Not everything in the military is awesome.

There are some amazing things that come with serving in the military, like knowing what it’s like to serve your country, or that the man or woman to your right or left would lay down their life for you. And then there’s the weird stuff, like what it’s like to sit in a drill hall wondering whether your bladder is full enough to fill up this stupid plastic cup.

SGT Best is waiting for me. Again. It’s my third month in a row getting “randomly” picked, but it’s not my fault they don’t they tell me I’m on the whiz quiz list before I go through my everyday morning bathroom routine. Now I have to figure out how much more water I need to drink before the dam is broken. I think I can do it, but if I start to go and I can’t fill up the cup enough, then how many more hours will it take before I can try again—too many, that’s for sure. I’m currently more capable of making a puddle than a roaring river, if you know what I’m saying.

And then there’s the weird stuff, like what it’s like to sit in a drill hall wondering whether your bladder is full enough to fill up this stupid plastic cup.


If I tried to explain to, say, a family member, that I have spent time sitting around wondering whether my bladder is filled more like a ketchup packet or like a coconut, they would most certainly think there was something wrong with me. But I have that conversation with any Soldier and we’d be on the same page.

These strange, sometimes powerful, sometimes weird shared experiences are what turns a hodgepodge mix of men and women from all over the country (the globe, even), from every social and economic group and every faith tradition and ethnicity, into the greatest team of warfighters the world has ever known. We come from different places, but we all end up in the same place, pointed in the same direction, focused on achieving the same goals. And we look awesome doing it. Now hand me that cup…

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