File: A US Army recruiter speaks with a near-veteran hoping to eventually convert him into full-veteran status.Halfway Heroes, ‘Near Veterans’ Seek Recognition For Almost Serving In Military Dirty October 31, 2012 News 207 Comments Follow Duffel Blog: CHARLESTON, SC – Jody Siever spends his Friday nights like so many American servicemen and women, mingling while kicking back drinks at a local bar. Recognizing the giveaway military haircut of a fellow patron, he approaches with an arm extended. “Welcome home, soldier.” Smiling, though apparently puzzled, the stranger returns a firm, brief handshake. “Thanks, but I’m in the Navy. And I haven’t been anywhere—I’m in Nuke School,” he replies, referring to the Naval Nuclear Power Training Center in Goose Creek, S.C. “That’s cool,” Siever says, “I almost thought about joining the Navy for a while, but if I did join the service, I would have gone into the Army. I’m just kind of hardcore like that. Shooting bad guys in the face—that’s the life for me. If I wanted it.” Siever, you see, never actually enlisted. Veteran servicemembers often find it difficult to relate their experiences in the military to friends and family back home, but a new civilian organization is working to expand that exclusive brotherhood. The Bros Before Joes campaign, established in 2011, seeks to legitimize the efforts of people like Siever, whose commitments to serving in the military range from the hypothetical to the nearly realized. “We’ve got guys from all over the spectrum here. Some of our members, they merely thought about joining the Army a few times, or took the ASVAB in high school to get out of first period,” explains BBJ founder Trent Bower. “Other guys though, they got as far as making appointments to go to MEPS [Military Entrance Processing Station], but then something important came up.” A near-Marine himself, Bower recounts his own brush with fate: “I talked with a Marine recruiter a few times in high school, even attended a couple of pool functions at the recruiting office. It got to the point that I was there so often, the recruiters even started calling me ‘Boot.’ They were practically begging me to enlist, but I always knew I was meant for something more meaningful.” Bower, a 31-year old assistant manager at a successful pizza delivery franchise, started the Bros Before Joes campaign in his spare time, seeking to bring recognition to others who share his story. For Siever, and thousands of almost-soldiers, sailors, airmen, and Marines like him, the organization is a long-overdue ray of hope. Says Siever, “It’s great, you know, to finally be able to reach out and connect with others who share your non-experiences. After giving so much, dedicating so much time and energy to thinking about enlisting, it just feels like we’re finally getting the thanks we deserve.” And recognition has been swift in coming. Thanks to a successful joint-lobbying campaign with the Almost Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America, a bill is now before the Senate to approve Veteran’s Affairs benefits for BBJ and AIAVA members. The resolution received overwhelming bipartisan support in a House vote earlier this year from a majority of US Representatives who are themselves non-veterans. Regarding the passage in the House, Rep. Jeff Flake (R-AZ) released this statement: “This isn’t a Red-or-Blue, liberal-versus-conservative issue. It’s about giving near-veterans like me and many of my constituents the recognition we’ve been denied for far too long.” Currently, 345 out of 435, or roughly 80% of members of the U.S. House of Representatives, have no recorded military service. As the bill nears the Senate floor, however, some opponents are voicing concerns. Senator and Navy veteran John McCain (R-AZ) held a press conference outside his home in Phoenix, Arizona on Tuesday, calling the bill “a mockery… of all that I hold dear.” He also stated that he would “rather tongue-kiss Jane Fonda” than vote to approve the measure. Before he could take questions, he had to be ushered away for medical treatment when blood began seeping from his clenched fist—reportedly from clutching his Silver Star too tightly. And he’s not alone. Senator Daniel K. Inouye (D-HI) is an Army veteran of World War II and presently the only serving member of Congress to have earned a Congressional Medal of Honor. When presented with the bill’s full text, Sen. Inouye declared it “a perversion of our American values,” and refused to touch it, even with his prosthetic arm. Said Inouye, “I don’t want to live on this planet anymore.” Despite these protests, the bill has mass appeal with civilians and near-veterans on both sides of the aisle. Arguments will begin in earnest when the Senate reconvenes next January. Until then, it’s a long wait for near-heroes like Siever and Bower. Asked if he would do anything different given the opportunity, Bower harkens back to his non-Marine days: “I just couldn’t leave all of this behind. I miss those pool functions, though. They were good times; some of the best times of my life. You just… you go through something like that, almost sacrificing so much, with such a close group of guys, and it really makes you brothers, you know? I even think I still have some recruitment brochures around here, somewhere.” Short URL: http://duffelblog.com/CEaTC Vic Campbell says: November 18, 2014 at 10:58 PM I just love duffel blog. David Cypher says: November 18, 2014 at 10:58 PM Holy fuck these POGS can’t be serious are they? Lourinda Johnson says: November 18, 2014 at 10:58 PM This is one of the dumbest things I’ve ever heard. Doran Johnson says: November 18, 2014 at 10:58 PM This is a joke, right? Somebody yell “April Fool’s” Jared Kay says: November 18, 2014 at 10:58 PM wow sounds like you need a participation ribbon. O wait, forgot you didnt even participate. Has to be satire, becuase if this is real its really just sad Terry Duane Willis says: November 18, 2014 at 10:58 PM He felt that being an assistant manager at a pizza deliver shop was more meaningful than serving. WOW. what is this country coming to? Such BS for this ideal to even be intertained by our elected officials. What do they think they are gonna get when our Veterans cant even get what they deserve? Mark Rowe says: November 18, 2014 at 10:58 PM Unless you served, DON’T EVEN TRY THIS CRAP ON ME! I’LL GIVE RIGHT BACK ATCHA. RIGHT DOWN YOUR THROAT! 