The Death of the Quiet Professional

I was raised on the belief that “if you have to tell someone how good you are, you’re probably not that good.”

Go ahead and read that a couple more times and let it soak in.

If you are a veteran prone to what I like to call IVS,  also known as irritable veteran syndrome, you might just want to stop reading now. You will undoubtedly be butt hurt by the time I finish.

I am going to start with the old saying “if the shoe fits” and you can decide if I am out of line, dead wrong, or speaking about a truth we have lost sight of. I will be completely honest. I am ashamed of the veteran community as a whole when it comes to how we have been behaving. In the age of social media I cannot go through the day without seeing a viral picture or video passed like wildfire all over the Internet trying to ignite outrage among the ranks of veterans. It could be the latest installment of stolen valor, some moron stomping on the American flag, or even Bruce (Caitlin) Jenner and his/her sex change. The next thing you know, there is some veteran, or group of veterans, that is insulted by these posts and want to throw a hissy fit about how it’s disrespectful to not only them but the ones who never came home.  We launch social media crusades to make sure that people know how affronted we are by their behavior. Even level-headed, reasonable veterans get caught in the trap because all they see is the rhetoric with no real thought about what the true issue is. It makes me scratch my head and ask why it is that veterans are so sensitive? Furthermore, what do you expect to gain from these crusades to educate the public of this nation? When was the last time you saw any member of our self-centered society stop being close minded and change their ways? When did social media become a platform to campaign for social change?

I am believe that this epidemic of hurt feelings comes from selfishness and entitlement. The “look at me! Look at me!” attitude makes you no better than the morons you demonize for their acts of  stupidity because ultimately you share a common goal. Attention. How does that make sense? Fear not, I am here to be the voice of reason who can shed some light on the reality of what we do for a living and why.

First off, there is no doubt that many veterans have sacrificed a lot over the last decade or more fighting for this country. People have lost their families, limbs, humanity to come home to a place that is just as foreign as the one they had been fighting in. Most of those that have served in Iraq and Afghanistan joined during a time of war. Which is commendable. However, it doesn’t entitle you to a damn thing. You received a God-damned paycheck, didn’t you?  We are currently fighting in an all volunteer army and no one dragged you down to the recruiting station and made you raise your right hand to swear to defend the constitution of the United States. It just didn’t happen. So we expect the world to bend over backwards to save your feelings because you volunteered to do a job where you knew the risks and sacrifice involved.  Think about how self-centered that sounds. Not to mention it goes against the values the armed forces is based on. Selfless service. Whatever your reason for joining, you took on the responsibility knowingly and should do so without seeking recognition because the security of this nation isn’t about you and your ego. At the end of the day you know what you did and didn’t do. You have seen the world in a way that the citizens of this country might never in a lifetime.  You did it so they wouldn’t have to. You shouldered that burden so that the masses wouldn’t have to, and could live their lives in whatever manner they wish. That’s the American dream right? The pursuit of happiness. Seek solace in the fact that by sacrificing you can now have an perspective about life and it’s meaning that some people go forever without understanding. How precious the time on this earth is and how important it is not to waste it. Its not our job as veterans to police the way people live and judge how they use that freedom.

But noooo… here comes another outraged veteran on the internet soap box reminding those silly civilians just how inferior they are because they never went to war. They need to understand how bad we had it. They need to feel the anger, loss, and guilt we feel. They need to know that even though we willingly chose this lifestyle, so that we can protect the freedom they have, they sure as hell don’t have the freedom to call a transgender former Olympic Gold metal winner “brave” without first kneeling before us veterans and paying homage to our bravery.  We condemn anything negative that can remotely be considered to do with the military or this country. Hell, when that doesn’t work we invent reasons to be upset. I’d be willing to bet a majority of the veterans who are so outraged probably sat on a fob, gained 15 pounds, and went to green beans, guzzling down iced coffee every day. They are the same ones who flaunt their service wherever they go hoping to get an upgrade on a flight or a free drink at a bar. They are probably the reason that stolen valor exists. They run around flaunting their veteran status to exploit patriotic citizens and receive special treatment. Lo and behold some idiot sees this special treatment and throws on the same uniform our brothers and sisters died in to get the same treatment. Which is the bigger crime? Are you not doing the same thing?

