Old Soldiers Not Fade Away

Goesh, a commenter on our page, has a proposal that meshes nicely with a news headline of the the other day which said that the military wants to raise the age for its recruits:

     I liked the part about being a middle aged blogger who can’t take much action against the great jihad – sort of fits me to a T, having had my war in viet nam and done a spot of similiar service in some other places, I now sit and write. I reckon I could still hump a few clicks with a full load, having done a hard day of labor in the heat we are having just yesterday, i.e. brushing with axe and machete and moving rock with a wheel barrow and digging with a pick and shovel. I put in 9 hours with a short stop for some food and alot of gator aid drinking. Maybe they should sacrafice us old bastards first, round us all up, arm us and have a great human wave assault somewhere. Think of all the social security money that would be saved down the line. The last charge of the light geezer brigade…

This seems to be a developing theme. A friend from high school sent the following email. There have been others over the last year or so, but this version from Chuck is the best so far:

     They’ve got the whole thing backwards. Instead of sending 18-year-olds off to fight, they ought to take us old guys. You shouldn’t be able to join until you’re at least 35.
For starters:
Researchers say 18-year- olds think about sex every 10 seconds.
Old guys only think about sex a couple of times a day, leaving us more than 28,000 additional seconds per day to concentrate on the enemy.
Young guys haven’t lived long enough to be cranky, and a cranky soldier is a dangerous soldier. If we can’t kill the enemy we’ll complain them into submission. “My back hurts!” “I’m hungry!” “Where’s the remote control?”
An 18-year-old hasn’t had a legal beer yet and you shouldn’t go to war until you’re at least old enough to legally drink. An average old guy, on the other hand, has consumed 126,000 gallons of beer by the time he’s 35 and a jaunt through the desert heat with a backpack and M-60 would do wonders for the old beer belly.
An 18-year-old doesn’t like to get up before 10 a.m.
Old guys get up early every morning to pee.
If old guys are captured, we couldn’t spill the beans because we’d probably forget where we put them. In fact, name, rank, and serial number would be a real brainteaser.
Boot camp would actually be easier for old guys. We’re used to getting screamed and yelled at and we actually like soft food. We’ve also developed a deep appreciation for guns and rifles.
We like them almost better than naps.
They could lighten up on the obstacle course, however. I’ve been in combat and I didn’t see a single 20-foot wall with rope hanging over the side, nor did I ever do any pushups after completing basic training. I can hear the Drill Sergeant now, “Get down and give me…er…one.”
And the running part is kind of a waste of energy. I’ve never seen anyone outrun a bullet.
An 18-year-old has the whole world ahead of him. He’s still learning to shave, to actually carry on a conversation, and to wear pants without the top of his butt crack showing and his boxer shorts sticking out. He still hasn’t figured out that a pierced tongue catches food particles, and that a 400-watt speaker in the back seat of a Honda Accord can rupture an eardrum.
All great reasons to keep our sons at home to learn a little more about life before sending them off to possible death.
Let us old guys track down those dirty rotten cowards who attacked our hearts on September 11. The last thing the enemy would want to see right now is a couple of million old farts with attitudes.

I like your attitude, guys. And I’m sure your sons do, too. Obviously, since you’re refusing to fade away perhaps I’d better start making plans for a “Wives of Old Soldiers” club. If you’re all away, we’ll have to resort to bossing one another around. Or maybe raise Corgies or something. We’re damn sure too old to raise hell anymore. In fact, just think of what it will be like when the old guys go on R&R.

R&R? Heh.

5 thoughts on “Old Soldiers Not Fade Away

  1. … and create a foreign legion of like spirited souls from all over the world to fight under your banner. I think you can count on the support of more than you’d expect.

  2. Great post. Back before the opening shots of OIF I had a nagging concern that there would be a broadening war in the ME. I figured that I could help out in one small way or another by getting a job there. My reasoning was simple, if I could serve coffee, sweep the floor, empty the trash, that would free up someone with an M16 to do what they were trained to do. It wasn’t until the murder of Nicolas Berg that I decided that I wanted to contribute whatever I could as a middle aged American, so I put in resumes to various companies that were doing logistics work in Iraq. I never found anybody who was interested in me or my back ground. So having thought about it, I figured that menial labor should probably be given to the locals who could use a modest income to feed their family. I am an engineer with a defense company and I came to realize that I was probably making the best contribution I could by staying in the states doing what I was doing. Whenever hassled by a liberal who asked why I wasn’t fighting, I would challenge them to get me a job in Iraq. To this day, I would leave tomorrow if an opportunity came up. Old age and treachery will overcome youth and skill. Age quod agis!

  3. That was too funny – complain them into submission!

    After 9/11, all the Russian immigrant men hubby knew from family functions came to him to ask how they could join the military and fight the islamofascists… having come from the Soviet Union, they knew well what was at stake. A lot of these guys were in their sixties – and yet they really did want to serve.

    Gotta love them.

  4. In point of fact one or two military organizations are contacting their “old farts” and reminding them that they represent the institutional memory of the organization. And, in this role,they have a lot to offer as instructors who can teach the kids operational truths that only come from experience.

    It need only be said that the civil affairs units, predominantly reservists, are full of ex intell types and are under the umbrella of the Special Operations Command.

    “Always Up Front”

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