Friday, March 12, 2010

Beer for my horses.....

I posted the previous entry without comment, as I was a bit rushed. But I'd like to take the time now to comment on it, a reaction spurred by a comment from RealityZone:

Ya, lets not talk about the real problems. Lets just booze em up, so they can be zombies.
This is not looking out for our soldiers, this is making it worst. There is already a big enough problem among our soldiers when it comes to booze, dope, and suicide.
Why not talk about the the real problem?
Deployment, after deployment. Sending them back into the shit with no other recourse.
The only thing that our government cares about is BOOTS ON THE GROUND.
So, do they now want to condone putting our soldiers in an altered state of mind, so they can kill, and be killed without a conscience?

I disagree my friend...and here's why. Alcohol has long been known as a social lubricant, and that's no different when applied to it's use by military personnel. It's use, while often negative, can also be positive. I left Baghdad just under two years ago; 15 months of no alcohol, no escapism, no pressure valve...except for 2 weeks of R&R leave. In theater, there is often no comfortable outlet for guys to parse their experiences and come to terms with what they may have witnessed or experienced. Those influencers quite often get pushed down deep inside you...until a trigger or some random tick of the clock sends it all pouring out. There are still things I haven't and likely won't tell my wife... not because I couldn't drink in theater, but because I never had the chance to sort out my emotions soon after things occurred. I believe without a doubt that if given the chance to pop a couple of cold-ish beers with my guys, and have that time to come together, to let my guard down, to evaluate the events and the losses....I would have an easier time of it.

As it stands, soldiers are offered Combat Stress counseling with a stranger, a person who has not experienced what you just did, in a semi-clinical environment. It may help some people, but cracking a cold one may certainly help others....instead of waiting until they go from zero alcohol and escape to full on drunken retard in the span of a weekend. The families and the soldiers themselves pay the price [sometimes a very heavy price] for soldiers dealing with their issues after they have simmered and stewed. It may seem can a few beers solve complex emotional issues that can range from accidentally killing a child to seeing your HMMWV crew killed by an IED? I don't know how. But it can.

I agree with your comment regarding multiple deployments for a cause that probably doesn't warrant the loss of our national treasure. And there are many guys coming back with stress that cannot hope to be cured with beer and bonding.....but when it comes to saving and helping who we can...our brothers....a little hops, malt and water can go a long way.

Make no mistake, any allowance of beer in theater will be rationed and allotted during down cycles. It will not be allowed to endanger the mission or the men.


  1. In that respect I would have to agree. A little on the spot instant R&R with a few cold ones would be good.
    Alcohol, and drugs were a major problem for our troops in Nam. Many of those "problems" were brought home. I guess it can be a fine line.
    Too many soldiers are coming back again with some of those same "problems". I sometimes go to our local V.A. hospital here in PHX. And it just seems that history is repeating its self all over again.
    Another generation lost to the war mongers.

    I hope you and your family are doing well.
    I mean no disrespect, but I hate that term. ---Thank you for your service.---
    I would like to thank you for coming back alive and safe, for your family and loved ones.

  2. How much of the alcohol ban is because we were afraid to insult our Muslim "hosts"?

  3. No sweat RZ.....I know you meant no ill...and thank you.

    Truth101......the premise behind General Order #1 [which also bans pornography] is absolutely and admittedly based on the cultural sensitivities of the 'host' nation. But every Joe in theater has porn.

  4. That ideas behind that comment are as repulsive as banning the sale of porn on bases.

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  6. TCI, thank you...your sacrifice meant that me and my family are safer today...If I believed in Gods I would ask them to bless you... so I bless you, with the love I have for my own family and the sincerity of someone who unconditionally loves you and appreciate what you unconditionally did for me...and us.
    I also agree with your post it is on spot, and welcome to my site, it is indeed an honor to have you visit...if you haven't yet, you should check out a fellow Vet Beach Bum, and the Parrothead...
    another truly wonderful guy with a great blog.


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