1st AD 2nd BDE 3/34th Armor HHC HQ66 S/3. OPFOR 1/73 rd Armor HHC S/3 HQ66/001 David Douglas says: November 18, 2014 at 10:58 PM Honestly, after serving in the army as combat arms (hooah Cav) this is an insult. It like me saying I thought about becoming a police officer so I want a badge and a gun so I can arrest people. We as an American people need to stop rewarding the 1/2 assers and acknowledge the doers. Jim Gold says: November 18, 2014 at 10:58 PM So this guy Bower in the early story says he didn’t want to become a Marine because he felt he was meant for something more meaningful. Then it states he’s an assistant manager at a pizza joint, lol, what a purge. Marines would probably spit you out anyways. Bryce Hipp says: November 18, 2014 at 10:58 PM Please tell me this isn’t real. If it is you people are idiots and just want to be part of a spotlight you don’t deserve. I mean if I ALMOST invested in a company that would have made me a millionaire does that mean I can call myself a millionaire? No. So you ALMOST joined the military… So what. No you are not a vet and no you deserve zero recognition. In fact you should be ashamed and beat to a pulp for even trying to join in on that spotlight you don’t belong in. Coon M Taggart says: November 18, 2014 at 10:58 PM THAT I AM A DEAD SHOT HIGHEST SCORE ON A FUCKIN GAME TOY ALMOST IS ONLY CLOSE IN HAND GRADNAD’S, OR BOY SCOUT GOT MORE RESPECT THAN YOU BRO’S BEFORE JOE’S THAT STAY IN BARS WRECKIN MARRAGE’S JODIE’S! ERA VETS GOT LIKE ME GOT CLOSER THAN YOU CAUSE WE WERE BORN AT THE WROHG TIME, WELCOME HOME TO ALL THAT SIGNED A BLANK CHECK FOR OUR LIVES THE REST OF THEM. PUKES GO AND JOIN NOW IF YOU WANT RESPECT VFFV Caleb Goldsberry says: November 18, 2014 at 10:58 PM ARE YOU FUCKING SERIOUS!! I rarely curse on the internet… But FUCK THAT!! I am an Army Veteran, and if I ever meet someone of this group… I can’t even continue. This is such a mockery of everything we hold dear. HOW DARE YOU ASSHOLES COMPARE YOURSELVES TO MY BROTHERS AND SISTERS IN ARMS THAT GAVE THEIR LIVES. YOU ARE PATHETIC WASTES OF AN EXCUSE FOR A HUMAN. GO SUCK START A BROWNING M2 .50!!!! Kevin Winters says: November 18, 2014 at 10:58 PM Too close to true. I frequently run into those guys. Maybe we need a new term to describe them, “Borrowed Valor”? Here’s another example: http://www.nytimes.com/1994/06/15/us/hillary-clinton-says-she-once-tried-to-be-marine.html Kevin Winters says: November 18, 2014 at 10:58 PM Just saying’… http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/barackobama/2700555/Barack-Obama-wanted-to-join-the-US-military.html Joel O'Brien says: November 18, 2014 at 10:58 PM Hey, I’m here to report that I beat the draft back In ’72! Well…to be honest, that means I enlisted. Rick Delaney says: November 18, 2014 at 10:58 PM What a pile of losers.The only Thing missing is the balls. Jerry Prigmore says: November 18, 2014 at 10:58 PM What they really need is a group for people who had their sense of humor surgically removed and wouldn’t know satire if it walked up and bit them in the ass. Angry Warrant says: November 18, 2014 at 10:58 PM More power to them! I almost joined. Twice even so I know exactly how they feel. Then of course, I went to this pool party a recruiter was throwing, got loaded and the next thing I remember, I’m signing paperwork at the MEPS in Tampa. Michael Ratliff says: November 18, 2014 at 10:58 PM Sounds like something Obama might start lol Tammy Rausch says: November 18, 2014 at 10:58 PM I am not military, But I was almost a college grad,…. Does that mean I should get recognition? I mean come on…How do you get recognition for ALMOST? Tim Collins says: November 18, 2014 at 10:58 PM This is disgusting to be honest. Disgraceful! TiffaniandAdam Hart says: November 18, 2014 at 10:58 PM You’re a sad person and don’t deserve recognition Lmfao John B Lees says: November 18, 2014 at 10:58 PM Yeah, I meet em all the time. A very special kind of ……well let’s face it, they are f-ed up. Justin Vandyke says: November 18, 2014 at 10:58 PM good lord people, his is a news site like the onion, its fake. as a veteran, i gotta say, chill the fux out Marcus Colburn says: November 18, 2014 at 10:58 PM 4 years active duty Navy, dedicating time thinking about serving gives you rights to nothing, you did nothig their for deserve nothing. Keith Rapert says: November 18, 2014 at 10:58 PM Tell me the government is not going to waist it’s time with this, when we have Veterans trying to get a bill passed H.R. 411, the poisoning of Vets at Ft.Mac and who are dieing every day from all types of illness. Anonymous says: June 19, 2014 at 5:14 AM I think…this is what i read..is best thing in my life ever.. hirethevet.com Jerry Austin says: April 16, 2014 at 3:09 AM Thinking about it and doing it is different. You are in no way deserving of any benefits that others get who actually went to boot camp, completed boot camp, occupational school and served their obligatory service, unless you of course were discharged honorably, medically or something of that nature. Posers who get or want these kinds of benefits are just the same as those sucking up on Welfare, but refusing to work (not inclusive to all , as some do deserve this), but a wannabe or a someone who only thought about going in the service, get real. GySgt, USMC, Retired Dudley Toelke says: February 26, 2014 at 12:57 AM I was almost a non-veteran, but then I got that letter. Dudley Toelke says: February 26, 2014 at 12:57 AM Oh, boy! Read all the comments and all I can say is, I wish the Speckled Trout thought my lures were the Duffle Blog. Justin Madore says: February 26, 2014 at 12:57 AM I’d like to petition to take this one step further, and allow them to not only wear their would-be uniforms in public (for those few who already don’t) and also make it completely legitimate for the to wear the ribbons, medals, badges, and tabs they would have undoubtedly earned if they weren’t unjustly removed from the opportunity to serve for being too hardcore, or beating up their drill instructors (drill sergeants, training instructors, etc). The stolen valor act is a travesty to these fine would-be warriors. It’s about time someone stood up! Ken Cook says: December 15, 2013 at 6:23 PM You know, this story would have been funny 10 years ago. Today? It’s too damned likely to come to pass. Cameron Crash Adams says: December 15, 2013 at 6:23 PM Lmao Josh Feddersen says: December 15, 2013 at 6:23 PM LOL! Brent Kelly says: December 15, 2013 at 6:23 PM Ummm, NO! Jayson Pihajlic says: December 15, 2013 at 6:23 PM Bahahaha William Minks says: December 15, 2013 at 6:23 PM is this real? Michael Patton says: December 15, 2013 at 6:23 PM Fuck these people Jacob Case says: December 15, 2013 at 6:23 PM This is a joke, right? Cyndie Joseph says: December 15, 2013 at 6:23 PM Great for a good morning laugh. Anabelle Galoosie Lawson says: December 15, 2013 at 6:23 PM The writer should write for “The Onion.” Flake was a good name for the politician. Tony Hill says: December 15, 2013 at 6:23 PM Ive seen the duffle blog and every time I forget its intentions well played gentlemen. Jim Quayhagen says: December 15, 2013 at 6:23 PM I DON’T BELIEVE THIS! Josh Noble