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Top 10: Troops Tell ZeroBlog30 Their Most Memorable Holiday Moments

Alright, school circle on me. Sit, kneel, stand.

The ZeroBlog30 Podcast asked The Troops™ for their best military Christmas party/celebration stories. After perusing through the pile of wonderful answers we got, these are the 10 that struck a chord with me or caught my attention the most. Some are funny, a few are serious bummers, and all of them were submitted by our nation's best. 

10: Pain In The Rain

As a general rule battalion holiday parties are the absolute WORST, especially for the junior enlisted. From what I remember on Camp Pendleton they usually took place on bball courts at the gym, a motor T garage, or a warehouse on base. Cram some folding tables & chairs in there, toss some cheap red & green decorations around, & get the lower ranks to do all the Charlie Work

They have to clean the 'venue', set everything up, man the buffet stations, & often times get stuck being the 'elves' & such for the kids who attend. When they finally get a chance to enjoy the party, if that's even possible, they're usually delegated to the equivalent of the Thanksgiving 'kids table'. In the case above, that table happened to be in the rain. And missing out on the raffle, which is the only chance to walk away from the ordeal with something cool, is a real bummer.

9: Bath Robes Wasted 

Quick safety brief: Don't get carried away at the holiday pre-game. Having a few nips of the 'ol whiskey bottle beforehand might sound tempting, but the results could be slurred speech, blurred vision, and telling your Major to fuck off.

I love that the big result of that whole drama was the whole EOD unit losing their robe-wearing privileges. 

EOD = Explosive Ordinance Disposal. The badass men & women who diffuse IEDs, among other things.

IEDs = Improvised Explosive Devices AKA bombs. Not to be confused with IUDs.

8: Don't Be That Guy

::sigh:: 

Not shocking or surprising in any way & no doubt ladies across the military are on the lookout for creeps both officer & enlisted this holiday party season. Glad they did the right thing & quickly removed him. 

A friend of mine in the Army told me about her unit's own holiday party where a high ranking officer in a Santa suit kept pulling unsuspecting female subordinates down on his lap in front of all their peers & groping butts. Whether you're serving or not, ::hops up on soap box:: DON'T BE THAT GUY! WE DON'T LIKE THAT & IT'S NOT FUNNY, IT JUST MAKES YOU A LOSER!

JOs = Junior Officers, not Jerk Offs. Sometimes. 

CO = Commanding Officer

7: Surprise Nap In Afghanistan 

This one wasn't a holiday party story, but I'm including because it was a good reminder that a lot of men & women won't be attending any parties because they'll be overseas thousands of miles from home. Whatever they celebrate be it Hanukkah, Kwanza, Christmas, whatever… they'll just still be at work like it's any other day. 

Also a good reminder to duck when an MRAP door comes a-swingin'. If you've ever felt how heavy & hard those are, you'll know it's amazing his head wasn't smashed into a jelly. 

Outside the wire = outside of the base or outpost the troops live on & into the villages, etc. 

QRF = Quick Reaction Force. Often used when shit has hit the fan with another squad outside the wire & they need backup. 

MRAP = Mine-Resistant Ambush Protected vehicle. This massive mofo:

6: Touchdown, Christmas!

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When it comes to having fun in the military it's usually "mandatory fun". You don't have a choice. You are ordered to be at whatever wacky idea of a good time the commander happens to think up. In this case troops stationed far away over the holiday got to let loose by being forced to get up before sunrise & be half-heartedly playing flag football by 6am. What a treat!

GTMO: Pronounced Gitmo which is short for 'Guantanamo', as in Guantanamo Bay Naval Base in Cuba - home of our famous military detention center. It's where we keep alleged unlawful combatants from the wars in Iraq & Afghanistan, etc. (Taliban type folk.)

5. Mandatory Fun, But Make It Fashion

Don't have much to say on this one except it makes me miss my own military buddies a lot, and I want to go back in time & hang out with these guys. This is a command holiday party done right & they were probably the most electric duo in the smoke pit. 

Cisco: Had to Google this out of sheer curiosity because I'd never heard of it before, and it looks like an old school Boone's Farm/Mad Dog 20/20 hybrid. Love that they were sipping this out of some hotel's candy dishes:

4. Roasted & Toasted

No fuss, no muss. Just a good old fashioned roast sesh where you can finally tell that fellow Lieutenant who drives you nuts what you really think of them. I'm not 100% sure what the feats of strength entailed, but I imagine it was like how YP walks around here trying to wrestle everyone. 

As for the low-key tailgate hangout, A++. No kids running around & no lower enlisted having to set things up on a working party. Just crispy bois in the lot.

MCCC = Maneuver Captain's Career Course for Army's infantry & armor officers

3: The Drew Carey Boat

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Thankfully someone else asked the most important question about this encounter so I didn't have to:

Still waiting to hear back on that. 

There are so many celebrities & groups who head out to visit the troops on holidays & it always makes an impact. One of the first that comes to mind is the 'roast master', comedian Jeff Ross. I'm pretty sure he goes with the USO pretty much every year. Others who've done this include Robin Williams, Stephen Colbert, Marilyn Monroe, Carrie Underwood… the list goes on & on. 

Side note, people forget Drew Carey was in the military, too. Honestly, kind of a stone cold fox. 

2: Operation Present Drop

I fucking LOVE this. LFG! Imagine being on a small outpost in the middle of Afghanistan on Christmas & you're missing your friends & family back home when suddenly you hear the low thumping rumble of a helicopter in the distance. You look up & Santas are dropping presents from an aircraft that normally drops a nightmare on the enemy… Awesome that the airwing did that & showed the Marines in the boonies that they weren't forgotten. I imagine that did wonders for morale, especially in an area as rough as Marjah.

LZ = Landing Zone

*Helo = helicopter

1: Under The Sea

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Having your Christmas celebration 10,000 leagues under the sea is something I never considered before. At least on deployments, even in the most remote areas, you can write & receive letters when the convoys roll through. On a sub you're in close quarters with the same small group of people every day & have literally zero contact with the outside world for sometimes months at a time. Small things like sock stockings stuffed with candy or being surprised with presents from back home probably means the world to these guys & gals. Awesome.  

Thanks to everyone who replied & shared their stories. If you're reading this overseas - you are not forgotten & we're so grateful for your service. Thank you. 

You can hear more of the responses on today's special episode of ZeroBlog30. Like, subscribe & tell your friends! Yes, it's about the military, but we make it a fun listen for anyone whether they served or not.

https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/zero-blog-thirty/id1151856991?i=1000460282189