Posted by: classyjacksonville | October 16, 2008

Escape from Classy Jacksonville


There are only three ways to escape Classy Jacksonville, EAS (end of active service, i.e. getting out at the end of your contract), deployment and death. And if one of those don’t happen early enough in a young marine’s career, he is liable to metamorphasize into a lifer, spending his weekends trying to spark up conversations with young marines at the liquor store by telling them to shave or asking them if they know the proper regulations on sandal wear in public (except that he will most likely refer to them as shower shoes), eventually retiring to his trailer, opening up a chain restaurant franchise and making up the majority of commissary shoppers. Good thing for marines (especially those lucky young and single ones), is that in this modern GWOT (there on two schools of thought on whether that actually stands for good or global war on terror) he can look forward to spending 2/3rds of his enlistment away from Camp Lejeune to somewhere a bit more scenic and exotic, like say, “the Vegas of the middle east,” Rutbah, Iraq.


To those uninitiated to the charms and pleasures of Classy Jacksonville, a seven months deployment to Iraq might not sound like that great of a thing. You might think that it would be downright scary or worse yet, boring. That being in America, even classy Jacksonville would be preferable to spending seven months in a “war zone.” But I am here to quash and dispel all those rumors and misguided ideas that the mothers of America and all our friends off at college might have about Iraq and our time overseas.


The sad truth is, that I like being deployed to a third world country embroiled in a violent war/ insurgency better than being in Classy Jacksonville. Each has their advantages and disadvantages. But when you weigh them both out, Iraq wins every time. And I’m not alone in my opinion either. If you asked everyone on my team, and even in my unit, they will tell you they enjoy being deployed far more than being in Classy Jacksonville.


The worse parts about being deployed are also some of the worse parts about being in Classy Jacksonville. The worse part about being deployed is there are no girls. But it’s not like you were getting any in Classy Jacksonville, so, not such a big loss. The second worse part is no alcohol. Apparently out of respect for our predominately muslim hosts, we aren’t allowed to have alcohol here. But that respect only goes so far, because no one told the cooks about islam’s dietary guidelines and so we have stuffed pork chop every other day. How people can live in such a dreadfully hot place and not have beer is beyond me. No wonder they are always killing each other. The third worse part is having to share a room with a bunch of other smelly dudes. But when you already had to do that in Classy Jacksonville, smelly kid stench isn’t so bad or noticeable.


There are other parts like the whole eminent danger thing, the bad food, Iraqi smell, Azerbaijani smell, the dust storms, that are also bad. But being in Iraq is for the most part fun and rewarding. There is a sort of satisfaction to be taken from performing your job, and seeing a different place. And when most of your time in Classy Jacksonville is spent sitting around with little purpose waiting to go to Iraq, wishing you were some place else, and waiting for a table at a chain restaurant, its nice having purpose and meaning in your life. Even if that means that it’s without beer.

NOTE: The author of this blog is currently on a long book tour of the middle east and will be unable to appear in America for a while. This is also why there hasn’t been a new post in a while. They will most likely remain sporadic for a while to come as well. Thanks for your time and consideration and in the mean time you should invest your time in watching such classic films as Mean Girls and Commando.


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