This is a great thread (thanks mature54). I thought I would try to keep it going by reposting a bit of info from my past.
I had the fortune of being drafted near the end of the Viet Nam ďconflictĒ . As soon as I could, I returned to college but continued in the Army Reserve. My reserve unit drew members from the Ohio, West Virginia and Pennsylvania areas. At that time there was a heavy population of Italian guys living in those regions and many gravitated to my unit.
Summer camp with these guys was spent in the Rappahannock Swamp areas just south of Washington DC. I was new to the area and assumed that these folks would be low-key, small town, quite types. Was I ever wrong! Once we hit the camp area the first thing these guys did was set up a ten-gallon pot filled with fruit juice and massive amounts of Everclear, and then start drinking. The second thing they (a large majority) did was to take their clothes off Ė all of their clothes. For the next two weeks they laughed and screamed with each other, played ball, threw Frisbees, lived in communal tents, and boated around in the swamp, totally nude when ever possible. I saw lots of drunks; lots of erections; and lots of guys who really enjoyed just letting it all hang out. I didnít see any sexual exchanges, but this was back in 1976, so I wouldnít have expected to. If two guys wandered off in the wood, they didnít make it pubic. Frankly I donít think anyone would have cared, but that is just a guess.
Looking back to that experience (and over looking a few drunks and loudmouths) there was something quite wholesome about these two weeks that I canít quite put my finger on. It wasnít just the eye candy, or the fact that none of us had any idea what the Army training plan for those two weeks should have been. It didnít seem deviant at all.
These days when I see guys taking showers with their clothes on or swimming with their paints on, I feel like they are the real deviants and have missed something important in their upbringing. It makes me wonder if we should have allowed the military draft to end without a cultural replacement.