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No matter the decade, no matter if it’s postwar or a period of sustained peace, Army surplus never loses its charm

February 13, 2013


There’s something to be said for good old-fashioned olive-green Army surplus merch. Canvas galore. My father had some of his old Vietnam gear locked away in an attic footlocker, and when I was a kid I’d occasionally pull it out and have a gander. The canteen — which looked a lot like the one in this ad (canteen technology didn’t advance much between WWII/Korea and ‘Nam) — was especially neat. Why? I don’t know. It was a canteen. But it was an Army canteen, one that slaked my father’s thirst in the jungle, and hence had secondhand sentimental value. If there is such a thing.

The Air Corps sustenance vest up there looks like a Rob Liefeld costume run amok — THE POCKETS ARE TAKING OVER. (Don’t let Mother Box see it. She’ll get ideas.) And if Batman saw you wearing that cartridge belt, he’d shake his head and say “You’re trying to hard, kid.”

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