Now I know you have seen this asshole. The one at the bar telling war stories to a group of girls when you can see it in his eyes that not a word of what he is saying is true. Those who have been there and done that typically don’t want to share unless it’s with others who can relate and understand. Which brings me to another gem of advice passed down through my family’s military tradition “you know how to know if a vet is lying? When he opens his fucking mouth.” I am in no way saying that you should not talk about your experiences. It’s necessary to heal from the wounds that war makes on your soul. I do know from personal experience that it only makes sense to talk to others like me who can actually relate to the things I have been through. Going on and on to civilians about combat makes no sense because they don’t get it. It goes back attention seeking. If I personally see it I know I automatically assume that you’re a fraud. Right or wrong.

What about those that died? You have to protect their memory right? I agree. You absolutely should. Think  about that person who was taken off this world way too early. Picture them in your mind. Ask yourself if spending all this time and effort being angry and fighting an imaginary battle in their name is how they would want you to honor their sacrifice. Ask yourself what they would do if they could somehow come back for one more hour. Would they spend that hour on Facebook making sure that the public was more aware of their sacrifice. Fuck no. They would be with their families. They would be having a beer with their friends. They would probably call every single person that means something to them to say goodbye and I love you. So if you really want to honor their memory, put the social media dispensing device down and live every second of your life for the both of you. Hold yourself accountable for it because if you squander the gift they gave, you should be ashamed of yourself.

So I am asking you to hide your pride then right? No. Not even close. I am asking you to be more productive with that pride. How many veterans kill themselves  every day? In the time it takes you to repost something on Facebook you could dial the number of another veteran just to check in. You don’t know the impact that could have. You could use your love for service to continue to serve your community. You know why there are so many morons out there? The family system is broken. We have kids raising themselves and how to we expect them not to be self-centered? Go mentor a child. Use the life experience you gained in the military to teach the next generation what is really important.

I am proud of my service to this nation. I still grieve for the ones who we lost to combat and suicide alike. I honor them by making the most of my life because I think it would be disrespectful to their sacrifice not to squeeze every bit of life out of the time that they were not afforded. My worst fear is that we alienate ourselves from the people we fought for by continuing to beat them over the head with the fact we did. I know if I am sick and tired of seeing all the complaining and anger, the average Joe is too. Then the message which I am sure is born out of good intentions gets ignored, and it becomes us against them. The people who we fought for become the people we fight. What a sad day that would be.

So be proud. Honor the fallen. Be an example because at the end of the day, if we are as good as we say we are? We wont have to say a damn word. It will show. Who knows, we might actually make a real difference INSIDE the country we fought for.

117 thoughts on “The Death of the Quiet Professional

  1. I am a civilian, and I know I cant never claim to know what those who have served have lived through.
    This article has helped me better understand how difficult it is for a ” Quite Professional” to be known now as Veteran who is trying to adapt again to the original way of life after all they been through not to mention those that have come back to find that they have lost their families.
    For me you will always be Heroes only because you sacrificed your time for my happiness.
    Rossana

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  2. Your article reminds me of a certain FaceBook comment I saw a few days ago. This vet was EXTREMELY self-serving and it pissed me off so very much A motor pool vet (yes, I looked at his profile to see if he had posted his job title) had posted a gofundme campaign in a thread where there were a bunch of civilians praising vets, using his military status stating something along the lines of “I’m a vet trying to realize my dream of going to school, please help me by donating at the link below . This to me is one of the most offensive things I’ve seen from a vet, there are already tons of programs that will throw money at vets to go pursue a higher education. It took all I had to not go off on this guy and bite my tongue.

    I have been out in public in non-military towns where I was on my way home from my reserve duty, usually to get gas and have been stopped by civilians to be thanked for being a hero (I don’t count myself to be though), the only thing I ever did was fix jets, I was usually not in a position where I was i. mortal danger.

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    1. I will agree with you accept for judging him based on his job. Just because your not an O3 doesn’t mean you didn’t see combat. That gease monkey could have been walking the peremeter or out in the field to retrieve a broke down vehicle. A veteran is a veteran.

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  3. “When did social media become a platform to campaign for social change?” Goddamned always, which is the only real redeeming quality. Get with the program.

