In the back of every veteran’s closet, you’re likely to find some old uniforms, dusty caps, a stack of medical, training, and discharge records... maybe a few ribbons or medals. But these are just a few of the typical things that separated or retired service members keep with them. Other things, they’re stuck with forever.
So we compiled a list of the more non-traditional things that veterans carry for life.
- An incessant need to roll socks
- Bad knees
- The misguided idea that ibuprofen and fresh socks will cure any ailment
- Tinnitis. ZNNNNNNNNNG.
- The ability to sleep anywhere
- The plight of not being able to sleep at all
- Old combat boots. They’re great for mowing the lawn or a trip to Home Depot.
- Fear of tape tests
- Issues with authority figures
- Back pain
- T-shirts from strange events and places they don’t remember going
- A woobie that has seen better days.
- A swearing problem that is FUBAR
- A love/hate relationship with acronyms
- Total disdain for PowerPoint
- Scars from barracks shenanigans gone awry
- A few ugly divorces
- A truck they bought after gaining some sense and selling that Camaro they financed at 27% APR
- Some weird strip club stories
- Sleep apnea
- Bad tattoos that seemed like a really good idea at the time
- Boxy brown t-shirts that somehow have sweat stains in a different, more gross shade of brown
- A deeply stained, never-before-washed coffee mug that they tell everyone is “seasoned”
Observation Post is the Military Times one-stop shop for all things off-duty. Stories may reflect author observations.
Sarah Sicard is a Senior Editor with Military Times. She previously served as the Digitial Editor of Military Times and the Army Times Editor. Other work can be found at National Defense Magazine, Task & Purpose, and Defense News.