Disaster strikes the Pentagon as Popeyes runs out of chicken sandwiches

Pentagon Run-Down

On Friday, the Brazilian rainforests were burning, the stock market was plunging, and the international dispute between the United States and Denmark over Greenland ground on; but the real crisis in the Pentagon was that the Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen in the building's food court had run out of chicken sandwiches.

In retrospect, the chicken sandwich shortage should have been expected. On Aug. 12, Popeyes tweeted that its new grilled chicken sandwich would be better than sex: "Chicken. Brioche. Pickles. New. Sandwich. Popeyes. Nationwide. So. Good. Forgot. How. Speak. In. Complete. Sandwiches. I mean, sentences."


Since then, the country has been captivated in a chicken sandwich craze. One Maryland man reportedly offered to sell his day-old Popeyes fried chicken sandwich for $138.52, which included delivery costs. (Not since Claire reunited with Jamie in Season 3, Episode 6 of "Outlander" has the world seen the raw expression of carnality.)

Still, Pentagon reporters expressed shock and frustration on Friday that the beloved Pentagon restaurant in the five-sided fast food center had no more chicken sandwiches to provide to patrons.

"How can this country espouse to support the troops if there are no chicken sandwiches at the Pentagon's @PopeyesChicken?" tweeted Valerie Insinna of Defense News.

Your friend and humble narrator was largely ignorant of the catastrophe until his boss alerted him to the proverbial shit going down.

This reporter stealthily approached the Pentagon Popeyes disguised as a hobo who had spent the following evening passed out on the subway whilst soaked in his own urine – in other words, I looked like I always do.

A sign near the counter announced the scope of the disaster: "We out classic and spicy chicken sandwich," read the sign.

The word "out" had been handwritten in black pen over the typed words "running out," indicating the speed at which chicken sandwiches had been ravenously consumed.

Your intrepid correspondent was referred to Popeyes' corporate office as to the reason why this Messiah of all things fried did not have enough fish and loaves for the multitude.

Alas, yours truly has not received a response thus far.

Twitter users reported that patrons had sought a sukkah in the nearby Pentagon City mall Popeyes – although the lines were long.

"My colleagues went to the pentagon city mall and bought 13 sandwiches, sorry if they're out," tweeted Lauren Fish, a strategy consultant. "They waited at least 40 minutes. Solid move for the rest of us."

This reporter confirmed that chicken sandwiches were still available at the mall restaurant but was unable to glean any further information.

Frankly, the whirlwind of events Friday in the Pentagon food court has left this reporter both shocked and awed.

The greatest military in the history of the world cannot focus on increasing lethality and winning multi-domain conflicts if it is deprived of the fried masterpiece that Nostradamus predicted in this quatrain: "From Louisiana will come a chicken breast / Accompanied by a fluffy bun / The arteries will be clogged like the sewers of Malta / The calories shall be fourteen thousands five hundred and seventy-three."

We're all doomed.

Jeff Schogol covers the Pentagon for Task & Purpose. He has covered the military for 14 years and embedded with U.S. troops in Iraq and Haiti. Prior to joining T&P, he covered the Marine Corps and Air Force at Military Times. Comments or thoughts to share? Send them to Jeff Schogol via email at schogol@taskandpurpose.com or direct message @JeffSchogol on Twitter.

(U.S. Army/Staff Sgt. Andrew Smith)

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Marine Maj. Jose J. Anzaldua Jr. spent more than three years during the height of the Vietnam War. Now, more than 45 years after his release, Sig Sauer is paying tribute to his service with a special gift.

Sig Sauer on Friday unveiled a unique 1911 pistol engraved with Anzaldua's name, the details of his imprisonment in Vietnam, and the phrase "You Are Not Forgotten" accompanied by the POW-MIA flag on the grip to commemorate POW-MIA Recognition Day.

The gunmaker also released a short documentary entitled "Once A Marine, Always A Marine" — a fitting title given Anzaldua's courageous actions in the line of duty

Marine Maj. Jose Anzaldua's commemorative 1911 pistol

(Sig Sauer)

Born in Texas in 1950, Anzaldua enlisted in the Marine Corps in 1968 and deployed to Vietnam as an intelligence scout assigned to the 2nd Battalion, 5th Marine Regiment, 1st Marine Division.

On Jan. 23, 1970, he was captured during a foot patrol and spent 1,160 days in captivity in various locations across North Vietnam — including he infamous Hỏa Lò Prison known among American POWs as the "Hanoi Hilton" — before he was freed during Operation Homecoming on March 27, 1973.

Anzaldua may have been a prisoner, but he never stopped fighting. After his release, he received two Bronze Stars with combat "V" valor devices and a Prisoner of War Medal for displaying "extraordinary leadership and devotion to his companions" during his time in captivity. From one of his Bronze Star citations:

Using his knowledge of the Vietnamese language, he was diligent, resourceful, and invaluable as a collector of intelligence information for the senior officer interned in the prison camp.

In addition, while performing as interpreter for other United States prisoners making known their needs to their captors, [Anzaldua] regularly, at the grave risk of sever retaliation to himself, delivered and received messages for the senior officer.

On one occasion, when detected, he refused to implicate any of his fellow prisoners, even though severe punitive action was expected.

Anzaldua also received a Navy and Marine Corps Medal for his heroism in December 1969, when he entered the flaming wreckage of a U.S. helicopter that crashed nearr his battalion command post in the country's Quang Nam Province and rescued the crew chief and a Vietnamese civilian "although painfully burned himself," according to his citation.

After a brief stay at Camp Pendleton following his 1973 release, Anzaldua attended Officer Candidate School at MCB Quantico, Virginia, earning his commission in 1974. He retired from the Corps in 1992 after 24 years of service.

Sig Sauer presented the commemorative 1911 pistol to Anzaldua in a private ceremony at the gunmaker's headquarters in Newington, New Hampshire. The pistol's unique features include:

  • 1911 Pistol: the 1911 pistol was carried by U.S. forces throughout the Vietnam War, and by Major Anzaldua throughout his service. The commemorative 1911 POW pistol features a high-polish DLC finish on both the frame and slide, and is chambered in.45 AUTO with an SAO trigger. All pistol engravings are done in 24k gold;
  • Right Slide Engraving: the Prisoner of War ribbon inset, with USMC Eagle Globe and Anchor and "Major Jose Anzaldua" engravings;
  • Top Slide Engraving: engraved oak leaf insignia representing the Major's rank at the time of retirement and a pair of dog tags inscribed with the date, latitude and longitude of the location where Major Anzaldua was taken as a prisoner, and the phrase "You Are Not Forgotten" taken from the POW-MIA flag;
  • Left Side Engraving: the Vietnam War service ribbon inset, with USMC Eagle Globe and Anchor engraving;
  • Pistol Grips: anodized aluminum grips with POW-MIA flag.

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