says: December 15, 2013 at 6:23 PM The real story here is that they interviewed a nuke-in-training without getting a diatribe against everything Navy, and then a long lecture about the safety of Naval Nuclear Power. That’s how I know it’s fake. I was in that position a few years ago, and would have let go with a long string of expletives. David Lee Hoffman Jr says: December 15, 2013 at 6:23 PM Please tell me this is a joke? If not these people are horrible and are belittling the real sacrifices of real service members. Cathy Edwards-Schmieder says: December 15, 2013 at 6:23 PM This one will help Stacy…satire.. Terrie Fischer says: December 15, 2013 at 6:23 PM What a slap in the face to “Real Military Personel” past and present. These people are nothing more than cowards trying to make themselves respectful by pretending they ALMOST enlisted. What a joke they are! The laughing stock of true Americans that have served our country with true pride and patriotism. Recognize them for this? NEVER…They are nothing more than a pimple on the butt of America. Robert Miller says: December 15, 2013 at 6:23 PM Someone tell me this shit’s fake!!!! Robert Miller says: December 15, 2013 at 6:23 PM That’s F’d up duffle bag….. I have met a few people like this though. Carla Sue says: December 15, 2013 at 6:23 PM is this a joke? Aaron Budd says: December 15, 2013 at 6:23 PM I don’t want to live on this planet anymore. Walt Miller says: December 15, 2013 at 6:23 PM Another good one. Matthew Karres says: December 15, 2013 at 6:23 PM Heroes. Every one a true American hero. Keegan Mooney says: December 15, 2013 at 6:23 PM Holy f*** me running… Scott Robinett says: December 15, 2013 at 6:23 PM Put me in my place! Though, I did do a year of ROTC in high school. Don Carlos says: December 15, 2013 at 6:23 PM best article so far…loved it, just what I heard when I got out in 1970. Jacob Budd says: December 15, 2013 at 6:23 PM They’ll only be recognized in a negative way…I wouldn’t want that. Whatever, let the crazies be what they want in fantasy land. Ernest Tho says: December 15, 2013 at 6:23 PM These fucktards need to be shot! EARN your right to speak to me and my brothers you fucks! Brian S. Hand says: December 15, 2013 at 6:23 PM Wow, AIAVA….I didn’t know there could be something more douchey than IAVA. Probably could be a branch of IAVA started by some fellow douchebag buddy of Paul Rieckhoff, the ultimate veteran douche. Craig Abram says: December 15, 2013 at 6:23 PM hahahahahahhahahahahhaha Albert Peterson says: December 15, 2013 at 6:23 PM You’re worthless! If you really think you deserve anything for “almost enlisting” you should be shot in the head on national tv. You’re a piece of shit and deserve a swift kick in the ass for even thinking about this. If our government approves this, I’m moving to another country. Rob Torrance says: December 15, 2013 at 6:23 PM you have to be kidding me! Benefits cause they were to much of a pussy to enlist? I gave 6 years of my life active and 2 NG and these wannabe’s are asking for benefits..FU#$IN Please.. Jake Hunter says: December 15, 2013 at 6:23 PM It took me until about half way through to figure out that this wasn’t serious! I was starting to get legitimately pissed off =P. Larry Cawley says: December 15, 2013 at 6:23 PM Pure jokes! I love it. Joseph Felder says: December 15, 2013 at 6:23 PM Saved to Favorites. I’m doing the same as Daniel Orozco. Bradley P O'Brien says: December 15, 2013 at 6:23 PM Andy Borowitz or the SNL writing staff couldn’t have said it better. Scott Magro says: December 15, 2013 at 6:23 PM I don’t know what’s funnier? The story itself or the asshats that read these articles and believe them? Robert Belford says: December 15, 2013 at 6:23 PM I too have met some great ‘near vets’ at bars and the like, recanting the hell they went through almost joining. Joe Vignale says: December 15, 2013 at 6:23 PM This troll is too funny. Kahuna Lim says: December 15, 2013 at 6:23 PM this is what happens when a generation of people who got ‘medals’ just for showing up grows up. Aaron Ebbert says: December 15, 2013 at 6:23 PM this is the most retarded bullshit I have ever heard.. These cowards that could not serve their country because they are either too dumb to pass the ASVAB or lack the nerve to stand up and serve their county deserve a kick in the head if they actually believe they deserve any type of VA benefits. This is an insult to any who has actually taken the oath and gave sweat and blood for this country. It is groups like this that is destroying this country I love so much… If this is passed I will take the appropriate measures to correct this issue. Chelsea Bramer says: December 15, 2013 at 6:23 PM it sounds like all of the girls I went to pt with..talking to guys to get attention “oh well I almost joined”. Rob Armstrong says: December 15, 2013 at 6:23 PM Look I am not knocking the Americans, I have served with them…but this shit is crazy, all these wannabes. Do the wannabes suffer PTSD? after a few deployments…no! they suffer hangovers from bitch slapping themselves in the bar, telling I nearly joined, yeah me too, we must get something from the Government for nearly joining…what a disgraceful joke and veterans have to jump the hoop to get shit out of veteran affairs…and suffer from trauma…….If it starts here in Australia, I would knock the shit out of wannabes. Karen Cox Oliver-Paull says: December 15, 2013 at 6:23 PM I’m glad this is a joke because when I was in the Navy, real military members ate these guys for breakfast. Joseph Coates says: December 15, 2013 at 6:23 PM I get to listen to the American Legion war heroes on Tuesday, this would be even better. Elle Alexander says: December 15, 2013 at 6:23 PM WHAT? I’m so Confuzzled. Frank Watkins says: December 15, 2013 at 6:23 PM Lmao Larry LaChance says: December 15, 2013 at 6:23 PM Medal of Honor. Zachary Bryant says: December 15, 2013 at 6:23 PM By far my favorite TDB article to date. Aaron Yerian says: December 15, 2013 at 6:23 PM Seems like old Goose Creek has changed a little. When I was there back in ’99 we used to tell people we couldn’t tell them what we did, not admit to being a “Baby Nuke.” Seems like the NNN (Near Navy Nukes) need better training on how to pass themselves off as ABS (Almost Baby Seals)… Mike Mercer says: December 15, 2013 at 6:23 PM Wow, Maybe they can get issued the newly almost approved an dissued ‘Undistinguished Non-warfare Medal” which will surely rank below the Carter Presidentail Medal for Draft Dodging and the Obamian Medal for Non-Decisive Intervention. Ian Jardine says: December 15, 2013 at 6:23 PM My favorite reasons for not serving in uniform: 5) Anal cyst, 4) marriage deferments, 3)college deferments, 2) working on parents political campaign and at the top of the list: #1 