Being forward deployed means you're pretty much cut off from the rest of the world. You don't have all the stateside luxuries, like continuous electricity, internet, and cell phone service.
If you're stationed at a patrol base in Afghanistan, you could be up to 5,000 miles away from home — if not more. So, the only connection you have with the world back home is when the big mail truck comes around, delivering hand-written letters and Maxim magazines.
But if getting mail is so badass, what could be so bad about receiving it? Well, we're glad you asked.
1. Things get lost in transit
Like we said earlier, depending on where you're stationed, mail could have to travel more than 5,000 miles. This means that, somewhere along the line, your mail could get lost or stolen.
Yes, we said stolen. Unless the mail is air-dropped, the enemy has been known to strike allied convoys and damage the trucks that could be carrying your precious Sports Illustrated swimsuit edition.
So, that sucks.
(Photo by Sgt. Jessica Webb)
2. The mailmen can get super serious — for no reason
We're not sure if it's the crowd that quickly surrounds the mail truck that gets the mailmen upset or the fact that coordinating the maildrop is the only momentary power they get, but the delivery guys get super serious when calling out the names addressed on care packages.
We just can't figure out why.
3. Don't expect your stuff not to be damaged
Over the course of the thousands of miles mail travels, when it gets sorted, it gets tossed around like it's no big deal. Since it's not the sorter's mail, they really couldn't care less what happens it for the most part.
So, packages get damaged.
Mail comes in as fast as it goes out.
4. Not everyone gets mail
The truth is, not every service member has a family back home for them to get stuff from. It's a good thing there are charities out there who collect items and ship them to as many deployed service members as they can.
5. Getting a "Dear John" letter
Yeah. This happens more than you think. She's leaving you for your brother.
John Tyree (Channing Tatum) reads his Dear John letter, which sucks. (Photo from Sony/Screen Gems' Dear John)