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Were can I live in a foxhole for two days and bust caps!!!!!!! I would love to march in and have only what I carry. Run an event like that and I'm there dude.

 

 

Actually here in Virginia we do it all the time, we actually have training weekends for "school of the soldier".

But most people do not wish to play along. I myself get paid to play in the dirt, so I chose not to to on my free time for the experience. Does that make me a farb? No.

The biggest problem about having a truly in the foxhole weekend is supply. Who is going to cook and run ammo to everybody?

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Who is going to cook and run ammo to everybody?

 

The guy that the CO tells to. Either play or take your marbles and go home. Front line infantry troop know what no food and little ammo feels like.

 

You did pack some D-Bars or K-rations.. didn't you?

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Actually here in Virginia we do it all the time, we actually have training weekends for "school of the soldier". But most people do not wish to play along. I myself get paid to play in the dirt, so I chose not to on my free time for the experience.
And therein lies the problem. Many people say they want a "24 hour experience" at an event but the rare events that actually do this don't last for very long. You can only have an event if people show, and most folks won't want to live like that without breaks. I've been there done that on active duty myself and have no real interest in paying for the "opportunity" to do so again.
The biggest problem about having a truly in the foxhole weekend is supply. Who is going to cook and run ammo to everybody?
Sure, the "CO" can find someone to do that. But you'll probably never see that guy again! The Army may have a high percentage of support people (it's what I did in real life for Uncle Sam) but no re-enactor usually wants to do that. "I came here to bust caps." We've all heard it lots of times. Sure, SOMEONE has to do that stuff but don't count on people wanting to come back if they came to your event and wound up as an ammo bearer or on KP the entire weekend! This is why most large event staffs get other folks dedicated to those missions ahead of times and don't expect the attendees to do that kind of thing. It's in unauthentic? Yes, it is, but it is what it is whether you like it or not. There's a reason you normally don't find re-enacting units with Ordnance, Quartermaster or other impressions like that. Hardly anyone wants to spend all that time and money to be a cook. The people who gripe about that fact the loudest often seem to be the ones most adamant that "someone" other than them do these things...
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There's a reason you normally don't find re-enacting units with Ordnance, Quartermaster or other impressions like that. Hardly anyone wants to spend all that time and money to be a cook. The people who gripe about that fact the loudest often seem to be the ones most adamant that "someone" other than them do these things...

 

Some of the greatest guys I've met at reenactments have been the guys doing the mess impressions. They cook for the event with original stoves, usually with no thanks, and even provide immersion heaters for cleaning up. They are dirty and covered in food and crap, and dish out the chow and it's great. They are happy to do it, and I salute those guys that cover the impressions that no one wants to do.

 

those are the ones I like the most: cooks, flight maintenance and ground crew mechanics, quartermasters, field hospital medics, glider pilots (had to throw myself in there), USO and all the rest of the unsung heroes of WWII that rarely get the credit they deserve.

 

My hat's off to you guys! thumbsup.gif

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If your unit has people who will not follow orders in the field, why are they there? I mean one bad apple can (and generally will) ruin it for everyone.

 

This kind of ties back into the original topic. Say one of YOUR GUYS (not some lone wolf that no one knows) shows up at an event with Valor awards not earned (or fails to follow orders like 'go get a crate or k rats') what do you do?

 

Do you, as a leader man up and straighten it out or cave to your buddy/fellow unit member that wants to have a tea party instead of reenact? I bet most will opt for the latter.

 

My view is that I'd rather go out into the field with a small group of knowledgeable and dedicated people than simply fill the ranks with 50%'ers. Send them home, kick them out etc... most units will swear up and down about AUTHENTICITY but give them an AUTHENTIC job to perform and its beneath them? If your BUDDY is wrecking an event, then that shows more about thier character than their ability to purchase the correct ribbons off e-bay.

 

If any event in the PA-NJ-NY-OH-MD-WV area has a good, old fashioned 'total immersion' event for 48 hours, let me know... PLEASE.

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Legally,both by UCMJ and civilian standards,the only time a veteran can wear his uniform is Memorial and Armistice (Veteran's) Days, ( this is the reason for the ruptured duck)That being said it is also unenforced.