Crapping yourself and not washing for a month yet acting like a total badass with your AR-15 every chance you get. Troy R. Stull says: December 15, 2013 at 6:23 PM It’s funny because it’s true. I’m a senior in college and the president of the Student Veteran’s Association on campus and every year we get people exactly like this, they’ve seen all the movies, played all the games, talked a recruiter, their uncle’s, mechanics, barber was in the Corps during Nam’ so they slap the USMC stickers on their car. Either that or they were ‘Black Ops’ which is why they don’t have a DD214, enlistment contract, or any other documentation. Anthony Rottmann says: December 15, 2013 at 6:23 PM grow balls and enlist or keep your mouth shut… You didn’t earn shit, so therefore yiu don’t deserve to be recognized for anything except being a bitch… John Anderson says: December 15, 2013 at 6:23 PM This embarrasses me as a civilian.. Brett Simmonds says: December 15, 2013 at 6:23 PM I nearly had a hemorrhage reading this until I realized it was a joke. Carmela Widener says: December 15, 2013 at 6:23 PM hysterical! Love the duffel-blog! Nicholas Kingery says: December 15, 2013 at 6:23 PM Great article, had me laughing my ass off. Keep up the good work. Franklyn Pangelinan says: December 15, 2013 at 6:23 PM This is funny. Joe Wiklanski says: December 15, 2013 at 6:23 PM Ahh! nothing brightens my day like some duffel blog. Mike Harris Sr. says: December 15, 2013 at 6:23 PM Does getting PTSD from JROTC count? Michael Hasbun says: December 15, 2013 at 6:23 PM Air Force guys fall under “almost served” right? Carol Phillips says: December 15, 2013 at 6:23 PM Love it.. with mixed emotions. Laughing so hard I almost choked on my coffee. Margaret Trombley says: December 15, 2013 at 6:23 PM I just scrolled thru the posts. Way to many not understanding this is satire. Please tell me you don’t vote. Andy Phillips says: December 15, 2013 at 6:23 PM Said Inouye, “I don’t want to live on this planet anymore.” Brilliant work Duffel Blog! James W. Carter says: December 15, 2013 at 6:23 PM Damn. They are taking all the glory from those of us who served 8 years in the reserves, and almost got called up. Margaret Trombley says: December 15, 2013 at 6:23 PM Be a woman in the military where there has been 2 wars in 10 years and the reasons men at the bar tell me they almost served. I especially cant stand the ones that coat tail their relatives service or inform me women shouldn’t be in combat. I am going to print this up and have it posted in the mens bathroom next time I go out! Angel Emory says: December 15, 2013 at 6:23 PM Ok, I read the entire internet over the last 7 months and finally found my way to this site, so this IS a joke right? I see these other comments look like 8 months ago or more and the whole time I was reading this article, I’m thinking “This IS a Fkg joke, right? right? please?” so the comments below seem to be saying, yea it’s a joke, but really I would like someone to confirm that for me, if you would. I’ll bookmark this page and check back later. Please whoever reads this next, tell me it IS a joke. Bryan Andrew Arwedsson Holmberg says: December 15, 2013 at 6:23 PM LMAO. I met a guy that doesn’t exist tonight, (most of these almost Veterans had the hardest roughest “almost jobs_ and with him was a sniper. (Did you know snipers have to shit in their pants for 3 days, I’m glad I wasn’t a sniper) I had a great time cracking jokes the one guy has died 3 times. I ain’t shit I haven’t died even once yet. Man these almost Veterans are some real tough guys they have almost done tons of great shit I’ve never done my self. These almost Veterans are a hell of a lot tougher than us real Vets. Doug Provance says: December 15, 2013 at 6:23 PM God bless them for their ALMOST service. Keith Bodiford says: December 15, 2013 at 6:23 PM These pussbuckets need to be stripped, hanged by their heels and lashed. F$*K them. Pat Oconnor says: December 15, 2013 at 6:23 PM Ha! Glenn Elliron Clark says: December 15, 2013 at 6:23 PM Am I the only who thought that the most ridiculous part of this story was the Dem’s and Repub’s agreeing on something? Anthony Amore says: December 15, 2013 at 6:23 PM Honestly, this would not surprise me at all. I have friends that thought about joining and didn’t, and they usually regret not signing up. The funniest part of this though was the idea that republicans and democrats could work together on something! Steven Collins says: December 15, 2013 at 6:23 PM This is satire, right? Eladio Bobadilla says: December 15, 2013 at 6:23 PM This is completely fake. Daniel Valentyne says: December 15, 2013 at 6:23 PM Oh shit so there finally giving out the call of duty badges? Mike Moore says: December 15, 2013 at 6:23 PM f****King wannabes get real. Tom Stanley says: December 15, 2013 at 6:23 PM This is so freaking stupid I couldn’t stand too read all of it. Dave Ciappio says: December 15, 2013 at 6:23 PM Is it April 1st or something? This has got to be a Fucking JOKE! Mike Guertin says: December 15, 2013 at 6:23 PM I almost enlisted in the military, but then I took an arrow to the knee. Phillip Hanneman says: December 15, 2013 at 6:23 PM I used to have a friend back in Illinois that fits this story to a “T”. Jeremy Storey says: December 15, 2013 at 6:23 PM I pray I’m behind one of these idiots in line for one of my VA appointments some day! Josh Thompson says: December 15, 2013 at 6:23 PM Seeking recognition for being a near veteran.. Go suck start a shotgun, pussies. Reggie GrizzlyShark Roberts says: December 15, 2013 at 6:23 PM Kill em all. I can’t believe these balless fuck twats think they can pull this. James Gamache says: December 15, 2013 at 6:23 PM I am sworn into the airforce, I am waiting to get sent to basic training. DO I DESERVE RECOGNITION? HELL NO I HAVEN’T DONE SH** YET. Scott Roy says: December 15, 2013 at 6:23 PM While this is hilarious, after 22 years of service, I have met guys who actually think this way! It’s called a wannabe! Robert Long says: December 15, 2013 at 6:23 PM Soon you can get a CMH for staying home and almost joining… idiots that are running this country need to have their asses in the grass before they speak. Jeff Erickson says: December 15, 2013 at 6:23 PM This is a fucking travesty man, as a Veteran, this is just another reason we need to wipe the House and Senate clean and start over. YOU’RE ALL FIRED! Except John McCain. Will Forton says: December 15, 2013 at 6:23 PM Is this a joke? If so there studying vetrans and the ones “vetrans” talking to them about their experiences, will for the most part will be stolen and used by them to feed their ego. Virginia Locklear says: December 15, 2013 at 6:23 PM So lets get this straight Obama asked the brass would they fire on americans and now these half do’ers