05 June 2009


So we got some new neighbors on the block, not on my street, but on the opposite end of my block. I walk past their cute house on my way to and from work every day. (Side note: I looked at that house when I was house hunting and it needed a lot of work, but someone seems to have 'flipped' it so I imagine it is super cute now. Because you all just had to know that. Right.) Anyway, I started to get the distinct impression that they were military...

What was it, you ask, that got me thinking they were military?

Could it have been the GWOT Veteran license plate? Sure.

How about the giant ARMY! flag hanging in front of the house?
Yep, that sealed the deal. Awesome. Why you ask? We are around 110 miles from the nearest Army post, and that one is teensey... so there aren't a lot of military folks in these parts other than the handful of recruiters at the office down the street.

I got all sorts of ideas for introducing myself... envisioned BBQ's this summer or at least a beer or two with hopefully some really nice Army folks, just like me. Another twee set of folks who get it, and right around the corner!

And then I saw this on the tire cover of their Jeep Wrangler XL.
0.o Yeah, ummmm, about that. (If you can't read it, it says: CAUTION Stay 100 Meters Back or you Will be Shot. And then it is translated into Arabic.) Pretty sure I'm not cool with you having that on the back of your SUV. In AMERICA. Dude, you aren't in theatre anymore. (I get that it is his prerogative, yadda, yadda, yadda....)

I mean, am I the only one who thinks this is, amongst other things, insulting, ridiculous and utterly lame? Who puts that on their car? And it is BIG. Really, what kind of Army dude put this on the family vehicle? I know what kind... the kind I don't want to BBQ with. I bet his one of those uber Hooah-Hooah guys who hasn't really done much to warrant being so flashy about his rough-tough-Army-guy persona. So yeah, am I overreacting or is this really as ridiculous as I think it is?


kimba said...

I mean, am I the only one who thinks this is, amongst other things, insulting, ridiculous and utterly lame?


Who puts that on their car?

A jackass.

And it is BIG. Really, what kind of Army dude put this on the family vehicle?

A jackass.

So yeah, am I overreacting or is this really as ridiculous as I think it is?

I think it's ridiculous, inappropriate and offensive. But then again, I saw some shocking crap written on vehicles rolling through the gates at North Island when we were in SD - terrorist hunting licenses, busty women in thongs straddling American flags, horrid Obama-is-a-Muslim-terrorist crap and all kinds of things that made my head nearly explode. So I'm not surprised in the least.


Have a BBQ with some cool civilians instead :-)

Tucker said...

Thanks Kimba... I agree that it is totally insensitive and offensive. These are the guys that give the good Army guys (and gals) like Swiss bad names, these are the ones that bolster the stigma of over-testosteroned men with little to no cultural understanding and just want to shoot stuff. SERIOUSLY. Neighbor gets a do better.

PS- I am having BBQ with cool civies tonight! w00t!

Bette said...


I'll bet he's a real joy at BBQs once he gets drunk and starts bragging about his heroic exploits. (My soldier's attitude is: If you're bragging, you're lying.)

You're not missing anything. Have fun with your cool civilians tonight!

Tucker said...

You husband is a wise, wise man. Swiss said the same thing... and is completely unimpressed with our new neighbor. Yes, I feel pretty confident that I ain't missing much! :)

Jenny said...

Clearly, he's a douchebag. Bleh!

LopsidedMom said...

Can you say overcompensation?
This is the reason so many civilians have the wrong idea of the military. I'd take pink flamingos or gnome lawn ornaments anyday.

Bree said...

When Dave first joined the Army I was one of those HOOAH, full of Army pride kind of wives. Sticker covered car, camo purse, etc etc. I got tired of it really quick, destickered my car, & went on with my life. I'm still extremely proud of my husband & the sacrifices our family makes but I'm not so..... loud.... about it lol! You think I would have learned the first time when he was a Marine *sigh*

I think the guy most likely hasn't seen enough(if any) combat to really know what it's about yet. & we must have some smart husbands because mine says the same thing - If they're braggin', they're lyin'.

I vote BBQ with the civies!! They aren't so bad to hang out with lol!

Post Tenebras Lux said...

