4 Things That Security Contractors Love To Spend Their Money On

The Global War on Terror has offered unique career opportunities for American veterans that past wars have not. The US military’s inability to recruit enough troops to fill the mission requirements in Iraq, Afghanistan, and other sites throughout the world has created the need to hire private security contracting firms.

Being a private military contractor allows a combat veteran to grab some of those big bucks that are usually reserved for those in the upper echelon or technical side of the military-industrial complex. Since well-paying jobs on the home front are hard to come by, it makes perfect sense for a man who was willing to fight in a foreign land for less than $20,000 a year to become a shooter for a six-figure income. If you’re one of these men, you come back with quite a bit of money in your pocket after doing a contract or six. How should you go about spending it?

1. Getting a sweet ride.

Now that you’ve spent a few of the best years of your life in a shithole country being the personal security for some faceless executives of Tax Payer Money Funnel Incorporated, you’re ready to live out your own dreams—unless you’re a closet hipster who has wet dreams about owning a Prius, which signals to the world you’re trendy, environmentally conscious, and gay. It will include one or all of the following: a truck, a badass sports car, or a motorcycle.

You’ve been stalking the vehicle that catches your fancy for months. Checking out every color and trim variations. Deciding which features and extras you must have: sound systems, limo tint, grills, and lift kits. You know what? Fuck it! Just murder that motherfucker out. Should you put 24s on it? You fantasize of cruising down an open highway with your hands in between the thighs of a hot brunette sitting in the passenger seat in a tank top who is barely able to contain her breasts and singing along to the latest Taylor Swift hit single because you’re confident enough in your heterosexuality to listen to pop music without irony.

You’re finally able to strut into a dealership like an OG gangster with cold, hard cash. You’re not playing any games; you’re getting the car you want.

“I have $XX,XXX cash,” you say to the shady salesman who is eager to take as much of your money as possible. “You will give me this car, at this price.” He’ll then try to swindle you by saying they don’t give special cash discounts. You’ll then be like, “Hey Broseph, I ain’t no dumb private just out of Basic that you can financially rape with your 18.99% APR loan you’re able to secure through a subprime lender because I got a secure job in the military. I’ve been contracting and doing my research. You’re going to give me the car I want, with the specs I want, in the color I want, and at this fucking price.” You then drive away with a gangster lean in your car because you just dick-slapped the dealership.

2. Taking a vacation that fully indulges your vices.

Sure, your friends and family back home will be eager to see you and have missed you dearly. But if you have learned anything from your years when you were in the military, it’s that being home on leave is pretty lame after two or three days. All your friends and family are doing their own thing. Even if you do show back up, you’re not really going to see them more than once or twice. Why sit around in your hometown where not much has changed when you can take a trip to a foreign place where the foreigners aren’t trying to kill you?

Wolf Of Wall Street

Wolf Of Wall Street

If Hollywood and music videos have taught us anything is that it’s standard operating procedure to celebrate your newfound riches with scantly clad women in an exotic location while snorting mountains of coke and popping piles of Viagra to combat chronic erectile dysfunction. However, since you’ve spent the last few months around men, your game with females may have suffered. No worries; the time-honored profession of prostitution is there to make sure you have someone who will pretend to care about you for the allotted amount of time that you have bought her. Make sure to hide your drugs.

Perhaps you’re not the hookers-and-blow type. Perhaps you’re the drinking copious amounts of alcohol, brooding by your lonesome, thinking to yourself how everyone in the bar seems like a pussy and you miss hanging around real men, awkwardly hitting on chicks, and then falling asleep as you jack off type. No matter; you’ll have a way better time in foreign places where your American brutishness will be considered a cultural flaw rather than a personal one.

An extravagant vacation may not give you any tangible assets, but it will give you life experiences. Think of all those stories you’ll be able to tell while you’re pulling security at your next contracting gig to break up the monotony of everyone bitching about who they think are total cocksuckers on the contract and bragging about how hard they were back when they were in the military.

3. Embracing your right to bear arms.

You can’t spend all your money on cool toys, travel, drugs, and hookers; you need to be an adult and make a responsible investment. A gun is an asset that assures the security of the rest of your assets. It insures that any person who intrudes upon your person or property will get two in the chest and one in the head.