On the rare occasions as a reenactor that I wear dress uniform I wear only the awards I was given,unless I am portraying a specific person,ie Col. Sink at which time I wear what he did,the other notable exception is the PUC which is awarded to the unit and not the individual. I hardly believe a case can be made of anyone in a 65 plus year old uniform ( which by the way is not legally even a uniform ) whom is not by any stretch of the imagination old enough to have been even alive during WW2 to be claiming they earned these awards.Any more then the teacher who strolls into the classroom as say Abe Lincoln can be believed to be honest Abe himself,yet he is doing as we do in trying to educate. First-person interpretation is an effective tool and is recognised as such by many historical sites and military units,such as The Old Guard and educational facilities.

I however do not think anyone should heedlessly just pin on awards or try to gather accolades to which they are not deserving. Keep in mind though that it is the person and their acts which are worthy and needful of our reverence and not some hunk of metal and cloth! The men make the medals special not the medals the men!!!!!

 

I hope not to have pissed in anyone's Wheaties nor was I of a mind to do so!! I shall now vacate the soapbox which I have so vociferously ensconced myself upon and shall fade to the woodwork......

exactly which civilian standards are you referencing? Didn't know there was such a thing...Clue us in COL Bob...

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exactly which civilian standards are you referencing? Didn't know there was such a thing...Clue us in COL Bob...

 

The civillian standard that I, newly a civillian, will more than likely deal a savage beating to any other civillian non-war veteran I see wearing combat decorations! hahaha

 

Reenactors...ye be warned. :lol:

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As I said,though not often enforced it is against U.S. law for civilians to wear military uniforms,hence the "Ruptured Duck",which was sewn on to allow former service members 30 days wear of the uniform for transit and re-immersion into civilian life after discharge.I recall in 73 a Detroit man being arrested and charged with.."vagrancy,panhandling and unlawful wearing of military uniform". He was a 'Nam" vet who was homeless and bumming for change Downtown.

As to Civilian standards and Valor awards,The Stolen Valor act made the buying,trading and selling of awards and the wearing of same for fraudulent purposes illegal.

Although as I stated,the age of uniforms comes into play also.I am not sure at what time it happens,but non-inventory/issue uniforms do become essentially non-uniforms and thus surplus and wearable.

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Hey COL Bob---thats not what you said last time, you're changing the subject...last time you said "Legally,both by UCMJ and civilian standards,the only time a veteran can wear his uniform is Memorial and Armistice (Veteran's) Days"

 

now you want to mention the "Stolen valor" act....How can a retired vet wearing his own uniform and awards run afoul of the "Stolen Valor" act?

 

What I'm looking for are the civilian standards you mention against vets/retirees wearing their own uniforms on occasions such as Flag Day, 4th of July, Patriots day (yeah COL Bob, there are still some towns that have them) and most importantly; to the funerals of their old comrades in arms. If you mispoke, just say so and we can move on...otherwise, break out these civilian regs and we can stand corrected.

 

 

 

As I said,though not often enforced it is against U.S. law for civilians to wear military uniforms,hence the "Ruptured Duck",which was sewn on to allow former service members 30 days wear of the uniform for transit and re-immersion into civilian life after discharge.I recall in 73 a Detroit man being arrested and charged with.."vagrancy,panhandling and unlawful wearing of military uniform". He was a 'Nam" vet who was homeless and bumming for change Downtown.

As to Civilian standards and Valor awards,The Stolen Valor act made the buying,trading and selling of awards and the wearing of same for fraudulent purposes illegal.

Although as I stated,the age of uniforms comes into play also.I am not sure at what time it happens,but non-inventory/issue uniforms do become essentially non-uniforms and thus surplus and wearable.

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Hey COL Bob---thats not what you said last time, you're changing the subject...last time you said "Legally,both by UCMJ and civilian standards,the only time a veteran can wear his uniform is Memorial and Armistice (Veteran's) Days"

 

now you want to mention the "Stolen valor" act....How can a retired vet wearing his own uniform and awards run afoul of the "Stolen Valor" act?

