If you wanna load down your pockets and go-bag with flashy gedunk that advertises your superior vigilance, knock yourself out. But some T&P; readers — you know, actual vets — read our Gorka sendup and felt compelled to share what's in their everyday carry. Get ready to compare notes:
1. The Regular Guy
Joe Plenzler, a Marine vet who works for the American Legion, is ready to do battle in any boardroom — in close quarters, if necessary, as evinced by the breath-improving gum. Also hat tip to him for inspiring the flood of photos we received.
2. The Recovering LT
Aaron Leong, a Naval Academy Marine, just can't quit the tac pouches and government-issue inkstick. We all have our little vices.
3. The Overachiever/Discount Hound
True to form for a company grade officer, the Iron Capt. balances his electronics with a moto ID holder to house his bennies and discount cards. He saves money on snacks by hitting up Costco for protein bars. Lest you think he doesn't rate all those corporate discounts, note the SmarTrip card marking him as a DC public transportation victim commuter. He's earned what he has through his suffering.
4. The Closet Rip-It Fan
I don't know if George Stankow's Army service led him to buy a wallet with a built-in phone charger. All I know is he carries the best challenge coin I've seen in some time.
5. The Serious Animal Lover
Doggy poo bag, doggy hard treats, doggy soft treats, cat treats (which, if you have a dog, you know are like candy to puppers). Not sure what this former Army officer has done or seen, but always being ready to win over a random doggo seems like a good everyday skill to me.
6. The Simple-Things Appreciator
The only way this Army officer could enjoy his morning latte more is if Starbucks put it in his Camelbak before a PT run.
7. The Quality Personal Products Haver
Some gunnies want the finer things in life, like high-quality earbuds, premium lip balm, and even a bespoke "Nationals" DC Metro card. Whatever it takes to keep a gunny from going all gunny on me on the train.
8. The Office Headache Haver
This former Marine never knows when she's going to need extra-strength Excedrin. Probably right after some d-bag on the train asks about her reading material, or a coworker tells her to "smile more."
9. The Mediocre Jedi
What, no rocket pack? No shackled Han Solo? Screw "mediocre Jedi": You're not much of a bounty hunter, even.
10. The Unreformed Grunt
My only issues with this setup are (1) not enough dip and (2) you should really use Coke bottles for your spit and piss, so you can never mix them up with that sweet sweet Mountain Dew.
Got more photos of real vets' EDC? Drop them in the comments below.
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(U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Brian M. Wilbur.)
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