are going to get a ” I almost served rights”? What the fuck is happening to this nation? People we better stand up and fight or we are going to be finished its going to be way worse then Hitler brought to his country. I wish some one would give me a mic and a podium I have so much to say to the bullys of this country. Ryan Clary says: December 15, 2013 at 6:23 PM This story and this group that is trying to pass this bill is a slap in the face to myself and other veterans alike. It angers and saddens me to see these people trying and basically succeeding in making a mockery of the uniform I wear and my brothers and sisters choose to wear. The guy that started this group should go and kill himself. Harry Hitchcock says: December 15, 2013 at 6:23 PM Bitches need recognition too, I mean that’s why pre-nups were established right? We could design their own ribbons and medals, I would nominate the “Almost Served Soldier” or ASS for short, and it could either look like a cheeto, or a fruitful colored Trix cereal piece. 1/3 b.co 0331 (OEF-OIF)~. Andrew Ellis says: December 15, 2013 at 6:23 PM I once was almost an adventurer like you, then I took an arrow to the knee. Ryan Jett says: December 15, 2013 at 6:23 PM So here I am sitting in Afghanistan as I read this, just got my deployment patch as a matter of fact. No longer a slick sleeve. Thinking what the hell is this horse shit. Saying I almost did this or almost did that is a poor excuse. Its a lack of tacking initiative to actually do it. Dont get me wrong, the support the civilians give is huge. But don’t be some kinda joe snuff wana be. You either did or did not. Almost don’t count unless its horseshoes or hand grenades. Penny Svir says: December 15, 2013 at 6:23 PM This has to be some kind of stupid joke, right? I cannot think of a bigger slap in the face to those who have actually. served in the military! Ralph Watkins says: December 15, 2013 at 6:23 PM I can’t believe it made it this far. Congress is actually giving it some thought yet. The credibility of our government is going even further down the drain. Please, please, please. Someone please publish what members of Congress are considering passing this so we can purge them from our almost government next elections. Christopher Bishop says: December 15, 2013 at 6:23 PM You cannot ALMOST save lives, ALMOST support/bolster/defend Freedom, ALMOST man-up and finish a Boot Camp. You can’t bring things like oil almost home and expect a thing for it. The only thing you can do is ALMOST shoot well, so that you’re given hand-grenades instead, and land them in an ALMOST well-placed target area that MORE THAN ALMOST keeps your friendlies standing upright. A simple “I Care” (about _____) should be a minimal societal expectation, not something you earn a Medal for. If you want some recognition for something not military-related, then go finish a college degree. Even if there WAS a Medal for Almost Serving, so what, what are you going to do with it? Its value is certainly less than any college degree, and also less than a National Defense Service Medal. So what are you going to do with this thing, wear it on your Taco Bell uniform? And is that all it would take for you to get your ego stroked? Perhaps that’s why you’re “ALMOSTS”. Daniel Orozco says: December 15, 2013 at 6:23 PM This will be emailed to my co-worker the next time I hear about her dad being a retired SgtMaj and how her brother is in the color guard for the American Legion. Ken Folsom says: December 15, 2013 at 6:23 PM I giggle to myself whenever someone says, “I almost joined (insert Service here), but (insert reason for not joining here).” Then I bang his girlfriend. Justin Hebert says: December 15, 2013 at 6:23 PM this is the stupidest thing I’v ever read. people deserve thanks for “contemplating” doing things now? Joe Rohde says: December 15, 2013 at 6:23 PM I can’t believe the number of veterans that couldn’t tell this article was a spoof. Really? Greg Petersen says: December 15, 2013 at 6:23 PM No way this isn’t real? I will say that prior to joining and actually serving; making the decision to leave was the hardest part. And before you pog mothers start talking smack I was a Brigade Scout. Once your there your 1each..lol And they own you. If they want to start a group for almost being a man about things then whatever, they will prob get laughed at everywhere they go anyway. Who cares Michael Shelton says: December 15, 2013 at 6:23 PM “I talked with a Marine recruiter a few times in high school, even attended a couple of pool functions at the recruiting office. It got to the point that I was there so often, the recruiters even started calling me ‘Boot.’ They were practically begging me to enlist, but I always knew I was meant for something more meaningful.”. Read more: http://duffelblog.wpengine.com/2012/10/halfway-heroes-near-veterans-seek-recognition-for-almost-serving-in-military/#ixzz2bQiw0Moo. This is what “near” Marine Bower has said. The part were he says he knew he was meant for something more, really, something more? So what he is saying that him running a very success full pizza delivery business is more meaningful than completing a tour in Iraq with “real” brothers. To those who have served, past, present, really served. Not go in and fail out of basic or quit or claim mental defect because honestly your girl was leaving you. I am talking to the men and women who put boots on and did a year in country, do not let this become a reality with these idiots. Doc Bailey says: December 15, 2013 at 6:23 PM So yeah there was this time I ALMOST enlisted. Then I did. Then after that there was this time I ALMOST went to Afghanistan, but I went to Iraq instead. Man, I almost went a second time. then I did. I called it quits at my third almost deployment before I actually got deployed again. Jonn Lilyea says: December 15, 2013 at 6:23 PM They need a group for the “almost airborne”, too. I don’t know how many Legs have told me how they “almost went airborne” but couldn’t because of some high school football injury. There should be wings for them, too. Little broken wings. Ben Rinderer says: December 15, 2013 at 6:23 PM better hope to god you don’t say that shit to me in a bar. I’ll punch you right in the fucking throat. God damn pussies. Joshua Dale Watson says: December 15, 2013 at 6:23 PM I no his stuff is fake but I’m sure there’s somebody out there wanting to do this and with the world how it is today somebody is bound to try it lol. Dan Flynn says: December 15, 2013 at 6:23 PM I am a Vietnam combat vet. Whether this is satire or an attempt at humor, it still brings back memories how my generation was treated when we returned. I got my first welcome home 35 years after coming home. No civilian should ever say welcome home to a veteran or an active duty