Alcohol Abuse is very Common in the Military

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Just One More Drink!

I knew some men who were lost in the drinking world. They couldn’t put that glass down. When they drink they would drink to the last drop, not wanting to waste any of it, like a soldier on the desert getting the last drop out of their canteen. 

Alcohol abuse is common in the military. I was a naïve and unknowing boy when I went into the military. I hadn’t done any drinking of any kind. I was right out of high school. 

But once I got to Korea I met some veterans of another kind. They were veteran drinkers.

They wanted me to go with them to the base tavern. I resisted for a while and they kept after me. I finally went with them one night. It was the end of the month, and they were having drinks for ten cents each. I think they said they try to clear out all the booze at the end of the month, because a new shipment was coming from the main land.

Ten cents? Wow! I thought. This is too good of a deal to pass up. I was nearly broke, but I had a couple of dollars. That could buy me twenty drinks. (What a deal!)

I was with two soldiers that I befriended when I got there. One was an athletic looking guy, and the other was a “tall drink of water,” from Texas.

They showed me that they loved to drink. I decided to have my first drink. I asked them what drinks were good. They told me the Zombie drink was especially sweet, and tasty. I had no idea what kind of drink it was. (I should have known just from the title of the drink!) They each also ordered one. They brought the drinks to our table.

The Zombies were huge. They were in a tall glass and had a murky green and brown look to them.

My friends (?) said “Let’s have a drinking contest. Let’s see who can finish their drink first.” I fell for the trap. We all held the glasses to our lips and one of them yelled “GO!” 

I had two gulps down before the burning sensation in my throat started. I thought I had swallowed a nest of yellow jackets! I coughed, and tried to standup.

They guys pulled me back down and said, “You aren’t finished yet. Keep at it.” I wanted this experience to end so I kept drinking. I remember about four gulps, and then everything went black. I was having a black-out.

I didn’t remember the whole rest of the evening, and woke up the next morning lying next to a big truck and having dry heaves. There had to have been people walking by the spot where I was, but no one helped me. They probably just said, “Oh, there is another recruit who just got in.” 

It took me several days to get my life back to a livable state. I had to go to the infirmary to get some medicine to help, and the doctor just laughed and said, “You must be a new guy.” 

So what did I learn from that?

  • Things aren’t what they seem.
  • Friends you are supposed to trust aren’t always good friends.
  • If something looks like it may be wrong, it probably is.
  • You don’t have to do things to empress anyone to make them like you.

Now days, I have a beer once and a while, but I never overindulge. It just doesn’t make sense to me to be drinking just to get drunk. I used to think that non-alcoholic beer was a joke. I also thought, if I am going to drink beer I am doing it for the buzz, not the taste. Now I enjoy the taste, and feel that once I have quenched my thirst that is all I need.    

How about you? Do you struggle with drinking too much? I know it is possible in the military to have down times, lonely times, depressing times, drinking with buddies, where you seem to be attracted to alcohol, because it is needed to drown your sorrows in it.

I suggest to you that the opposite should be true. We shouldn’t be going to the one thing that could give us more depression. We shouldn’t be going to the one thing that could cause us to stop thinking clearly, which is dangerous when you are depressed and lonely.  

During your moment of depression you should be thinking as many positive thoughts as you can. Push out all that garbage out of your brain. Talk to friend. Let them know you are feeling down. Don’t go to alcohol to try to hide your pain. It may cause you more.


If we can keep our minds clear of all the negativity around us, we have a much better chance of fighting off the dark side that is trying to cause us pain. We should never, ever think we need alcohol to free us of the mental pain.

Think about this

Isn’t it interesting how we think we are sad, and yet we have so many people around us who want to help?


Checking on on you. Have things gone wrong from you drinking too much?


There are over 13,590 fellow veterans subscribed to this site who have your back.

If the dreams just too much for you right now, GET HELP!

Here is a toll free number to call 24/7. There are highly qualified counselors there to help you, and they will not hang up until the know you are OK.

1-800-272-8255..texting 838255.



You are never alone.

You are never forsaken.

You are never unloved.

And above all…never, ever, give up!


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