service. When it comes to my appreciation for military service, I don’t care whether or not a war is justified. The brave men and women in harm’s way in our armed forces are professionals doing the job to which they were assigned. With extremely rare and regrettable exceptions, they do so with complete integrity — a fact that doesn’t apply to the vast majority of armed forces around the world.

I reckon my respect doesn’t mean anything relative to the satisfaction and pleasure they derive from their work. Yes, it’s a sh*t job, what with the undeniable bureaucratic incompetence that afflicts their everyday life. But there are compensations. Like “playing” with big guns at the taxpayers’ expense. Enjoy ladies and gentlemen. You deserve it.


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        • From what I heard, the Air Force always had the best chow, followed closely by the Navy.

          Never made much sense to me. I thought all the stateside chow halls were subcontracted to Sodexo.

        • Oh, HELL, no! The Navy has always had the best chow, far as I know, I think the AF just grabs guys out of the processing line and says “you’re a cook!” I know at DaNang (about the only place I recall having a choice) the Navy had to close it’s chow halls to AF and Army personnel who weren’t specifically invited by Navy personnel, or their tiny detachment would have been feeding the whole damn base!

        • Yeah… The one thing I miss about the chow was the Navy office coffee. (The docs always had a pot brewing during sick call.) Not sure if it was just in my head, but it just plain tasted better than what we got at the chow hall. DaNang was was quite a bit before my time. (About a decade before I was even BORN.) These days, it seems like every chow hall I’ve ever been to was serving the exact same Sodexo. It’s not BAD, per-se, just distinctly meh.

          Then again, I’m one of those freaky mutants that actually LIKES MREs. The apple-cinnamon ranger bars were the shit, even if you had to have a quart of water to wash them down.

      • No genius, I am a Marine. A 1371 E4 with 2nd CEB for the majority of my time. Do you really think that a poser would claim to be a glorified construction worker? Oh, and I do miss the few times we got to play with weapons rather than shovels and frontloaders. A bit of an exaggeration, but I’m not going to claim that I got more that a passing familiarity with weapons in the military. The grunts got to play with all the cool toys.

    • Work on 40 plus F18’s for 8 years in RAG’s – 2 years, in a gun squadron, smell of JP-5, leaky fuel cells, stuck in # 4, almost died in #2, cracked engine mounts. Musical engine swaps, Chasing jets across the pond, combat engineering parts to get them back, putting up with Maintenance Control not having a clue, mightnight parts acquisition from crashed birds, sweat dripping off your balls in the Palms, inspecting oil & fuel leaks while counting 8 AB rings and your nose bone vibrating into your brain bucket…don’t miss a minute of that…do miss the crew cause you knew they had your flank….can’t say as much for the civilians.

    • Sitting in my office one day in Laguna Hills, CA when I thought the San Andreas had let loose. Looked out the window and a MIG 29 had just passed by at about 100 feet altitude! Seems they were doing practice runs for an upcoming air show at the El Toro Marine Corps Air Base.

      That’ll rattle your teeth, fer shur.

  1. While there are some things that really suck, there are also aspects I miss.

    Life is always rosy in the rear view mirror…

    • As a friend of mine said, you wouldn’t think you would get to hate a job where you get to hang out with your friends and play with guns on Uncle Sam’s dime… But there you go.

    • You’ve clearly forgotten the cleanup of all the brass, links, and grenade pins/jungle clips while the First Sergeant being a complete dick about it because and actually being a hinderance rather than a force multiplier or a leader. Followed on by a day of mindless cleaning because the Army can’t accept a useful level of cleaning because it’s been indoctrinated that cleaning means white glove level, the level that actually harms the weapon rather than helps it.

      • Oh man I hated picking up brass. Especially after doing live fire excercises in the MOUT Cities. I also hated PT during transition months. You would freeze your ass off standing at attention. Then run and be way too hot. I also don’t miss waking up in the morning during winter in a patrol base.

      • The only day I didn’t mind picking up brass: My squad was tasked with disposing of 7,000 rounds of 5.56 before fiscal year end. Wound up with ten of us blasting away at full auto with our (well worn) M-16s. Second best result – you learn how goddam hard it is to actually hit anything on rock n roll! Spray & pray for sure.