 

What I'm looking for are the civilian standards you mention against vets/retirees wearing their own uniforms on occasions such as Flag Day, 4th of July, Patriots day (yeah COL Bob, there are still some towns that have them) and most importantly; to the funerals of their old comrades in arms. If you mispoke, just say so and we can move on...otherwise, break out these civilian regs and we can stand corrected.

 

I think you're being unnecessarily antagonistic of Col. Bob, my friend.

 

The laws go unenforced, but technically speaking, a "civillian" military retiree / veteran isn't supposed to wear his uniform to political / religious / any other "special interest" event. He wouldn't be charged under the SVA for sure, and I doubt very much anyone would want to charge a vet for wearing his uniform when he wasn't "supposed to."

 

Demanding that someone break out a legal code book and show you the "law" against it is foolish and moot to the point of this topic I started here anyhow.

 

Veterans and retirees, as far as I'm concerned can wear whatever medals / uniforms they want whenever and wherever they please -- they earned them. I see guys at the VA with ribbons on their hats and whatnot -- not a problem.

 

Where I start to have a problem, and why I asked this question in the very first place is...REENACTORS or Living Historians, actors / dress up play soldiers. If you DID NOT serve in combat and DID NOT earn any decorations warranting the giant Chesty Puller-esque stacks of ribbons I see on these puffy fools in uniforms who never served a day in their life, those are the people who really have no business wearing them.

 

And you can make any excuse you want -- my grandpa earned them, I'm dressed up as a specific person, it's an old antique uniform, it's for a hangar dance, it's the rules in my reenactors club -- bottom line no matter how you cut it is these guys are out there wearing medals they did not earn for combat experiences they did not go through save for a very slim few of them who may in fact be actual combat veterans. I think it's in incredibly poor taste to do so, regardless of what your reasons are -- honoring and imitating are two different things, and grabbing at a tiny bit of the spotlight currently shining on the WWII generation by dressing up as they did does not entitle one to wear the decorations reserved for our greatest heroes.

 

The man, not the medals, but still...the medals mean something too. Symbols of service, sacrifice, and bravery that most reenactors will never truly understand. Nothing againist you guys -- keep doing your thing, because it is a good thing to remember and try to share the experience -- these guys saved the world, literally. But don't you dare think for one second that because you did a tactical or went to a parade in costume that you're entitled to Combat Infantryman's Badges, Purple Hearts, Silver Stars, and whatever else you want to stick on your uniforms.

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And it is completely up to US to police the hobby.

 

If the Hanger Dance allows it, tell them your unit (and hopefully many others) will not be back due to the LACK of respect they allow.

 

If your own unit allows it then you are also part of the problem. Your unit says its uber accurate but fails the smell test with respect to the major aspect of the hobby: showing respect.

 

I am not the kind of person who will march up to another reenactor and dress them down because they are farby. I WILL bring it up in conversation if given the chance, and I will definitely tell the organizer that I am displeased with the event.

 

We must also agree that there are varying levels of commitment to this hobby. Cap busters to 'historians' and everyone in between. But what good are we doing 'passing along history' when we allow any yahoo to show up with Silver/Bronze Stars (not actually earned) and Purple Hearts? There has to be a level of self policing that we all accept... even if its YOUR unit/buddy.

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First off,thanks Shrapneldude, I soo was not looking for nor intending to start a fight.

Second, as we are all basically intellectuals who love research the pertinent info is...."10 USC,subtitle A,part II,chapter 45,Sections 771 and 772". The relevant regulation is AR 670-1. Note that both are indicative of current uniforms.There is a section of the US Code which was struck by the U.S. Supreme Court in 1970,which stated,"If the portrayal does not tend to discredit that Armed Force.",this section pertains to "theatrical productions,which the Supreme Court in "Scacht v U.S. 398US58" the afore mentioned decision,liberally interprets to seemingly include things like reenactments.

Back to the subject actually at hand.

