Letter From Milo: The Military Affairs Desk

October 19th, 2015

As if being the Lifestyle, Society and Religion columnist at The Third City isn’t enough of a workload, now the editorial board wants me to take on the job of Military Affairs Correspondent. Benny Jay, who helps run this scabby crew of barely literate hacks, called last week to offer me the position.

“War is the hottest thing going right now,” Benny said. “We’re already fighting in Afghanistan and Iraq, and bombing Syria. And there’s a real good chance we’ll be taking on Russia soon. Every blog site in the world is writing about these wars. We need to get on the bandwagon.”

“I see your point. But why do I have to do the job?”

“You’re the only guy at The Third City with military experience. I’ve got your resume right here and it says you were a highly decorated Colonel in the Navy Seals.”

“Heh, heh, I may have exaggerated a bit.”

“Well, you were in Vietnam, weren’t you?”

“Yeah, but I barely rose above the rank of Private. It was something to do with character issues.”

“Okay, Milo, let’s quit fucking around here and get down to business. How much money will it take for you to run the Military Affairs desk?”

I didn’t want the job. I was a disinterested soldier at best when I was in the Army and my feelings haven’t changed much in the last four decades. But Benny is a stubborn fucker and refuses to take “no” for an answer, so I named a price I knew The Third City could not possibly afford.

I was shocked when he accepted. “Okay, we’ll give you the extra 12 dollars a month. But I expect solid reporting and analysis, not like the usual shit you write. And don’t try to sneak any of your stupid dick jokes into the stories, either.”

My first assignment was to write a general asessment of America’s military situation. I didn’t want to write from ignorance, so I spent a couple of days studying the subject. I watched a few episodes of “Hogan’s Heroes” and “McHale’s Navy.” I reread Joseph Heller’s “Catch 22.” I even watched a military-themed porno called “Stalag 69.”

Still, I felt my knowledge was incomplete, so I called my old friend, Bruce Diksas, who had once reached the exalted rank of First Lieutenant in the U.S. Army. I figured that as an officer, he had been privy to a lot of inside information that was inaccessible to me.

More to the point, Bruce used to lunch regularly with Colin Powell at our Division base camp in Chu Lai, in the former Republic of South Vietnam. Maybe Bruce picked up some insights simply from being in close proximity to the great man.

“Hey, my man, what’s going on?” I said, when he answered the phone.

“Ah, fuck, I’ve got a hangover.”

“You have my sympathies. Listen, I need to pick your brain about something.”

“I haven’t seen the Racing Form yet this morning.”

“No, no, I’m writing a blog piece about America’s current military situation. As a one-time officer and former gentleman I thought you might give me some tips.”

“I didn’t know anything then. I know even less now.”

“I thought you used to have lunch with Colin Powell. You must have learned something.”

“That was just a mandatory monthly brigade lunch. There were dozens of us there, mainly junior officers. Powell was a Major at the time. I don’t think we ever talked.”

“That’s it! That’s all you’ve got for me?”

“Well, one thing I do know is that officers love war. They need to cover themselves in glory. They have to prove that they are warriors before they can become leaders. Ambitious young officers will do anything to get a combat command. War is where reputations are made and promotions get handed out. You can’t climb the ladder in the Army unless you have combat experience. Even Colin Powell, as a young man, led an infantry company. I doubt he would have risen as high in the ranks without his Combat Infantryman’s Badge.”

“So, you’re saying that the military’s upper ranks eventually get taken over by scheming, brutal, bloodthirsty bastards who’d cook and eat their own grandmothers to win a promotion. You’re telling me the people who advise the President and set military policy, are a bunch of crazy, treacherous, gung-ho fuckers who owe everything they have to the glories of war?”

“I’d say that’s pretty accurate. It’s the nature of the military beast. War is what they do best. Ruthless, cold-blooded, conniving bastards make the best general officers. A well-developed mean streak is an asset to a combat officer. And it doesn’t hurt to be a little bit crazy. Nice guys generally don’t do well in life or death situations.”

“Damn, I’m glad the military doesn’t run this country.”

“I wouldn’t be too sure about that.”

One Response to “Letter From Milo: The Military Affairs Desk”

  1. Mike the Mad Serb says:

    I’m surprised that Milo hasn’t been assigned the shit burning detail. Watch out bigshots TTC, Milo just may have the urge to frag someone.

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