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    1. You read the whole thing, and THIS is what you found to complain about? I would argue that most anyone who has a change of heart about something based on a social media post is not getting all the facts about the subject.

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  4. My father’s best friend died a few months ago at the age of 100. He went straight from medical residency to the 82nd Airborne in WWII where he got a couple Purple Hearts and at least one star (Silver I believe) for rescuing soldiers under fire. Sicily, Anzio, D-Day and I believe the Ardennes Offensive. Never wore his uniform afterwards. Never talked much about his service. Never hung out at the VFW or American Legion halls. Never even claimed Veteran’s benefits because, as he said, “I have a good job. Some veteran who wasn’t as lucky needs them more.”

    He just did his duty and got on with his life.

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    1. It’s not a handout. Veterans EARNED all of the programs and benefits that are out there. And the more veterans who enroll in I.e:healthcare and other benefits, the more money that is allotted to help. So enrolling in veterans benefits is actually helping all veterans get funded as well as help keep grants etc.
      Veterans earned every program out there whether they didn’t deploy or sat at the FOB during deployment.
      I work with a non profit that is all about helping veterans connect with the correct resources to successfully move forward. P.S. not all veterans are qualified tobusebthe education benefits of GI BILL.

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  5. Very well said, and explained so that people can understand. I joined the Navy because I wanted to not because I had to. When asked if I served, I do reply yes I did, and the thank yous start, I’ve told people before no need to thank me, its a thankless job, I did it because I wanted to. I dont expect people to thank me for what I did. Doing what ever it was we were asked to do was part of the job.

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    1. I’m still on active duty and I’m a physician. I could make lots more in the civilian sector. I’m still here because I like caring for service members. I get thanked every now and then…and my deployment was short, but very ugly…I have (and always will) express to others that this job is an honor and privilege. The military has paid for all of my higher education and I will stay as long as they’ll have me. It’s not about me…it’s about all of us…

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  6. I have found this to be relatively common in the reserve components of the total force as well. A lot of them get back from a deployment and instantly expect to be put on a pedestal. Similarly, non-combatant MOS/AFSCs are often the biggest culprits.

    Granted, and I say this with confidence, this is NOT the majority. It is a small percentage of veterans, but over the past 14 years our number of veterans out there seems to have increased and/or it has been more popular to be a veteran. When I hear a 4 year navy veteran without a single deployment on a ship or otherwise, flaunt his service as if it were more than what it was, then surely I suspect he wants some sort of pat on the back and special recognition.

    There is nothing wrong with pride in your time served or a solid military career. And it’s definitely okay by me to show your pride after deploying. I get it and I’ve been there. I am proud that I was able to contribute to the GWOT.

    That said, I do think that our nation as a whole has maybe gone too far in trying to reverse the experiences the generation before mine experienced; that of the Vietnam era. Following Desert Storm’s swift “in and out” the pride of our military was back, and we showed up with flags and banners welcoming everyone home. Then the GWOT, after America was attacked, it became cool to be American once again; and even more cool to support the troops. And it practically became normal to get a free meal if you were somewhere in uniform. I have personally had at least 7 meals bought for me.

    Some may say the American public is partially to blame, but I think those few veterans that are out there flaunting their status and getting everything they can based on that status; from goods and services, to personal recognition, has gone too far.

    Regardless of blame though, I would hate to see the whole thing turn the other way and resort back to the Vietnam War era mentality. Because of idiot Veterans and a handful of Gungho-ho civilians with the same “look at my patriotism” attitude; it can over value what it means to have simply served.

    There needs to be a balance and I think a good start would be for us “average Joe veterans” showing that we are not special, we’re just veterans. By “average Joe” I mean we are simply veterans, maybe with a deployment, maybe not. Maybe with combat experience, maybe not. The thing is we need to not alienate anyone who may need some extra attention for whatever reason, be it PTSD, apprehension, depression, alcohol or drug dependency. Those things are real and they exist among us. We don’t want someone to be afraid to reach out for help or even a helping hand, but we also don’t want to encourage every veteran out there to simply take a handout because it’s easy and “it’s okay.”

    Not everyone automatically gets PTSD from a deployment or even multiple combat engagements; everyone is different. But we have gotten to the broad assumption that if you were in combat, or even near it, that “oh, you must have PTSD”.

