The Zippo lighter was a requirement for American soldiers, airmen, and sailors during the Vietnam War. Used to light cigarettes, ignite small stoves to warm food, or burn Viet-Cong villages (a practice so common it became known as a “Zippo Raid”), the lighter is now a symbol of the era’s American servicemen.
A gallery recently posted to Imgur shows a collection of dozens of the lighters. Each memento give us an incredible look into the life and mind of the man who sparked it all those years ago. Some wrote heartfelt professions of love for a woman back home. Some wrote vulgarity-laced mantras for combat. Some wrote simple existentialist statements on what seemed — and ultimately proved to be — a hopeless and dire situation.
My personal favorite: “Bury me face down so the whole world can kiss my ass.” Also, Butch 100 percent lived up to the badassery of his name..
Image via Shutterstock