The Purple Heart is a United States military decoration awarded in the name of the President to those wounded or killed, while serving, on or after April 5, 1917, with the U.S. military.
In anticipation of the heavy casualties predicted in the event of an invasion of Japan, the United States made over 500,000 Purple Hearts. When the atomic bombings compelled Japan to surrender, these medals remained unused. The supply still has not run out, despite conflicts in Korea, Vietnam, Afghanistan, Iraq and numerous other places.
HOW TO SIMULATE SHIPBOARD LIFE AT HOME
1. When commencing this emulation, remember to lock yourself inside your house. Board up all windows, leaving all friends and family outside. You can communicate only with letters that your neighbors will hold to two weeks before delivering; losing one out of five. Have a friend or neighbor yell "Mail Call" at your door. Four out of five times, he will snicker and say; "You didn't get anything."
2. Surround yourself with 5,000 people you either don't like or don't know. These people will chain-smoke, fart loudly, snore like a Mack truck on a up hill grade, complain constantly, seldom shower, seldom wear clean clothes, or brush their teeth and use expletives in speech the way kids use sugar on cold cereal.
3. Unplug all radios and televisions to completely cut yourself off from the outside world. Have a neighbor bring you a 'TIME' or 'NEWSWEEK' magazine from 2 or 3 months ago, and a 'PLAYBOY' magazine with the pictures cut out.
4. Monitor all operating home appliances hourly, recording all vital parameters (plugged in, light functions when door opens, etc.). If not in use, log every four hours as "secured".
5. Do not flush the toilet (s) for the first three days to simulate the smell of forty people using the same commode. After that, flush once daily. Shower water should be either all hot or all cold. When you get all soaped up (soap on face / shampoo in hair), have your neighbor shut off the water.
6. Wear only approved coveralls or proper uniforms (no special or cut-off T-shirts). Even though nobody cares, once a week clean and press one uniform in the dark on a broken ironing board (or a towel on the floor) and wear it for 20 minutes while standing at attention. After this, change back into coveralls, catch and rip the sleeve of your shirt on a sharp object on your way to change, curse and yell, then wad it up and throw it in a smelly locker.
7. Cut your hair weekly, making it shorter each time until you are bald or look like you tangled with a demented sheep-shearer. Have a friend or neighbor loudly tell you to get a haircut at least once every other week, whether you need one or not.
8. Work 18-hour cycles, sleeping only 4 hours at a time to ensure your body doesn't know or care if it's daytime or nighttime.
9. Listen to your favorite cassette 6 times a day for two weeks, and then play music that causes acute nausea until you are glad to get back to your 'favorite' cassettes.
10. Cut a twin mattress in half length-wise. Place it in a sideways metal box, the roof should be low enough to prevent you from sitting in any position (18 inches is plenty). Place the metal box on a platform so that it is at lease 6 inches from the floor. Place a dead animal under your sheets to simulate the smell of your bunkmates, the laundry and shipboard life. Whenever possible, and without warning, have someone take your pillow or blanket (or both) to simulate that special camaraderie that exist only on-board an U.S. Naval warship.
11. Set your alarm clock to go off at the 5 minute 'snooze' intervals for the first hour of sleep to simulate alarms, of watch-standards and night crew going on and off duty, and at odd times just to wake you up. Place your metal box on a rocker to ensure that you are tossed from side to side for the remaining three hours of sleep. Alternately use a custom alarm clock that sounds like a fire alarm, police sirens, and loud punk rock combined to simulate various drill alarms on-board the ship and so you will get accustomed to ignoring your regular alarm clock.
12. Prepare all food while blindfolded, using all the spices that you can grope for, or none at all, to simulate shipboard food. Remove the blindfold and eat as fast as humanly possible. If the food does not stick to an inverted plate when cold, use more lard. If the food contains more than one part per thousand of fiber, dispose of it. Always take more than you can possible eat to keep up the waste standards of the Navy. Remember over-cooking or under-cooking is preferable to proper cooking. Also combining old food to new food is also encouraged.
13. Periodically shut off all the power at the main breaker and lie face down on the floor with your hands on top of your head while a friend or neighbor points a loaded rifle at you and repeatedly yells at the top of his voice, "Get on the Deck". Continue this for at least 20 minutes to simulate Marine security drills.
14. Buy a gas mask; smear the seal with rancid animal fat, scrub the lens with steel wool until you can't see out of it. Wear it for four hours every fifth day (even to the bathroom) and run rapidly from one side of the house to the other.
15. Prepare yourself an emergency that will require you to evacuate the premises knowing that if you exit, the biker gang that you hired will cut off your arms and legs to simulate sharks. Study a first aid book to learn how to handle wounds and control bleeding until you can quote it verbatim.
16. Study the owner’s manual for all appliances in the house. At regular intervals, take one apart and put it back together again, then test operate it at the extremes of its tolerance.
17. Remove all plants, pictures, and decorations. Paint all furnishings and walls haze-grey, white or the green shade of hospital O.R. smocks.
