What you are about to read is a tale so peculiar, so odd, that if you believe it, you’re definitely really fucking stupid. You are about to enter “The Sandy Zone”. A place where things don’t make sense, but in an oddly satisfying way… this time around a battalion Sergeant Major is going to find himself waking up in the…SANDY ZONE…
He woke up, dreading the news…it was the Marine Corps birthday and Veteran’s Day all rolled into one weekend. Today was the day the Marines were due back from their three-day liberty in honor of those two holidays. He didn’t want to pick up his phone…odds are there were tons of messages from his Marines, mayors of cities, law enforcement, the NSA and even one from the CIA. He decided he’d do the “shit, shower, shave” routine before he’d allow himself to look at what horrors lie waiting on his phone.
As he shampooed his greying hair, he couldn’t help but think of all the things that were waiting for him. His imagination ran wild. Marines in jail, Marines with a dead body they need to get rid of, Marines stumbling into a CIA “guns for cocaine” operation trying to find some good blow…the last two were out there admittedly, but even then, still within the realm of possibility.
Only three more months till retirement and he wouldn’t have to be responsible for these degenerate hunters of…his phone started buzzing. Vibrating so hard it fell off his nightstand.
“Oh fuck,” he muttered, assuming it was the Battalion Commander with an ass-chewing as epic as the Marine Corps itself.
He walked over to the bed and squatted down to pick up his phone. One missed call. It was from the Battalion Commander. He’d left a voicemail.
“Hey, Jim, I know morning formation isn’t until 0800, but I need you to get here by 0700 if you could. Thanks!”
“Fuck,” he muttered again. He flicked over to the screen to see all of his text messages. Eight or nine texts from other staff NCOs in the battalion, wishing him a happy Marine Corps birthday. That’s weird he thought to himself as he got dressed. No texts or phone calls from the junior enlisted…no bad news on his phone of any sort.
Rather than put him at ease, the lack of troubling information actually made him more anxious.
He kissed his wife goodbye as she still slept, it was 0630 and he lived on base. He’d be at the battalion office by 0645. He’d have 15 minutes to prepare himself for what was surely going to be a shit day. He’d get chewed out by the battalion commander, who would also chew out the company commanders, then he and the company commanders would chew out the company first sergeants, then the platoon sergeants, then the battalion commander would address the battalion, then the company commanders would berate their companies…an almost endless cycle of ass chewings from every angle to ensure whatever fuckery had occurred that weekend, didn’t occur for at least one year. Today was going to be a shitty day to be a lance corporal.
He heard the door open to the company office. He looked at his watch, 0655. It was most assuredly the BC. He took a deep breath, stood up and walked out of his office to the battalion commander’s office.
“Good morning, sir,” he lied, it was not a good morning, but fuck it he might as well try.
“Ahh, good morning Jim! Great to see ya. Thank you for coming in early, I wanted to talk to you before the Marines formed up this morning,” said the battalion commander with an odd smile on his face.
Here it came. The ass-chewing.
“I and the rest of the command staff…well we know you’re leaving in three months and this was the last Marine Corps birthday you’d celebrate on active duty and it just happened to be with our battalion, so we all pitched in and…well we know it’s kind of goofy, but we got you this framed NCO sword with your ribbon rack as a token of our appreciation. You’ve been one hell of a sergeant major and the battalion is running like a well-oiled machine.”
His mouth agape, he accepted the framed sword, still bewildered.
He stammered, “You mean to tell me there were no liberty incidents? None of the Marines got into trouble?”
“What? No, Jim, they were fucking amazing. Zero liberty incidents.”
What you’ve just read is totally untrue. It is something that only happens in…The Sandy Zone…