You don’t really know your buddies until you deploy together. At that point you get to see a side of them that their families and closest loved ones have never seen — a side effect of spending every hour with them for months on end in a foreign land where all you have is each other.
You get to know the good, the bad, and the weird. Here’s what you can expect:
1. You’ll learn that insults are endearing.
2. . . . as is antagonizing each other.
Generation Kill, HBO
3. You’ll learn exactly how to take the edge off when you go too far . . .
“I was just pulling your chain. Here, take a chill smoke.”
4. . . . because you’ve shared nearly every single thought that you’ve had over the last few months.
5. You’ll learn to think of buds as family.
6. You’ll learn to communicate with each other just by grunting.
7. (Aviators learn hand signals.)
8. Your comfort levels will approach new highs (and lows).
9. And you’ll learn to be totally fine with complete silence.
10. And you’ll learn to be brutally honest with each other.
11. You’ll learn who will be the first to put on his or her “deployment goggles.”
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12. And you’ll learn how to read the signs if something more develops.
(In fact, you can pretty much read his or her mind.)
13. You’ll learn where they stash all of their goodies.
(And it’s a general rule that whatever is his is also yours as long as you replenish it.)
14. And you learn exactly which items in your MRE to trade with whom.
15. You’ll learn not to rat each other out to superiors.
(Nobody likes a Blue Falcon, or Jodies.)
16. You’ll learn where to find your buddies when no one else can.
17. You’ll learn the most effective ways to settle your differences.
18.You’ll learn to always have each other’s backs, no questions asked.
19. And you’ll learn that other units can’t bitch about your buddies. Only you can bitch about your buddies.