Gang Activity


My son is in a gang, y’all.

(Iron Man) Tony Stark posing for photo with peace sign-throwing soldier asks, "Please, no gang signs"


Not just the army, although… yeah, that too.  No, he’s in a gang within a gang and I’m not sure as his mother I can approve.



I started noticing it last year, when he was off on some training whatsit.  I don’t know, I wasn’t really paying attention—he was perfectly safe back then, I didn’t need to know exactly what he was doing!



ME:  So how’s it going?
OFFSPRING:  Pretty well.  I mean, better for me because I roll with Special Forces.
ME:  I’m sorry… what?
OFFSPRING:  Well the SOCOM guys are all on this side, and we kind of have our own rules.  We don’t have to wear our uniforms, and we get to cut in the chow line—
ME:  Oh.  My.  God.
OFFSPRING:  … You knew this.
OFFSPRING:  … Remember when you took me to the recruiting office, with all the gang members, and told them I could join their gang?
ME:  No, you’re in a gang within the gang!
ME:  Do you wear special colors?
OFFSPRING:  … our berets—
ME:  And do you do whatever the fuck you want and expect everyone to treat you with respect?
OFFSPRING:  … I’m in a gang.
ME:  Gang.
OFFSPRING:  Okay.  But at least I’m in the really good gang!

army SFC patch looks a bit like a sword in a butt plug being struck by lightning. Under the Airborne patch, of course.

Arguably better than a face tattoo.


I’ve talked to Husband about this, and Husband rolls his eyes and tells me not to worry.  That it could be worse.


ME:  How?
HIM:  He could’ve joined the Navy.
ME:  …
HIM:  …
ME:  That was never on the table.  (huffs off)

navy ships on ocean; text reads: "the Navy: kinda like Uber, but for Marines"



I’ve tried to discourage this as much as possible while still supporting his adult-y independence.


But now he’s at Bagram, and I worry.

vegas-style sign reads, "Welcome to Fabulous Bagram"



OFFSPRING:  This place honestly seems like a shittier Colorado.  Similar climates, elevation, and mountains.  The difference is they burn tires and shit here, and the mountains shoot rockets at us sometimes.
ME:  And the “food.”
OFFSPRING:  Yo, the curry here is amazing.
ME:  I read the TripAdvisor reviews.
OFFSPRING:  Oh, and one of the guys I’m replacing has malaria.
ME:  (quietly hums Letter From Camp)
OFFSPRING:  And you know how you insist that I’m in a gang?
ME:  Because you ARE.
OFFSPRING:  We have our own section of the base we don’t allow other people on.
ME:  Jesus, protect my baby from the TURF WAR.
OFFSPRING:  On our side, we ignore all the rules.  No hat, no salute; no PT belt.  We can wear open toed shoes.
ME:  But YOU don’t, because Safety First.
OFFSPRING:  And whenever someone gets on our ass about “professionalism” or whatever we jump through the gate back to our side and laugh.
ME:  (puts phone down, walks away)



Husband, to his credit, has been no goddamned help whatsoever alleviating my fears.


He’s actually taking Offspring’s side, if you can believe it.



ME:  … So they’re literally just walking around, pissing everyone off and when they get called on it they hop the wall into their turf and mock!  All, “Ooh, yeah, what’cha gonna do, huh?
HIM:  (laughs)
ME:  How are you not worried about our son’s gang activity?
HIM:  Because he’s in the right gang!
ME:  !
HIM:  Look, if you’re in the Latin Kings and you’re in LA, you’re fine.  But if you’re a Latin King in Boston, you’re fucked.
ME:  Exa—
HIM:  He’s with Special Forces, on a US Army base.  He’s in the right place.
ME:  Gang territory!
HIM:  The right gang!

Special Operations Joint Task Force Afghanistan OCP Patch (stylized spearhead perched on a gold column, framed by gold laurels)

Attached with Velcro.  So, again, better than a tattoo.





17 comments on “Gang Activity

  1. ellenbest24 says:

    Be proud, always fearful … but proud. He must have some exceptional qualities to have been chosen. They do not give the position to boys pretending to be. Men.

    Liked by 3 people

  2. LOL…I can understand your feelings here, but he IS on the right side, so let him have his gang fun. At least they’ll have his back when the shooting is going on!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Do NOT refer to PFC Squdgee-Booboo and shooting. I don’t know why, but that scares me more than the rockets they’re shooting down every night directly over his head.

      But, as he reminds me every time I freak out, he’s the IT guy; if he has to actually use his sidearm, too many things have gone very, very wrong.


  3. Rivergirl says:

    Speaking as a former military wife… these type of gangs are important. The brotherhood, the I’ve got your back no matter what kind of important. Okay Special Forces guys are cocky, I know. Mine was Marine Corps Force Recon …. their motto? Swift, Silent and Deadly. You know, the crazy ones they send out first, in 10 man teams, with deniability. If you’re not a close knit “gang” …. you don’t survive.
    I understand your concern, and fear. But he’s with the best of the best. Hold on to that.
    And yeah… I’m totally stealing that Navy meme!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Arionis says:

    Hey! I resemble that Navy slight! Kind of like Uber, if Uber had missiles, guns, and jets to put ordinance on the coordinates.

    Liked by 3 people

  5. ET says:

    Now I want them to learn the Gang Dance from the very beginning of West Side Story.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. faillingson says:

    You forgot to mention our dining facilities. Where you need our special badge to get in and the have the good ribs and free energy drinks. And what with me working 7-7 at night, I need that caffeine.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. emmaclaire says:

    Okay, husband was Air Force, Lt. Buddy is Air Force, Mrs. Lt. Buddy is Air Force, but Abi (older son) was Navy and my dad was a Naval Aviator, so, yeah, I’m all thumbs up @Arionis’s comment.
    Conversations around the table can get pretty lively and the memes do fly fast and furious. I try not to bristle when the word “squid” is tossed about, because I do loves me some calamari, but it can be tough sometimes.

    Liked by 1 person

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