Cheryl Ruff -- total wimp

Cmdr Cheryl Ruff (Ret.) wrote a book called Ruff’s War: A Navy Nurse on the Frontline in Iraq. I have not read that book, but I saw her talk about it on CSPAN2 the other day. What a non-stop bitch-fest over the most trivial “hardships”:

  • Complaining about living in a tent.
  • Complaining about having to get a short haircut (“I hoped the war would last for months so my hair would grow out before I got home”)
  • Complaining about having to pee behind a bush, in a ditch, etc.
  • Complaining about sleeping on the ground in a sleeping bag
  • Complaining about the sand and the dust
  • Complaining about the lack of electricity
  • Complaining about the lack of showers
  • Complaining about flies in the outhouse
  • Complaining about the transport plane not arriving on time
  • Complaining about MRE’s
  • Complaining about not getting mail on time

Honestly, you’d think the bitch had never been on a camping trip. What a fucking wimp!

Hey, I don’t need her to tell me what war is. Hell, I’ve known about it for decades.

Look, man, when you’ve seen your buddy, lying in a ditch, his complexion shot to hell because he can’t get a cleanser that works for his skin type, it changes you.

Were all those complaints the essence of her book? Or were those the things that got drawn out from a publicity-naive new author by an interviewer asking questions to draw out pap in front of an audience for a “soft” news show?

She wasn’t being interviewed, she was narrating a slide show. Slide after slide of "These are the god-awful tents we lived in… This was our disgusting potty area… This is my hair after not showering for 3 days… etc.

My husband (who was a nurse in the Army) had to go on a JRTC operation to Louisiana. He came back with a lot of stories, including being able to find the mess tent by the vultures circling it. His biggest complaint? Three female Army Officers who insisted on washing their hair daily in the surgical scrub sink. Since he was enlisted there wasn’t a thing he could do about it, other than pray they never needed to use it for its intended purpose.

Maybe she was thinking like Goldie Hawn in “Private Benjamin”:

Reminds me of an interview with soldier who fled to Canada because he didn’t want to go to Iraq (at least that’s how they presented it in the intro). He had joined one of the Army’s special forces units and started having second thoughts in bootcamp when they were do a chant about being trained killers. Uh, hello? WTF do you think special forces guys do? I can see if he signed up to be a medic and instead wound up being in artillery or something, but if you sign up to be in the special forces and somehow think you’re not going to be killing people, well, you’re the textbook definition of an idiot.


In Commander Ruff’s defense, she’s probably used to working either shipboard or in shore hospitals, where the conditions are a lot cushier. When I was in the Navy, I heard similar complaints from corpsmen who had been assigned to Marine units during Desert Storm. It’s not that they were pussies, exactly, it’s that they were just used to better working and living conditions, so they were experiencing culture shock.


Lackland AFB is peppered with anonymous comment boxes from end to end. Your husband could’ve and should’ve used one of these comment boxes (I’m told the Army is just as obsessive about them), and if that didn’t work he could’ve and should’ve reported them to the IG. Prayer is great for relieving boredom but isn’t the recommended cure for infections.

I’m not sure if this is a whoosh, or if you’re an idiot. Have you ever been camping in a war zone in the desert for eight months? I don’t believe you could go eight months in the woods behind your mom’s house.

I’m pretty sure you’ve been whooshed.

Seems to me like Can Handle the Truth is upset over the fact that Cmdr Ruff was griping and moaning over how hard she had it in Iraq, when in fact, she had access to amenities that aren’t available to your average everyday weekend camper.

In other words, CHtT is upset over the exact same thing you are. Ruff has no right to piss and moan, because there are people over there who have it a hell of a lot worse. And it looks like she’s makin a few bucks offa the gripefest.

I don’t think the OP is as much of a whoosh as it is a statement that there are some service people in Iraq who are having it much worse:
(This links to the story about the recently-discovered bodies of 2 U.S. servicemen who were tortured, murdered and then mutilated).

Also, I wouldn’t want anyone to think that my previous “Private Benjamin” comment was “anti-veteran”. Let’s not forget Cheryl Ruff did join and did serve in Iraq (which is more than some of us here can state).

One reason I hated the series MASH. Good old Hawkeye was keen on how cold his tent was, and how long his workday was, never a consideration to how cold it was without a tent or how long the workweek of a combat soldier could be. Shit he had his own still. I realize Mash was TV, but I think it contributes to, many not realizing that war is a brutally ugly business. I was against the Iraq war today, as I was before the start. Many just do not realize that it is bloody ugly and dirty. The guy who got killed this afternoon is not going to reappear in a sitcom next season. I believe that war should be shown in all of it’s true horror to make people think twice before going that route.

Perhaps off topic, but makes my point is an episode of DR. Who in which a sterile war is fought, computers determining the likely outcome of simulated attacks. There are “Vaporizorers” that the affected people walk into and are vaporized. Nice clean sterile. The war goes on for ever because no city is destroyed, just people missing. The Dr. ends the war in part by destroying the vaporizers, forcing the people into “real war”, where the hideousness of the stupidity must be faced by both sides.

I hope that made some sense.

Wasn’t that Star Trek?

A soldier/sailor griping about conditions at the front? *That’s * never happened before!

However, those gripes tend to gloss over the poor quality of haircuts, to focus a bit more on things like bullets and bombs.

I don’t know about that, I would bet top of the gripe list has been the grub, for several thousand years at least.

I think you’re missing the point of MASH - though it did kind of get lost by the end of the run. Hawkeye did understand the horror of war - if you recall, he spent a lot of time up to his elbows in the guts of soldiers who got blown up in the war. The still and the jokes and the sex and the complaints were the coping mechanism. That’s why Altman’s movie was considered an anti-war movie - more so than the book it was based on.

Gretynges to my ladye wyf–

The foode hyre ys no thynge to thy cookynge, whyche bryngethe to my mouthe swete lichors and savoury herbes. Cannst thou send thy receipt for the makynge of perys in composte? Theyre be composte hyre in quantitie, butt not the sorte for perys, I thynke.

Ich no not whyn thys warre will find an ende. Yt feels asse yf yt sholde continue for C yeren or more.

An shud my prayeres be answyred, the Lorde Gotte wil yrayne kiysses on thy hede in my stead. Ich wolde lief yt be thy husbande, but flyinge ys the dominione of byrdes and not manne. Do yiue my love to the ower sonnes and dauteres.

Thyne husbande,

(So many apologies to Mr. Chaucer. So very many. And to anybody with more skill who ys ygyuen a headache by this.)