Scott: Making Up Love
Steven Zeeland’s Barrack Buddies and Soldier Lovers is a raw, unsanitized personal record of conversations he had with young soldiers and airmen stationed in Germany shortly before the outbreak of the Gulf War. These interviews document the far-ranging and pervasive gay networks with the U.S. Army and Air Force. While a few of Zeeland’s buddies were targeted for discharge, most portray an atmosphere of sexually tense tolerance — and reveal a surprising degree of interaction with straight servicemen. Some of these soldiers even found that, ironically, the U.S. military actually helped them become gay. It did this by taking them away from hometown constraints, stationing them overseas in cities where they found greater opportunity to explore their sexuality, and thrusting them into the sexually charged atmosphere of all-male barracks life. Scott, Doc and John were part of this network.
Scott: When Doc and I went home from the bar Friday evening, we went back to my barracks room. That was a trip. Because my roommates . . . It’s sunny out, it’s starting to become morning, and here we are. He’s laying down on my bed and I say, I’ll lay on the floor, because they can’t wake up and see me cuddling you on the bed! They know, but they’d freak out. I’ve been talking to ‘em for the past couple days. Not saying anything right out, but they know. We’re over there and I’m laying on the floor, and I just want to touch him. So I put my hand up, and I touch his arm, and now he’s doin’ the same to me. And the next thing I know he’s leaning way the fuck over the bed with his feet up on the bed, and he’s giving me a blowjob, and I’m giving him a blowjob. With my roommates right there, and we’re making all sorts of noises. I’m like, holy shit, what are we doing? I can’t believe we’re doing this. We got off, right there. And the next day? My roommates left, they said, “Oh, well be back in about two hours, we’re going down to [another Army post].” And Doc and I were so nervous we couldn’t even fool around. But while they’re there we’re gettin’ off.
I’ll tell you what, that was something to remember. But the next night, I had gotten a key to another room, and that was the nice night. I put the blankets on the bed and said, “I’ll be back in just a couple minutes, I’ve got to go get something.” I came back and he had the bed all made nice and pretty. I got undressed and jumped into bed, and I smiled, you know, and that was it. From there we went. And once we were done, we fell asleep.
I woke up in the morning about an hour before him, and I just sat up in bed, and I’m looking and thinking, my God, I don’t believe this. I’m laying all over him, I got my arm across him, my leg across him, my 181-pound body just crushing his little ass. And I was so happy.
Then he woke up, and we were like, “Oh well, time to go.” So we went and had a cup of coffee. We did some more talking. Nothing about anything great. Not once did I tell him, “Oh, I love you, I wanna keep you forever.” Which I found myself wanting to say.
Zeeland: He didn’t say anything like that either, though?
Scott: No. Most definitely not. He did a lot of talking about women. He was saying that he was kind of confused. And I was asking him, ” Did I fuck you up any worse?” And he was like, “I don’t know right now. I don’t think you did, but you might have.” I wanted to tell him, “You go gay, you just call me.”
Zeeland: Is there sometimes a lot of sexual tension in your barracks? Undercurrents?
Scott: Homosexual? Or just regular? Because in the barracks everything is sex. You can’t walk into a room for five minutes and not end up talking about beating off, fucking, or something. . . .
Cat-Daddy [a straight buddy of Scott's] is forever touching himself and playing with himself while we’re sitting there but no big deal. We had this good friend of ours named Timothy. Everybody was in love with him for some reason. All the gay guys. He wasn’t gay. He would come into our room, and he’d bring his little camouflage blanket, and he’d pull his pants down around his ankles. You could see him right underneath of the blanket. I’ve got pictures of him, I think. I got pictures of him on top of Cat-Daddy, acting like he’s fucking. They were such good friends. Anyway, he would beat off while watching TV, right there with us. And we’d talk to him while he was doing it. I’d be staring in amazement. I’d say, “How can you be doing that?” He’d just be watching AFN [Armed Forces Network]. It’s not like he was beating off to a fucking good scene or something. He’d just play with himself. He just liked to touch himself, I guess.
Cat-Daddy came in one night and he was so drunk. He was sloshed. I’m sitting on my bed and watching TV with this guy Bowman who is also hung like a horse and I’ll tell you a story about him in a minute. He’s the guy whose room I used in Echo Company this weekend. And he busted me out. I’ll tell you about that, too. All right. So Cat-Daddy comes in, he’s all drunk, and he’s trying to be my friend. He’s pullin’ on me, and playing with me. And all of a sudden . . . he’s in his underwear . . . and he’s trying to touch my dick, and he’s playing with my ass, and he’s getting rough, and pulling off his underwear and trying to make me touch him!
Zeeland: Was he erect?
Scott: I don’t remember. I wasn’t interested in looking. Because I love him so much like a brother. And there was this guy who was stoned, had been smoking hash, who was right there. He didn’t wake up. We’re wrestling on top of him, I’m trying to get Cat-Daddy off of me, and this guy just slept right through it. I mean, we were on top of him, fighting. I’m telling Cat-Daddy, “I’m gonna punch you, I’m gonna knock you out!” I guess Cat-Daddy wanted to fool around or something. He was getting pretty vulgar. And Bowman, after that . . . we’re both sitting on the bed, and we’re talking. And he’s saying, “Yeah, I’m lonely,” and this and that. And I’m looking at him. I had seen him in the shower once with a hard-on, and I was like, oh, yeah, hell, I’d fool around. I didn’t say anything to him, but I was thinking it. And then Bowman said, “I’m horny. But not for you.” And I was like, “Whew! What are you trying to tell me?” That’s what I said to him, trying to cover up. He busted me out right there, made me turn beet red.
And this weekend I asked him, “I’m going to be bring a girl over. Can I borrow your room?” And he said, “Sure.” He gives me the key, and next thing I know he comes up to me and says, “I thought you were bringing a girl over. I heard you had a guy over.” And I was like, “Didn’t turn out with the girl. You know how things are.” [Laughs.] So this is how I let people know that I am. People that I know will be cool. Just with little things like that. And he was good. He comes back to my room later on and says, “Would you like the key again? Is he going to be coming over again?”
Everybody knows. I’m pretty certain everybody knows. My roommates know. I tell them indirectly, just like I did with Bowman. I say the same kinds of things to them. And once I got fucked up from Doc this weekend? I’m telling ‘em, “Guys, you can’t believe how screwed up my head is right now. I wish I could talk to you.” And Amos — he’s the Indian — says, “You know, Scott, you can talk to us about anything you want. We’re your buddies. What’s it about?” And I said, “I can’t tell you.” Then I said, “Love.” And he goes, “You can talk to us. We’re open-minded.” And I thought, oh shit. They know!