Saturday, December 12, 2009

God and the Soldier We Adore

In case you haven't been to one - or in case no one has ever told you - war is one of the most boring things humans ever invented.

It is a sort of Perfect Storm of bad food, worse hygiene, unchanging scenery and incessant companions punctuated (if you are unlucky) by moments of bowel-loosening terror.

And then you get up and do the same fucking thing again the next day.

And the next. And the...

You get the idea.

So now that we're neck deep in the Annual Holly-Bedecked QuasiReligious Festival of Corporate Greed, perhaps you can spare a moment to help those stuck in this craptacular business. One of the best ways I can think of - short of storming the Capitol and forcing the congresscritters to watch repeated showings of "From Justin To Kelly" until they agreed to make peace and bring the deployed guys home - is here, at "Books for Soldiers".

(h/t to my battle buddy Jim over at RangerAgainstWar for turning me on to this site).

Let me tell you a little story.

Almost thirty years ago I got an all-expanse paid vacation to the Caribbean. It was the first time any of us but the platoon sergeants and above had actually heard a live round fired in anger, and, frankly, we were not all that thrilled about it. It turned out to be a sort of extended joke on war, but we didn't know that at the time.

But the real revelation was how freaking flat-out dull it was. We spent hours sitting on our collective asses doing nothing. LOTS of nothing. Even within long rifle-range of the "enemy" we ended up digging in and sitting around for most of the day while our sister battalion chased a handful of idlers around the little town of Ruth Howard.

As it turned out, the military crest we occupied had been the original overnight position of one of the Division Ready Battalions who had deployed with their rucks packed for worldwide deployment. which meant that they had all their cold weather crap, eight cases of "C" rations, all the ash and trash that the 82nd SOP called for.

Needless to say, they had dumped all this stuff as soon as they could.

We didn't want their junk, either, though those of us not immediately occupied in setting up the defense (like Doc Me) rooted through it in hopes of finding some candy or a porn mag or something.And as luck would have it, I came up with a coverless paperback edition of Jim Webb's "Sense of Honor". So while my airborne brothers dug in and my sister battalion played hide-and-seek with the Grenadian Axes of Evil I read about Annapolis in the 1960's and managed to kill a fairly painless two hours of quasi-war.

So in the spirit of my nameless book donor and to do something really decent to poke a thumb in the eye of your corporate masters (who want you buying something spendy and trendy to celebrate the birth of the impoverished Prince of Peace), how about kicking down a spare twenty or fifty to help some OTHER dogface make it through a long day somewhere in Central Asia?

Like you need another fucking Christmas sweater, right?

(crossposted at MilPub)


rangeragainstwar said...

There's not exactly a good selection of books available at the PX-if one is lucky enuf to have a PX.
The troops deserve books to read.

Lisa said...

Thanks for posting, FDC -- it was good of you.