Dec. 31, 2008. Tonight was New Year's Eve, or so they told me. It was 9 pm and I was exhausted from a full day of touch up training.

Paratroopers 890 Heavy Weapons and Recon is legendary for being slightly rogue. Back in the day, the colonel had issued an unpopular order. And my military ancestors felt the appropriate response would be to lead an assault against the colonel himself complete with smoke grenades. That didn't go over very well. A lot of people went to army jail for that one, and we have been in disfavor with the colonel ever since.

Tonight they made the mistake of placing well over 100 paratroopers, all from rival companies, all in the same small hangar. First it started with a singing match, each company trying to shout their respective songs louder than the other. But after a while it went a little too far, and suddenly fruit, vegetables, and toilet paper started to fly across the room. I put my earphones in and pulled my sleeping bag over my head. At 24, I considered myself "too old" for the antics of 19 year olds. Besides, I never really understood the rivalry.

No parties. No alcohol. Just an oxymoronic "friendly brawl" in a hangar. Happy Non-Jewish New Year everybody.