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Drawing The Short Straw: 5 Struggles Anyone Whose Combat Platoon Has Gotten Stuck With The Ford Windstar Understands

Most of the time, you’ll get to ride into combat with your military platoon in a tank or a heavily armored Jeep, but other times you unfortunately get stuck with the crummy Ford Windstar, a minivan they stopped making in 2003. Here are five struggles anyone whose combat platoon has gotten stuck with the Ford Windstar understands.

1. Asking another commanding officer if they can help jump-start the Windstar with their tank when it inevitably fails to start: When your platoon gets stuck with the seven-seat minivan that’s been out of production for more than a decade now, you should consider yourself incredibly lucky if the derelict sack of metal parts starts up when you turn the key in the ignition. More likely than not, you’re going to have to call in an officer from a different platoon and ask him to attach jumper cables to the engine of his tank and the Windstar’s sad excuse for an engine in an attempt to jump-start your broken-down vehicle. Hopefully your fellow soldiers will be able to duck down inside the Windstar to hide from enemy fire while you attempt the jump-start, because a piece of shit van like the U.S. Army’s Ford Windstar never jump-starts on the first try.

2. Resorting to your high-beam lights as a weapon to momentarily blind your enemies: One go-to choice for weapons that everyone who has driven the Ford Windstar into battle definitely knows is flashing your high-beams straight into the eyes of enemy forces that have their machine guns trained right on your head so they will become momentarily blinded and you can zoom away unharmed. It’s pretty useless, and at most it makes enemy combatants squint for a few seconds, but what else would you expect when your platoon is stuck fighting in the Ford Windstar?

3. Coming to terms with the fact that the MAX A/C button doesn’t fire any projectiles at enemies: When you’re used to driving a tank into battle, you grow accustomed to pressing a button and having a weapon fire at enemy soldiers. Unfortunately, when your Ford Windstar is taking a countless number of hard hits, just out of sheer instinct, you’re going to press the MAX A/C while yelling, “Fire in the hole!” waiting for some sort of missile to launch out of the dilapidated car. Sadly, you will only get a weak stream of cool air released from the air vents instead. Any soldier who’s been stuck with the Ford Windstar in the war-torn deserts of Afghanistan can relate.

4. Realizing the only defense against enemies that climb onto the front of the Windstar is turning on the wipers to their highest speed and spraying as much windshield-washer fluid as you can on them: Enemy forces are almost certainly going to try and climb on top of the Ford Windstar so they can kill you. Sure, you can try violently jerking your steering wheel side to side to hurl enemy troops off your windshield, but at the end of the day, turning on the wipers to their highest speed while simultaneously spraying windshield-washer fluid on them remains the best method available for getting armed combatants off of the roof of your minivan, and as anyone who’s had to drive the Ford Windstar into battle knows all too well, it’s not very effective.

5. Watching enemy lines stop fighting so they can laugh at the beat-up ride you’re driving into combat: There is simply nothing more embarrassing than when enemies that have been training their entire lives to kill you forget their sole mission that day, drop their weapons, and start howling in laughter seeing you driving your fellow soldiers around in a Ford Windstar. If you’ve had to fight ISIS in a Ford Windstar, you know that nothing makes your troops more demoralized than seeing a violent extremist drop his weapon and scream, “Look, everyone! Mommy’s come to pick up her son from soccer practice!” to deafening roars of laughter. At that point, the only thing you can really do is put the Windstar in reverse and sadly drive away.