Never worry about the bullet with your name on it; instead, worry about shrapnel addressed to ‘occupant.’
Murphy’s Tenth Military Law
I was in our local VA hospital when a clerk began scolding a veteran who’d lit up a cigarette in a no-smoking area. “Sir!” she barked. “When did you start smoking?”
The conversation came to a halt when he replied, “In Vietnam, right after that first bomb dropped.”
After my niece returned from her second tour in Iraq, I remarked how beautiful her complexion looked. “What do you use on your face to keep it so smooth?” I asked.
“Nothing,” she said. “I’ve been sandblasted.”
Like any mother, I worried when my son joined the Marines. But later on, when I asked him how things were going, he put my mind at ease.
“Let me put it this way, Mom,” he said. “Living with you prepared me for boot camp.”
As a new paratrooper, I was struck by all the T-shirts on base emblazoned with the motto “Death from above!” Later I noticed a submariner with a T-shirt that declared “Death from below!”
Then, standing in line for chow one day, I was served by an Army cook. His T-shirt had a skull with a crossed fork and spoon underneath and yet another warning: “Death from within!”
The armed forces have a language all their own. Here’s our Military-to-English Dictionary:
Birth control glasses (BCGs): military-issued eyeglasses noted for their unappealing appearance.
Gone Elvis: missing in action.
Latrinegram: unfounded rumor.
Moo juice: milk.
Repeaters: beans and cabbage.
Self-loading cargo: passengers on a transport aircraft.
Stupid o’clock: ridiculously early in the morning.
Volun-told: an “optional” event that one is actually required to attend.
As a sergeant in a parachute regiment, I took part in several night-time exercises. Once, I was seated next to a lieutenant fresh from jump school.
He was quiet and looked a bit pale, so I struck up a conversation. “Scared, lieutenant?” I asked.
He replied, “No, just a bit apprehensive.”
I asked, “What’s the difference?”
He replied, “That means I’m scared, but with a university education.”