As much as freedom haters will protest, gun ownership is your right as an American. You risked your life for this country not just selflessly in your military service, but for personal profit when you became a mercenary—I mean, a security contractor. You’re the embodiment of patriotism and capitalism, two major principles in our mighty nation.

Now it’s also crucial that you just not have enough to arm yourself, but everyone in your household, and two or three of your closest friends. When Obama causes a nuclear holocaust, currency won’t be stocks or deeds, but weapons and ammo.

4. Getting yourself out of the rat race.

OK, you’ve blown your money from your previous contracts, but this time you’ve learned your lesson. You can’t keep on deploying anymore. You hate being away from your wife/girlfriend, kids, or dog. You need to figure out how to make your money work for you, not the other way around. While the pay is great, this isn’t a long-term career. You have to make plans for the future on the off chance that the zombie apocalypse doesn’t happen.

You’ve sacrificed and put a lot at risk for the opportunity you have now. You can use your money to start that business you’ve always wanted to start. Or invest in real estate to create a steady stream of income. Or learn a new skill set that actually has a market in the US.

You earned the money; whatever you do with it is up to you. You’ve been broke before and now you’ve gotten a taste of what making real money feels like. You know having money is awesome and it allows you to buy the things and experiences that make you happy to be alive. But it’s also a trap to keep you coming back for more and more. With a little smarts and a bit of luck, you can figure out how to have a sustainable income instead of being caught in the up-and-down cycles of being contractor-rich.

~Raul Felix

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3 Life Lessons An Old Man Called “Wild Bill” Taught Me

During my time working in Israel, I had the good fortune to be coworkers and friends with one of the most badass old men I have ever met in my life. While he was flawed, he also possessed traits any young man would want to have: He had tons of money in his bank account, was physically fit, and was a womanizer. Through many long work hours and discussions over the course of a year and a half, I got to learn a lot about “Wild Bill” and his philosophy. In turn, he taught me that even though you’re in your 50s doesn’t mean you can’t keep up with the young bucks.

1. Money management is very important.

“Hey! Raul! Why’d you call off work yesterday?” he’d ask.

“Well, Wild Bill…”

“Nah, nah…I don’t want to hear it. I know what you did. You went out and got drunk with your buddies.”


“What have I told you about that? Not only did you lose out the money you could have made from coming into work, but you also spent all that money at that bar. Knowing you, I know you spent at least a hundred bucks.”

“I know.”

“You say you know, but you keep on doing it. You don’t listen!”

If there is one thing Wild Bill loved, it was making money. Wild Bill was a workaholic. People knew if they wanted to take an extra day off, all they’d have to do is call up Wild Bill and he’d cover their shift. He’d cover so many shifts that he once went 112 days without having a single day off. After having that day off, he went on another 60-day streak.

He had a simple mindset: You’re either working and making money or you’re not working and you’re spending your money. Wild Bill loved receiving his paycheck and seeing it pile on top of all the money he had already saved.

“How much money you got saved up, Wild Bill?”

“Don’t worry about it.”

“Come on…”

“I’ll tell you this—I’m not a millionaire, but I’m close.”

Wild Bill had no debt, owned a house, and had a nice car back in the States. He did that by always being extremely frugal with his money and avoiding debt throughout his life. Wild Bill was a bit on the extreme side, since his diet consisted of ramen noodles, chicken, and the cheapest beer in Israel, Günther’s. Nonetheless, he never made six figures, but his financial intelligence put him in a position where we wouldn’t have to worry about money like too many people arriving at retirement do.

2. Just because you’re old doesn’t mean you have to get fat.

Wild Bill consistently worked out, which put him on a higher tier above his peers. Running and weightlifting were constants in his life. Even during our work shift, it would be common for him to do some wind sprints and knock out some pushups to get his heart rate up. While he was a heavy boozer, he knew it was important for him to counteract the physical effects. It would be common practice for him to run to the store two miles down the road because beer there was 25 cents cheaper than at the place right down the street. He’d buy three or four Günther’s, drink one in front of the store, run back home, drink them all, run back to the store, return the cans for some money, buy a few more Günther’s, and run back.