Okay--so I'm a little nervous about putting this out here, but I'm disturbed by and really try to avoid coming across like this guy has clearly come across to all y'all, and it had never occurred to me before to view this bumper sticker as being offensive. I've got a friend who has a t-shirt that says "(Small Western Town) Ladies Quilting and Vigilante Society" which I thought was cute because it was sort of tongue in cheek, and I guess I'd always assumed that this bumper sticker was intended in the same sort of tongue-in-cheek vein. Is there any chance that this guy could be basically good-hearted, and just clueless like me? (On deeper thought, I can sure see how the bumper sticker *is* offensive. Sigh.)

Tucker said...

PTL- First off, don't be nervous for saying what you think. There's no need to worry about speaking your mind here, even if folks don't specifically agree, I am always open to the other sides of the story!

Second that shirt is cute and tongue in cheek... I think mostly because it doesn't target a specific audience and clearly isn't specifically mentioning shooting someone, know what I mean? It is vague enough to still be humorous... and it isn't used on military vehicles in an active war zone.

My issue with the neighbor is that a) it isn't a small bumper sticker, it is a HUGE spare tire cover that you can read from quite far away and b) it specifically targets Arabs, which I think is just in poor taste, especially since we are on American soil and there is no war here. Oh, and c) it is literally something taken directly from a war zone (where it is likely necessary) and being brought into small town quiet suburban America where it couldn't be less necessary.

I am guessing it is pretty intentional since it appears to be a hard item to find (I've searched!) and he is making SUCH a show of it. But that is just my take... you very well may be right and it was never meant in a malicious vein. Just sarcasm or humor... I guess I just personally thought it to be in poor taste.

Thanks for keeping me in check and pointing out the possible other side!:)

Kanani said...

I'm sorry I haven't been here!

I was buying new flooring and flipping through and saw a "camou" pattern. I looked at the girl, and said, "Who would want that?" And she started laughing. She said, "Anyone who has been in the military would not even want that around them!" Apparently she's an Air Force Brat.

I don't know. I look at someone like that sort of out of character in a novel. They probably have a loved one over there, and for the first time they have and identification: Army sister, Army parent, Army girlfriend. And it's this whole new world where they have found validation --and so they go overboard. They want everyone to know it, and they feel that maybe no one has noticed their commitment.

So they do things like this. Very in your face look at me behavior. And to a degree it works --especially against those who you feel do not support your soldier. But mainly what it does it make whittle you down into a one-dimensional being. But unless they do other things --send packages, get involved politically, support organizations that give direct to mil families or wounded warriors, their efforts fall short.

Anyway, you don't have to go know them, but I'll bet if you did, they'd notice your subtlety and dignity and maybe, slowly, start taking down the stuff.

veterangrunt said...

It all depends. The Army flag is a little gay. The "Stay back 100m" Tire cover.. I have to disagree with you there, Some of us have that sign as a fond memory. He might be a douche, he might not.I dont find it offensive. About as offensive as me flying the rebel flag as a decal on the back of my truck.I don't go around lynching people. I grew up with that flag, I see it as part of my identity as a southerner, and Oh yeah.. I had a smaller "stay back" sticker on my original truck I had when I got back, and got nothing but compliments and chuckles out of it. got me out of a few tickets too. I take little pride in being in the army. I take immense pride in being a combat grunt who loves what he does. I could care less what anyone thinks.

Anonymous said...

There is a time and a place for everything. You need to know your audience. I don't fly an army flag but there is a POW/MIA flag in my garage. I am a combat veteran but I don't have the plate son my truck. They are on my motorcycle, but it fits in that audience. I am assigned far away from military posts in a large urba area and I am not a recruiter. I am very proud of what I do but I don't advertise it. This guy may not realize he is being a douche bag. He's probably a great guy but his buddies aren't around to tease him about the tire cover. I'm sure he is a very proud Soldier. He has no doubt given up significant time in his life that he spent over seas. The tire cover is a reminder of that. Its very appropriate for him to hang it up in his garage or trophy room. It represents something to him. Something tangeable he could take home from "over there" and remind him of what he did day in and day out.
So invite him to the BBQ, chances are they have been around teh world enough to have picked up some good cooking ideas too. Once your friends with him break his balls unrelentlessly about the tire cover!