Title text: They offered to make me a green beret, but I liked my regular one. Although it gets kind of squashed under my helmet.
Today's comic seems to be a parable about the perils of love during wartime. Our protagonist is seen here leaning against his pack behind a low wall, surely a good hiding spot for any gentleman with a rifle and scope. Judging by the letter he's in the midst of writing, he has a complex relationship with Cordelia. On the one hand, she's attractive. On the other hand, she's a hostile combatant, as evidenced by the shots fired mid-missive. Cordelia's fire works against her, though, as her volley of shots has revealed her own position atop the maintenance shed. We can presume that in a matter of minutes, this love affair will go sour as the love letter is wrapped around a live grenade and "delivered," so to speak. War is indeed hell. It is possibly that they're playing a game such as paintball though, in which case the green beret would mask friendly fire of the same color.
As to the title text, the green berets are worn only by Special Forces soldiers. It takes a lot of training to become a green beret, and as evidenced by our protagonist's clever use of decoys to outwit a sniper, he may be qualified for the honor. It sounds, however, as if he didn't understand the proposition, preferring his regular beret instead. Further evidence for his idiocy is given immediately thereafter, as he confesses that he wears a beret under his helmet -- thus revealing our protagonist's true identity (and explaining how he fell in love with an enemy soldier actively trying to kill him): Beret Guy. Then again, he does not have a choice, since he has stapled the beret on his head.
The comic starts off with the commonly known stereotype of a soldier in war writing a letter to his sweetheart (Cordelia), presumably at home. After the gunshots interrupt his writing, we come to know that Cordelia is actually fighting on the opposite side - it is left open whether they are in an actual relationship or the soldier just writes love letters to his enemies. He explains to her that he can now locate her after she shot a decoy set up by him, closing with the phrase "War is hell", often used in the stereotypical situation described above and now having a much darker tint. The title text gives the reader some kind of closure - the soldier is revealed to be Beret Guy, from whom this kind of behavior doesn't seem so weird after all.
- [A soldier is on the ground behind a low wall, writing a letter.]
- My Dearest Cordelia,
- it has been far too long since I last gazed
- upon your lithe and supple body through my
- telescopic sights, and I fear you may have
- found a superior vantage poin—
- BLAM! BLAM! BLAM!
- —a splendid effort, my love, but your shots
- find only a decoy, and reveal your position atop
- the maintenance shed.
- I pray this missive and my grenades find you well.
- War is hell.
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