KANDAHAR, Afghanistan — After more than a decade tromping through the deserts and mountains of Afghanistan, the Joint Force has been diagnosed with arthritis, according to a publicly-released medical examination.
"We are stunned and dismayed by this news," Gen. John Nicholson said in a statement. "We are currently unsure how it will affect operations in the area. For now we've applied alternating hot and cold compresses and are just letting it all sink in."
"This isn't exactly news," said Military Assistance Command, Vietnam (MACV) in a candid interview, now nearly 60 years old itself. "It's part of life. You know how it goes. The Afghan Army leaves the nest to go out on its own. AARP leaflets start coming in the mail. Then you just sort of start slowing down, you know? You can see it in the way they bend over to pick up troops in hot LZs, the way GBUs keep slipping out of their hands. Little things."
Harsh criticism has been levied at the commanders in the region for the way it continually asked the Joint Force to accomplish demanding tasks. Many claim that routinely being forced to carry the load of NATO, the UN, and the Afghan military on its back caused the Joint Force's cartilage to wear down over time. Others believe that the disease is mostly genetic.
The Joint Force itself seems optimistic about the diagnosis and the future outlook.
"Arthritis happens to lots of folks who go on to lead normal lives," the Joint Force said. "We might be old, but hey, at least we don't have dementia yet, right? When we start saying things like we have a secret plan to win the war in 30 days, you go ahead and put us down."
According to doctors, the Joint Force had been taking 8,000 kilograms of Motrin daily to try and stave off the pain, but it's "just not working anymore."
The Joint Force expressed excitement at the idea of getting a high percentage disability rating from the US Department of Veterans Affairs, but was dismayed to learn that it may have to wait until the third decade of the Afghanistan conflict before the paperwork would clear.