PARADISE — U.S. service members entering the afterlife note all is not well beyond the Pearly Gates.
“I always thought eternal rest meant, well, peace and quiet and maybe some beers by the lake for a couple hundred years,” said former U.S. Army Spc. Paul Linscome. “Instead, I got there and St. Peter had me do a sensitive items inventory of all my gear, by serial number and everything. Then he sent me off to paint rocks on the border of heaven and purgatory.”
“I never expected to find that the first Pope was basically a sergeant major with a hair across his ass.”
Pfc. Linda Wright agreed: “When I showed up, some Principality sent me off to cut the grass around the Beatitudes Pond, because I guess God the Father was complaining that it didn’t look ‘dress right dress.’”
“Blessed are the enlisted,” she was heard to grumble as she rolled the lawnmower off down the gleaming street, “for theirs is the kingdom of getting screwed.”
Complaints were not limited to Army members. Navy Lt. Fred Gonzalez found that he’d already been added to the watch list and that his began in five minutes.
“But that’s for eternity, you realize,” he said, his head in his hands. “My watch begins in five minutes for eternity.”
Air Force Lt. Col. Alicia Preston found that she was required to submit her travel voucher before she could collect any eternal bliss. But all her attempts to submit her voucher through the Defense Travel System have been kicked back for the past 10 years, and she confided that she’s not sure that St. John the Baptist actually has the proper authorizations to review and approve vouchers, just the authorization to baptize in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, which, she states, does her no good right now.
Army National Guard Staff Sgt. Brendan McCall arrived at the Pearly Gates to find that he had already been detailed by St. Michael for a field exercise in six hours and had to brief his squad.
“I hadn’t even received the mission before I got a message from a cherub that I was red in MEDPROS and had to go see St. Luke for a new PHA,” McCall stated, staring wildly about him. “All I want is a dip and a moment to catch my breath, but then I got ordered to report to the Archangel Gabriel ASAP to get the fills for my SKLs, which I haven’t even signed for yet.”
Across all branches and all components there is widespread dissatisfaction with eternal bliss. Even the Marine Corps, ever ardent to do their duty, have been less than enthused to find that the phrase “If the Army and the Navy ever look on Heaven’s scenes/They will find the streets are guarded by United States Marines” was an actual duty assignment.
Lance Cpl. Chris Akoye spent his first two decades in heaven in Tower 6.
“Yeah, I really thought I’d done enough guard duty at embassies and in Africa,” he said. “Then I get here, they hand me a piece of crap M16A3 and stick me in a guard tower overlooking the most boring stretch of Paradise I’ve ever seen. Oh, and guard shift is always late and Gunny chews me out daily for not sending up my reports, but no one ever comes by to give me the new fill for the radios.”
“Not to mention that St. Michael keeps stopping in to talk about ‘the Old Corps,’ which was cool for the first five years. But he always tells the same stories.”
In addition, the correspondent noted that Department of the Army civilians had registered multiple complaints because of the daily artillery reports coming from St. Barbara’s Range Complex. There's no word on whether Department of Heavenly Graces personnel have responded to these complaints.
Witnesses note they had not seen any Coast Guard personnel in heaven. Public affairs officer Metatron said that the Department of Homeland Security had not arranged any lateral transfers for many years and Heaven did not have notice of any pending personnel actions.
Another witness spotted several Coast Guard cutters surreptitiously poking in and out of clouds. On closer look, they seem to also contain many warrant officers from all the services. One Coast Guardsman, speaking off the record, said, “We just got tired of the nonsense and have been cruising around between Heaven, Hell, and Purgatory for the past 20 years or so. It’s not bad, the beer is decent, and St. Christopher occasionally sends us some awesome care packages on the down-low.”