VD Is Not Victory

Used to be that “VD” used to mean “Victory Day” — i.e. the day the war ended — but that doesn’t seem to be the case anymore, does it?

According to a report released earlier this year by the Armed Forces Health Surveillance Branch, incidence rates of chlamydia in service men and women more than doubled from 2013 to 2018, gonorrhea infection rates also doubled for men and rose by 33 percent for women, and diagnoses of syphilis were nearly three times the number just 10 years ago.

Of course, the brass is always ready with a “DUH!” statement:

In a press release Wednesday, Defense Department officials said the increases can mean negative consequences for military readiness.

Ya think?

Then again, maybe the higher incidence of disease in our modern Armed Forces is, as the article puts it, just a parallel of the population as a whole.

Of course, the pox (of whatever flavor) is a perennial problem for any  of the armed forces, whether invading armies, fighter jocks [sic]  or dockside navies, as whores have always known that randy young soldiers of whatever branch are a prime target, so to speak, for their eager little cashboxes.   And everyone, especially the military brass, knows it.

I recall reading somewhere that the British army sent to Spain and Portugal to oppose Napoleon’s Grand Army suffered infection rates of around 35%, but maybe that’s a feature of Spanish- and Portuguese totties, not to mention the ineffectual / non-existing prophylactics of the time.

And even the Edwardian-era U.S. Expeditionary Force sent to France in WWI became a walking pox factory, despite the Puritanic nature of American society at the time.  As the song put it, How Ya Gonna Keep ’em Down on the Farm (After They’ve Seen Paree)?”  (Translation:  now that they’ve experienced the French flavor of booze and debauchery, they’re not going to listen to us when we tell them to be sober and chaste back home.”)

My favorite line, though, is that of the late Spike Milligan who, in recounting his artillery unit’s preparations for the invasion of North Africa in 1942, pointed out that each soldier was issued a single condom prior to landing.  Milligan’s comment:  “One? One?  They must have been expecting a short war.”

‘Twas ever thus.  The distinctly modern take on the increased poxiness of our modern Armed Forces is that it seems to be about the same for both male and female soldiers — which equality no doubt pleases Teh Feministicals greatly, but which I for one find ineffably sad.

11 comments

  1. Reminds me of a story my Dad told. On returning from the Big War on the Queen Elizabeth, as they passed the Statue of Liberty there wasn’t a dry eye on the ship. Then the mood turned as someone got the bright idea to blow up a condom and release it, shooting into the air in celebration. Soon everyone on the crowded decks sent forth whizzing condoms ! GI’s, gotta love them ….

  2. I think a lot of it is the idea that most STDs are “No big deal”.

    As Eddie Murphy put it in one of his routines (paraphrased from memory, but the gist is there): There’s syphilis, you get a shot of penicillin and you’re cured. No big deal. Then there was herpes, you keep that sh*t forever, it’s like luggage. Now there’s AIDS, that kills motherf*ckers.

    With available drugs even AIDS is often seen as no big deal, and since I’m both old enough to recall AND lived in NYC at the time, I recall AIDS even made the NYC gay population rethink their activities in the 1980s and 1990s.

    Mark D

  3. We’ll soon be back to the idea that young people of good families will be proven virgins before those good families allow them to marry.

    Whole lot of old and currently unused, but useful, concepts in that.

    It’s starting to seem that our victory over infection via antibiotics was merely one won battle in a long war without end.

    1. “We’ll soon be back to the idea that young people of good families will be proven virgins before those good families allow them to marry.”

      There’s a term for that… what was it? …Oh, yeah: MUSLIMS.

      1. If Muslims are the only ones allowed to have spirituality and values not originating in the Left, then it will be Islam. This will be a surprise to countless Leftists who think that Islam is merely an older version of Christianity that will quickly capitulate to their superior intellect.

  4. My mom told me that in her home village of Vinsebeck, Germany in the 1920s virginity of bride and groom was important, very important. The catholic church and its moral rules still ruled with an iron fist.

    The local priest would refuse to marry known non-virgins and unwed mothers were simply barred from the church and society.

    And of course there was a lot of fraud, concealment and false accusations.

    If the ongoing failures of antibiotics grows worse, those days will come back.

    Syphilis or gonorrhea in the family were considered a complete catastrophe. I always understood that the rational basis for those old moral rules was that those formerly and soon to be again incurable diseases were truly a catastrophe, for the infected spouse, for the later infected new spouse, for their children and truly, the entire family. 40% of babies born to syphilitic mothers die of syphilis. Gonorrhea not quite as bad, but still very bad, possibly resulting in a blind baby.

  5. Given that the US Military is co-ed, with men and women packed in barracks together in high-stress situations, and that under no circumstances is General Order #1 allowed to be enforced, much less the UCMJ for Fraternization, I’m shocked that the rates of disease aren’t any higher. They had bowls of condoms at the medic station in FOB Salerno, for crying out loud.

    Don’t get me started on Korea. One girl in my company caught the clap and brought down NINE members of her platoon, including the Platoon Sergeant.

    Separate men and woman again, and you’ll drive down the rate of infection. You won’t stop it, and you can’t prevent it, but at least you can mitigate it a bit.

    1. To paraphrase LTC Tom Kratman, “non-fraternization policies always fail by about 6 inches.”

  6. RE: One condom/soldier in North Africa, 1942.
    Wasn’t that to be placed over the muzzle of your weapon when assaulting the beach?

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