I haven’t written much lately. I didn’t think I have had anything of value to say. Life beyond service has taken a harsh toll that has consumed me until recently. I have had to learn what it is to be an American citizen again. All the awards, accomplishments, and evaluations all nullified and put into a single document that only a handful of people can understand.
I’ve gone through a divorce. I have gone through a custody battle. I have not been able to get a job because I am under-qualified for everything. Even Bass Pro shop wouldn’t hire me because I “lack shooting experience”. I have had to start from scratch and suck up every ounce of pride and dignity in my being in an attempt to fit in to a society who has no idea how the real world works. It has been a hard pill to swallow because I don’t want to be the Americans I see so abundantly in the world today.
I am disheartened to look at many of the people of this country that call themselves Americans. Most simply don’t know what it means to be an American or why it is we are considered the greatest nation in the world. I am forced to watch the land I love cannibalize itself because it’s no longer acceptable to have opposing opinions without offending someone. Opinions and views are invalid based on what demographic you fall into and if that demographic falls in line with the mainstream status quo. Somehow we have fostered and glorified a culture that feels that being born into this world entitles you to something just for drawing breath when you exit your mother’s womb. A country where you are deemed a villain for reminding people the real meaning of what it is means to be an American. What happened to a UNITED States?
I was raised to judge someone by his or her individual character and merit. The only thing you can count on in life is what you work hard to earn. Life is neither fair nor easy but if you work hard enough you can be successful. I don’t bother anyone and expect the same in return. So I work hard for what I have and do nothing to impede others from their ability to do the same. I was blinded to the current American culture outside the bubble of the military culture.
The only real lesson I have learned during my re-indoctrination into American society is how out of touch most people are with reality. Maybe it is my inability to accept the new reality as it exists today in our culture but either way my experiences offer me a different perspective that makes how things are hard to come to terms with. If you don’t know how good you have it? Go ahead and live somewhere else that doesn’t cater to your sense of entitlement. Go fight on behalf of a people that only care about “what you can do for me”, and fakes patriotism on the prescribed holidays. Watch a nation revolt over “oppression”, having seen real oppression in countries driven by real hate. The kind of hate where the consequence for not falling in line with those in power is torture and death.
The “American Dream” isn’t what some politician promises through policy but a hard life where you will work to the bone and only be rewarded is based on what that work is worth. If you don’t like your lot in life? You sure as hell have the opportunity to change it and no one will stand in your way. If you think someone is standing in your way, don’t whine about it, make it impossible for them to ignore your worth in spite of whatever prejudice you think they have against you.
As a nation we are weak as a result of how good we have it. We have taken for granted the reason we once rose to the heights of the most powerful nation of the world. We expect a certain level of comfort in our lives and forgotten why we as a nation are the example of the closest thing to true freedom that mankind has ever created. We have ushered in a new age of political correctness that has left us fractured and fighting amongst ourselves instead of coming together as one to make the world a better place. We are no means perfect but refuse do what it takes to get there because it takes work. It takes swallowing pride and working together with a collective American identity. Accepting different views and allowing the chance for compromise.
We aren’t exceptional because we are born in America. Our politicians and the policies they enact don’t make us exceptional. We are exceptional because we have the opportunity to choose live our lives how we want to live them. The part of the bargain many have forgotten is to take individual responsibility as a result of those choices. No one owes you anything if you make poor choices. The ability to make that choice is the freedom worth protecting. I gave up much of my adult life in service to this country with this in mind. I can only hope that Americans will have the strength and courage to remember that freedom we were built on.