18. To make sure you are living in a clean and happy environment, once every week clean from top to bottom, working hard at cleaning all day even if it is only a 2 hour job. Then have someone tell you that you missed some dust and your floor looks like crap. When completed, have someone inspect your work, criticizing everything as much as possible. This person should never be satisfied with good effort or work.
19. Once a day, put in a video (which you have prepared) to watch a movie that you walked out on a year ago. Then watch an episode of "Charlie's Angles" that you didn't like the first three times you saw it. Make sure you pause it just at the peak of action so you can sweep the floor or listen to someone talk loudly about something stupid.
20. Since you will get no medical care, stock up on Band-Aids, Aspirin, and Pepto-Bismol. You must be able to cure every disease and ailment known to man.
21. Every six weeks to simulate liberty in a foreign port, go out directly to the city slums wearing your best clothes. Enter the raunchiest bar you can find and ask the bartender for the most expensive imported beer he carriers. Drink as many of these as fast as you can in four hours, then hire a cab to take you home by the longest route possible. Tip the cab driver after he charges you double because you were dressed funny and lock yourself back in your dwelling for another six weeks.
22. Run a loud blender in every room at a constant high speed to simulate the constant whine of the ship's machinery and have the biker gang you hired pound on the roof and walls to simulate recovering and launching aircraft.
23. To achieve the permanent, smelly, dingy, wrinkled look in your clothes, have the plumber connect the washer to a sewer line. Tightly cram you clothes into a nylon bag and wash whole. Throw the bag in a corner for 2 days and then without removing the clothes from the bag, dry it. It helps if your clothes are tied in tight knots before cramming into a bag. For best results, add two or three ink pens to each bag.
24. This simulation must run a minimum of 6 months to be effective. The exact date of the end of this simulation will be changed no less than 7 times without your knowledge. This is done to keep you guessing as to when you can expect to get back to a semi-normal life. It is also done in hope of screwing up any plans you have made or would like to make. On the last day of this simulation, remove the boards from the windows but do not go outside, have your love ones stand across the street, and you face them while standing at attention for 4 hours.
Note: This simulation was designed for those who would like to but haven't had the opportunity to enjoy an deployment on-board a U.S. Navy ship.
Sounds a bit like life on a carrier, but you left out the roar of jet engines and the jolt of firing catapults a few feet (and 3 inches of HY 100 solid steel) above your head; sleep punctuated by the odd clang of dropped aircraft tiedown chains on the deck immediately above your top bunk; the deep vibration of the whole ship as it speeds at 30+ Kts to meet a distant launch point; the absolute darkness of a ship's compartment with the lights out; the occasional thrill of a second's unexpected free fall in the darkness when you sleepily and forgetfully roll out of a top bunk after becoming accustomed to a bottom one.
There's also the exultation that follows a bow catapult shot on a really black ass night, after the aircraft is airborne, wheels & flaps coming up, and climbing fast. The transition from fear and excitement a few seconds earlier when, with the engines at 100% and the burners roaring, you flip the aircraft lights on, signalling your readiness to launch into the darkness; to sudden exultation when the shot is over; you didn't hit the water; and are climbing into the dim starlight above is truly memorable.
The food is a good deal better than you described, and the friendships formed during the experience irreplacable.
Well, we had a lot of mahogany wood on board (okay: the colour was mahogany).
The worst which could happen was to forget the cigarettes in your berth when at war march or battle closure state.
Yes, you make it sound much better than I did...
British Army's answering machine
HELLO …? IS THAT THE BRITISH ARMY?
“Thank you for calling the British Army. I am sorry but all our units are out at the moment, or are otherwise engaged. Please leave a message with your country of origin, name of organisation, the region, the specific crisis and a number to call you.”
“As soon as we have sorted out the Balkans, Northern Ireland, The Firemen, Iraq 2, marching up and down bits of tarmac in London and equal opportunities training, we will return your call.”
“Please speak after the tone, or if you require more options, please listen to the following.”
“If your crisis is small and close to the sea, press 1 for the Royal Marines.”
“If your problem is distant, with a tropical climate and good hotels, and can be solved by a few low risk – low level bombing runs, press # for the Royal Air Force. – Please note this service is not available after 16:30 or at weekends.”
“If your enquiry concerns a situation that can be resolved by a bit of grey funnel, bunting, flag waving and a really good marching band, please write WELL in advance to the First Sea Lord, The Admiralty, London.”
“If your enquiry is not urgent. Press 2 for the Allied Rapid Reaction Corps.”
“If you are interested in joining the Army and wish to be shouted at, paid little, have premature arthritis, train to be a fire-fighter, execute regime changes in hot places, put your wife and family in a condemned hut miles from civilisation, and be prepared to work your arse off daily with leave being cancelled at short notice, whilst watching the treasury erode your original conditions of service and career – your call will be connected to a bitter, passed-over recruiting Sergeant in a grotty shop out of town.”
“Thank you for calling the British Army!”