20″ x 20″ • Mixed Media
It was a great honor to use my artistic talents to represent Bobby Cash and his three tours of duty. I started the creative process by watching the recorded interview and then reading through the creative writing portion, taking notes of interest. I began building texture as I listened to the interview and then started putting paint to canvas adding dates and places in script, all now are mostly hidden. Painting more intuitively, I followed an inner prompting to ask Bobby for photos from his tours. I didn’t know if I would end up using the photos, but I had to follow the creative leading. I took the photos and blew them up and repeated elements to create interest and pattern.
Listening to Bobby’s words about his family life and his time of service, it struck me that filtering through the surface of what was said, there was something deeper that was not being said. My piece “Step by Step” incorporates what was said and that deeper emotion that lies below the surface. I hope you enjoy the journey with me.
Facebook: Dawn Faber Artist
by Vivian I. Bikulege
Bobby Cash grew up in the US Army, specifically in the Military Police Corps, believing his enlistment to be a “good first step” at age seventeen for a life of structure and service. Cash believes people should “marinate” in life prompting this whimsical summary of his military experience as a recipe.
In Bobby’s mind, the whole purpose of the military is to “leave better than you came in….” His experience includes three tours in Iraq working on FOB’s – forward operating bases – used as outposts for combat and tactical operations during Operation Iraqi Freedom. After ten years of service, Bobby left active duty but was called up after 9/11. He then served two tours in Afghanistan.
All of this was hard on Bobby’s personal life enduring a painful divorce after twenty years of marriage. When stateside, he witnessed the darker side of human behavior on military bases — families experiencing domestic and child abuse, sexual misconduct, and unfit living conditions. The “magic of the uniform” does not make a soldier immune to everyday life.
Today, Bobby works in the Veterans Administration preaching the “VA gospel.” As an outreach specialist, he helps veterans access benefits by instructing them on what is available and filling out forms to assist in navigating civilian life.
Bobby Cash is proud to have served. His love of history became real in Babylon where he saw the Tigress and Euphrates Rivers meet. He walked the grounds of the House of Abraham and a fort built by Kublai Khan. He has knowledge of the use of the military as a training ground for gangs and organized crime syndicates.
Cash is his own marinade, slow-cooked and aged, flavored with perspective and pragmatism. Jump to the recipe for the tenderizing flavors of a teenager becoming a man.
Bobby Cash’s MP Marinade for US Slow Cookers
Great for all sorts of backgrounds, genders and special occasions, Bobby Cash’s MP Marinade is a tried-and-true turn-of-the-century recipe and one of the United States Army’s newest. Formally taste-tested in September 1941, this recipe has its beginnings all the way back to 1776 in America’s independent kitchens. Different from traditional marinades meant to tenderize, Cash’s marinade toughens youthful cuts and gives a zesty tang to aged meat.
Prep Time: A minimum of 2 years
Total Time: Can be stored in the US Army until it reaches age 62. Increasing soak time is a technique
for successful preservation.
Servings/Yield: 485,000 cuts of meat in the regular Army as of 2022
• 1 whole 17-year-old male primed for service, structure, and a direction in life. Best sourced from Macon, Georgia
• 1 tablespoon National Guard enlistment (via the Georgia Military College in Milledgeville, Georgia if available)
• 1 teaspoon of all-spice family military service – Korean War for this version
• 20 cups of marriage will provide a substantial base for this but may sour with adulterous stirring
• 1/4 cup of self-realization — equates to a measure of understanding the difference between right and wrong
• 1/2 teaspoon of healthy, fresh-picked cynicism
• 1/8 teaspoon of shenanigans if you can get away with it
• A pinch of interest in history and law
• Pragmatic and analytical thought to taste
Step 1: Combine all the ingredients. Let the 17-year-old soak in seasoning for 2-6 years but not longer than 10. They may believe 6 years is sufficient but remember that extended involuntary techniques like 9/11 can be implemented leading to a 22-year soak. This will create a mature and seasoned veteran with a hint of valuable perspective. Will be just right for a State Department soiree or a Veterans Affairs engagement.
Step 2: For this recipe, choose the Military Police Corps variation for flavors influenced by Middle Eastern cultures and tastes like those found in Iraq or Afghanistan. These will provide aromatic notes of Bagdad and Kabul. This dish works in the field or as a garrison although the field variety is preferred for the freedom to move away from a flagpole venue or in this case, mess halls.
Caution: If anyone named Joe enters your kitchen, (recently promoted to Commander-in-Chef), do not let him screw up the Afghan intel roux that has been in the test kitchen for twenty years. (Post note: Too late. Warning has expired. Disregard and redeploy to stateside alternatives for immigration variations.)
Endnotes: A good MP marinade will pull the meat right off the bone. As the meat matures, it will compliment younger cuts like privates, corporals, and sergeants. Cash is an excellent choice for slow cooker recipes that can simmer over time creating a genuine and caring aroma best described as classic.
This marinade, like life itself, can be hard to master for the average cook. However, it was established in a traditional middle-class American kitchen. Be open to variations – European, Asian, even Scandinavian versions may be more appropriate for special occasions like NATO, a mix of polite military lifestyles.
Surprisingly, this recipe has been used for get-togethers with Crips, Hells Angels, the Armenian mafia, and other celebratory occasions led by organized crime syndicates. More detail and additional recipes for unique veteran events are posted on the Bullets and Bandaids website.
Enjoy and bon appetit!