The superbowl is a big deal for US Military personnel overseas. Here in Iraq, it was a very special day indeed. The broadcast of the game was carried live from 0200 in the morning until 0500 (2AM to 5AM). They had special setups for the live broadcast in all the recreation centers, and also the base movie theater.
But here is what really made is special. In Iraq, all military personnel are subject to General Order #1. That order proscribes certain things. No alcohol is allowed at all during your time in theater. GO #1 also prohibits other things, like taking war trophies, entering a mosque except under certain circumstances, possessing pornography, male and female co-habitation, etc.
So for the entire time that I’ve been overseas, I and all other law-abiding soldiers have not had a single drink. But on Superbowl Monday, you are allowed to drink two beers! Amazing! You go into the special broadcast locations, and take your ID card with you. You then turn in your ID in exchange for which you get a beer, which they open before they serve to you. They mark your hand with a black marker. You cannot take the beer outside the viewing room, and have to consume it while watching the game. Several high-ranking NCO’s are stationed at every exit, and monitor your drinking to insure that nobody passes beers around. It’s a high-security drinking event. After you’ve had your two beers, you have a black “X” in black marker on your left hand, which prevents you from coming back for more.
Here is a picture of me with my precious beer:
Anyway, the game was spectacular, and many soldiers watched at 2AM. I was not up for that, but did enjoy the re-broadcast which took place at noon and again at 8PM on Monday. Superbowl Monday (due to the time difference was great! It’s truly a wonderful secular holiday
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