I still agree that wearing of valor awards not earned is wrong,though as I stated there is exception in the portrayal of a certain person,to represent someone like Col. Sink or Lt. Barfoot or Audie Murphy in the pursuit of educating people one should bring all honor due them,note I said them not you! Someone once said imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.

That said only one person in our unit wears fruit salad,he earned every single one of them! Those of us in the unit who are prior military,also only wear what we were given,with the exception of me as Col. Sink,( again I only do it rarely) and that at the request of a number of our veterans who believe he should be revered, remembered and represented. I truly prefer being an unremarked private who does his job and remains nameless,This is the impression I am most comfortable in and more often portray.

True the medals are important for what they represent in giving them to those that earned them,they are a symbiosis of a man's courage and the signal to show who and what they are....HEROES!!!post-4746-1228708037.jpg

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Gents---frankly I don’t care what re-enactors wear to their events. It’s not my job to police their actions but I do care when someone says the only time a retiree can “legally wear” his uniform is on Vets day or Memorial day and passes that off as gospel: here’s the reg

---extract begins---

AR670-1 3 Feb 2005

 

Chapter 30

Wear of the Army Uniform by Reserve, Retired, Separated, and Civilian Personnel

30–1. Occasions of ceremony

a. As used in this regulation, the phrase “occasions of ceremony” means occasions essentially of a military

character, at which the uniform is more appropriate than civilian clothing. These functions include, but are not limited to: military balls, military parades, weddings, and military funerals; memorial services, meetings and conferences; or functions of associations formed for military purposes, of which the membership is composed largely or entirely of current or honorably discharged veterans of the Armed Forces or reserve components. Authority to wear the uniform includes wear while traveling to and from the ceremony or function, provided the travel in uniform can be completed on the day of the ceremony or function.

 

b. All persons wearing the Army uniform will wear awards, decorations, and insignia in the same manner as prescribed in this regulation for active duty soldiers. For civilian attire, individuals may wear only those awards, decorations, or insignia authorized by this regulation for wear on civilian clothing, in the same manner and approximate location as the equivalent military uniform.

---end of extract---

 

And as to the US CODE:

---extract begins----

TITLE 10 - ARMED FORCES

Subtitle A - General Military Law

PART II - PERSONNEL

CHAPTER 45 - THE UNIFORM

 

-HEAD-

Sec. 772. When wearing by persons not on active duty authorized

 

-STATUTE-

(a) A member of the Army National Guard or the Air National Guard

may wear the uniform prescribed for the Army National Guard or the

Air National Guard, as the case may be.

(B) A member of the Naval Militia may wear the uniform prescribed

for the Naval Militia.

© A retired officer of the Army, Navy, Air Force, or Marine

Corps may bear the title and wear the uniform of his retired grade.

---End of extract---

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Okay, there is an extreme double-standard going on here.

 

For a former soldier who served in Iraq, it's okay for him to wear medals he did not earn in WORLD WAR II (a war that NONE of us here were in that's also been over for 60+ years), but for the rest of us it's not okay to wear any medals that we didn't earn either?

 

That's some fuzzy logic there.

 

I'm not saying that I condone the wearing of medals nor do I wear medals at all (other than pilot wings, you kind of have to for my impression), but it's okay for vets of recent wars to wear medals they didn't earn?

 

A buddy of mine got a purple heart and a bronze star in The Gulf War, but he says it would be really stupid to wear it on his WORLD WAR II uniform because he did not earn it in WORLD WAR II.

 

I mean, is that fair enough? I don't believe in "translation of medals." Different wars, different military, different times. Period.

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Valor awards are for an ACT. Only certain awards have specific time frames for their awarding (CIB is one).

 

If you earned a Purple Heart, then you wear it.

 

If I ever did a USN impression you bet I would wear the WWII version of my Dolphins, sea service good conduct and foreign service ribbons. I earned them and they would be correct for that impression.

 

If a person that earned the award feels otherwise, then I 100% respect their decision... but I bet many more WWII vets would want to speak with you because you would have had a shared experience with them (wounded in battle or actions above and beyond in combat).

 

If I was in Class A's and wore a CIB if questioned by a Veteran I would say that the award is correct for the Unit impression. If he objected, I would certainly take it off, apologize, and thank him for letting me know.