member. They have no idea what it means. Jason Standard says: December 15, 2013 at 6:23 PM VA benefits for NOT joining up and NOT serving in a combat zone; are they fucking serious? I know real vets that are struggling to get benefits that have been in a combat zone and have been shot at on the battlefield and now these ALMOST brave enough punks want recognition for NOT stepping up! Is there really members of congress that are voting for this bill? How does something so fucking dumb even get mentioned in congress? This has to be a bogus story; surely this is a joke or is this just another liberal bill to increase spending and buy more votes? If this god damn bill passes I will sue the federal govt for the money and benefits they owe me from the time that I was considering running for congress but decided not too. I WILL be entitled to congressional pay and benefits these other idiot congressmen and women enjoy regardless of the fact that I did not run for or was elected too a public service position. Finley Teal says: December 15, 2013 at 6:23 PM They already passed the VA Benefits for near veterans bill it’s called “Patient protection and affordable care act”. Brian Criss says: December 15, 2013 at 6:23 PM You people are all freaking retarded. Did you take the oath of enlistment and sign the roster? Were you shipped off for bootcamp a few moments later? Didn’t think so. Get a life and leave our vets alone. I’m sure if you were to try some of this crap with some of my brothers it would not play out well. Stick with your playground friends or video game dumb asses not the vets. Candace Michelle Adams says: December 15, 2013 at 6:23 PM this is completely disgusting. My husband and I are both Marines, my 20 year old brother-in-law, was KIA in Afghanistan and another brother-in-law is a sniper, deployed right now. How can you expect recognition for something you ALMOST did. Almost means you didn’t do it, right? Well I ALMOST thought about inventing the cures to all the diseases in the world, so can my name be published for that please? Such BUllSHIT! Aaron Ebbert says: December 15, 2013 at 6:23 PM Ok so I have not seen duffel blog before and was shocked at this “story”. I will now kick myself in the ass… well played duffel blog well played. Jason Galbreaith says: December 15, 2013 at 6:23 PM You idiots deserve no recognition whatsoever! You are a disgrace to the actuall heros that signed the dotted line and did indeed serve! I thought about being president do should I be recognized for lack of effort to obtain a very acheivable goal… People like you are the reason participation awards are handed out to Losers!! SGT of MARINES!!! Marcia Snider Schoonover says: December 15, 2013 at 6:22 PM I actually did join the US Army, despite having “thought about it” for nearly 3 years. Served for 7 active and 1 1/2 active reserve. I was not infantry and have no true “war stories” to tell, but I’m proud of my service “behind the desk” for my units for those years in Georgia, South Korea, and West Germany (yes, that long ago). these things I say says: November 11, 2012 at 7:40 AM I know someone, who I’ll call Veteran, who went with a friend, who I’ll call Civilian, because the friend reeeally wanted to join the military and needed a ride. Veteran hadn’t particularly thought of it before then, but Recruiter was good at his job. I have the odd feeling this happens a lot. recoveringrunt says: November 10, 2012 at 4:35 AM “I don’t want to live on this planet anymore.” Futurama reference for the win. osbdaniel says: November 9, 2012 at 5:09 PM So if Iran is “almost sorry” for nuking Israel, does that count? #Army Vet gimmeabreak leftoftheboom says: November 3, 2012 at 11:03 AM nice formating TheDuffelBlog says: November 3, 2012 at 11:13 AM you mean the new commenting system? leftoftheboom says: November 3, 2012 at 11:44 AM @TheDuffelBlog leftoftheboom says: November 3, 2012 at 11:45 AM @TheDuffelBlog Yes, its easier to read the threads and comment sections. Which is sometimes as good as or better than the story. Great Work. MarineFighter2 says: November 2, 2012 at 5:18 PM I am active duty Marine Corps. I work hard everyday and give up valuable time that I could be spending with my family to serve realistically. Therefore, if you dont do what I do everyday and have never worn the unifrom, YOU DONT RATE S H I T!! leftoftheboom says: November 2, 2012 at 7:07 PM Well I have never done what you do every day. I have also never worn a unifrom. What is a unifrom? Is it like a unitard? Some kind of dress? Are you a girl? As for rating shit, every time I take one I rate it. Hardness, softness, duration, smell. How can you not take one and not rate it? What else do you have time to do? If you got out of the Marine Corps, you could spend more time with your family. Not sure if you realize that. How do you serve realistically? Are you Keeping it Real? Do you stab your battle buddies so you can treat real wounds? Did you shoot your Drill Instructor so you could get your hard core on? Does the Marine Corp know you are a Marine? Or do you think that playing Halo is enough? DOC says: November 2, 2012 at 12:32 PM “The Bros Before Joes”-aka WINNING! Oh wow! I laughed so hard my coffee almost killed me! Slobovian says: November 2, 2012 at 7:07 AM Hey the guard and cubsscouts are nothing alike. Cubs have adult,supervision KimMason1 says: November 8, 2012 at 9:11 PM so does the guard ! leftoftheboom says: November 1, 2012 at 9:51 PM Not to get serious but… I ran into a Viet Nam Vet at work today. He saw I was a veteran and thanked me. I got up, walked to him and gave him a handsake and said “Welcome Home”. He actually froze and got a little teared up. He thanked me again and I thanked him again and reminded him that no matter what he heard in the past, there were still those of us who cared. Our Viet Nam Vets are aging. When you get the chance, please let them know you care. Some of them stay away from anything military today because they still hurt. I came home twice to bands and those wonderful folks at Bangor Main who get out and spread the love to all the Troops coming through. Our Viet Nam Vets have almost nothing but horror stories. We are a Brothers and Sisters in Arms. Please let them know you remember their sacrifice and that you care. Okay back to less serious business. I have to figure out how to get credit as a lesbian. Ladies? any help? CPT America says: November 1, 2012 at 9:47 PM This was awesome and had me rolling but my favorite part is reading the comments so I can see how many jackasses really bite on this..LOL leftoftheboom says: November 1, 2012 at 8:25 PM I am seriously bummed out. I went to the Salacious Lesbians Unbeatable Tough Souls group in my local area. I wanted to join up. I mean it’s time to come out and get my benefits right? I