The Sandbox

GWOT hot wash, straight from the wire

Welcome to The Sandbox, a forum for service members who have served or are currently serving in Iraq and Afghanistan, returned vets, spouses and caregivers. The Sandbox's focus is not on policy and partisanship (go to our Blowback page for that), but on the unclassified details of deployment -- the everyday, the extraordinary, the wonderful, the messed-up, the absurd. All correspondence is read, and as much as possible is posted, lightly edited. If you know someone who is deployed who might have something to say, please tell them about us. To submit a post click here.


September 27, 2007

Name: SFC Toby Nunn
Posting date: 9/27/07
Stationed in: Kuwait / Iraq
Hometown: Oakland, CA via Terrace B.C. CANADA
Milblog url:

It is no big secret that here in Bad Voo Doo we enjoy a good joke. We enjoy a joke at another's expense more than anything. Since the guys have been together jokes have become pretty commonplace. Friendly banter even more so. Of course there are the constant rivalries that propel the teams and squads to outdo each other, which I of course promote. The Squad Leaders are also very competitive and are constantly trying to get the best missions and crack on each other.

Ages ago men learned that the easiest way to spark a response from another, and to provoke, is to question the purity of the other male's mother. This has, for many men, lead them into an emotional response that weakened their ability to think clearly, giving the other the advantage.

The boys have enjoyed making jokes, and JP is consistently a ringleader. Mr 300, a constant victim, is considered a very business-oriented guy, and anyone who doesn't share the same rank or outrank him never messes with him. He does laugh at his own expense but very rarely strikes back, so no one expects him too.

All our vehicles are assigned a registration number, just like back home. These numbers are what allow us to get fuel anywhere outside our home base. JP is the proud recipient of a brand new, fresh-off-the-showroom-floor ASV. This vehicle is so new that it needed to get all the administrative numbers assigned as a recent mission was getting started.

One of the practices we have is to write this number in marker in certain places of convenience so that we can read it and write it on paperwork if needed. As JP was getting fuel he realized that he had not yet written the number down, and started to do so. Just as he started, Mr.300 called him on the radio and claimed to have recieved a message from higher, giving JP a different number for the vehicle. A disciplined NCO always heeds his leaders, so JP scratched out the number he had just written and told Mr. 300 he was prepared to receive the new one.

The new number came over the radio with the proper radio protocol: "Uniform, Romeo, Mike, Zero, Mike". JP wrote the new number down and instructed his driver Beeker to do likewise. In his haste and effort to do the right thing he didn't see the forest for the trees. Everyone was laughing while he focused on completing the task of writing "URMOM" all over his brand new vehicle.

JP, the best of sports, had no choice but to realize that he had fallen victim to himself.


Ha ha! I love this kind of story! thanks,

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