If we were to suddenly find ourselves in the middle of an honest-to-God firefight, the only sick burns we'd be composing would be the ones in our underpants. But as we've shown you before, real-life soldiers caught in the quagmire of war seemingly have no problem coming up with badass one-liners that would make an '80s action movie screenwriter drop to his knees in awe. For example ...
6"Come on, you sons of bitches, do you want to live forever?!"
At five feet, six inches tall and 132 pounds, Sergeant Major Dan Daly was like a real-life Steve Rogers, if Steve Rogers had pooh-poohed the super soldier project because his balls pumped out all the super soldier serum he could possibly need. A former Commandant in the Marine Corps once called him "the most outstanding Marine of all time," and he's one of only two Marines to ever earn the Medal of Honor twice for separate actions -- the other of whom, Major General Smedley Butler, called him "the fightin'est Marine I ever knew."
His first Medal of Honor came during the Boxer Rebellion in 1900, when he singlehandedly defended a bastion wall swarming with Chinese snipers using only a bayoneted rifle. His second came 15 years later in Haiti, when he retrieved a lost machine gun (which weighed more than he did) from the bottom of a river and proceeded to use it to rain hellfire on the 400 Haitian insurgents who'd ambushed his patrol. That's right: At an age at which most people start to seriously think about switching to wheat bread, Dan Daly was renewing the nation's highest award for extraordinary heroism as if that sucker expires.
Underwood & Underwood
"I needed a new medal anyway. The ribbon on the old one kept breaking off during sex."
This brings us up to Daly's role in World War I and the Battle of Belleau Wood, where the then-First Sergeant risked his life to extinguish an ammo dump that had been struck by enemy fire. Two days later, with his unit pinned down and outgunned by the Germans, Daly walked up and down the line, cheering on each of his machine gun positions and straight-up daring any German bullets to hit him. When he judged it time to launch a counterattack, Daly leapt toward the enemy and shouted, "Come on, you sons of bitches, do you want to live forever?!"
Surprisingly, his men didn't answer back, "Yeah, that actually sounds great!"
Department of Defense
"I didn't even know that was an option!"
The taunt rallied his fellow soldiers, and Daly led an attack during which he (true to form) singlehandedly eliminated a German machine gun section with a .45 and some grenades. He was recommended for a third Medal of Honor, but someone up the chain downgraded it to a Distinguished Service Cross, maybe figuring that Daly was getting bored with the things by now.
5"I've got 'em right where I want 'em, surrounded from the inside!"
Jerry "Mad Dog" Shriver was a U.S. Army Special Forces Green Beret who served in the MACV-SOG (Military Assistance Command, Vietnam -- Special Operations Group). He slept with a rifle, and packed as many as six revolvers during combat (plus a shotgun and his regular machine gun). You know that action flick trope where the bad guys tell him to disarm, and the badass hero just keeps removing weapons until it gets ridiculous? Shriver invented that. Sometimes referred to as the Real Rambo, Mad Dog survived twice as many missions as the average member of his unit -- a unit which exceeded a 100 percent casualty rate because everybody in it was wounded (usually more than once) and fully half of them were killed.
It's not entirely clear when Shriver earned the "Mad Dog" moniker, but it's possible that it was in relation to Klaus, a German Shepherd that he'd brought back from Taiwan and which was his closest companion. Once, Klaus yorked on the floor of the Mess after some recon men gave him beer as a gag, and they rubbed his nose in it and threw him outside. When Shriver got wind of this, he went in, drank a beer, set a revolver on the table, and dropped a deuce on the floor. He said, "If you want to rub my nose in this, come on over." No one did.
And Klaus was promoted to squad leader.
In 1966, Shriver's recon team was surrounded by North Vietnamese Army soldiers in Cambodia. AK-47 fire rained down on them from all around. As a Forward Air Controller watched the enemy close in on the team from overhead, he radioed down to Shriver with perhaps the biggest understatement of the war: "It sounds pretty bad."
"No. No," Shriver responded. "I've got 'em right where I want 'em, surrounded from the inside!"
Clinking through life as a goddamned walking arsenal comes in handy once in a while. Perhaps not shockingly, turns out it really helps during wartime. Shriver and his team shredded the jungle like they were in the minigun scene from Predator, putting a tear in Mother Nature's eye and countless bullets and grenade fragments in their NVA aggressors. The attackers were driven back, and with some overhead help from the FAC, the team was safely extracted.
Mad Dog chose to hitchhike back to base.
Eventually, Shriver succumbed to an overdose of toxic masculinity. On April 24, 1969, on approach to the Central Office for South Vietnam as part of the Hatchet Force, his team was pinned down by a machine gun bunker. Shriver rushed the bunker and ... went MIA. He was 27 years old -- or 189 in Mad Dog years.