 

Its all about showing respect.

 

The gray area is when another reenactor complains (and someone ALWAYS complains). Do you remove it? Get into an accuracy debate, get an outside opinion/judge? Unless he had prior Military experience where that award would have been awarded, I would simply thank him for pointing it out, and say that the impression would not be correct without it, and walk away.

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My point is if you're going to not permit WWII medals to be worn, no one should wear them, regardless of previous military service unless you yourself were in WORLD WAR II, which like I said, none of us really were.

 

It's like at a reenactment tactical battle when you see guys doing military tactics for Iraq War "room clearing" and holding their Garands up like they're M16A4's. Different military, different times.

 

But this is all just my opinion. I'm not going to say anything more about it, because it doesn't concern me really. Just sayin'.

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I wasn't saying Iraq war vets ought to wear WWII medals either. WWII vets wear WWII medals, Korean war vets wear Korean war medals, and so on.

 

I guess I don't have a problem with wings and badges -- true to the unit / group reenacted. And campaign medals are just as true and accurate.

 

If you're a vietnam vet reenacting WWII and you got a Purple Heart when you served, wear it ... but none of you can convice me that a 16 year old kid in a repro uniform should be wearing a silver star. Just ain't gonna fly. And if it's a problem among ony certain reenactment groups, I don't mean to paint you all with the same brush...like was said before, maybe it's better to police yourselves.

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We will NEVER resolve this, ever. It'll be argued as long as the hobby exists!

My point is if you're going to not permit WWII medals to be worn, no one should wear them, regardless of previous military service unless you yourself were in WORLD WAR II, which like I said, none of us really were.
Good point. Think of the paratrooper re-enactors who actually went to jump school. Many of them sneer at people wearing jump wings if they didn't go through the real Army jump school. I don't think that 5 jumps out of a C-130 over Georgia is the same as a combat jump over Normandy but plenty of folks don't gree with me.

NONE of the awards I got on active duty existed in WW2. Not one of them (except my expert rifle award, I guess but I never wore on my modern class As anyway) so for me, being former Army means nothing in that regard anyway. The only time that comes in handy for me is explaining why I do this. Somehow, being former Army makes sense to those who see me with my WW2 Jeep. That doesn't make any sense to me, either.

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We will NEVER resolve this, ever. It'll be argued as long as the hobby exists! Good point. Think of the paratrooper re-enactors who actually went to jump school. Many of them sneer at people wearing jump wings if they didn't go through the real Army jump school. I don't think that 5 jumps out of a C-130 over Georgia is the same as a combat jump over Normandy but plenty of folks don't gree with me.

NONE of the awards I got on active duty existed in WW2. Not one of them (except my expert rifle award, I guess but I never wore on my modern class As anyway) so for me, being former Army means nothing in that regard anyway. The only time that comes in handy for me is explaining why I do this. Somehow, being former Army makes sense to those who see me with my WW2 Jeep. That doesn't make any sense to me, either.

 

Doesn't make any sense to me! haha...former army -- and you didn't have enough sleeping in the mud, marching, and being tired that you have to do it as a hobby now?! haha Just joshin ya...

 

:D

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Sorry everyone I guess I was confused. I agree with you shrapneldude, and wouldn't even DREAM of wearing medals I haven't earned, WWII or otherwise!

 

Not to thread hijack, but this also goes hand-in-hand with the credo that I "reenact by," which is:

 

NO ONE SHOULD DO AN IMPRESSION THAT THEY WOULD NOT BE CAPABLE OF DOING IN REAL LIFE.

 

What I mean by this is someone doing airborne who is grossly overweight, someone over 50 being a private in the infantry, etc. I don't mean to be a spoil sport but as far as authenticity goes, I wouldn't call any of that being very "authentic." Amongst other reasons I don't do Airborne is because I know I would have never survived the training those guys went through and I'm not comfortable trying to portray something I wouldn't have been able to do in real life.

 

What do you guys think about that?

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Sorry everyone I guess I was confused. I agree with you shrapneldude, and wouldn't even DREAM of wearing medals I haven't earned, WWII or otherwise!

