Stories and Tales
FUBAR 2.0 – A Soldier's Insight into Military Chaos is a new book by Gary W. Clark. It is an honest and humbling visit to the military's absurd side. Though, along with the humorous accounts are some sad stories, and some that are shocking.
FUBAR experiences are a part of a serviceman's or woman's life. FUBAR even shapes their character. Understanding how these events happen will help understand the soldier, sailor, marine, and airman.
A Soldier's FUBAR Tales
The book chronicles two years of FUBARs that snake through induction, basic and infantry training, nuclear warhead security, deployment to Germany, and the last leg of my world tour, Vietnam.
The book is entertaining and funny, much at my expense, yet it unveils many military absurdities, some shocking; and open a window to the experiences of veterans you know, past and present; hopefully illuminating and appreciating the situations they encountered. Understanding the absurdities they fought and embraced can explain a lot about what shaped their character.
I do not disparage the military, soldiers, sailors, marines, or air force personnel. It is not anti-anything: war, military, or government. Neither is it hawkish, philosophical, or political.
I am proud of my service and have never said otherwise.
However, I will not shy away from potential controversy; many government, political, and military decisions and actions will be referenced to illustrate the FUBAR concept. Common sense, good judgment, fair play, and diplomacy will always rule.
World War II and Korea would have been FUBAR 1.0; the first wide spread use of the catchy term. The Vietnam era was 2.0. Iraq and Afghanistan would produce FUBAR 3.0 – A veteran of those conflicts needs to write that book.
My tour of duty in the U.S Army placed me in Ft. Polk, Louisiana, Ft. Sill, Oklahoma, southern Germany, and South Vietnam. I experienced the proverbial "growing up" during this time as I entered service at the naive age of 19.
So, let us have some fun, experience some groans and maybe learn something we can apply to real life in addition to expanding our understanding of the military, service men and women, and veterans.
What the Book is Not
Some readers have criticized the book as not containing the blood and guts, wartime heroics. That is true. There are plenty of recollections of those events, many well done. This book is a look at way the army (or any service) operates under the constraints of war, budgets, and the need to recruit, draft, and train so many people.
Others have found so many tales of themselves in the book. Contained within is the message to do well, even improve the services - under the inherent pressures of a military force.
I invite you to read the many reviews on Amazon (reviews) many more favorable than not. Every piece of work cannot appeal to everyone.
In Print or Kindle ebook
FUBAR – SNAFU – TARFU: one common theme runs through them.
Formation is an opportunity for the first sergeant to tell you how badly you screwed up that day.
"Croak, croak, croak, I'm a tree frog, sorry I lost my weapon."
The disbursement officer told us, very literally, that he did not care if we threw the ammunition into a river once we drew it from his group, we just had to requisition and receive it.
The jeep driver said to the kid, "Give me three vials of coke."
"Soldier, your mustache does not conform to the regulations of the 101st Airborne Division, therefore I must dismiss you from the promotion board."