NEW YORK — Army veteran Jason Marshall was upset by his inability to bring up his military service during a first date with a local barista at an Irish pub earlier this week, sources confirmed.
Marshall, who spent 4 months in Iraq as an M-249 SAW gunner before dropping a weight on himself at the FOB gym and being sent home, first tried to steer the conversation toward politics with his date, Stephanie Taylor.
“Every time Stephanie would talk about current events I’d casually mention the recent election, just to feel her out,” Marshall told reporters. “No matter what side she supported I could mention that I never really trusted politicians, but I got to meet President Bush in Mosul and he gave me a coin.”
Unfortunately for Marshall, Taylor said that she was disgusted by Washington and didn’t believe in talking about it on first dates.
Later, as the couple looked over the beer menu, Marshall mentioned that he loved how many selections the establishment offered, since he’d once gone almost five months without being able to drink.
“I waited for her to ask me why, but instead she just giggled and said way to go!” Marshall explained. “It was like talking to a brick wall.”
Witnesses said that halfway through the evening he tried a new tactic, subtly putting the several KIA bracelets he usually carries around on each wrist, then pushing up the sleeves on his sweatshirt.
“She didn’t even glance at them,” he said.
At one point, Marshall thought fate had finally intervened on his behalf when a news report about the Battle for Mosul came on the TV over the bar, sources said. Unfortunately, just as he was about to say how infuriating it was that Iraqis were fighting in the same places he and his brothers bled and died for, several patrons loudly asked the bartender to change the channel.
As the evening grew late, Marshall began pulling out all the stops, according to sources.
When leaning forward on the bar to get another drink for Stephanie he ‘accidentally’ let the dog tags he was wearing fall out of his shirt. But instead of asking about them, she tucked them back into his shirt with a smile and a friendly pat.
Before the date ended, Marshall made one last attempt — pulling out his “OIF, I served” ball cap and putting it on. As before, Taylor was oblivious, gave him a kiss on the cheek, and jumped into a waiting taxi.
According to his roommate John, Marshall came home from the date in a rage and spent the rest of the night on Facebook pages ranging from political forums to child-care advice columns, attacking commenters for their lack of military credentials.