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For Veteran Couples, Some Things Don’t Need To Be Said
I’m going to have a roommate here pretty soon, and it’s not a third cat. While I am somewhat notoriously hard to date, someone not only took the bait, but is moving in with me in early June. With him will come some odds and ends of furniture, miscellaneous dishware, and most formidably, his Marine Corps ceremonial sword.
Not only will I have a roommate for the first time in years, not only will it be a commitment, he is a Marine Corps veteran and an officer to boot. My senior enlisted Army self is somewhat chagrined at this turn of events, and it has little to do with sharing closet space.
And yet, despite my many apprehensions over dating at all, after nearly a year now I have found that dating — and already partially living with — another veteran actually makes some things in life immeasurably easier. Here are a few of those things.
Definitions are kept to a minimum.
Even soldier to Marine and officer to enlisted translates better in many cases than soldier to civilian. The benefits of this are many, but the added bonus is that your funny stories are actually funny again because you aren’t stopping every three sentences to explain what a field-expedient latrine is or to spell out every acronym. He gets it. He also gets it when he receives my texts saying, “I’m still at the VA. I may be late for lunch, and given the progress made in the line at the pharmacy, possibly also dinner. And, in general, life forevermore.” Mostly because he had an appointment there yesterday during which he’d texted his concern he’d need someone to air drop supplies.
You can be a little more gross early on.
There’s always that weird breaking-in period with couples where you are a little embarrassed about things like bodily functions for at least the first few months. Not so much with another veteran. We’ve both had to poop off the back of a truck during a field exercise or a convoy, making any “everybody poops” conversation moot right out the gate.
There’s a different level of support.
Civilian friends, significant others, and families provide a world of support. However, there is something to be said for someone who just takes your hand when the cab driver seems to be finding every pothole in the street and you start getting that look of panic in your eyes. No explanation is needed for your reaction, and they know that the only thing necessary is a gentle reminder that you are unlikely to explode.
You can call each other out.
Sometimes you need to be told to suck it up and drive on. Unlike a civilian significant other, you probably won’t get offers of a massage when you complain of being sore after working out. You’ll get a ton of ridicule because you should have known better, get told to take a knee, and drink water, or if you’re with someone really special — 800mg of Motrin. The same goes for other small problems: They know the difference between a real issue and when you are in fact just being a baby, and they make damn sure you do, too.
It’s all about efficiency.
Take out the trash. Get up an hour early tomorrow. Close the door behind you. There’s something to be said for someone who understands the simplicity of things being done for a reason, and even better, the simplicity of implicit instructions. We just know some things will get done because we both had to live by the same standard during our adult lives, and that’s pretty glorious. And if things do get messy from time to time, there isn’t any offense taken when the guilty party is called out for being a disgusting sack and told to square it away. Because that’s communication.
It makes conflict resolution easy.
Really, any arguments are trivialized when someone calls you out for using your staff NCO voice or makes fun of you for knife-handing the cat.
Sure, all of these things might happen with a close civilian significant other, but the real trick is that with another veteran these things are immediate. There wasn’t a break-in period, there wasn’t a time when I asked if he killed anyone with that damn sword. There wasn’t that awkward silence after you tell them about how you spent more than a few nights using your body armor as a blanket because you really didn’t want to get up and go to the bunker when the sirens went off for the eighth time that day. Plus, when someone stumbles on the box of “reallocated” MREs in the storage unit, there’s someone just as excited about the fact that there are M&Ms; in numbers 6 and 17.
Feel free to comment on any perks (or mishaps) I may have left out, but the reality of dating a veteran is that it’s like you are with your veteran buddies, only instead of occasional phone conversations that start and end with someone endearingly being called a dumbass, you can now come home to it every day.
But no, really, Marine, that sword is not being hung up in the living room.
At least one Air Force base is on the lookout for a sinister new threat: angry men who can't get laid.
Personnel at Joint Base Andrews in Maryland were recently treated to a threat brief regarding an "increase in nationwide activity" by self-described "incels," members of an online subculture of "involuntary celibacy" who adopt an ideology of misogyny, mistrust of women, and violence in response to their failed attempts at romantic relationships.
The brief was first made public via a screenshot posted to the popular Air Force amn/nco/snco Facebook page on Tuesday. An Air Force spokesman confirmed the authenticity of the screenshot to Task & Purpose.
"The screenshot was taken from a Joint Base Andrews Intel brief created following basic threat analysis on an increase in nationwide activity by the group," 11th Wing spokesman Aletha Frost told Task & Purpose in an email.
A Navy installation blasted 'The Star-Spangled Banner' at high volume for 3 days straight, scaring the crap out of its neighbors
From Long Beach to Huntington Beach, residents were greeted Saturday, June 15, at precisely 8 a.m. with "The Star-Spangled Banner." Then 12 hours later, the "Retreat" bugle call bellowed throughout Seal Beach and beyond.
At first, people wondered if the booming sound paid tribute to Flag Day, June 14. Seal Beach neighbors bordering Los Alamitos assumed the music was coming from the nearby Joint Forces Training Base.
But then it happened again Sunday. And Monday. Folks took to the Nextdoor social media app seeking an answer to the mystery.
Key witness says Eddie Gallagher stabbed wounded ISIS fighter in the neck but does not remember specifics
NAVAL BASE SAN DIEGO — The main thing to remember about Navy SEAL Chief Craig Miller's testimony on Wednesday is that he didn't seem to remember a lot.
Miller, considered a key witness in the trial of Chief Eddie Gallagher, testified that he saw his former platoon chief stab the wounded ISIS fighter but was unable to recall a number of details surrounding that event. Gallagher is accused of murdering the wounded fighter and separately firing on innocent civilians during a deployment to Mosul, Iraq in 2017. He has pleaded not guilty.
NAVAL BASE SAN DIEGO — An enlisted Navy SEAL sniper testified on Wednesday that Chief Eddie Gallagher told his platoon prior to their deployment that if they ever captured a wounded fighter, their medics knew "what to do to nurse them to death."
In early morning testimony, former Special Operator 1st Class Dylan Dille told a packed courtroom that he had heard the phrase during unit training before the men of SEAL Team 7 Alpha Platoon deployed to Mosul, Iraq in 2017.
Navy SEAL under investigation for allegedly manipulating (and hitting on) the widow of the Green Beret he helped kill
A Navy SEAL sentenced to one year in prison for the death of Army Special Forces Staff Sgt. Logan Melgar is under investigation for allegedly flirting with Melgar's widow while using a false name and trying to persuade her that he and another SEAL accused of killing her husband were "really good guys," according to the Washington Post.