Editor’s note: This article was first published on Aug. 21, 2023.
Working at the Pentagon, home to the U.S. Department of Defense, is not exactly an easy job.
This five-sided building is designed to be one the world’s largest, most utilitarian office buildings, and to say that it has all the charm of a prison cell is... generous. The menacing beige building was deemed “ugly as sin” by the Commission for Fine Arts, and frankly, waking up at 7 a.m. every day to sit in one of its thousands of dark cubicles is enough to make a grown man cry.
As a result, one such worker, an Army veteran by the name of Drew Duggins, took to Twitter earlier this year to ask the best place to bawl among the Pentagon’s five halls.
Over a hundred responses poured in, with the suggestions ranging from funny to profoundly sad. These are Military Times’ preferred sob spots.
1. The parking lot, at dawn, watching the sun rise over D.C. knowing you won’t have access to the outside world for nine hours.
2. Into a burrito bowl from Moe’s at a dirty rice-crusted corner table. Don’t forget the queso.
3. In the bathroom after you get lost trying to find your way to your office on your first day.
4. In the courtyard, with the sun illuminating the tears on your face as cigarette smoke tingles into your nostrils, praying that the second-hand smoke takes you quickly.
5. On the ramp hallway that features black and white photos of Italian troops. It’s a really sensory experience.
6. With a box of Munchkins in your lap at Dunkin’ Donuts. Powdered sugar is known to dry tears.
7. At the gift shop. The knitted Pentagon scarves make good handkerchiefs. Plus, you could pick up a fun $60 snowglobe — that should help improve your mood.
8. At Popeye’s over biscuits and gravy. It’s already salty as sin, what could a few more tears do but enhance the flavor?
9. An empty sensitive compartmented information facility, more commonly known as a SCIF. Is there anything more sensitive than a good cry?
Bonus: At the Defense News and Military Times desks in the press pool. Come for the tears, stay for the stories.
Sarah Sicard is a Senior Editor with Military Times. She previously served as the Digitial Editor of Military Times and the Army Times Editor. Other work can be found at National Defense Magazine, Task & Purpose, and Defense News.