Portrayal of the military in movies/books/games


Alamo Rookie
Jan 31, 2018
Great Democratic People's Republic of Illinois
I can only hope you were able to set him straight on that.
Truthfully, what's the point? That's the kind of person who always asks the top hit parade of questions - which, you know, is pretty much the majority of people who's only experience of things military is video games, social media, YouTube and movies - so beloved of veterans. I frequently find myself, through increasingly gritted teeth, answering things like:

You were in the Army? (No, I was in the Navy. Completely different thing.)

Did you know my cousin Frank? He was in the Army. (Again, I was in the Navy. One plays on the land, the other plays in the water.)

Are you sure you didn't know my cousin Frank? (Oh, Frank. Yeah, there were 1.8 million of us on active duty between all five branches, and we were all on a first-name basis.)

Well, did you ever ride in a tank? (No, I was a Naval Aviator. I volunteered to do stupid things like willingly get shot off the end of the boat, and then put that sucker back down on the deck).

Hey, did you get to shoot [insert weapon here]? (No, again, I was a Naval Aviator. That wasn't my job. ( I mean, I did have to qual with a sidearm, and I chose to qual on the M4 because I briefly toyed with the idea of volunteering for ANGLICO, but no, infantry combat isn't what we do.))

Is it true you get to take your weapons home with you at night? (Define 'home' when you're stuck on a ship in the middle of nowhere for six months. And no. Even if we could, why would we want to?)

You know, I always thought about joining the military, but . . . (Then why don't you? Recruiting Centres aren't exactly hard to find. Just remember that, nine out of ten times, the recruiter is going to lie to you.)

Yeah, but don't you guys get your clothes, food and medical care taken care of? (Uh huh. Let me introduce you to the Uniform Allowance, the pestilence of your average DFAC, and the VA where veterans go to die. What a deal!)

And, finally, the infamous top two:

Did you kill anybody? (You know, coincidentally enough, I'm thinking about that right now . . .)

Well, how many people did you kill? ( . . . )

So, yeah, when the starting point seems to be video games and really bad fiction, it really shouldn't be a surprise that the portrayal of the military is largely a self-reinforcing cycle of bullshit.

/rant off

edit 'cause words is hard
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