Other than a serious injury or illness, there is no reason why a person can’t keep themselves in shape throughout their lives. You don’t have to have a bodybuilder’s physique or be one of those crazy in-shape cross-fit buffs, but you can at least maintain a level of fitness that helps you counteract all the bullshit you put in your body over the years. Veterans tend to get fat after they leave the military because we no longer have that forced physical training to burn away all the booze and junk food we consume. Wild Bill showed me firsthand that you can be a boozer and a physical badass at the same time.

3. You’re never too old to philander.

Next on his list of life essentials was the quest for getting new pussy to destroy. Wild Bill was a womanizer and a pretty good one at that. With a strong body in his mid-50s, Wild Bill stood out from all the other old farts who let themselves go. Combined with the air of confidence that only age and experience could bring, that made him a poon-slayer to be revered.

Whether en route or at the store, he would get the attention of some fine young things, which for him were women in their 30s and 40s. Being a man who has fucked hundreds of chicks throughout his life, Wild Bill knew how to make his potential prospects swoon. Whether it was a Moroccan businesswoman or Philippine caregiver, he knew the right things to say to get them to come over to his apartment sometime in the near future to cook him dinner while he drank beer and watched music videos.

He kept his women in line by adhering to the age-old adage of “money over bitches” and refused to ever take a day off to see them. They would work around his schedule, not the other way around. They would get pissed at him, stop talking to him, and try to knock him out of their lives. But eventually, they’d call him back and agree to be in the relationship on his terms because they realized that men of his age and caliber were rare indeed.

Wild Bill wasn’t a perfect man. He had many faults and demons like we all do. He was an alcoholic, was never loyal to a woman in his life, could be cheap to the point of absurdity, and was stubbornly stuck in his ways. Yet he worked, kept in shape, and fucked like he was in his 20s. He didn’t let the notion of being an old man stop him from living life on his own terms. In a society where too many people let their age be a hindrance and only look back on their glory years, Wild Bill decided to keep his glory years going. As he once said to me, “One day you’re going to look back at this time in your life and think to yourself, ‘You know, that old man, whatever his name was, he was a pretty badass dude.’”

~Raul Felix

See more of my work at Thought Catalog

6 Things I Learned About Israel While Living and Working There

Living abroad seems to be on the bucket list of nearly every twenty-something who is on the road to self-discovery. There is this urge to get away from the safety, familiarity, and security of our homeland and go to another place with a different culture and language. I got the opportunity to live and work in Israel a couple of years ago. I went there not knowing much about the country other than that Muslim extremists hate them, but they hate everything, so their opinion is worthless to me. During my time in Israel, I learned a lot about that wonderful land’s customs and quirks.

1. Shawarmas Stuffed With French Fries Are Delicious

I’m not a foodie of any sort. I don’t know shit about spices, herbs, textures, nor about any of those adjectives food connoisseurs use when describing fine delicacies. But my taste buds are refined enough to taste the difference between good, OK, and totally disgusting. One of the staples of my diet was the shawarmas stuffed with French fries that I told the street vendors to make extra-spicy. They were delicious and were one of the few items that could fill me up with only one serving. Before I got there, I had no idea what hummus was, but once I tried it I was in love with it. My girlfriend and I would often go to eat at her parents’ house for Shabbat dinner. The whole family and their friends would gather together. There were the world-famous Israeli salads, but I’m a man and I like dead animals, so all of my attention to went to foods such as Cholent, St. Peter’s fish, lamb kebab, shish taouk, and shashlik. There was also a wide variety of chicken-based foods with carrots and peas that had a flavor I never have tasted anywhere else.

Israeli versions of other cultures’ food were hit-and-miss. They had “Mexicani” food, which was supposed to be authentic Mexican burritos but never tasted like real burritos although they were delicious nonetheless. Sushi and Italian dishes were as popular there as they are anywhere else. In Tel Aviv and Jerusalem there was a restaurant called Mike’s Place that specialized in American-style food and was a popular hangout for Americans aching to get some food that reminded us of home.

2. Jerusalem Doesn’t Have Strip Clubs

I lived in a medium-sized city in the Negev Desert called Be’er Sheva. Thanks to Ben-Gurion University providing an influx of students, there was a vibrant nightlife considering how small and remote the city is. Bars were the main gathering place for my coworkers and me. From my impression, Israelis aren’t big drinkers like Americans, or at least they don’t get drunk, wild, and out of control like we do. We would go to a bar at 10PM and be the only patrons there as we drank Gold Star, Tuborg, and Carlsberg. They have a hard alcohol known as Arak, which I avoided after my first taste of it. Israelis operate on something known as “Israeli Time” and are ridiculously late to everything. All of a sudden at 11:30PM there would be a huge crowd of people at the bar. Then at 1AM, everyone would be gone with us Americans still drinking ourselves into oblivion.

