Dear Santa,

Ho-boy am I stoked to chat with you, bro. This year sure has been one for the green military log books. I can’t wait ‘til it’s over so I can go back to doing things I love, like going out for all-you-can-eat apps at TGIFridays with the boys or showing off my new Grunt Style T to everyone who needs to know I served.

How’s the North Pole? I did cold weather training at the Marine Corps Mountain Warfare Training Center in Bridgeport once, so I know what it’s like freezing your ass off all the time. At least you’ve got the missus to keep you toasty at night, though.

Anyway, let’s break it down Barney style. School circle ‘round me. There are a few things I want — check that, need — for Christmas this year, roger that?

I have a ton of free time since I separated, and the house needs some tuning up (once I’m finally done improving my CoD kill-death ratio — I’ll get there eventually).

I’d really love an entire shed full of new tools and equipment to do things like wreak havoc on the plumbing, build a sick man-cave, and half-build a back deck where I’ll drink beer out of a cooler for the next five years while lying to myself that I’ll finish it some day. My wife doesn’t want to buy me the tools for Christmas because she thinks that I should “leave it to a professional.” Doesn’t she know that I AM a silent professional?

Now that I’m out of the military, I’ve also become accustomed to new grooming standards — notably, I don’t really have any. My wife is also displeased about this, so I guess for her sake you could bring me some pomade and an electric razor? The scraggly beard is not going anywhere, but maybe if it smells nice she’ll get off my back. The razor, of course, is so I can continue shaving my head. Gotta keep it high speed and tactical, right, big man? Also, the sleek head looks way better in the camouflage hats I wear every day, you know, the ones that may finally motivate me to go hunting for the first time.

I could also do with some additional apparel and memorabilia stocking stuffers that let everyone know I’m a veteran without actually saying I was in the military. Any of the following would be badass:

  • ‘Til Valhalla T-shirt
  • “Molon Labe,” “Punisher” skull, “Infidel,” and “Keep honking, I’m reloading” car decals. Hell yeah
  • The thickest pair of Oakley sunglasses ever invented
  • Paracord bracelet
  • 5.11 pants
  • Skoal long cut
  • MCI Spelling course. Have you tried spelling “Corps” lately? Lol, jk — but seriously, did I spell that right?

Those are the main things.

If you’re feeling extra generous, my car could also do with some frosting, I guess. When I entered my fifth marriage, my wife made me sell the Corvette I financed at 32 percent. She said it was “fiscally irresponsible” and “not a good car for a baby.” Whatever.

So, I decided to compromise with a Ford F-350, and while it’s great for doing stuff like taking my daughter to soccer and hauling mulch for the flower beds my wife planted, it just doesn’t quite say “I spent four years in the Marine Corps” loudly enough. How about a 8-inch lift and one of those exhaust pipes that’s the size of a basketball hoop? The boys at work could hear me coming all the from my resupply trip for Axe body spray. So sick!

Yo, seriously, though. It’d also be really cool if my daughter would quit bringing boys home. I want to her be pretty enough to attract them, sure, but could she, like, remain oblivious to the male gaze? As much as I love threatening pubescent football players with the weapon I use for home protection — the ma deuce — I would much prefer for her to stay home. She could just quietly watch TV with us or something. No reading, though. I don’t want her to be a nerd or anything.

That’s all. I’m a humble man with humble dreams. BAMCIS.

Merry Christmas, Grand Old Man of the North Pole.


Your favorite motivated Vet Bro.

P.S. I’m leaving out Jim Beam and cigars for you instead of milk of cookies. You’re welcome.

Observation Post is the Military Times one-stop shop for all things off-duty. Stories may reflect author observations.

Sarah Sicard is a Senior Editor with Military Times. She previously served as the Digitial Editor of Military Times and the Army Times Editor. Other work can be found at National Defense Magazine, Task & Purpose, and Defense News.

J.D. Simkins is a writer and editor for Military Times, and a USMC veteran.

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