Category Archives: By Dennis Hatherly

TDY

Sorry for the long delay in posting anything, but sometimes life gets in the way of self-indulgent hobbies, which if you’re reading this you most likely understand. We hope you enjoy.

Disclaimer: nothing in this post reflects the views of the Department of Defense, the Army, the Marines, etc. This is the personal opinion of the writer.

Some of my soldiers are going to the bar tonight. I am not. It’s a weeknight. All I can think about is the war I’m missing, the war before, and my wife at home. I’m not in the mood, so I’ll sit here in my room and watch television. We are deployed.

Here in Qatar you’re allowed three drinks a day, every day. There are two bars to choose from: a sports bar and a lounge. The lounge is closer to our dorms, so we go there most often. Continue reading


Fun With Army Medical

Official disclaimer: nothing in this post reflects the views of the Department of Defense, the Army, the Marines, etc. This is only the unofficially terrible, wrong and poorly written opinion of one person who happened to have served at some point since 9/11. You have been warned.

Immediately after you return from a deployment, the Army has you fill out a Post-Deployment Health Assessment (PDHA), and 90 days after that, the Post-Deployment Health Reassessment (PDHRA). These consist of questions regarding basic physical and mental health, drug and alcohol use, etc. Each phase is completed by a phone call with a doctor where they go over your answers with you and make sure you have no questions or other issues.

It’s a straight forward process, and in my opinion it is very beneficial to returning soldiers. You may be surprised that I support this process, and that if I do, why I am writing about it here, given that all of my other Army posts are about its screw-ups? Because the Army deserves credit where it is due, and when something works like it is supposed to work, that is worth noting. However, as you will see below, even when the Army gets something right, the process is not without its issues.

So, after my recent deployment to Afghanistan, I started to get a tingling or numbness in my left hand, specifically the ring finger and pinkie. Nothing crazy; it feels like after your funny bone gets hit and the tingling is almost gone, but not quite, and it’s all the time. I’ve put up with it so far for many reasons: laziness, just not wanting to deal with it, fear of the possibility of surgery, and sheer stubbornness.

During the PDHRA, one of the questions asks if you have any numbness or tingling in your hands. In a new-found effort to be honest with the Army about my health, I answered yes. I say new-found honesty because when I returned from Iraq I was honest about how much I was drinking, and they tried to get me into a program. You keep a red-blooded American soldier away from booze for 15 months, and then act surprised when he lives it up a little when he gets home? Come-on. Continue reading


A Suicide Bombing Sure Does Ruin Your Day

Official disclaimer: nothing in this post reflects the views of the Department of Defense, the Army, the Marines, etc. This is only the unofficially terrible, wrong and poorly written opinion of one person who happened to have served at some point since 9/11. This is a work of fiction, but still, better to throw this disclaimer in here. You have been warned.

Beele was not pleased with the deployment. He had joined the Army, specifically the infantry, so that he could prove himself in combat. To get right down to it and quit fucking around, he joined up so he could have the chance to kill someone. But the deployment so far was a joke. The unit had deployed in December. In November, most of the tribes fighting the U.S. decided to switch sides and were now our allies, which coincided with an 85 percent drop in enemy contact. Can’t fight the enemy when they’re your pals now.

It was now February, and only one platoon in the entire battalion had even had a chance to fire their weapons. Three months in, and that was it? That was bullshit, Beele thought; a waste of his time. His platoon spent most of its time on patrol – driving out to some hillbilly, dusty Iraqi village of 30 people to ask them if they’d “seen the enemy.” Yeah right, like they weren’t still the enemy and like they wouldn’t be again if the U.S. money dried up. The platoon leader and one of the squad leaders would meet up with the local sheik and find out if anything was needed in the area. The usual answers were water, electricity and more weapons for security. The exact three things the unit had zero ability (or authorization, in the case of weapons) to provide. Continue reading


Navigating The Minefield that is (potential) Fatherhood

As a middleclass white male in his 30’s with a steady job, married to a middleclass white female in her 30’s with a steady job, you can imagine that conversations often turn to when we should start trying to have a kid.

That’s the obvious next step, right? Everyone is having kids. Some of my friends are on their second kid already, and I can’t even decide what the fuck I want to do for a living.

What to name it, what room to turn into a nursery, what to do with all the shit that was in the room that will become the nursery, what books to read, what hospital to choose, are there any decent daycares nearby, should we use Pampers or cloth diapers, and on and on and on.

There is so much information out there about having kids that you start to forget that humans have obviously been having children forever. The same amazing internet that allows you to read this bullshit blog also gives every crackpot and weirdo with a bone to pick about parenting a venue to discuss their philosophies. It’s overwhelming. Continue reading


If a Cat Can Face Death with Nobility, So Can You

You may notice that there is no disclaimer on this article, and that is because I will be getting away from my usual heavy subject matter of politics and the Army and will be addressing a lighter topic: facing death with dignity. This week my three-year-old cat almost died from having his wiener blocked so completely by crystals that he could not piss, causing his bladder to fill to an unbearable level, Continue reading


The Army Is Morally Superior to No-one

Official disclaimer: nothing in this post reflects the views of the Department of Defense, the Army, the Marines, etc. This is only the unofficially terrible, wrong and poorly written opinion of one person who happened to have served at some point since 9/11. You have been warned.

Many times over the past decade the military has come out on top in polls asking Americans what professions they most admire (http://www.gallup.com/poll/1654/honesty-ethics-professions.aspx). Servicemen are seen as more honorable, honest and respectable than doctors, lawyers, etc. The public appears to have bought the military’s sales pitch, which is that it is a singularly honorable organization dedicated to higher values. I disagree. Continue reading


Army Conservatives are Hypocrites

Official disclaimer: nothing in this post reflects the views of the Department of Defense, the Army, the Marines, etc. This is only the unofficially terrible, wrong and poorly written opinion of one person who happened to have served at some point since 9/11. You have been warned.

I already hit on this subject in my first post, if you remember. But since this is a WordPress blog written by three nobodies that gets maybe 20 hits a day, you probably do not. Anyway, to recap, one of my pet writing subjects is hypocrisy in the U.S. Army. Given that the Army is an organization that purports to be beholden to the highest values but in reality is filled with the same selfish, stupid assholes that populate the rest of America, Continue reading


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