The saying “overpaid, oversexed, and over here” may have been true about American GIs during World War II, but today’s military presents itself much differently. Wartime regulations all but forbid sex in combat zones.
Still, amorous couples always find a way around the regulations. Just ask Laura Westley, Iraq War veteran and creator of the live comedy show “War Virgin: Make Love At War,” now adapted for publication as “War Virgin: My Journey of Repression, Temptation and Liberation.” Think of it as “M*A*S*H” for millennials.
Westley’s “War Virgin” underscores one of the great ironies of combat in the Middle East — that the US military’s prudish regulations towards sex, porn, and alcohol comically mirror those of the enemy.
Growing up, her overbearing father tells a teenage Westley she’ll “lose her sparkle” if she has sex, leading her on a hilarious campaign of shaming peers throughout her teenage years as she tries to spot her classmates’ “sparkles.”
After being accepted to West Point, she falls in with a religious mentoring group which teaches young female cadets — many of whom would soon be leading platoons in Iraq and Afghanistan — to be deferential to their future husbands, and above all, chaste.
The baffling logic isn’t lost on Westley.
Photo from War Virgin website.
Praise the Lord and pass the ammunition.
Soon after Westley graduates from West Point, she finds herself not just a virgin to war, but a virgin at war during “the invasion liberation of Iraq” in 2003. Most Post-9/11 Veterans are all too familiar with General Order Number One, the catch-all regulation forbidding sex, alcohol — even sniffing canned air. In Westley’s account, that regulation ironically made sex just that much more countercultural.
Westley’s (pseudonymous) supervisor keeps her working late to combat his own loneliness, then tries to cop a feel one night. Her brigade commander — a colonel in the style Apocalypse Now’s Bill Kilgore and who mercifully never pinned on his star — hands a Pepperidge Farm sausage to a junior enlisted soldier, coyly asking if she’d “like a bite of his sausage” while riding in the back of a Black Hawk helicopter during a mission which would later net him a valor award. And, yes, Westley tells us that same brigade commander is later shocked to find women reporting sexual harassment throughout the brigade.
Westley manages not to lose her sparkle despite skinny dipping in Saddam Hussein’s pools and taking the phrase comrade-in-arms just a little too literally. She returns from Iraq to finally have sex; but after waiting 24 years (and about 240 pages), the result is anticlimactic for Westley, and therefore the reader.
Ten years later, Westley — since married and later divorced — makes peace with her estranged and abusive father shortly before his death. War Virgin becomes her coping mechanism.
Her prose and humor keep the military’s ironic puritanism on display. Though the book lacks the song-and-dance routines of its live-action counterpart, Westley’s quips and one-liners make “War Virgin,” for lack of a better word, “sparkle.”
(From left to right) Chris Osman, Chris McKinley, Kent Kroeker, and Talon Burton
At least four American veterans were among a group of eight men arrested by police in Haiti earlier this week for driving without license plates and possessing an arsenal of weaponry and tactical gear.
Police in Port-au-Prince arrested five Americans, two Serbians, and one Haitian man at a police checkpoint on Sunday, according to The Miami-Herald. The men told police they were on a "government mission" but did not specify for which government, according to The Herald.
They also told police that "their boss was going to call their boss," implying that someone high in Haiti's government would vouch for them and secure their release, Herald reporter Jacqueline Charles told NPR.
What they were actually doing or who they were potentially working for remains unclear. A State Department spokesperson told Task & Purpose they were aware that Haitian police arrested a "group of individuals, including some U.S. citizens," but declined to answer whether the men were employed by or operating under contract with the U.S. government.
A photo shared by Hoda Muthana on her now-closed @ZumarulJannaTwitter account. (Twitter/ZumarulJannah)
The State Department announced Wednesday that notorious ISIS bride Hoda Muthana, a U.S.-born woman who left Alabama to join ISIS but began begging to return to the U.S. after recently deserting the terror group, is not a U.S. citizen and will not be allowed to return home.
A top Senate Republican and fierce ally of President Donald Trump reportedly exploded at Acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan recently about the U.S. military's plans to withdraw all troops from Syria by the end of April.
"That's the dumbest f******g idea I've ever heard," Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) reportedly replied when Shanahan confirmed the Trump administration still plans to complete the Syria withdrawal by April 30.
Later, Graham told Shanahan, "I am now your adversary, not your friend."