Armed veterans searching America’s most dangerous neighborhoods for Pokemon

(This is completely satirical post written only for entertainment)

Veterans seeking a new thrill have donned their old armor and taken to the nation’s most dangerous neighborhoods in search of the ultimate prey- Pokemon.

Scouring the seediest sectors of major metropolitan areas that suburban children and adults avoid at all costs, former servicemembers have  taken to the seedy no-man’s lands to collect Pokemon with the popular new game Pokemon Go.

“My wife bitched that I didn’t spend enough time with my kid and that I spent too much time prepping,” said Dwayne Hicks of Germantown, Tennessee. “So I take my son into Memphis every weekend to, you know… capture Pokemon and stuff.”

However, Hicks’ wife Monica Weston-Hicks is starting to regret the suggestion.

“I thought they’d just be cruising the neighborhood for Pikachus or whatever,” she said. “Now my son’s talking gibberish about bug-out bags and whatever a “HVT” is.”

Not all Pokevets -the new name given to the shadowy and MOLLE-clad subcommunity- roll with young children in tow. Some seek out what is being referred to as the “lone wolf” adventure.

“I like feeling the rush of tracking down my prey in a dangerous environment,” said Gustavo Rodriguez, who prowls the hazardously desolate Logan triangle in the Philadelphia area. “I’m not stupid, though. I definitely carry my Glock 19 in case someone wants a shot at my Pokeballs.”

Despite the hazard, Rodriguez says he’s had very little trouble with would-be criminals.

“Hey man, what happens in the triangle, stays in the triangle.”

Some vets -particularly former medics and corpsmen- patrol the streets armed with Combat Lifesaver Bags in search of Pokemon hunters who have accounted for a recent spike in phone-related injuries.

“People who play this game have zero situational awareness,” said former Army medic Juliana LaPlace. “I run into grown men who get hit by cars, kids stuck in storm drains and even the occasional sprained ankle. I’m in med school right now and wish I could count this as loggable clinical time.”

But not everyone is pleased with the idea of Pokevets roaming the street.

“Some of them are just looking to shoot a gangbanger and claim self defense,” said Lieutenant Mike Ketchum of the Detroit Police. “They’re running around with their prepper gear and deliberately getting into shootouts with local gangs.”

Ketchum, who has been on the force since 1999, says that the whole concept of playing Pokemon Go is a ruse.

“I have found guys with only three rounds left in their pistols and not a single Pokemon except the one they are given at the beginning of the game. They don’t even level them up. It’s just an excuse to get in a gunfight.”

Regardless, no Pokevets involved in defensive shootings have been charged to date.

“It’s ‘gotta catch em all,” Rodriguez laughed. “Not ‘gotta cap em all.”

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  • Andy Wolf

    Andy Wolf is an Appalachian native who spent much of his youth and young adulthood overseas in search of combat, riches, and adventure- accruing decades of experience in military, corporate, first responder, journalistic and advisory roles. He resides in North Carolina's Blue Ridge Mountains with his K9 companion, Kiki.

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