Always awesome to connect with another veteran, Christopher. Especially one that served in Ramadi (I’m sure you know the hell and insanity that it was. I was there from Sept. 2006-Nov. 2007). As you aptly point out, I think half of the civilian populace and many of today’s “masculine” gym bros would be horrified by the way we laugh and carry on in the military with things they would consider homoerotic.
Outside of the military, I’ve been lucky enough to have men in my life who are deeply masculine and honest with their emotions. That’s been a breath of fresh air, albeit they’re hard to find sometimes. Thanks for sharing your thoughts and the kind words.