    Again, collectively we need to strike a balance. I hear of veterans being told there’s a one year wait at the VA (or some relevant story), but that veteran may be 40, did a 3 year enlistment in the nineties, but after 18 years still relies on the VA for healthcare. Meanwhile, the story of an Iraq War veteran with severe PSTD and some undiagnosed rash can’t get an appointment.

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    1. Well said, especially the last few paragraphs. I was a combat MOS, deployed with both the 82nd and special operations both to Iraq and Afghanland. After literally hundreds of firefights, watching dozens of U.S soldiers and civilians die, and god only knows how many enemy combatants, I think I have a good grasp on the horror that combat can be. However I do not believe that I have PTSD, I don’t claim it for disability, I don’t drink excessively, and I do not use drugs. Like any young man, (straight from high school, through pipeline, to Iraq) I struggled to rationalize the combat experience early on. But as I aged, spent more time in that environment, I learned to accept how things are and push it from my mind. Like anybody, I of course have occasional bad dreams, or memories, but nothing that hinders my day-day life.

      Having said that, I know many vets who truly do struggle with PTSD, they fall into drugs or alcohol dependency, and just never get themselves back on track. I just found out a teammate and friend of mine was arrested for armed robbery, and drug possession. It is very hard to accept, since I know what a squared away guy he was back in the day. However The worse part for me, is knowing one he got out he started getting into marijuana. I just ignored it, I figured it helped him cope, but he would move on. He did, to cocaine it turns out… And I ignored it.

      So I do understand, that war experiences can effect different people in different ways. But I hate the assumption that everyone who fights has PTSD. I hate how many veterans use PTSD for special treatment, or disability payouts. Or simply use it as a tool for attention. If you have it, get counseling, get help. If you do not, stop pretending, stop making the public think that all the rest of us do as well, and must just be hiding it.

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  7. I admin a site with thousands of Cold War vets. I feel your pain! Excellent piece and it’s already been posted to our page … and I suspect we will continue to post it again, and again, and again.

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  8. Very interesting read, and a very interesting read to a non veteran who has noticed this behavior in most other aspects of society (whether it is construction, office work, health care etc, etc.) The best leaders I have come across have risen to there posts through competency and don’t spend time self marketing themselves through any means but strong work. I think its a good take away for many people in 2015. Cheers.

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  9. I proudly wear my “Korean War Veteran” hat almost everywhere I go. Not for myself, but for what the US Military and our allies accomplished there. On those extremely rare occasions I am thanked, I point that fact out. Surprisingly, few people are aware of the “Forgotten War”. and then only those who served or had a family member serving. Most Americans did not have any skin in that game. But nearly 50 million South Koreans live in relative peace and freedom because of our sacrifices there. Except for my year there, the rest of my career was rather undistinguished, and I will only discuss my career if asked directly about it. To those who are sincere in their gratitude, I point out that they are the very reason most of us served.

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    1. Thank you for your service. That perspective on your service is truly humbling and inspiring. Thank you for sharing that wisdom with everyone.

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  10. Who wrote this? I question its veracity when there is no attribute to origin. Read it closely. You’ll see inconsistencies in what and how this editorial was written.

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  11. I was a Corpsman for 20 years and had the pleasure to care for many people from WW1 through the GWOT, I make it a point to stop and thank the vets from the WWII on up they are the reason in my opinion why we are the great nation we are and their service.. no their legacy is what we inherited and have tried to maintain and build upon. This article is very well thought out as well as the many responses I have read so far.

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  12. Amen Brother. This blog was a wake up call for me to realize what I served for. USMC and proud of it, I many times got angry at what many call freedom mongers. I didnt bitch and complain publically, but quietly got offended. Thanks for bringing to light what I knew in my heart to be the reasons I joined and served proudly.
    I dont flaunt my veteran status nor to I expect special treatment. I was once told to seek a disability only because I could. Im not disabled in the least, but was encouraged to do so because, again I could. I didnt because it didnt feel right taking what I dont need only because I can, and only add to the long wait times veterans who need have to endore. To all my fellow military brothers and sisters God bless and it was an honor to serve for a country with so many willing to fight and defend their homeland, for little or no recognition, for a job that only we can understand why we did it and for what reasons only we know.

