Six Years Ago Today I Chronicled My MEPS Experience So You Didn’t Have To


By Jay Kirell


I can’t believe it’s been six years.  Six years since I enlisted in the Army.  Six years since I first visited a recruiter and began the process that would eventually take me around the world and back.

In some ways it seems like yesterday, and in others it seems like it was so long ago I can barely remember a time I wasn’t a “veteran.”

It’s for that reason I’m glad I took the time, six years ago, to chronicle my entrance into the military.  I can look back and laugh at the expectations I had vs. what the reality of being in the military was actually like.

For those who’ve never served, you can get a sense to what it might have been like for you…at least in the very beginning.  I’d imagine people end up with a million different stories from their time in the service, but some aspects are universal.

MEPS is one of those aspects.  MEPS stands for Military Entrance Processing Station and it’s the military equivalent of munchkin land from The Wizard of Oz – it’s where your story begins.

Six years ago today, this is where mine began.  Day two of MEPS:

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Brussels Sprouts & Cyanide Pills


By Jay Kirell


Holy fuck, are you ready America?

Yes, you’re ready.

You’re freaking out.  You’re on edge.  You think the world’s about to collapse in a heap like a global Life-Alert commercial.  65% of you want to send ground troops to go fight ISIS.  56% of you want to shut the door on refugees fleeing ISIS.

If I didn’t know any better, I’d say some of you are confusing the Land of the Brave with the Land of the Lost. This routine expedition towards the 2016 election hit the greatest earthquake ever known in the form of a terrorist attack in France and plunged us into uncharted territory both electorally and culturally.

How uncharted?

Donald Trump, Ben Carson and Ted Cruz together have a hold of 59% of the Republican vote.  One of those three is going to be the nominee.

That’s fucking insane.

Why? Continue Reading →

The Second Amendment’s Final Years


By Jay Kirell


It is coming.

The war everyone on the far right has been screaming about.

The war over guns.

Not today.  No, noooooo.  We’re not close to ready for that war today.

Last week’s fatal shooting (the one in Oregon, on October 1, um…2015, depending on when you’re reading this and what shooting spurred you on to end up finding this) hasn’t moved the needle on the issue of gun control.

It’s not going to.

Neither is the next school shooting.  Or military base shooting.  Or house-of-worship shooting.

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Hail To The Chief

By Jay Kirell


The door swings open. Tiny bells jingle.  An early-morning commuter, trying to beat the rush on the Long Island Expressway into Manhattan, has stopped in for his usual medium cup of Brazilian dark roast coffee.

“Good-esh morning, my Chief, how are you?  Welcome to 7-Eleven.”

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Everybody Gets A War Story

By Jay Kirell


People love hearing war stories. It’s why people who go to a war zone come back and tell them.

Some people also love telling war stories.

Take Brian Williams for example.

Or Bill O’Reilly.

Or Chris Kyle.

Or Joni Ernst.

They’ve told war stories.  Not necessarily truthful war stories, but war stories nonetheless.

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Fox News: We Report. You Receive Death Threats


By Jay Kirell


War is an ugly thing, but not nearly as ugly as politics.

A week after appearing with President Obama at the White House to announce the release of their son from five years of Taliban captivity, the parents of Bowe Bergdahl have begun to receive death threats.

I’ll repeat that.  The parents of an American POW have been receiving death threats.

You know who you can blame for that?

Fox News.

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