Friday, February 20, 2009


This afternoon I was listening to Radio Free Georgia and they were talking about the Military Industrial Complex. When they mentioned KBR building bases in Vietnam back in the 60's, it reminded me that this business of privatizing parts of the military is not new. While I was in the military, I only had to pull a few hours of KP and that was because I was in the wrong place at the wrong time. We were supposed to do KP while in basic, but our T.I. or D.I. swapped with another flight and we pulled guard duty instead. When I got stuck with KP, I hadn't gotten my pass yet to leave the base so I was in the barracks dayroom watching TV on a Saturday night when a guy came in and rounded up everyone there to go do KP because either someone screwed up the scheduling or a bunch didn't show up for KP. So I got to spend the rest of that night working in the chow hall.

When I got to my first permanent base, everyone was supposed to do a week of KP when they first got there. I never had to because they had hired civilian workers to work in the chow hall. The only military working in the chow hall were those who specialty was food service. All the serving, cleaning pots and pans, peeling potatoes and the other shitty jobs were now done by civilians.

Like I said privatizing is not new. The other day I realized that as of the end of January I have been a free man for 39 years. If you think my saying I became a free man is like getting out of prison, there are many similarities between an enlistment and a prison sentence. (Sometimes the option was either join the military or go to jail, but not in my case.) They even gave me time off for good behavior. Altho the way it was phrased on my DD214 was, "Early Release Due To Budgetary Limitations"!!


Lisa said...

You make a good point about privatization. It's not new, but now there are whole companies who base their entire business model on profiting from tax dollars. That's kind of disturbing, especially since those are the same businesses who lobby to have their own tax responsibilities reduced.

opit said...

You know the tune - the more things change, the more they stay the same (Cheney knew no bounds )

Dr. Zaius said...

Damned civilians! Always peeling the potatoes wrong.