The Liberty Buddy
Those of us in the Navy, hell, most of the Armed Forces, are quite familiar with this term. Your liberty buddy is the person(s) that you sign out with prior to leaving a ship, usually in a foreign port, thereby stating that you will be leaving and returning with this particular individual. Each person is expected to keep the other out of trouble and return safely back to the ship together. Now the key to finding a good liberty buddy is to know at least some of the things that he/she likes to do. Hopefully you have had enough time where you know the people that you are considering as possible liberty buddies, because having a deadbeat with you that wants to go back to the ship early when the real fun is just beginning just sucks!!! If this does happen, you have to quit what you are doing,escort him back to the boat, and find another liberty buddy just so you can go back out into town. Things like this can pretty much mess up a night. That's why you have to choose wisely. In this case "one monkey does stop the show!"
Now the word that we got is that it would "behoove us" not to be that guy who gets into trouble and messes it up for everybody. You know, all the people onboard, the whole battle group, our country's image...you know, nothing major. I do have to skip the particulars, but you should get the idea. I am going to partner up with my friends Malik, Bartholomus, Khary, and Clem. Now this should be very interesting because we are all a different breed in our own right. Each of us would probably react to a particular situation differently. I am sure the outcome would be the same regardless. Now one thing that we were told is that the locals are always right. No matter what happens, if there is a problem and we didn't walk away from it, it's our fault. What raised my eyebrow was that it's not just the person who was directly involved, but his liberty buddy too!!!! Once again you have to choose your buddy wisely.
Now I'm talking to my friend Malik and he asks me, "Nev, what are we going to do if someone comes up and slaps us in our face, or hits me in the back of the head while I am backing down and walking away? You know I can't just let some shyt like that happen. I'm gonna be throwing and you better help!" I was pretty much thinking to myself, "Damn, what did I get myself into picking this dude? I know that the way my luck has been, if anything like that were to happen it would happen to my ass." I looked at him and said, "Man, if it gets to that point then we must have done something wrong. If you feel that you can't walk away without throwing blows and eventually getting both of us in trouble, then if there are six of 'em...there will be seven pairs of feet stompin' the shyt outta yo ass!!!! I mean, f*ck it! If I am going down anyway because I was here with you, I am going to have fun even though my liberty is circling the drain."
At least while we are in front of the Old Man getting ready to hang from our toenails, I can lean over and whisper in his ear, "Man...we f*cked yo' ass up!!!", and try to hold in the laughter throughout the whole ass chewing, loss of rank ceremony.
Truth be told, liberty buddies are a necessity. It allows us to look out for each other. There is safety in numbers but is can also mean there is that much more shyt that people will get into. I guess you really have to weigh the benefits. I don't think that people should get in trouble for something that someone else did. You can only recommend a course of action which, as it sometimes happens, that person doesn't have to follow. If you or your libery buddy get into it with some foreigners on their soil then it is us who wronged them. No ifs, ands, or buts, about it. Case closed awaiting sentencing. I know that Malik will be an aiight liberty buddy. Sure, he hangs around on the edge and tries to get people to come with him, but when it comes to common sense I know he has plenty of it. All in all, I just wish I was back at home getting ready to hit up Rumours tonight or something.
Seeing the world is fun as hell but there's comfort in your own environment. This deployment is going to be different from the last. A hell of a lot different. With a new regime comes new rules. That's how it is everywhere. What can you do other than understand the rules and play within the guidelines? I've been doing it for thirteen years so why stop now?