got in touch with my feminine side a while back. I put it on a restraining order of course because I did not want to get too close but now that its worth something I can release it to run wild. Do you know what they told me? They Told me that I was too MALE! The nerve. I mean the one group leader had a better high and tight than I did and had some awsome tats. I told them I had touched my feminine side so I was almost a woman in a mans body, just like her, and that I loved women, just like her, and she had the unmitigated gall to tell me that there is a difference to be a man trapped in a womans body lesbian that a woman trapped in a mans body lesbian. She actually acted like I was Not Pure enough for them. Now I guess I am going to watch sleepless lisa does seatle and cry. these things I say says: November 11, 2012 at 7:03 AM @leftoftheboom You have to say, “between the ears, where it counts”. dhaff says: November 1, 2012 at 3:38 PM This was written too well…some are going to mistake this satire for a serious article. Thoroughly fucking enjoyed it. dwadafam says: November 1, 2012 at 3:57 PM Funny thing is… all the ones who will mistake it for a real article have to scroll past all the comments about it being fake. Or they don’t know what satire actually means. JoD says: November 1, 2012 at 2:05 PM This is a joke right William Kirner says: November 1, 2012 at 1:46 PM How does that make sense? how do you rate benefits, when you never did the work, felt the pain, been shot at, or blown up. This bill is a Slap in the face to the people and the families who sacrificed everything, I’m a 100% eligible VA.B. Vet and I can’t even begin to describe my anger right now. Every one is entitled to there own opinion but asking for benefits and recognition, For what! Almost signing up, I get guys like this all the time talking to me saying things like “I would of joined but..” let me finish that sentence for you. But your a coward, and these guys don’t deserve any of the benefits, I get because they didn’t see people die. they didn’t have to carry dead bodies and put them in body bags. They didn’t have to get shot at all the time in Afghanistan. They didn’t have to worry about weather or not today was there last day, every day. Like so many of my fellow Infantry members who been there and done that. These BBJ guys and all the congress members who support these guys are cowards and if this bill passes it will slap the faces of everyone who split blood, lost a limb, and who died for American soil. THIS IS WHY IM IN POLITICAL SCIENCE SO I CAN FINALLY REMOVE THESE IDIOTS OUT OF OFFICE. dwadafam says: November 1, 2012 at 3:53 PM It’s Satire… don’t give yourself a stroke. Crazy Cracker says: November 2, 2012 at 10:56 AM You are completely right Mr. Kirner! To hell with these guys/gals. I mean…the ones who truly deserve the “ALMOST” status is the committed hunters and survivalists out there who dress up and hone their skills at tracking, sniping, and ridding this country of terroristic animals, like squirrels and raccoons. These are the men and women who prepare everyday and every hunting season for their chance to save the United States from “RED DAWN”. Not the new cheesy one, but the original 80’s Patrick Swayze one. There are inherent dangers that they subject themselves too, cold winters, tripping hazards, splinters, even fratricide. These are the ones who must be honored and given benefits too….for one day….one day I say, they will be called upon to dress up in the ACU and fight off the enemy………..one day. -Disclaimer- I love hunting and not all hunters fall into this category. these things I say says: November 11, 2012 at 7:06 AM @William Kirner Yes! Please, please, please get the non-vet war hawks out of office. I mean, this article is made up, but that is a noble goal. Real Military says: November 1, 2012 at 6:50 AM This is truely shameful! As a member of the US Air National Guard and working for the AF full time I am ashamed of this. Really ALMOST serving…that is like saying the bomb almost missed the target. if you did not ACTIVELY serve in the US Military and make the ULTIMATE SACFRICE then you do not deserve the Honor, Recognition or Benefits that go along with serving. As a military spouse you already have the benefits and the right to be proud and say you have served because the family of the military member sacrifices so much to support our Country. This is truely a shameful state our nation has come to be if this is going to be done. dwadafam says: November 1, 2012 at 9:33 AM Relax, it’s satire, a joke, funny, ha ha, don’t blow a gasket. Bah Bodenkurk says: November 1, 2012 at 9:46 AM I think he was joking, since he said he was “serving” in the air national guard. That’s basically like saying you served in the cub scouts. dwadafam says: November 1, 2012 at 10:12 AM hotdogfestival says: November 1, 2012 at 11:24 AM Nah, the cub scouts is way harder. You do all the stupid crap and don’t even get paid. leftoftheboom says: November 1, 2012 at 6:48 AM OH.MY.GOD! we need to pass this bill in a hurry. Do you know how much money the NFL alone owes me? I coached BOTH teams in the last 15 Superbowls! I have picked the winner of each game in the last 30 seconds of play for Years! I wonder if they will pay me with back interest? AND all the Allimony that my Supermodel and Actress and Musicians ex wives owe me? I almost married Oprah for the money, Bar, Heidi, Heather, Britteny, Jennifer, Angelina, Hellen, Alicia, Reece, Avril, and ………..So much money, I may have to stroke.. out. And since I was almost a lawyer I can submit my own court documents. THIS WILL BE GLORIOUS! But the really really awsome part.. One move my commanders was always calling me Jesus. He would say “Jesus Christ SGT G, what the hell were you thinking.” So I am almost the son of god. I get to decide who goes to heaven or hell. he he he ehehehehehehehehehehehe dwadafam says: November 1, 2012 at 3:58 PM If this site had like buttons I’d hit it a thousand times for this comment. Crazy Cracker says: November 2, 2012 at 10:49 AM Website would crash with all the likes. Army Wife (P) says: November 1, 2012 at 12:35 AM I was almost faithful while my husband was deployed… That counts right? leftoftheboom says: November 1, 2012 at 6:38 AM This question posses a hard one for me. To give you true credit, we need photos and independent verification of the alleged almost faithfulness. In fact it calls for expert testemony and I have almost been that expert because I watched it on tv. So, I will volunteer myself for providing support to your verification. What is your phone number so we can get together and discuss it? TOKEN says: October 31, 2012 at 10:30 PM I almost pissed myself laughing. This can’t be real!!! leftoftheboom says: October 31, 2012 at 10:14 PM HOLD THE