Santa’s Potato

Silhouette of a soldier against the sun.

Finding Miracles in Chaos

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Today, it’s an article to remind us that combat veterans have long been finding ways to do what needs to be done, even if what needs to be done is simply to remember and celebrate a calmer life, miles away. From Task & Purpose,  “Five Things I Actually Miss About Being Deployed on Christmas.”

The article’s author, Mike Denny, is a Blackhawk pilot in the National Guard, as well as a “red team” analyst, i.e., someone who thinks through alternative planning for security emergencies. He’s the guy you always want at least three steps ahead of you—and in this case, more figuratively than literally.

But it sounds as if he’s also the guy who, like many combat veterans, is also on the lookout for other alternatives: ways to make good surprises happen, even if they might be black-humored (ammunition ornaments?) or cheesy (Mr. Potato Head Santas on “tree” tops?).

Come to think of it, though: why not Mr. Potato Head Santas? Can’t you hear Don Rickles from Toy Story now? “Get me the red hat, Mother, not the green one! The red one! And no, I don’t need the angry eyes!”

It’s been over a hundred years since Allied and German soldiers played soccer on a battlefield during Christmas. Sadly, War does not usually allow for such legends, true as they might one time have been, to become commonplace. But when one still remembers that one has what it takes, there’s always room for improv.

And never forget: one doesn’t have to be deployed both to remember and to improvise, even back home, even today.

‘Tis Christmas Eve, friends. Grab a potato for me, and let’s live.

Until tomorrow, be well,


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