America Today

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.

19 thoughts on “America Today

  1. Well said bratha!!! You are NOT alone and DO have resources as a U.S. Veteran. I went through that exact same crap when I got out. 2 yrs & 10 jobs later I decided to start being a U.S. Government contractor and been happily serving along side of my Military brethren ever since. And I ain’t looked back!!

    You should consider contracting bratha.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. You’ve expressed so well a feeling I couldn’t describe. I was a nurse in Iraq, now I want nothing more than to never be a nurse again. I thought it was the PTSD triggers from patients that somehow remind me of something that happened. I’ve said in the past how great and honored I felt to be lucky enough to take care of soldiers, ones who needed help, wanted nothing more to get back in the fight, to be back with their brothers. But now I feel cursed because I’m forced to care of people that have self inflicted problems; they smoke too much, eat too much, live shitty slovenly lives, they don’t appreciate a thing you do for them. They’re just waiting for you to make a mistake, not take care of them like they think they should be treated, they deserve the best care, to be treated like royalty. They’re looking for an opportunity to be able to sue, to get a big payday. How dare you treat them like the piece of shit they are? You can tell them they’re a fat ass, dumb ass, oxygen thief. There are the occasional appreciative patient, you do your best for them, because it’ll probably be a long time before you see another one. I hate the direction American culture has gone. The strong will survive but the weak will cause America’s destruction.

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  3. Mike, really sorry to see you went through a divorce and custody battle. I earned that badge, too, unfortunately. (Minus the custody battle, thank goodness.)

    Getting out from one of the greatest fighting forces the world has ever known, and returning to a fat and drunk Rome that cares barely a lick of your service in some far-flung province, is a brutal gut check.

    I’ve been out for nearly twenty years and I’m still trying to figure it out. Still trying to find a new tribe/brotherhood. (Starting CrossFit today, hoping that might help.)

    All I know is it slowly but surely gets better. And we have no choice but to fight our daily (and sometimes hourly) battles.

    I assure you, though, if you’ll keep your heart open and refuse to allow the darkness to win, you’ll find love. You’ll find more meaning. You’ll find your stature once again rise up in the civilian world and you’ll be the leader this country needs.

    Hang in there, brother. Write me anytime. Semper Fi from a fellow warrior.

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  4. Concur with what the other Vets have posted. My generation (Boomers) made it socially OK to denigrate those of us who protect their freedoms, and they’ve been spitting on us (or worse) for the past 50 years.
    As a very young man I heard an old time Marine quote the St Crispin’s Day Speech of Henry V, and I must have read it 100 times since then.
    We few, we happy few…
    Keep in mind that you’re right, they’re wrong, and they can all go F* themselves.
    Semper Fidelis and RLTW!
    OG

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  5. Mike, as the Mother of a former Marine, I would like to thank you for your service to our great Nation, where so many take our freedom for granted. I know it is because of Men and Women like you, that have given their time and their life to protect us from all the forces of evil. May GOD richly bless you in the days and years ahead. Thankful, in the end, we are judged and rewarded by HIM instead of this hard and cruel world below. HAPPY THANKSGIVING!

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  6. We appreciate your service and wish you never had to deal with TBI or PTSD or any other type of trauma, but you are dealing with it, which only emphasizes your courage. Writing is therapeutic for you as well as your followers, so I hope you never again feel you have “nothing of value to say.” Your day-to-day experiences are valuable to let others going through similar challenges know that they are not alone. We who have not served can use the reminder that our country is home to amazing men and women willing to risk everything to defend our freedoms. Keep blogging, please. You are being heard.

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  7. As a civilian (but a proud military brat!) I share your frustrations with the path our American Culture has taken. Although I “shared” my dad with a couple of wars, the rest of the time we got to see this country and even live in other countries. I am proud and lucky to be an American and to be his daughter. We all have to lead by example and push through this period of our history. I believe many of us spoke loudly and clearly in the recent election, that we have not forgotten what it truly means to be an American and that ‘giving up’ is not in our DNA. It is precisely because you understand this that your country so desperately needs you to find a place to exhibit those fine qualities you’ve learned from your very real experiences. No matter what the job, it will be how you do it that matters. Someone will learn from your example and so on, as the ripples in a pond. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for your fine service to this country and its ideals. Your ‘tribe’ is out here, pulling for you, and knowing you will persevere.

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  8. Please know that there are people who would love to thank you for everything that you’ve done for this country. It’s not always easy to find each other. For true Americans our Vets are Never far from our minds. We may never meet but the admiration will always be there.

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  9. As you can see Mike, you’re not alone. Returning from Vietnam I was spit on called names and through it all I didn’t understand why. It took a while to get through it, but I did and I know you will to. I pray for your great success and than you so much for your sacrifice and for your service!

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  10. As an Army Mom, I want to thank you for your service and commitment. And for this, this wonderfully written piece of honesty. With it, you have carved yourself a permanent place within my heart. My prayers and respect are with you always. Know that I do not take your sacrifice for granted, not do I give it ulterior motives. Be proud of your accomplishments and move forever forward. May respect, love and kindness be your reward.

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  11. Thank you for sharing your comments and feelings and most of all for your service to your country. I pray for your healing and for the healing of our country. I respect your honesty and the desire to shed light on the hardships of returning soldiers. I wish you all the best.

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  12. Hang in there. Many of us have gone through similar experiences. 19 and a half years ago (1997) I got out after 10 years in the Army.

    Had a lot of bad jobs along the way. Worked my way back up the ladder and started over in several new industries along the way. Even had a Silicon Valley company tell me I was not a good culture fit (too old, held people accountable, etc….). Eventually, found a great place with great people doing something I really enjoy.

    You’ll get through. Trying to keep it family friendly, but Fxxx them if they can’t take a joke the joke them if they can’t take a Fxxx. You got this Sgt.

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