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  13. US Navy 1974-1980.I owe the Navy more than they owe me.30% disabled vet and have been told to go get more now that I am older.i do not feel right about that so i will not.Also i do not like bragging and do not wear all that stuff I see many wearing now.Around the holidays I wear my Dad’s Navy Chief anchor I had gold plated on my Pea coat when I go out.That is it.Thank you Navy, thank you God.

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  14. °I’m a vet of the Vietnam era.
    °I am proud of having served my 3 years.
    °I did not get sent to a war zone.
    °I had a good job in Germany, at the time.
    °I did not volunteer to go to a combat zone in Nam.
    °If my name, & number came up, yes, I would have gone.
    °I would not have enjoyed it, I’m sure, but I would have been there, to do whatever I would have had to do.

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  15. I gotta disagree. American society is so fucked up precisely because the people who see wrong shit happening are so “above it all” that they don’t think anyone could even comprehend them if they spoke up.
    If you see someone feeding their kid twinkies and Tylenol at every meal and you say “hey,that’ll fuck your kid up. How do I know? Cuz I’m a doctor that’s how.” Its no different than saying “hey, this fairy tale world where fags are brave and laws and families are stupid is destroying your country. How do I know? Cuz I’ve been to more gangster-run villages and brothel capitals and warlord tea parties than most people have seen in every movie they’ve ever watched,that’s how.”
    That’s not self-serving, that’s truth. Yeah there are those cool guys that spout shit in bars to try to hustle free drinks or pussy, but the day douche bags stop lying for booze it pussy ill eat my hat. As for putting it out over social media, people do it cuz it works. It works for cars, works for clothes,it even worked for that turd in the White House.
    So at the end of the day, maybe its the vets that think they’re so far above the average Joe that they wont even deign to have a conversation that are making it all about themselves. Me, I went to war for an America that ain’t there anymore, but I still give a fuck enough about what America used to be to call bullshit when I see it. If being the “silent killer” is more important to you, knock yourself out, bur you dont get to roll your eyes when a tuck-job becomes president, cuz you were always to cool to speak up.

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    1. Cahse you’re a loser. Goign to war doesn’t mean you understand politics. “I saw gangsters in third world coutnries so don’t vote democrat”

      A doctor is someone you listen for medical advice. Beigna veteran doesn’t make a geo political expert.

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  16. You are against war but for a national draft? A drafted military is, by its very nature, one that is used for total war. WW1/WW2/Korea/Vietnam all had incalculable civilian losses because they were fought in a total war style. The civilian loss in wars fought by the all volunteer military today is infinitesimal to those wars fought with drafted forces. Your position is not to have war but if we do then fight it by overkill on both sides then.

    Body bags with dead draftees are just as heavy as the ones with dead volunteers.

    Also, your service means something positive to this country no matter how you perceive it today. You served and you deserve respect for the time you put in. Don’t let articles like this deter you from feeling proud of it and try not to add on to the frenzy of this newly emerging shame-baiting trend by veterans to veterans.

