When ACUs Attack


I was thrilled when the Army ditched the old BDUs and went with the much lower-maintenance ACUs. After all, who wants to spend so much time starching and ironing BDUs? Or forking over money to let the dry cleaners do the job. I was stunned when my husband came home a few years ago with a uniform that was simply "wash-and-wear."

Brilliant idea.

Yes, there's that bit about the velcro patches all having to come off, but that takes less than a minute to do. And of course, the endless assortment of pockets usually store some rather annoying items, so you have to make sure to get all of them out, but that's a small price to pay. Deployment is one thing, but when they are home, is it really necessary to utilize every.single.pocket? I'd much rather they issue man-bags to non-deployed soldiers than build 426 pockets into a uniform. That's because my husband finds a way to fill all of them with note cards, gum, pens, change, etc. I dunno though, I can't really see my husband wearing ACUs and toting a man-bag, but it would certainly help with the laundry process, would it not?

I've never washed or dried the ACUs with anything other than the items that go with it (green socks, tan shirts, etc.). Until last night, that is. And now I hate the ACUs with a passion. They are vindictive little things. Vindictive, I tell you.

I have a simple knit dress that I've had for years. It's that one item of clothing that I can slip on no matter where I'm going or what I'm doing. I can wear it around the house, or while running errands or to the movie theater. I can wear it with flip flops or strappy sandals. And it's sooooo comfortable. It's the "for every occasion" basic summer dress.

Apparently, I forgot to take my dress out of the dryer before the ACUs went in last night. When I took the ACUs out, I heard chilling screams coming from my dress. The dress that the velcro on the ACUs had claimed and devoured.

Blasted ACUs.


It appears another letter to Secretary Gates is in order. Next time they redesign a uniform...

The Army will be fielding a new combat uniform designed by NCOs and tested by Stryker Brigade Soldiers in Iraq since October.

...might be wise to have a wife or two in on the process.

Dear Secretary Gates.......

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