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It's party time! Maybe you've just gotten promoted or have a bachelor or bachelorette party to attend. Perhaps your eccentric great uncle died and left you a small fortune and his haunted manor. Or you just got back from a deployment with a fat wad of hazard pay burning a hole through your pockets.
One of the benefits of serving in the military is having the chance to use all kinds of cool equipment like in Hollywood action movies and repetitive Call of Duty games. The Army has its hi-tech Strykers; the Navy has its powerful nuclear engines; the Air Force, its exquisite nine-hole golf courses; and the Coast Guard has, actually I don't know, orange helicopters?
Early November is a magical time of year. The Halloween decorations are finally starting to be put away and cardboard cutouts of turkeys in Pilgrim hats are taking their place. People begin to stop enjoying the number of unseasonably warm days and start worrying about how hard winter's going to hit when it finally does. News networks start endlessly airing stories about the horrors of Black Friday even though nobody actually buys stuff in physical stores anymore because it's 2015. Folks in places like California and Florida experience no changes in weather or lifestyle whatsoever, but to hell with them.
Nearly two years ago, on a Friday evening in September 2013, I trudged home from work, clambered up the four floors to my apartment, and cantankerously flipped open my laptop. By the following Monday, I had three empty bottles of scotch and the first draft of a comedy pilot with the ever so pun-tastic title of "Vetted." It was a frustration-fueled introduction to the funny, weird, aggravating, and occasionally shocking side of being a veteran. After a lot of further frustration, hard work, and help, the finished, filmed pilot premiered this past March at the Tribeca Cinemas in New York to a full house. Since then, I’ve been working on getting my show to the next step any way I can, from pitching it to networks to trying to get a second episode funded through Kickstarter.
Many moons ago, I dispensed some key pieces of advice on how to survive a zombie apocalypse. Most of them were aimed at my fellow veterans, but all were definitely sound suggestions to anyone who still serves, has served, or any zombie-wary and well-prepared civilians.
We've all had that moment. Maybe sitting at dinner with a well-meaning family member, maybe with an over-eager gal or guy you were chatting up at a bar one night, or perhaps just a friendly weirdo who recognized an embarrassing shirt or service tattoo on the subway one day. Whatever the circumstances, there isn't a single veteran I've ever met who hasn't, at least once, been asked the eternal question of the civilian acquaintance: "So, did you ever kill anyone?"