6 Things You Should Definitely Not Say To A Veteran On Memorial Day

Screen grab via YouTube

On the last Monday of every May, Americans get a day off work to pay tribute to the millions of men and women who’ve died while serving in the U.S. military. For some, it’s a deeply somber occasion. But for many more Americans, it’s an opportunity to head to the nearest body of water, fire up the grill, and party their fucking faces off. And while nothing screams “BORN IN THE USA” like slipping into a star-spangled Speedo and chugging cans of patriotic camo Budweiser until your liver explodes, it completely misses the point. Which is why veterans usually roll their eyes when someone wishes them a “Happy Memorial Day!”

We’re here to help you avoid being that guy.

Below you’ll find the ultimate list of things you should definitely not say to a veteran on Memorial Day. (Or to anyone on any day.) Read it. Memorize it. And get ready to impress all of your cool veteran friends by managing to get through the entire holiday without tipping your hand as a nasty civilian:

1. “Hey, you’ve got something on your shirt.”

Note: In the event that the veteran you are speaking to does, in fact, have a stained shirt (even solemn vets like mustard and ketchup), this is a completely fine and decent thing to say. However, if the veteran looks down to discover that they do not have anything on their shirt, and you flick them on the face with your finger and yell “Got ya,” you’re an asshole. Shame on you.

2. “It burns like hell when I pee.”

I hate to break it you, buddy, but it sounds like you’ve contracted a sexually transmitted disease, which is not something you should be advertising willy-nilly. So, unless the veteran you are speaking to is a doctor, or someone you're considering sleeping with, do not let these words leave your mouth. Try talking about sports, or a great movie you just saw.

3. “Mm, daddy likey.”

Only a handful of people on Earth can get away with referring to themselves as “daddy,” and chances are you’re not one of them. There are a million other ways to express satisfaction that don’t make you sound like a creep. For example, you can say, “Wow, this gluten-free spaghetti carbonara is absolutely delicious. Mind emailing me the recipe?” This will let the veteran you’re speaking to know that you a) enjoy their cooking, and b) are open to trying new and exotic things. It could also be the start of a great friendship.

4. “Let’s pull our dicks out for Harambe.”

This would’ve been a totally appropriate thing to say to a veteran a year ago, when the cold-blooded murder of that cherished silverback gorilla (may he rest in peace) shook the world to its core. But in 2017? Get with the times, amigo. We’re better than that now. Exposing yourself in public is not just disgusting, it’s also a crime. Maybe try pulling your head out of your ass instead.    

5. “Don’t go chasing waterfalls.”

Why the fuck would you say this? First of all, it makes zero sense. You can’t chase a waterfall. It’s a stationary thing. Second, it’s a quote from a TLC song that debuted in 1995. Yes, the group was well ahead of its time. And, yes, “Waterfalls” ranks among the greatest pop ballads of the late 20th century, overlaying funky-fresh rhythms with cautionary tales about life on the mean streets. Is your name Left-Eye, Chilli, or T-Boz? Go right ahead, sir. If not, don’t offend a veteran like this on Memorial Day.

6. “Hey, I’ve got something in my van that I’d really like to show you.”

Nice try, freak. Also, who are you? Why are you at my Memorial Day BBQ? Is that a banana in your pocket? Oh, wow, it is. Well, yes, thanks. That’s very generous of you. Mm, this is delicious. What’s that? You have more in your van? Okay, sure, I don’t see any harm in that. You seem like a perfectly normal guy. And boy am I a sucker for a good banana. You too? Of course you are. You have a tattoo of Harambe on your forearm. Let’s go to your van. Thanks for supporting the troops!

Pictured left to right: Pedro Pascal ("Catfish"), Garrett Hedlund ("Ben"), Charlie Hunnam ("Ironhead"), and Ben Affleck ("Redfly") Photo Courtesy of Netflix

A new trailer for Netflix's Triple Frontier dropped last week, and it looks like a gritty mash-up of post-9/11 war dramas Zero Dark Thirty and Hurt Locker and crime thrillers Narcos and The Town.

Read More Show Less
Army Sgt. Daniel Cowart gets a hug from then-Dallas Cowboys defensive end Chris Canty. Photo: Department of Defense

The Distinguished Service Cross was made for guys like Sgt. Daniel Cowart, who literally tackled and "engaged...in hand to hand combat" a man wearing a suicide vest while he was on patrol in Iraq.

So it's no wonder he's having his Silver Star upgraded to the second-highest military award.

Read More Show Less
A small unmanned aerial vehicle built by service academy cadets is shown here flying above ground. This type of small UAV was used by cadets and midshipmen from the U.S. Air Force Academy, the U.S. Military Academy and the U.S. Naval Academy, during a Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency-sponsored competition at Camp Roberts, California, April 23-25, 2017. During the competition, cadets and midshipmen controlled small UAVs in "swarm" formations to guard territory on the ground at Camp Roberts. (U.S. Air Force photo)

Drones have been used in conflicts across the globe and will play an even more important role in the future of warfare. But, the future of drones in combat will be different than what we have seen before.

The U.S. military can set itself apart from others by embracing autonomous drone warfare through swarming — attacking an enemy from multiple directions through dispersed and pulsing attacks. There is already work being done in this area: The U.S. military tested its own drone swarm in 2017, and the UK announced this week it would fund research into drone swarms that could potentially overwhelm enemy air defenses.

I propose we look to the amoeba, a single-celled organism, as a model for autonomous drones in swarm warfare. If we were to use the amoeba as this model, then we could mimic how the organism propels itself by changing the structure of its body with the purpose of swarming and destroying an enemy.

Read More Show Less
Soldiers from 4th Squadron, 9th U.S. Cavalry Regiment "Dark Horse," 2nd Armored Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division, are escorted by observer controllers from the U.S. Army Operational Test Command after completing field testing of the Armored Multi-Purpose Vehicle (AMPV) Sept. 24, 2018. (U.S. Army/Maj. Carson Petry)

The Army has awarded a $575 million contract to BAE Systems for the initial production of its replacement for the M113 armored personnel carriers the service has been rocking downrange since the Vietnam War.

Read More Show Less

President Donald Trump has formally outlined how his administration plans to stand up the Space Force as the sixth U.S. military service – if Congress approves.

On Tuesday, Trump signed a directive that calls for the Defense Department to submit a proposal to Congress that would make Space Force fall under Department of the Air Force, a senior administration official said.

Read More Show Less