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War Stories: On A Mission With A Guy Who Can't Handle His Drink

This soldier's true story will tell you why it's a bad idea to mix hookers, booze, and a mission to the Congo.


Photo: Han Bing / Xinhua / Landov | Licensed to Alpha Media Group 2013


In the summer of 2010 I finally received the news that I had been waiting to hear since I first joined the Army nearly eight years earlier - I finally got a mission to somewhere other than Iraq. It was a Civil Affairs guy’s dream mission, the destination Kinshasa, Congo: “the heart of darkness.” The team was small, only three of us. A fellow NCO that I had served with in Iraq and a Captain that in another life had been an enlisted Ranger qualified scout sniper from the 82nd whom I will call “Jeff.” Jeff had months prior traveled to Congo for a skull session with the embassy’s RSO and the DIA detachment. I didn’t know Jeff well, although he seemed pretty high speed and much more an NCO than an officer. So, two days before we went wheels up, I sat down with my old team sergeant for beers and shot the shit. He knew Jeff well and had words of wisdom, “don’t let that motherfucker drink, he will turn batshit crazy.” Now, we all know dudes in the military that just can’t drink - hell the fact that he came from the 82nd should have been a HUGE red flag - but I just blew it off.


Two days later we embark on our journey, flying first to Belgium then transferring to a much nastier plane that would take us to our final equally nasty destination. But before we made our transfer, I told Jeff (this is where I fucked up) that there was no way I was going to Congo without buying a shitload of Jameson and smokes at the duty free. Instantly Jeff got the eye of the psycho and proclaimed, “that is the best idea I’ve heard all week!” So I’m purchasing my bottles of golden deliciousness and a stupid amount of cancer sticks when I see Jeff stocking up on bottles of Bacardi Limon (a telltale sign that drinking ain’t your thing).


Later that night we safely land in Kinshasa and arrive at our hotel that would give the Olympic hotel in Mog a good run for its money. Instantly Jeff comes to my room and declared it was time to drink! So, on our first night in Africa we sat in a dingy hotel and drank and drank and drank. By 2300hrs my other teammate and I were beat and Jeff was just a mess. So on that note we called it a night, Jeff left for his room and I got ready to rack out. Two hours later I was awakened by someone pounding on the door. In a half-asleep/half-drunk panic I rushed to the door ready to rock and roll only to find Jeff. Letting my guard down after a second I asked him if everything was ok, his reply was simply, “yeah dude lets go out and party.” Holding back my anger I told him to piss off and go to bed. But Jeff didn’t have bed in mind, no, Jeff had other things on his agenda…