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  17. I’m a combat veteran who did 6 deployments in 10 years. I enlisted in the infantry after 9/11 so I could ensure that our nation would never be subjected to that tragedy ever again. I was medically retired this year as a result of injuries I sustained over my 13 years of service. At 37 I walk with a limp, have limited use of my right arm, have had 2 surgeries on my back, one on my shoulder that made it worse, and one on my left knee, and cannot do 75% of things I used to do. I wake in pain everyday but I never complain. I’m not asking for anyone’s sympathy. I agree with the author about those “heroes” that are in bars running their mouths to pick up women. I have run into a few myself and called them out. I also am not a subscriber to that idea that I’m a combat veteran and therefore I am better than civilians.
    That being said there are several issues I disagree with. I am on a number of veteran group pages on Facebook. The common theme is to talk with each other about problems we face and support each other, raise issues with how our government completely disregards veterans and their families health care, express frustration with the disgustingly high veteran suicide rate, and to share humor that only veterans understand. I spent 13 years in the Army and you don’t just get out without feeling disconnected. Social media is absolutely a platform to promote social change. Look at the recent ruling on gay marriage. The social media campaign for change has been going on for years. Look at Ferguson, MO. The Twitter and Facebook posts were largely responsible for organizing mass crowds to protest and even telling them where to go. I could go on and on but these are two recent examples. So why can’t we do the same to raise awareness of veterans’ issues?
    When I enlisted in 2002 I didn’t consider my health. At 24 I was in top shape and had no health problems. But by 34 there were days I couldn’t get out of a chair. None of my other friends outside the military experienced that and they receive a “goddamn paycheck” every month. But than again, none wore 75 lbs of gear, humped out in mountains or remote villages for a year at a time. None did PT everyday, hurt or unhurt, and tested their physical limitations on a daily basis. I signed up for the infantry, no doubt. However, I was assured that my health would be taken care of when it came to injuries sustained while serving. I don’t get that. I live in Colorado and the Denver VA is the closest facility to me. It is an hour away and has the longest wait times in the country for an appointment. I have experienced the unkind, uncompassionate care that our veterans have unfortunately come to expect from this government run disaster. I have also experienced wait times as long as 8 months to be seen. Should I keep silent or voice my dissent? Am I not being a silent professional because I express my outrage over my treatment via social media to a veterans group? My posts have brought awareness to my civilian friends and family and many now believe there must be change. I feel that is a step in the right direction, not being silent.
    Lastly, I do get offended, angry, and pissed off when I see an imposter running around in some type of military uniform, telling absurd stories, having the average joe believe it, and benefiting from a lie. But like a host of other liars (Rachael Dozel, Elizabeth Warren) this has become accepted behavior. If it wasn’t for military veterans and soldiers raising awareness and posting this stuff there probably would have been no laws enacted to make these actions a crime. Of course we get angry. We know what we went through and sacrificed for the privilege to put on the uniform everyday. I watched a video a couple months ago where a man claimed he was a US Army Ranger, deployed 3 times to Iraq and part of their orders were to kill women and children. The sick thing was that he never served a day in the military, was never properly vetted, and was used in a anti-war documentary to push a political agenda. Do you still think Stolen Valor is nothing to be upset about? Doesn’t that put all veterans in a bad light?
    If your main point is to tell veterans to stop running around telling bullshit war stories, acting better than civilians because you served, and expecting to be entitled to whatever, than I agree with you. But if your point is to just shut up and suck it up, sorry, I did that for 13 years. I am now retired and will voice my concerns and objections freely as I did fight to uphold that right.

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    1. I like your response, and your candor. I believe that some voices need to be heard, loudly, and others need to SHUT UP, because they are lying. I have never served, but I was married to a former Marine, raised two Marine sons, and a Seabee, and there are some things I understand that many others never will. Thank you for your service, and may your days ahead be memorable and safe!

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  18. Reminds of my Uncle, Roger Begody & David Begody. Our family member did not know were Navajo Code Talkers or even served their country until after they had passed & started to see their names associated with the group.

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  19. I’m glad someone had the balls to say this…..if it came from a civilian it wouldn’t be taken well.I feel the same about police and firefighters…again,a voluntary position,occasisionally,danger may ensue ….but rarely…and yet there are constant praises and accolades for our brave servant….just think about it…how many firemen serve in your area?…how many fires? Time usually spent hanging around the firehouse engaging in sophmoric locker room antics and working out to impress the local milfs…kinda pathetic., and how many cops do you think spend their entire shift looking for some random citizen to commit some trivial offense so they can get their shift in doing paperwork and avoiding dangerous confrontations.Though notorious for drinking and spousal abuse,not many cops arrest cops for those things…that whole “thin blue line” thing.Don’t get me wrong,i am not trying to hang these jackets on all our heroes in blue,I’m just saying that they’re not all out there “to protect and serve”….just sayin’…..let the self righteous indignation begin….to qoute a famous policeman…Sheriff Reggie Hammond…”Y’all be cool”

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    1. So a firefighter never in the course of their duties will risk their lives for others. Fuck, not even in combat do many soldier fight every day. Firefighters just set around a fire house all day huh, interesting, I guess all that equipment takes care of itself, guess all those inspections get done by them selves, guess all that mandatory training never gets done.

