old school

Photo of the author wearing the olive-drab fatigue jacket he was issued when he joined the Air Force in 1984.

I snapped a photo of the BDU jacket in the background that’s draped over the dining room chair, because I noticed the handle of a hammer I had been searching for, and posted the photo to the group chat my coworkers use with the comment, “I looked everywhere for that hammer.”

My coworker Sandra, who had more recently been in the Air Force too, responded: “Wow, look at the old-school field jacket!”

Okay, wow. I bought that camouflage field jacket when camouflage field jackets were new to the Air Force, many years after I first enlisted. If she thought it was ‘old school,’ she must have enlisted much later than I thought.

So I took a photo of me in the field jacket I was originally issued when I joined up in 1984 and posted it to the group chat, to see what they thought of my REAL ‘old-school’ fatigue jacket. They responded with a photo of Alan Alda playing the role of Hawkeye Pierce in the television series M*A*S*H, a great show but the Korean War was a little before my time.

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