Ain’t no use in callin home. Jody’s on your telephone. / Ain’t no use in lookin’ back. / Jody’s got you Cadillac. / Ain’t no use in goin’ home. / Jody’s got your girl and gone. / Ain’t no use in feelin’ blue. / Jody’s got your sister too.

Joe the Grinder. Joe de Grinder. Joe de. Jody.

You may have never met a person named Jody, but you’ve almost certainly met a “Jody” before. “Did you hear about the Chief? Jody came a-knockin’ while we were deployed, and now his wife is pregnant!”

Not Just a Song

Those “Dear John” letters we’ve all heard about owe their origin to Jody often. He’s that guy who offers your wife a shoulder to cry on while you’re away. He commiserates with her, understands she’s having a hard time, and is “Here to help in any way I can.” He may be a neighbor, that guy at the gym who takes too many selfies, or even the guy who just happens to always be walking his dog when your wife takes the kids to the park.

Jody is always there, on the fringe, waiting for you to leave so he can swoop in and take yo’ shit. He’s not in the military, probably because he’d “punch in the drill sergeant’s face in if he yelled at me like that!” The uniformed world couldn’t handle his skills, and he already knows how to kill with just one finger; he learned from YouTube. Every woman is simply dying to swoon at his feet. They just don’t know it yet.

You can believe Jody is lurking on Facebook, in spouses’ groups, on unit pages, waiting to learn when all the husbands are leaving. He sees you carrying A-bags to your car and even waves as you drive away. Hell, he may even offer to cut your grass while you’re gone. “Gotta support the troops!”

You probably don’t know him, though. Jody is an A-hole, but he’s not likely your buddy. He is an opportunist. That’s why he lurks on Facebook. He may have “kicked the drill sergeant’s ass” but doesn’t want to confront you. It’s a lot easier to worm his way into your girl’s life when he is there, and you’re not. You’re half a world away, figuring the calculus of time zones and daylight savings’ to figure out if your girl is even awake.

How the Turn Tables

Maybe YOU are the Jody. Did you hit on that girl in the bar last night, even though you saw her wedding ring? Did you see the “Proud Army Wife” bumper stickers in the parking lot? There aren’t any guys at the table, so these girls are there to have fun! It’s so easy to pick up girls when you’re the only viable male around. And they’re married! No commitment!

Jody is an A-hole, true, but it still takes two to tango. Is your girl glad you’re away so now she can have a good time? Whirlwind, get out of the dorms marriages foster a lot of Jody-bait. If you’ve only known each other for three weeks and you met in a bar, Jody is almost definitely swinging by when you leave. He was drinking with your girl before you got together, and he’ll do it again when you’re gone. Hell, she’s lonely, and this guy is paying attention to her, actually <gasp> listening!

Jodette?

Hypocrisy runs rampant in the world of Jody and infidelity. “What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas” is bullshit. Years ago, a crusty Tech Sergeant told me, “What happens on deployment does NOT stay on deployment.” If you get herpes while deployed, it’s definitely coming home with you. If you’re sleeping with someone from the home station while deployed, that sure as HELL is gonna make it back home, probably before you do. What are you going to do when your wife is waiting tearfully at the steps of the “Freedom Bird,” and you get to tell her your deployment girlfriend is pregnant? No worries, Jody is in the parking lot, waiting to pick up the pieces.

Wives and girlfriends messing around while you’re gone are in the backs of most men’s heads. The “lizard brain” understands the primal need to procreate and figures that if you’re not there to do, it someone else is. When it takes over the mind, though, it may be sliding the other way. Are you worried for valid reasons, or are you fooling around and worried she may be doing the same? The door swings both ways, and while Jody is the A-hole, maybe you are, too.

Families watch a U.S. Air Force HC-130J Combat King II taxi on the flight line at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Arizona, on May 24, 2021. Families and friends came to wish a farewell to Airmen from across the 355th Maintenance Group and 563rd Rescue Group as they deployed to an undisclosed location. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Jacob T. Stephens)

Many marriages last for life, and many wither and die before the first anniversary. Relationships come and go, but Jody will always be there. He is right around the corner, ready to help unload groceries before the wheels are up on the C-130, taking you to some hot, smelly shithole. Don’t worry, though; the girl in the web seat next to you smells nice and her husband is receding behind you, on the ground waving at the plane. You offer your hand. “Hi, I’m Jody.”

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