 

Not to thread hijack, but this also goes hand-in-hand with the credo that I "reenact by," which is:

 

NO ONE SHOULD DO AN IMPRESSION THAT THEY WOULD NOT BE CAPABLE OF DOING IN REAL LIFE.

 

What I mean by this is someone doing airborne who is grossly overweight, someone over 50 being a private in the infantry, etc. I don't mean to be a spoil sport but as far as authenticity goes, I wouldn't call any of that being very "authentic." Amongst other reasons I don't do Airborne is because I know I would have never survived the training those guys went through and I'm not comfortable trying to portray something I wouldn't have been able to do in real life.

 

What do you guys think about that?

 

Good motto! I like it. And again, no problem with it. All I wanted to know at the start of this was how far is too far for a reenactor, and what safeguards are in place within the reenacting community to prevent such things.

 

You know...I see so many reenactors who are Airborne, usually the Band of Brothers unit 506 or whichever one of the 101st. And a lot of these guys tehy have wearing the jump suits are just...not military looking. I'm no lightweight by any stretch, but have seen some rotund ABN reenactors that I know damn well couldn't survive a run to the top of that mountain they ran at toccoa. Long hair and beards -- they wouldn't have lasted too long in an elite unit looking that way!

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The problem with 'you should be able to do it in real life' is that say you are 50, and you do a vet impression.

 

Someone is gonna call you out that there were no horses in WWII, or dogs, or pigeons, mules, etc.

 

The average age of the US soldier was almost 30... Germans DID use old men.. its all they had left.

 

And some people/units say that there were no fat people in the service. BULLOCKS! I've posted plenty of pics of larger sojers/soldats, in combat gear only to be told they were 'in the rear' or 'propaganda photos' that were 'staged'.

 

I just read up on Army Rations and even back in WWII it was known that K and C rations were insufficient to maintain weight of a combat soldier. Army physicians found out that in as little as 3 months body weight was down 15-30% or more. The longer you were on -rats the worse the deterioration was. So yes, a guy could have started out at 200+ lbs, only to be ravaged down to 170 or less in a few weeks simply due to the standard rations being the reason they were malnourished. Its was a real eye opening read. Second is that we are simply larger now due to better food, medicine and hygiene.

 

To me the bottom line is that the (pardon my french) IDIOT that calls you on something *generally* doesn't know KFC they are talking about because it was not in SPR or BoB. War and combat is hell and the unthinkable in suddenly common. The ones who really want to take the hobby and history to heart will take the time to research and come to a correct impression.

 

The sad fact is that you end up having to give a book report to everyone who simply wants to bust caps (and I say that with all due respect to the cap-busters).

 

So no, I do not subscribe to the 'you gotta do it to reenact it' school of though. Other than knowing how to drill, use WWII combat tactics and know Military customs you should do what interests you. DO it right and do it well. A

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So no, I do not subscribe to the 'you gotta do it to reenact it' school of though. Other than knowing how to drill, use WWII combat tactics and know Military customs you should do what interests you. DO it right and do it well. A

 

Well I'm certainly not going to pilot any CG-4A gliders or be a 2nd Lt. anytime soon, I'm just saying that if you're gonna be running around in the woods in a size XXXL repro M42 jumpsuit shouting "Curahee!" don't walk off the field mid-battle to go get 5 Big Macs.

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The problem with 'you should be able to do it in real life' is that say you are 50, and you do a vet impression.

 

 

To me the bottom line is that the (pardon my french) IDIOT that calls you on something *generally* doesn't know KFC they are talking about because it was not in SPR or BoB. War and combat is hell and the unthinkable in suddenly common. The ones who really want to take the hobby and history to heart will take the time to research and come to a correct impression.

 

Am I one of these idiots for posing these questions in the first place? I was doubting reenactors long before I saw Band of Brothers or SPR. So...by your statement above -- "war and combat is hell and the unthinkable [is] suddenly common." Can I assume you are a combat veteran yourself? if so, then the questions about medals don't apply to you -- so long as you don't wear valor decorations you didn't earn.

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