  2. Ugggh! Shot on location @ Fort Hunter Liggett, King City, CA 93930. I hated that God forsaken place. Those freakin hills were frequent & steep. The video doesn’t do it justice. Took forever to line haul gear there from Port Hueneme ( port who-needs-me) in a MTVR that would hit 40 MPH unless going down a steep grade on the 101. No, it still sucks. Even today, 16 years later (NMCB 18)

    • Played there too. You failed to mention running to intercept on QRF and going knee deep in a Liggett hole. March had overnight snows, rain early AM, back soaking 80 degree afternoons, where you froze on every security halt on your 7mi. Combat patrol.
      And there were beers all around at the Hacienda post FEX, while the raised your flag.


  3. To all veterans who post here, and all veterans everywhere, thank you so much for your service. There are still a great many Americans who appreciate the sacrifices you have made for our country and freedom.

  4. Best part was training with full auto rifles at the tender age of 17. And being good at operating was a requirement.

  5. I decided at 14 I wanted to fly jets for the AF. 8 years later I was in training, another year and I pinned on my wings. I can’t blame anyone for taking advantage of me. I have many illustrations of the good times I had, but only one really involves guns and partying. On the way to Vietnam, due to a pissing contest between Army and AF I won’t go into, I was sent to a “school” in NM for 3 months at the beginning of 1971 that you just could not make up. After checking in, I was told the school wasn’t going to begin for 10 days, so the bride and I drove to CA to visit friends. Not on leave mind you, on the job. Then it came up that we were going to be flying once or twice a week, when we weren’t flying they didn’t want to see us. Once we get to the flying, we were flying ancient aircraft which used to be used in pilot training but have been replaced, so we have thousands of spares, nobody cares if we pile one up or not, we are not even checked out in the aircraft, just go fly.

    Off we go in 4-ship formation, eventually flying solo if we wish (some didn’t!) to the range, where we worked with twin .50s in the nose strafing targets at 450 knots. Alternate that with 45 degree strafe, which looks like straight down, btw. In this ancient aircraft (a T-33, for those who have a clue) firing the .50s fills the cockpit with gunsmoke, life cannot get better as we pull 4 Gs on the pullout. Normally, no, we did not police our own brass, but the bride and I did take a couple hours, once, to drive out to the range and collect some, on an off day, of course. Collected a good bit of .50 brass, some live .50, and some 20mm brass as well, along with projectiles which allowed simulated loaded cartridges to keep on the mantle for decades, and a practice bomb as well. We fired some rockets, too, but they left no pretty residue.

    Driving trucks and shooting looks like fun, but flying jets and shooting guns just simply rocks. And of course, is air conditioned.

  6. “I don’t care whether or not a war is justified”

    You might have a point if they were conscripts. Alas, these dumb animals volunteered to commit mass murder for criminal politicians for a bad paycheck and bennies.

    As usual, American militarism is mindless soundbites, devoid of any logic or reason.

    • Hey fucktard. You’re late to the party.

      Unfortunately for you, the US military doesn’t commit “mass murder” 99.999% of durka durkas killed since 2001 were killed by other durka durkas.

      But please, feel free to convert to Islam and line up to get your balls cut off.

      • Do you actually have stats to back this up, or do yo just make stuff up like all the other GWOT revisionists and justifiers?

        I find it amusing that the dumb animals who literally enabled ISIS by doing the bidding of politicians have the chutzpath to blame the locals even though their actions were the direct cause of all the unrest in the last decade.

        Absolute ignorance is truly the common denominator of all American militarists.

  7. For the one thing you can think fondly about, there are probable 4 other not so awesome things you forget about when thinking about my time in the Army. Even shooting weapons, big fully automatic machine guns like Ma Deuce, 240B or Mk 19, you forget about waiting all day in the freezing rain, or burning hot humid summer heat just to spend a couple of minutes for some trigger time. Than the cleanup, accountability and the God help us white glove inspections before turn in.


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