- Name: Chris Chesak
Monday, July 18, 2005
I am a desperado. I am Poncho Chez Villa! (No relation to Bob Vila.) I am a rustler of cattle, a drinker of tequila, and I don't need no stinkin' badges!
So my dad was visiting his buddy Carolyn down in New Mexico (she was his high school sweetie and now they're buddies again) and, after cutting through several layers of duct tape on his care package, I found that he'd sent me a beautiful Mexican runner and poncho. Well, many of the squad leaders were out back, in our lounge/smoking area, when I bust out in the poncho, saying that it's the Army's new uniform (the Army is, by the way, in the process of getting new uniforms with a digitized camouflage pattern on them, but unfortunately they aren't quite so colorful as the poncho).
Soon, Sgt. Dimitrov has pressed his shotgun into my hands and throws his bandolier of shotgun shells around me. Then we need a hat. I just received about a dozen free hats from climbing company Mammut for the guys and so did my best to arrange them in a sort of a sombrero sort of pattern on my head.
And then the photos start. And as ALL the flashes are going off and in between all the laughter, I think, 'Well, there goes any chance for ever holding any sort of political office of any kind, ever.'
(Speaking of the shotgun, each squad is issued one as a 'breaching tool'. Several sergeants have taken to carrying it, a vintage model little changed from the one used in World War II, as their primary weapon in sector, since it's so light and since it would come in handy for really clearing out a room. Sgt Dimitrov was the first to order some modifications for his, like pistol-style grip and collapsible stock) and others quickly followed suit.)