Thursday, November 4, 2010

Deployment Goggles

The phrase “deployment goggles” is used to describe a certain condition that afflicts deployed soldiers, namely that after several months overseas, people who would be otherwise unattractive suddenly become incredibly so. Bases filled with tired, run-down, average looking women become filled with “tens“ . This does also seem to affect the women, however I know nothing of it, so I won’t comment.

This isn’t to say, of course, that all women in the military, and the Army in particular, are ugly. It has more to do with the simple fact the Army uniforms and regulations are not very flattering to the female form. The Army *is* changing this- they’ve announced plans to cut ACU’s in 13 different sizes for women in the near future, but this is more functional than it is for form. Until then, females on post are trapped wearing pants that are designed for a mans hipless figure, and a top with broad shoulders that winds up looking like a tent. (They also have plans to move the rank patch upwards, which is a good thing, and a whole ‘nuther post. I’ve spent most of my adult life concentrating on *not* looking directly at a woman’s chest when speaking with her, and what does the Army do? Somebody was either promoted or fired over that.)

Army PT gear consists of a T-shirt and baggy shorts, which, although comfortable, and necessary for freedom of movement, gets zero points for style. Couple the uniforms with the restrictive rules on how females may wear their hair, makeup, and whatever else they use to get all dolled up, and it just doesn’t make for a population that appeals to the opposite sex. This may be intentional, and I’m not disagreeing with any of these rules, mind you. It certainly makes for some surprises sometimes if you ever run into a fellow solider in civilian clothing, however.

These conditions tend to morph perspective, but it’s a subtle change that creeps up on you. This morning I saw a female soldier on the bus, in PT gear, and found myself checking out her forearms. It hit me then. Dear Lord, did I really just do that? I checked out a girls arms? For the rest of the day, I was very conscious of what I looked at, and all the while, phrases popped to mind that would defy logic based on what most people look for back home. Wow, she has really petite hands. What a slender neck-crap that’s an officer, better salute!

It’s not that I’m a perv leering at every woman in sight, and to be perfectly honest, my love life at home is on the same tempo as it is here-nonexistent. I just had a little shock today when I noticed that the “goggles” were so firmly screwed on. Maybe it will help me notice the little things, when I get home. Like wedding rings, for instance. I’m still getting used to the notion that I’m old enough now to actually need to look for one.

Just another fact of life in the Sandbox. Stay well everyone!

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