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Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Hanging on the back of the big truck.

As usual I was stressing what to write in my blog today, and also the typical fashion my friends supplied me with a great topic. Oh so today I'm going to discuss my own personal worldviews in regards to pessimism and optimism. You see I'm typically a very optimistic individual, I see the glass as being half full more often than not. The difference though that optimism doesn't stretch much further than my own self. The reason for this is I have little faith or misconceptions about the desires of other people. I have my own personal sense of honor and my own code that lived my life by. I would like to think that other people auctioned a similar fashion but I know that is not always the case.

I think this comes from the mentality of being a soldier. What I mean by this is that the vast majority of people do not understand the world that soldiers live in. This is a world of very negative human behavior,it is comprised of the worst that mankind has to offer. Governments do not send soldiers out when things are all fine. They send us out to places when the shit really hits the fan and resolution is not going to come out of conversation. This is the type of stuff that doesn't wash off when you get it on you either.

Now that in itself demonstrates a certain character requirement to go back for more. Yes you get people that sign up for a single four year hitch, but it takes a special ed kind of guy to go back for more. Nobody I know announced in school that they wanted to be a garbage man, and this profession is just that. You understand when you raise your hand and swear on for another tour that you are the garbageman for America. You also know that the stench does not was off, and you will get some on your shoes.

So before you read further, and I let you into my thought process, I am going to issue a disclaimer here. If you prefer your illusions to reality, and do not want to taint you image of these soldiers holding that sacred trust of protecting the interest of your country on foreign soil, then stop reading now. What I am about to write is not going to portray me and my brothers in arms in the most favorable light.  It is an insight that most people choose to ignore because it helps them sleep better at night.

Last night I had a conversation with a friend of mine about the honor of the military. While I do not doubt the honor of my fellow soldiers, I doubt the all encompassing nature that people place on it. Do soldiers lie? Hell yes, all the time, but does it make them less honorable. I think not, I believe it just proves that they are human. The reason this even came up was because of a discussion on lawful orders, and the effort placed on them by the soldiers themselves.

You see people think this is a all or nothing situation. You either obey the orders without question, because you said you would, and that is the blind allegiance that people assume exist and associate with the concept of honor. At least this is my impression of civilian views in this regard. The thing they fail to understand is that  these soldiers are still human and some of those lawful orders are ignored because of the lack of practicality. For example according to regulations you are only allowed to have sexual relations with your spouse, and then the acts of procreation you engage in are limited as well. These neolithic ideas are still on the books, but they are not enforced. It does not mean that the soldier themselves are not honorable, but rather the regulation or order is ignored, not enforced, and punishments are handed out selectively.

This issues are not followed because these soldiers are dishonorable, but because they temper that blind faith with commonsense and a touch of selfishness. I would like to think that common sense is the most prevalent of the restraints on orders they selectively hear, you know not everybody is ready to join the light brigade. I am not kidding myself though, and understand a large portion is selfish. Its that garbageman lifestyle though that attracts the garbage people too. Violent people are often attracted to violence. This is the nature of the game. So yes we are flawed, we are damaged, we are not perfect.

So please do not look at us as the role model for your children. We are doing the best we can, but soldiers are not perfect. We are not idols to be placed on the altar of your ego. We are not here to replace your parenting. We are here to take the garbage out, we try to do it early in the morning when you don't have to see it and sully yourself with the thought of it. We are not perfect, but we are better then most. We do what we have to because others don't want to. Its not a white horse that we ride on, and the armor is not shiny. At the end of the day we are just human, with human desires and human dreams. We are just as flawed as you, and sometimes more. Like I said you don't walk away form that much garbage without getting some of it on you. 

1 comment:

  1. Hey Jesse, according to the UCMJ only the missionary position when having sex. Everything else is considered sodomy! LOL!!!