Words by Wes O'Donnell
When I married my wife in 1998, she was from a wealthy family and was extremely well-spoken. Hell, we’re the same age and she had graduated college before I had even graduated high school.
22 years later, having accompanied me as a military spouse through the Army infantry, and later through the Air Force as a maintainer, she now speaks like a drunk master chief on liberty in Bangkok who just got kicked in the junk by a dwarf mud wrestler.
Oh, how the mighty have fallen.
There is a certain charm about military slang. Sometimes efficient. Sometimes offensive. Every branch has invented their own language to describe people, places and things with a vibrant flourish that rivals the jibber jabber that has infested the corporate world.
If only someone would compile this so-called “military slang” into one compendium that I could read once and then donate to Goodwill…
Enter VET Tv, an irreverent, veteran-centric network that scratches my occasional itch for masturbation comedy and dead baby jokes.
Like Hot Cocoa Hershey's Kisses, it’s a guilty pleasure, really.
It’s also precisely the type of cynical, dark humor that offends exactly 100% of the viewers who have never served a day in the military.
And that is also the reason why I love it. VET Tv provides the type of cultural capital that I crave; especially after watching every other streaming platform get military uniforms so wrong.
It is only natural, then, that a successful streaming service that bills itself as the “Netflix for Veterans” performs an about face and assaults into the lucrative and booming print media market.
Digital to print! It’s brilliant! What better way to confound your competitors than to go in the exact opposite direction?
I remember fondly calling a fellow Specialist a “Five-Jump Chump” (one who had just graduated Airborne school, which requires precisely five jumps to graduate) to which he replied “Well Wes, that’s five more than you have.”
After grabbing my woobie and reflecting on my shitty life as a leg infantryman, I resolved to get revenge by breaking open a bunch of IR chemlights and soaking the chump’s uniforms so he would glow like great Caesar’s ghost on NVG’s the next time we went to the field.
Unfortunately, a Blackhawk landed on him during our next field rotation. No one could ever figure out why.
But that’s nothing compared to the Zoomies in the room next door who shared a bathroom with us in the Air Force while deployed to Ecuador.
They pissed off my roommate, a fellow maintainer, so my roommate pissed in their shampoo bottle. Enjoy your shower boys.
If Vet Tv’s Military Slang Dictionary is enough to get me reminiscing about murderous and disgusting practical jokes for an hour, then it is well worth the price of admission.
VET Tv’s Military Slang Dictionary is available for preorder now. Orders will ship on or after May 26, 2021. Buy it. And don’t forget to thank me for my service.