“We’re making bank because we’re at war now. This war ends and you’re not going to be able to sustain your lifestyle.“
“Relax, man. This war ain’t ending any time soon.“
The above video is from the amazing mid-GWOT game ‘Army of Two.’
It was released in 2008 at the height of the war on terror, and the title is a play on the much-maligned ‘Army of One‘ recruiting slogan which emerged just before the 9/11 attacks.
The game is meant to be played with two players cooperatively. Salem and Rio, the two characters, are private military contractors (mercenaries) who go to war for money. The entire game is a caricature of where we were at the time.
And it was just fun to play.
I remember getting to this part of the game and nodding in agreement, because it’s a sentiment I saw over and over again. Once the GWOT started, we got into a rhythm of repeat deployments. Many soldiers came home after a year deployed with tens of thousands of dollars in their bank accounts – mainly from not spending anything over the course of the deployment. It was more money than most will ever see on their ATM receipt again.
Flush with cash, spending got a little outrageous. If you were around any military post in the early days of the GWOT, it was ridiculous how many giant HUMMERs you would see on the road.
With the deployments constantly coming, many got into a binge/purge cycle. Spend a lot of money, max out some credit cards, pay it off through the deployment.
And when contracts came up, many soldiers compared their lives (and their salaries) in the Army with what they could be making if they just got out and took a job as a private military contractor.
Someday this war’s going to end.
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