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For the past few years something had been bothering me when I visit a U.S. military instillation.  It was a nagging something  nudging the edge of my reality that I couldn't quite put my finger on.  Last week at the Airbase I finally realized what it was.   While I was walking from the BX to the Commissary, I happened to see two guy's in uniform other than fatigues.  A Marine Corporal in full dress and a few minuets later, and Air Force Staff Sargent in Class A's.  It occurred to me that I had not seen anyone in Class A's in the last several years.  That was it!  Every one, of whatever service seems to be waring Fatigues these days – at least that's what I call them because it's the uniform we wore in the field and for work details during WWII through 67 at least.  Of course they were not covered with camouflage design back then but it's basically the same uniform.  Some people who were assigned combat duty in South Pacific jingles did wear camouflage fatigues during WWII.  They were in the friggen jungle, and thats the reason!  Why would someone ware camouflage in an office in NYC?     When was the last time you saw a sailor wearing a uniform that looked like the guy on the crackerjack box?  What ever happened to bell bottom trousers?  

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I see most of the  people searching city  trash containers for aluminum cans, wearing clothing, or some item of clothing of the same camouflage design.   At least a third of the homeless men, and a some of the women who live in the city park favored by people of that status, are currently wearing complete, or  pieces of the camouflage uniform.
   I went out to the hospital pharmacy a a couple of days ago to pick up some meds and asked an Army Staff Sergeant I chanced to meet, what the slang term was for the uniform he was wearing and his response was “ACU's”.  I of course had no clue what that meant so he spelled it out for me, "Army Combat Uniform.” he said.  Don't they have slang terms for uniforms and hats any more?  We used to have some doozies.
  Now I'm pretty sure that the guy who wrote the Christmas Carole with  the phrase,  “Now we don our gay apparel” did not have the color “olive drab” in mind when he penned those lines, but O.D's pressed with the brass and colorful unit patches, and maybe a few ribbons,  looked pretty damn good.  You could always spot someone in the Army Air Corp because of their flamboyant dress.  I thought seriously of applying for OCS just so I could wear “Pinks”.  I can hear some of you young whippersnappers now saying, “Come on!  The Macho U.S. Army never wore pink uniforms!”  Yea we did, pinks and greens too.  Google it.  A chocolate brown form fitting blouse with mouse gray slacks that had a green tinge, and WOW!
   Hopefully the military will return to the day when at least class B's are required off base.  
   I am finishing up this diary with the lyrics of a song that always made my heart swell.  The title is pretty obviously, “There's Something About a Soldier”.    It's  from a 1934 movie of the same name.  If you would like to hear the song, Google it.  Okay the clip with Betty Boop is not all that great.
   Old fogies really hate change, but nevertheless, it's my hope that each and everyone of you will someday, become one.

There's something about a soldier
There's something about a soldier
There's something about a soldier
That is fine fine fine
He may be a great big general
He may be a sergeant major
He may be a simple private of the line line line
But there's something about his bearing, something in what he's wearing
Something about his buttons all a shine shine shine
O a military chest seems to suit the ladies best
There's something about a soldier that is fine fine fine.

Extended (Optional)

Originally posted to This old man on Sun Apr 28, 2013 at 12:25 AM PDT.

Also republished by Military Community Members of Daily Kos.

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