      This reminds me of the same argument city council house about getting rid of fire houses. No one wants to pay for a firefighter when they aren’t at a fire or car accident or some other type of emergency. They are an annoyance. But when some one needs pulled from a fire, to have their home saved, or kept from bleeding out in a mangled car, then all of a sudden we are worth something. On a slow day it’s about two calls, on a busy day it’s more like 15 calls, depends on where you work. You get plenty of busy days. But you know what your right, we should get spit on and have bottles thrown at us during inner city riots because we don’t deserve any kind of respect. We just do a job that most don’t want to or are afraid to do. Your right, what am I thinking. I should go lift some weights now I guess, oh wait I have a list of other things to do first.

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  20. I’ve witnessed many of these examples myself, I like to think they are the few, not the majority. I’m proud of the men and women I’ve served with. I think you’ll find the ones who haven’t deployed and the young are often the first to call foul and share what they would or would not do if they where there. The vast majority of the Veterans i Know and have served with are the quite professionals. I hope you don’t judge the few by the many. That being said, I do think we’ve earned our GI bill, We’ve earned a right at education, as you can tell by my post i need to further my writing skills. But truly look at what a non or partial college educated soldier makes in the US compared to a Non or partial Educated Officer, or other any other job that can relate and compare US Soldiers pay to British, Canadian, or Australian. You get what you pay for, the United States is buying a quantity of soldiers not always the quality we would like, some great men and women make it in, but not many of us don’t stay long, that takes a special person and a dedicated Soldier. Veterans who boast of deployment make me question their validity and often anger me, i understand, just know we have earned our GI Bill. I hope all Schools Follow Oregon and a few others advice and give free Community College Courses to all people or continue to offer our 4,500 dollars a year in T.A.

    P.S.
    Thank you, i enjoyed reading your article.

    Liked by 1 person

  21. After 24 years of service in the Army, Cavalry to be specific. Personally I’m grateful for the opportunity to fulfill my childhood dream and the the people with whom I had the honor of serving alongside. Despite some wear and tear that is simply part of the job I would do it all again without a second thought. And no… No hats, bumper stickers, t-shirts or caging a free soft drink or ten percent off. I Feel that I would not be the person I am today if not for my time as a soldier.

    And while I’m appalled by the treatment of our veterans by the government and the travesty that is the VA. It’s a damn disgrace to this Nation yet all we hear are meaningless lies and betrayal of a sacred trust between Civilian leadership. I don’t think that most veterans want a handout but simply for the government to live up to their end of the contract. Amidst the whiners, liars, and trolls there are servicemen and their families who’s lives have been irrevocably damaged by almost fifteen years of combat, yet their welfare means nothing to the population at large. At best, our maimed and wounded vets are props wheeled out every few years by politicians out lying their asses off for another turn at the public trough.

    As for social media; it’s the 21st Century. Do you expect servicemen’s advocates to stand on the corner handing out flyers and sending out letters? Yes there are those that abuse it but the nature of social media means the small percentage of grifters and liars have an impact far out of proportion of their numbers. We ought to police our own to the degree possible and support legal efforts to stop Stolen Valor. Ultimately, the frauds and liars are trapped in their own lies and become famous for all of the wrong reasons.

    We’ve earned the right to tell our story and advocate for the benefits promised when we signed that contract and swore an oath. What you do in exercising those rights is a personal decision.

    Liked by 1 person

  22. There are a lot of valid points raised here. For me personally, a lot of the social media sites that I will look at it, and I even post on, is more of a “release ” for me. I feel more “connected” when I’m bantering back-and-forth amongst like-minded people. I myself tend to shy away from the whiny self serving ones that you mention , but the humor, a lot of it twisted, is very much like to humor that I think we all encountered in our service, particularly in the combat arms. In that way, I think it serves a bit of a healthy purpose for us, I have also seen veterans connect in times of crisis to help each other out. And I do agree you have some very valid points, but there are some upsides to all of the social amongst the veterans community. A lot of the sick humor you see is nothing more than a social media representation of what is already going on amongst the active-duty personnel. And as I mentioned for a lot of us is just a way to relieve stress, reconnect with what we once were, many times I get on some of those social media sites to start my day and it puts me in a good mood to face the day which all too often ends up not being a very good day for many various reasons. But it reminds me that I’m not alone.

    Like

  23. Amen brother! Well spoken and much needed. You’re exactly right…let our demeanor and actions speak for us, instead of turning on the neon “veteran”. Truly the best way to honor our comrades and vocation.

    Like

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