Can We Guess When You Served in the Military?

By: Zoe Samuel

Can We Guess When You Served in the Military?
Image: Shutterstock

About This Quiz

Every war has its sides, its weapons, its cultures, and its soldiers. Wars shape history, and shape the men and women who live it. Wars punctuate periods of history when the forces that write the chronicle of life come to blows. Wars exhibit extremes. Men and women behave in ways that showcase the finest aspects of human nature and the worst depravities man is capable of. Back home, life goes on, and soldiers remain frozen in time, untouched by the cultural shifts happening in their absence until they get their discharge papers.

Every war produced its own kinds of veterans, from the shores of Tripoli to the Battle of Ypres. These men and women sucked dirt and took fire in ways that while unique, are something anyone who has worn a uniform in wartime can relate to.

Did you serve the United States in wartime? How well do you remember those days? How did it leave you changed? How were you received when you got home? Did you come away from the war with memories of grateful locals or chants urging you to leave? Did you keep in touch with your fellow veterans, and if so, did the experience bond you in ways that helped back home in civilian life? Can we guess when you served?

Did you encounter great diversity among your fellow servicemen?
No.
Yes, there were all kinds of people, from all over.
It was fairly diverse.
We didn't get a lot of very elite people when I was in.

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How many female servicemen did you see in combat zones?
None. Perhaps there were some intelligence officers, but I wouldn't know about them.
None.
We had a fair number of them.
We had plenty of them.

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What crude technology did you use on a typical day?
A shovel.
A knife.
A radio.
An iPod.

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What advanced technology did you get to see in use in your war?
A radio.
Night vision.
Laser sights.
Steel rain.

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What was the weather like in your war's war zone?
Temperate.
Tropical.
Dry.
Dry and dusty.

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Did the public at home think your war was justified?
Hell yes.
Hell no.
Unequivocally.
The country was divided right down the middle.

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Are there many movies about your war?
Loads.
Plenty.
There are a few.
There's a handful.

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What is the general mood in most movies about your war?
Optimistic.
Pessimistic.
Apathetic.
Moralistic.

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Are there many songs about your war?
Some.
Plenty of good ones.
No, none.
A handful.

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Who is the most famous fictional hero of your war?
Indiana Jones
Colonel Walter E. Kurtz
Archie Gates
Staff Sergeant William James

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Do people feel the same way about your war as they did when it was fought?
Mostly, yes.
It's evolved a lot.
Yes.
More or less.

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How was the peace handled after the war was over?
Exquisitely.
It wasn't.
Pretty smoothly.
It was amateurish.

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How are relations today between the US and the country we were at war with?
We're close allies.
We're trading partners.
We're on speaking terms.
We're blamed for all their problems.

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Is the nation you fought a place Americans would want to vacation in today?
Some of it, yeah.
Certain kinds of tourists, yeah.
Mostly businessmen, not tourists.
Hell no.

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What sort of government now stands in the nation you fought against?
Excellent democracies.
Functional capitalist nations.
It's... a government.
A chaotic, corrupt democracy. So they're on their way.

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What language is spoken in the place you fought?
French, German, Dutch, you name it.
There are 107 languages spoken there.
Mostly Arabic where I was.
Arabic, Kurdish, and a smattering of Assyrian Neo-Aramaic.

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Are there beaches where you went to war?
Heh, yeah.
Some are even good for surfing.
There are a few beaches, but no bikinis.
Not where the fighting was happening.

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Are there mountains where you went to war?
Sure, covered with trees.
Plenty and they were nearly impassable.
No mountains to speak of.
Yeah, there are mountains there, but they don't provide much cover.

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What's the wildlife like where you went to war?
Nothing lethal.
Everything wanted to take a bite.
I didn't see any.
There're a few hardy creatures, and plenty of them want to bite.

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Did many soldiers mingle with the citizenry in the place you fought?
Yeah. Good times.
Some did.
Not at all.
Not much.

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How close were you to the enemy in your war?
We came nose to nose.
I've never been closer to anyone else.
Pretty far for the most part.
It depended on the day. Some days we practically shook hands. Other days, we took pot shots at each other from miles away.

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What sort of weapons did the enemy wield in your war?
All kinds of crazy, advanced stuff. Much better than ours.
AK-47s and anything that could hold an edge.
Traditional infantry weaponry that was at least 40 years out of date.
AK-47s and improvised weaponry.

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What rifle did you carry in your war?
An M1. My best friend.
An M16. She was all mine.
M16 A1. It didn't even get fired once.
An M4. Mostly dependable.

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What sort of air support did you count on?
Very little.
Phantoms.
Nighthawks.
Warthogs.

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What was on TV when you were growing up?
Nothing.
Howdy Doody.
Happy Days.
Duck Tales.

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What did you miss out on at home while you were away at war?
Lots of single ladies.
The whole hippie thing.
Not much. I wasn't away for long.
The iPhone.

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Did you have a lot of family with you while you were at war?
All of my siblings and cousins.
I had a cousin or two over there.
No, just me.
I had a few far flung relatives with me.

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How long did you stay in the service?
Just four years or so.
Two tours.
Five years.
I'm still in it.

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Would you recommend others join up?
Yes. It's an important job.
Yeah. It builds character.
Yes. It teaches some important skills.
Yeah, we need more people from all walks of life, now more than ever.

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What branch of the service would you want to be in today?
The Air Force.
The Marine Corps.
The Navy.
The Army.

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You Got:

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