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2021 Man of the Year: 101st Airborne

A strip club in Las Vegas / Getty Images
• December 26, 2021 4:59 am

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You know the sinking feeling you get when you wake up after a long night out, only to realize you lost your wallet somewhere between your first tequila shot and 2:00 AM Uber home?

Imagine a feeling five times as bad. And pretend you're in Poland.

Now you're well on your way to empathizing with Major Matthew Conner, a U.S. Army officer who disappeared following a night out gone awry—one that makes The Hangover look tame by comparison.

Maj. Conner was stationed in Europe for a rotational mission with the 101st Combat Aviation Brigade's "No Mercy" battalion. In Sept. 2020, the unit headed to Gdańsk, Poland, for a tour of World War II battlefields. Fueled by vodka and pierogi, on their first night in town Maj. Conner and others took a late-night trip to Club Obsession, Gdańsk's finest gentlemen’s lounge.

If only they'd read the reviews.

A quick Google search reveals the now-defunct Club Obsession was a scam operation.

Several visitors report having their drinks spiked and credit cards stolen. Others say club staff used pepper spray to prevent them from leaving until they paid inordinate amounts of money.

Worst of all, one reviewer reports that the club had "few dancers."

As the Washington Free Beacon reported this year, Maj. Conner linked back up with his unit to return to the hotel. On the trip back, he expressed his belief that his champagne had been drugged and that strippers "bit his nipples to keep him awake" long enough to charge his credit card $13,000.

The next morning, Maj. Conner was gone. A search party found him at a different hotel hours later, at which point he was dragged on the scheduled tour of Polish battlefields.

We may never know what Maj. Conner got up to in those intervening hours. Perhaps he returned to Club Obsession to try to get his money back, or at least get his money's worth. Maybe he just spent a few hours staring into the Motława River, wondering where it all went wrong.

But one thing's for sure. Between the (presumably flat) spiked champagne, a few (debatably consensual) rounds of the Warsaw Chest Nibble, and an (undoubtedly miserable) survey of Polish battlefields, Maj. Conner has suffered enough.

We here at the Free Beacon have already called on President Biden to defend Maj. Conner and the members of the 101st Airborne as he would his son Hunter. But the commander in chief has remained shamefully silent about these American heroes and the abuse they suffered while bravely serving their country on the Eastern Front.

They may never get the Purple Hearts they so richly deserve, but we can't let these brave soldiers go unhonored for a minute more. Congratulations, boys. For surviving a truly epic night, you are all Washington Free Beacon Men of the Year.

Published under: Man of the Year