PHONE, STOP the TWEETS and Listen UP. This is an outstanding IDEA. I mean I could not have thought of anything this significant with all the free time on my hands while in Iraq. BUT we cannot let this stop there. I was almost a Millionair! I stood in a casino next to a wall that has a million dollars on it. That Makes me a almost Millionair. I have a picture. I was almost a Doctor. I gave my friends and even complete strangers totally unsolicited and wildly innacurate medical advice. There were not cured but I tried. I was almost a Lawyer. I represented myself after some unfortunate medical advice turned out to be not quite up to par. I even got myself off on a technacality. I told them I only Thought about Medical School so I was not really licensed and they did not have to follow my advice. WE are limiting ourselves. This all inclusive society needs more inclusions. Tomorrow I am going to go towards my life long goal. I have had it since I was a little boy. I am going to be a lesbian because I really like women. Dan says: October 31, 2012 at 11:19 PM That had me dying! Pure genious. Oh, and don’t forget… I stood next to the White House (I have a picture to prove it) so I was almost the President. Where are my Secret Service and benefits of Presidential status? I have truly served for 12 and a half years. Been to this place, been to that place. I haven’t heard of such idiocy in my life. “Almost” a Hero? “Almost” doesn’t pay the bills. Crazy Cracker says: October 31, 2012 at 2:59 PM Sadly enough, I too was an “almost-Marine” and put the recruiter through some of the things that Darrell went through. A true hero. I mean the concern and effort to have me take tests and do everything I could to join. Ultimately, a gut instinct, or maybe the Army NCO barking in my ear, whatever it was, it’s what made me join the Army. Every now and then I reminisce of those days of being an almost marine. great times. Darrell B says: October 31, 2012 at 4:04 PM i hate you. leftoftheboom says: October 31, 2012 at 10:22 PM Don’t hate Darrell just think of all the new and interesting people you got to meet and inspire. That was it’s own reward. BabaLa says: October 31, 2012 at 12:53 PM LMFAO @ Darrell eric says: October 31, 2012 at 11:18 AM This is a joke, isn’t it? dwadafam says: October 31, 2012 at 11:20 AM yes JH in Texas says: October 31, 2012 at 12:15 PM No Eric – it’s real. Real life. As real as it gets. Igger says: October 31, 2012 at 10:16 AM I think this is great for those who ARE heros at heart. We in an all inclusive society, I think if one American gets the oppertunity to serve his or her country then the effort put forth by that individual should extend to the rest of us looking for something in our lives… as long as I can continue to be behind my computer screen on my couch watching netlix and sipping on rip-its (my high school buddy told me those are what he drinks in Afghanistan) it sounds perfectly just and dignified to me. Soldiers, sailors, marines, and the guys who fly around in blue jets at air shows should be proud to extend their accomplishes and let their experiences be relived through ALL AMERICANS at the bar around total strangers who’ll finally think we’re cool. Let’s come together on this, Holah (thats what the military yells sometimes right?)! Darrell B says: October 31, 2012 at 11:31 AM You’ve just made a fan, my Igger. I think the level of dedication goes so much further in some. When I was recruiting, I had the honor of knowing those diehard young men and women who would selflessly take the ASVAB, spend the night away from home in a government-provided hotel, wake up at asscrack early, take the physical, and still have the presence of mind to tell the MEPS liaison that he or she “didn’t feel right” about joining. For these valiant young men and women, it was never too late to decide that serving was not for them. Through constant reassurance from me, my NCOIC, coaches, teachers, counselors, and family, they persevered and stuck to their committment of becoming family-woend construction company laborers and beauty school applicants. To them, “quit” wasn’t an option. It was a core belief, a calling, a way of life. I was proud to give them my business card and spend countless hours on the phone with them, ferrying them about, putting their police waivers together, and eating their mom’s shitty food. It was the least I could do to support the almost heroes. Getting my ass ripped apart for having a kid flake at MEPS was a small price to pay. sundog says: October 31, 2012 at 2:42 PM Darrel, I and many others salute you for your service above and beyond! Nicholas Kingery says: October 31, 2012 at 6:22 PM Also thanks to Darell for the laugh, glad to see people love the satire this site has to offer and add to it. Nicholas Kingery says: October 31, 2012 at 6:20 PM Igger, you brought a tear to my eye to know that all the men and women who have served can now stop being selfish and include those poor unfortunates who “almost joined the Army but I said fuck that, staying home is gonna work out a lot better.” You are a true hero and I salute you! Thanks for the good laugh on my day man, keep the funny rollin on. Yep says: October 31, 2012 at 10:09 AM AWESOME. dwadafam says: October 31, 2012 at 9:13 AM I’m an almost vet too! The Air Force recruiter wouldn’t let me join as a jet engine mechanic. He tried to make me a clerk or some lame shit like that. So I became an AF wife instead. (We were already engaged when hubby signed the paperwork…) Where do I sign up for my benefits! dwadafam says: October 31, 2012 at 9:15 AM Yes, I know it’s satire… leftoftheboom says: October 31, 2012 at 10:29 PM Sorry you are overqualifed. As a Spouse you already have military benefits. dwadafam says: November 1, 2012 at 9:35 AM Darn it, I was hoping I could double up and finish paying for my college… (JOKE!) ;D leftoftheboom says: November 1, 2012 at 9:43 PM Do what I did. I spent some time training with foriegn troops. I am almost a British, Canadian, German, Japanese, and Austrialian Citizen. I applied for my benefits from all of them on that basis. Still waiting to here back. I even submitted for the Iraqi Army college fund. (I skipped the suicide bomber course so I dont know if they are going to grant me an exception) Bette Anne Swaringen Stroud says: October 31, 2012 at 8:04 AM Best part: “Senator and Navy veteran John McCain (R-AZ) held a press conference outside his home in Phoenix, Arizona on Tuesday, calling the bill “a mockery… of all that I hold dear.” He also stated that he would “rather tongue-kiss Jane Fonda” than vote to approve the measure. Before he could take questions, he had to be ushered away for medical treatment when blood began seeping from his clenched fist—reportedly from clutching his Silver Star too tightly.” Haha!