I’ve decided to start taking walks during my lunch break because I’m getting fat and its pissing me off. Spending most of your day parked at a desk isn’t nearly as glamorous as it sounds guys. Thankfully I have some pretty cool surroundings to explore.
There is some really neat stuff all over the Pentagon. Before I started working there I was worried all the hallways would be the same off-white color making it impossible to distinguish one hallway from another ensuring one could get hopelessly lost with little effort unless they knew exactly where they were at any given moment.
I was pleasantly surprised to find out that was not the case at all. While all the hallways and floors can be a bit disorienting there are plenty of landmarks to help idiots like me who have no sense of direction. Of course everything has to do with the military but the place feels more like a museum than an office building in many respects.
When I come in off the metro I go past an entire wall of paintings. Some are terrible/stupid/jingoistic but others are really nicely well done. From there I head down a hallway dedicated to humanitarian missions which are quite dynamic. Turn another corner and head down an escalator and you get to a vestibule that’s dedicated to the Korean War. Following this hallway leads into a pit where my office is.
While this is all very impressive it is hardly the coolest stuff on display. If you’re a gun nut there is a plethora on display. In addition to rifles there are grenade launchers, RPGs, mortars and other implements of death. I’ve come across two gold-plated AK-47s that were pilfered from some Saddam loyalist, and I wouldn’t be surprised if there are more hidden somewhere.
While those things are worth a look this is the stuff I loiter around:
1. Eisenhower’s personal belongings.
2. A model of the mighty warship USS New York whose hull contains 7.5 tons of World Trade Center steel. I was also onboard this ship during her maiden deployment.
3. Paintings of previous secretaries of defense and joint chiefs of staff. The recent ones are nothing special but the old ones are pretty cool. Many have fantastic facial hair.
5. A big display full of Air Force aircraft. There are dozens of them all built to scale.
4. Frank Capra’s Oscar for “Prelude To War.”
Capra’s Oscar used to be my favorite thing to look at. I say used to because recently I discovered something even more incredible. A few weeks back I stumbled across a Mongolian Talisman wrapped in a prayer scarf. Seems innocuous enough but the placard next to it informs any lookie-loos that these items were cursed in 2003 to wreak havoc on Saddam Hussein. Isn’t that incredible? I don’t particularly buy into mysticism but I will point out this curse was put on the scarf the same year Saddam was dug out of his spider hole. Coincidence? I refuse to say with any certainty but I will say this…don’t fuck with Mongolians. I have never met any but I know they are a formidable people. Anyone who comes from a culture that hunts with eagles and loves to wrestle is not someone to trifle with. Also a whopping 8% of the population living around the former Mongol Empire can trace their lineage back to Genghis Khan (Genghis Khan).