Archive for Friday, 9 December, 2011

Interview with a Vampire Combat Vet

Posted: Friday, 9 December, 2011 by deacongray in Community Articles
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Interview with a Vampire Vet

by Deacon Gray

-Mountain Home Air Force Base, Idaho

Before  T. Senior Master Sergeant ,leaves for the day he changes out of the groomed camouflage suit that is the everyday uniform of Air Force and into ”civvies” — in T.’s case, black jeans and a blood red T-shirt. It is normal for a Airmen to change clothes before leaving the base; by shedding his “cammies,” T. leaves behind the obligation to salute other Airmen in uniform. But for T., the change is also symbolic: as a Airmen who isVampiric, he looks forward to the end of each workday as a reprieve from hiding part of himself from everyone around him.

These days most of his time is spent sitting at a desk doing more administrative work then anything else, but this wasn’t always the case. Before settling in at Mountain Home, T. was part of an Air Force’s elite security forces squadron. “Four, six month tours, three in Iraq and one in Afghanistan.”

Unless you saw him at some gathering in New Orleans, or new York you probably would never see his darker side. “That’s the way it has to be. I am a professional, and you have to learn to balance your day side and your night side, without destroying either one. It is just part of having a professional career. For the most part the Military doesn’t care If you are different, as long as you do your job and don’t make a fuss.”

Balancing the different aspects of who and what he is, “I am a sanguine vampire, couldn’t you tell by my teeth and pale skin?” can be very difficult for all of us, but what happens when you take that aspect, that darker side outside of the dayside office and into a 24/7 combat environment?

I won’t say it was easy for me, also a combat vet, to even find very many vamps who have shared this experience. Most of the vamps and otherkin I have met that have served in combat zones really didn’t want to talk about it. “The day side is the day side my friend, not very many people are like you, hell you are nearly OUT.” But, in the resent search I found one who was willing to sit down over coffee and discuss the issues he faced overseas as a sanguine vampire.

For the interview we will call him simple “T” as he doesn’t want his day or night side name used. “Some people can mix those aspects of their life, I would prefer not to. People in my nightside life don’t need to know what I do for a living. I honestly think they would hold it against me.”

DG: Do you feel that the Vampire Community wouldn’t accept that you are military?

T: It isn’t that I think they would sneer, well not all of them, but I do think that people sometimes get vindictive on the internet and if they could get back at me by embarrassing me, they just might. I have watched others on line, you among them who says proudly that they are in the military only to have someone who is pissed off at you speak badly about your service or doubt your service completely. I personally won’t deal with that kind of thing very well. I personally would end up saying or doing something that might impact me on the dayside. You cannot trust the internet.

Me: I can understand that. So lets change topics, tell me about what it was like as a sanguine vampire in a combat zone for six months?

T: I was thrilled to get the chance, the first time, to go over there. I wanted to do something good, something that would matter in my life. Until you are really in the position to make a real difference in something, you really can’t know what that is like. When I took my patrol out on the roads looking for IED’s we often found them and got them dis-armed.

We stopped someone from getting killed. It is really that simple, if we had not been there doing the job someone would have died as a respect of that bomb. For a while the pace and adrenaline kept my head swimming and focused. I didn’t think much about my Sanguine needs, I just went day to day, but stuff happens and pretty soon people around me started noticing that I wasn’t as sharp as I should be. Oh sure we had energy drinks, and I got plenty of sleep and exercise, but I was dragging ass.

I think it was at the four month mark that I started to really get the feel of what I was missing. There really just isn’t any way around it and for me nothing I used as a substitute really worked. It would be a lie to say that acted my best, or did the right thing 100% of the time. I didn’t.

Thinking about the mission was always at the fore front of my mind, but thinking about blood started creeping up a lot more. I decided I had to do something so I took a Army Combat Lifesaver course, it gave me the chance to do administer IV’s and while not really ethical I did get a taste or two. It helped and people noticed.”

Me: That sounds…well gross. I mean I know the military has high standards when it comes to STD’s but still. Didn’t you worry about getting caught or sick?”

T: Of course I did. You never realize just how isolated you are from everyone as you do when you are in combat forced to live in tight quarters without a means to be yourself. You never forget what will happen if you present who you really are to others.

I was keenly aware that if I got caught, the psych docs would have me under observation for months, and the notes would be in my file for years. Hell I could have gotten a full psych retirement, but that’s not really what I was after. I just wanted to feel like myself again. I wanted my edge back, feeling like a knife whose blade has been blunted by the pressure of service isn’t a good feeling. Being in charge of troops made it harder yet.

Me: You said you served four of these six month tours, that’s two years of dealing with the same issue. You must have devised some plan, some method for coping with it.

T: I did at some point in the second tour. Our unit had a service member come in as a logistics officer. She was a great lady with bright eyes and a tempting little smile. I don’t know what it was but I knew her right away, and she picked up on me pretty quick too. Some people call it the Beacon, but I think that’s bull. I think your eye just finds the familiar, and we were familiar to each other. It helped that she work a bladed Ankh ring.

As it turns out she wasn’t one of us at all, but she was well versed in our community. It took a little time but eventually she came to me offering to be a donor. She was with the unit for the following tours but her rank eventually got in the way. It’s a long story ending in marriage and bloodshed, in a good way.

Me: that can’t be the answer for everyone though. Do you have any advice for other soldiers?

T: You know that is hard to speak about even anonymously. I think I would say really lean to conserve yourself. Energy feeding might not be an option for everyone, but energy conservation is. We can learn not to burn up so much of ourselves. I think anything more than that and people would have to ask me one on one.

Me: Finally, would you suggest a military career for someone who is a Sanguine vampire?

T: You know I would. I would just be sure to tell them to really be certain of which field you get into. In the medical field a lot of these issues are non-starters. You can get blood just by asking your buddies to let you practice your blood draw skills. It isn’t as easy for say a truck driver or cook. No matter what you have to be careful. Even the pagan groups don’t support vamps, and no liberal group is going to come out screaming for vampire equal rights. You simply won’t see the ACLU taking up your case.

You have to be aware of your career, aware that bad things can happen to you professionally, and then consider if that risk is something reasonable when you are in a combat environment. Do you really need another thing to worry about?

In our community the vamps inside it don’t really support you if you are vet. The moment you are gone, you are forgotten, when you get back they think everything will be the same. Facebook hellos just don’t mean as much when you are isolated.

Me: Well thank you for talking to me today, I would love to ask you more, but I think I have already made this longer than most people would like. I do have one more question for you if you don’t mind me asking. Do you feel a special kinship with the Gay and Lesbian’s in the military?

T:  You know what, there are assholes of every sexuality, and there are good people in every sexuality. The thing is this, gays can come out of the closet now, and I am so excited to hear about that for them, to see that they can stop hiding if they want too. I can’t help but to also know that in my regard that simply isn’t going to happen.


We must have talked for more than two hours after the interview and chiefly what I got from him was this. There are certain struggles only combat vets will ever face to face, but that is a choice they made when they signed up. We each have to do what we need to, but we cannot forget the bigger picture and the impact our choices make on those around us. You cannot decide to become a vampire, but you can decide to really research where your choices can lead you, and what can happen as a result of your vampire side.



-note: Thank you to T. for agreeing to let me write this piece. I know there are a lot of issues you are dealing with, and I hope the 3 hours were a reprieve not an aggravating factor.