Jerusalem had a better and more intimate nightlife than Tel Aviv, but Tel Aviv had strip clubs while they were nonexistent in Jerusalem. If you wanted to go to bars where you could actually hang out, talk, and get drunk with your friends and everything was within walking distance, Jerusalem was the spot. If you wanted to go out to the beach, get drunk, get some titties in your face (the strippers actually let you grab their tits), go to clubs with loud music and dancing, and maybe score some drugs or a prostitute, Tel Aviv was the spot. The drawback there was that everything was spread out, so you would have to take taxis to go bar-hopping.

3. Attacks From The Gaza Strip Are Part Of Life

One night I was out for a run when I heard a siren go off. I wasn’t sure what I was hearing and thought to myself, “Did my iPod just change to an N.W.A song?” I stopped and looked around, searching for an ambulance or a police car. All I saw was one car pulling over and a person running toward a building. I took off my headphones and noticed the sirens were coming from everywhere. Then I heard a missile launch and looked up to see the trail. A couple of seconds later, I heard an explosion. That’s when I realized the Iron Dome had shot down a rocket coming from the Gaza Strip. I posted on my Facebook a status along the lines of, “I guess Gaza sent a harassment rocket.” One of my Israeli friends commented, “Welcome to Be’er Sheva.” That’s when I learned that random rocket attacks were a fact of life in the southern cities. They would never make the international news because they would only send a couple every month or two.

Rocket attacks became a spectacle for us. My roommate and I would hear the siren and run to the rooftop so we could see the Iron Dome intercept it. After the siren stopped, people would go back to their routine.

In November 2012 the Israeli Defense Force launched operation Pillar of Defense, which kicked off with the killing of Ahmed Jabari, a chief of the Gaza military wing of Hamas. After that, the rockets started and didn’t stop. Every thirty minutes, the siren would go off, and you would hear the explosions as they landed in the streets or the Iron Dome intercepted them. At first it seemed pretty fucking cool. Rocket attacks had been seen as a nuisance rather than a legitimate threat, since either the Iron Dome intercepted them or they landed in the middle of the desert. Then three people got killed by one while they were on their balcony. That’s when my girlfriend put her foot down and wouldn’t allow me to go up and see the action anymore.

4. It’s Expensive As Fuck

One of my Israeli friends told me a joke: “In Israel, the Jews Jew the Jews.” Here in California I could spend $200 in groceries and be set for a month; over there, that would last me a week, maybe two. I was told that people there work 12 hours a day, six days a week merely to get by. The government loves to tax everything so they can fund the IDF. You’re never quite sure how much you’re being taxed because the taxes are already worked into the price.

5. People Don’t Wait In Line

Whenever you would board a bus or a train, it would become a shoving match. After a while I learned how to out-shove everyone. Tiny women are tricky, though; they’ll squeeze beneath you and go ahead of you. They’d do it so quickly that you wouldn’t even realize it until they were ahead of you.

6. I Only Learned A Few Phrases Of Hebrew, But I Wish I’d Learned More

I never learned more than a few phrases of Hebrew. It’s an irrelevant language anywhere else in the world, but I had an opportunity to learn it and never cared enough to do all the work needed to learn more. I think it would have been a cool little skill to have in my pocket, because knowing random little things like that is always a good thing.

I also didn’t study much of the region’s history while I was there. I researched more about it after I moved back to the US. Instead of just going to museums and cities looking at pretty things, I would have understood what exactly those pretty things were and what they meant in historical context. I would have had a firmer understanding of the complex relationship between Israel and the Arab League instead of the oversimplified version the American media conveys.

I hold my time in Israel close and dear to my heart. I lived in debauchery a lot during my time there. I found a woman I truly loved and lost her. I made some good American and Israeli friends. I traveled and saw nearly everything there is to see. I made some good money and came back to the US in a better position. It may the Jews’ homeland, but it will always be a second home to this American.

~Raul Felix

Read more of my writing at Thought Catalog.