Thanks for your service but ...
|Al taqqadum, Iraq (or however that shit is spelled. haha)|
Work wherever you can, however you can.
Waiting on a flight.
That leads me to more significant things stemming from a lack of connectedness with the military --- the "thank you for your service" that happens once or twice a year or the post about the military on Veterans Day or whatnot. It's so inconsiderate to think that your one-day-a-year support or "thanks" is any benefit to troops or Veterans.
To delve further into this insult ... when a service member (that's another word for all branches of service Soldiers, Marines, Airmen, Coasties, Sailors) is killed at someone comments on a news article (or shares it) with a "thoughts and prayers" crap. Like ... I guarantee you that the service member's wife or husband or mother or father or aunt or uncle or niece or nephew don't take note of the "likes" and "shares" and frivolous prayers on an article about their dead family member.
Let's be real. Writing something like "you are a hero" or "thank you for your service" when the dude (or dudette) is dead is NOTHING other than self gratification -- feeling like you are supporting the troops when you aren't.
If you want to make a significant positive influence with military troops or Veterans ... VOLUNTEER somewhere with them. Send care packages. Write letters. Find a local military family and help them out with some mundane menial task while their Soldier/Sailor/Marine/Airman/Coastie is deployed or TDY (that's gone for a shorter stint on a temporary assignment).
Likes and Shares mean nothing.
Thoughts and prayers are meaningless. And, this is whether you are religious or not. They just mean nothing to helping out the survivors. And, when someone shares something about a killed troop, it's ALL about the survivors. The Service Member is dead. They don't need your thoughts and prayers. They are gone. They aren't checking your Facebook status. Who needs help? THEIR FAMILY, THEIR FRIENDS.
The Department of Defense doesn't release information about troops injured (gravely or superficially). Troops are blown up, shot, cut, injured, burned, and amputated more often than you'd imagine. The injured, the sick, the recovering, the survivors of these injuries also need help and support.
They have needs.
When they are ready and transition out, many need jobs.
So don't bother with some bullshit "You are a hero" to a dead guy.
HIRE a Veteran.
Write a letter to a troop.
Help a service member's family.
Volunteer without any thought or expectation of acknowledgement.
There are so many real things to do other than posting something meaningless online to make YOURSELF feel good.
This is an utterly random throwback but I'm still clearing out pics and came across these. One is a selfie before selfies were a thing. lol but I was always the one taking pics so if I didn't manage for myself, it wasn't gonna happen. Haha. In this, I don't know where I was but I do know I was on a helicopter flying back from some mission or another. Winter gear which means I was probably cold and a little miserable but smiling anyway. 😊 and the second is worth keeping. Got some good luck gear from some friends. RG (a fave special forces ❤️ of mine) gave me the shield I kept on my dog tags. Eod from that crazy navy dude I loved so much who blew things up for fun and a patch from the only MP I ever liked. Hahaahha the rest of em not my style. Chuper from JG who appreciated the tough times and good and we'd make tons of jokes about all of the wild stories we heard about me (never true but crazy interesting regardless). And some of my combat hot pink gear that I had in the sandbox. And a bracelet from the Streiters. ❤️Anyway, this is my little keeper. #armylife #veteran #thisiswhataveteranlookslike
Today wasn't the least stressful in my life so I'm glad I got to chat tonight with a friend of mine who I haven't seen in years but still means a lot to me. I always said that world (deployments) wasn't the real world but it definitely contains some very real memories. My friend brought me a lot of joy (and vice versa) and took care of me ... even if it was him sending his marines to drop off some food for me if I wasn't gonna make it to lunch. Seriously, I think his Marines all learned my favorite meals and drinks hahaha. My world is different now and many of my friendships have changed dynamics over the years but I'm glad we are still in touch. So on this rather stressful day I got to end it by chatting with someone who I have good memories with and a friendship that's more distant now, of course, but is a great friendship nonetheless. #wartimefriends #foreverfriends #mygunny #dblock #thankful #usmc #mymarine
Marines lined up & waiting to load the bird. I cannot believe I took this pic 7 years ago. My world is so different now. I remember like it was yesterday having one of my Navy EOD buddies pick me up at my CHU to take me to the ADACG (omg is that what it was called? I don't even remember 😞) ... anyway my Navy buddy took me to see my favorite Marine in the universe. This Gunny literally made my life more enjoyable. So glad I met him (even if he wasn't super nice initially) hahahahhahahaha I was sooooo bummed he was redeploying before me tho. This pic is of helicopters landing as they await to load them. You can see the dirt kicked up from the blades even though it was night. #usmc #helicopters #oif #iraq #military #deployment #marines #myformerlife #gunny #iz