Did you ever notice that life keeps coming around full circle? I’m finally back from entertaining the troops in the Middle East with some final notes on the experience.
Soldiers have a long history of leaving graffiti where they served. The old “Kilroy Was Here” drawings are a classic example. (Full Circle: “I’m Kilroy” is a line at the end of the Styx song, Mr. Roboto. I can’t tell you how many times people sang, “Domo Arigato, Mr. Ogato” to me. Stop it. And what’s the deal with the racist robot mask? Rot in Hades, Dennis De Young! BTW, Styx is the river you cross to get to Hades. Full Circle!)
Anyway, you will find no shortage of soldier art today.
Scattered throughout our bases are these jersey barriers, big concrete barricades that you’ve probably seen on the sides of freeways. Or maybe you remember them from the movie “Volcano”, when Tommy Lee Jones’ character orders k-rails to redirect the lava. These barriers are easily twice or three times the height of the highway variety, making them the perfect size to deface in glorious fashion.
Here’s a decidedly happy one from FOB Farah, Afghanistan, created by the 3-58 Aviation Operations Battalion:
Meanwhile, at Al Udeid Air Base in Qatar, I found (left to right) a barrier painted by a visiting P-3 squadron from Hawaii, a cool Thor barrier for the electrical engineers, and an awesome barrier done by the guys in Ammo.
Speaking of the guys in Ammo (remind me to tell you the story of how they made me solid my pants) (and yes, I said solid), they paid me a pretty nice tribute by drawing a cartoon of me on a 2000-pound JDAM bomb. Wow!
(Full Circle: I used to do a morning radio show on 102.7 Da Bomb in Honolulu. For station events, I would wear shirts with the words “Da Bomb” on it. And now, here is a bomb emblazoned with my visage. Full Circle!)
If you enjoyed this post, please check out Art of War, another post about art by soldiers in Afghanistan.