What?!

, , , , , , | Related | December 11, 2017

(While trying to get things settled with the lady at the desk, my three-year-old son is next to me, looking at a comments box that has five faces on it ranging from a big smile to a big frown.)

Son: “Daddy, what does this face mean?”

Me: *breaking a conversation to glance down* “What face?”

Son: “Oh! Really happy, really sad, kind of happy, kind of sad, what face!”

(He’s 17 now, and the whole family still calls the face with a straight mouth a “what face.”)

Thank You For Your Pretty Good Service

, , , , , , | Friendly | November 27, 2017

(I am at the grocery store, talking to a nice older lady cashier, with a young man of about 20 behind me. I am eighteen at the time and I’m in the Navy. I’m in civvies and wearing makeup. We are right next to the naval base and you can hear jets flying overhead.)

Cashier: “Hear that? That’s the sound of freedom!”

Me: *laughing* Well, there are plenty of flights scheduled today, so you’ll be hearing plenty of freedom.”

Cashier: “Oh! You’re in the Navy? I’m so proud of you, dear.”

(The cashier starts talking about her son in the Navy. Then, the man behind me speaks up.)

Man: “You can’t be in the Navy! You’re too pretty.”

Me: *weak laugh* “Well, I am.”

Man: “No, seriously, they don’t let pretty girls in the military because they won’t get married. Especially young ones like you. Such a waste in that ugly uniform.”

(I’m starting to get pretty mad, when the cashier starts laying into him for several minutes about his blatant sexism and lack of respect. He looks beyond embarrassed.)

Cashier: *as I’m leaving* “Remember, young lady: bravery doesn’t have a face.”

(It made my day to hear this, because I’m quite proud of my uniform, and it really irritated me that this man thought my career worth was based on my looks.)

It Marches In The Family

, , , , , , | Related | November 24, 2017

(My two sisters and I decide to meet at a local restaurant for dinner on Veteran’s Day. When the server arrives, my youngest sister has a question.)

Youngest Sister: “Do you have a military discount?”

Server: “We offer a Veteran’s Day discount today, 10% off. Which one of you ladies is the veteran?”

Oldest Sister: “All of us.” *pointing to herself* “Army.” *points at my youngest sister* “Navy.” *points at me* “Marine Corps.”

Server: *visibly shocked* “Really? That’s amazing!”

Me: “Yeah, mom had the recruiter on speed-dial.”

Your Days As A Soldier Are Emergency Numbered

, , , , | Working | October 21, 2017

(I am on a military post, and tonight I am in charge of the barracks, which means checking that everyone is in their quarters by curfew. After knocking on doors, I discover that one soldier is missing. Checking the list of people signed out on leave, his name does not appear. Now, if I cannot make contact with him, I need to report him missing. Pulling up the contact sheet, I dial the number he has listed as his cell phone.)

Me: “Hello, [Soldier]?”

Woman: “No, [Soldier] isn’t here. How can I help you?”

Me: *confused* “Ah, I am trying to call him and learn of his whereabouts. May I ask why you have his cell phone?”

Woman: “This is not his cell phone; this is my phone. You’ve called my house.”

Me: “What?!”

(Checking the list again, I see the soldier has listed the same number for his cell phone and emergency contact, and the number I have just dialed belongs to his mother. I immediately backpedal, not wanting to alarm her.)

Me: “I’m sorry for disturbing you, ma’am, but [Soldier] listed this as his personal number. I need to contact him, as I have to discuss something important with him. If I may ask, do you have his personal number on you?”

Woman: “I don’t give out my son’s number to random people on the phone.”

Me: “Fair enough. Good night, ma’am.” *hangs up*

(Luckily, I found another soldier who had his real cell number. I called him and confirmed that he was on leave and had just forgotten to sign out. When I asked why he gave a false number, he brushed it off as no big deal, saying he didn’t want to be disturbed. I then hung up on him and reported the incident to his Squad Leader.)

Sure Beats A Shot In The Arm

, , , , , | Related | September 19, 2017

(My father lives in an Alzheimer’s care facility. My youngest sister, who is a nurse and his healthcare contact, gets called that he has fallen and the facility has had him transported to the nearest emergency department. When my sister arrives at the hospital, she’s told that although Dad doesn’t seem to be injured, they have taken x-rays, as he is almost completely nonverbal and the staff wants to be sure there are no injuries. Dad is an Army veteran and sustained several combat wounds during WWII. Battlefield surgery being what it was in 1945, he will go to his grave carrying a few bullet and shell fragments that are still lodged in his arms, legs and torso. My sister is sitting with Dad in the exam room when the duty physician walks in, holding the x-rays and looking puzzled.)

Doctor: “Can you tell me… has your father ever been shot?”

Sister: *matter-of-factly*  “Oh, yes. Lots of times.”

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