Recruiters don't lie when they say that you can travel the world. Shy of deploying to combat, troops are also sent to nearly every corner of the globe — but the most common spots are Germany, Turkey, South Korea, and Japan.
Their work week is similar to that of troops stationed stateside with the added benefits of training with the host nation and getting a chance to explore the region. While friends post photos of themselves at some crappy tourist trap, they won't ever get the same experience as troops. Here's what your civilian friends are missing out on:
You actually try the food
Americana has spread far across this planet. In one respect, this is a good thing: It means you can get a burger anywhere.
When you're stationed overseas, however, you'll actually try something new instead of relying on old standbys — the local beer, the local liquor, the local drunk food, and probably their actual cuisine.
A lot of barbecues and booze. (Photo by Airman 1st Class Derek Seifert)
You actually meet the people
Between bouts of sightseeing, tourists don't get the chance to relax and get to know the locals of an area.
Depending on the troop, they could make a good friend or (because we know how troops are) they're just looking for a "friend for the night."
Foreign chicks will totally dig your beer-pong skills. (Photo by Sgt. James Avery)
You can go back to certain spots again
People on vacation treasure their "once-in-a-lifetime experiences," which, to them, means seeing a centuries-old building that really isn't going anywhere.
To troops stationed over-seas, seeing any site isn't a "once-in-a-lifetime experience;" they can just go back on the next four-day weekend. Chances are, however, they'll just be hitting up the best party spots.
Troops can relive the same mistakes, over and over, and over, and over... (Photo by Lance Cpl. Muriah King)
Your "goofs" won't get you deported
Let's just be honest for a second: when people get drunk, dumb sh*t happens.
Of course, actual crimes are treated as such. But when troops make slap-on-the-wrist-worthy mistakes, it's usually left at the unit level and immigration isn't even informed.
Getting an ass-chewing from First Sergeant is still better than calling him from lock-up. (Photo by Lance Cpl. Dana Beesley)
And, of course, Uncle Sam pays you to do it all
To think that some people drop loads of money on plane tickets and hotel rooms.
Even if troops blow all their money on partying in some foreign country trying to impress a cute date, they still have a barracks room to sleep off the hungover misery until payday.
...and do it all over again next weekend. (Photo by Staff Sgt. Jason Hull)