I’m on a mission in several places in cyberland – a mission to, in my own way, run experiments, gauge results and take a stand on the never ending challenges that present themselves to affect the average daily human, all while technology drones on in a relentless pursuit of ‘Look at What I can Do, Ma!” leaps that don’t always take care to look far enough down the road or cliff they are diving off of….
I’m currently running an experiment to see what happens if I don’t quote anyone else, share nothing but my own thoughts, my own pictures, my own quotes (is there any more hubris in the world than quoting oneself? I tell you – I may be on the Highway to Hell…)
But I Do NOT Forget Why I can do such Experiments
And today is the day when it seemed appropriate to say so.
I can do such things because of those who have stood between me and the dark forces in our world that would wipe me out in a nano second given half a chance, because I’m soft, don’t ya see – – –
My Life is Blessed by those Who Serve
I have water to drink, shelter to live within, food to eat, meaningful work to do and access to education/books.
I do not live in a daily life where I fear the warlord and his army from just over the ridge riding over to tear up my garden plans, steal my food or press me into service in their army and/or, suffer a fate worse than death as marauders seek to rape pillage and destroy to ‘leave their mark on a territory/rule by fear’.
I have all of these things due to the service of so many Veterans, alive and from my ancestry, who went and did the hard things – putting their life on the line, standing on principal, pushing back against those who conquer with lust, greed and joy in their heart while the most atrocious acts one human can do to another is played out, over and over.
Sadly, in front of the eyes and heart of those who serve.
All that stands between my small, tiny soft life and a life of never ending chaos and horror are the brave men & women who serve to go fight monsters on behalf of others, including me.
I can fight for them, in my own way…
I can look at my daily life and see where I can make a difference through my engagement with politics, purchasing dollars, volunteer hours and community service to be there for them – for backup, emotional support, political support, financial support.
I can raise my voice in dissent when it seems they are being sent into no-win battles, cry foul when they serve and then are cheated of their promised compensation – I know not what the Latin version of “Never Forget” is, but I remember what happened to the Roman Soldiers when wealth and abundance rottened the core of the Leaders in charge of them…
I choose to NOT forget such things…
I can step up to ensure their loved ones, left behind while they fight for all of us, have enough to eat, are warm and watched out for while they are on duty.
But it seems so overall small and inconsequential compared to their service.
A monument, names on a wall, stone and structures and books and words and memes and songs….
It all seems so small and Not ENOUGH to repay as I can, for what their service to others, afforded me and mine.
I’ll close with my own Personal Message
To those I know – (and you know who you are….)
I am a witness to your life of service. When things turned out okay, you received your training, education, did your one-hitch and/or career term service and came home to enter the civilian workforce, in service to a smaller community. I so loved working with you on the local home front and cherish what I learned from you during our time together.
I’ve also witnessed the health hits, the nightmares, the hoops to jump through to get medical treatment and your personal internal struggles as you fight, often daily, the monsters of your past engagements. I happen to know just a bit about trauma that affects the brain, and being so mad at paying into the systems that prevail in our world that only leave one alone to face daily life best as they can when you are no longer deemed ‘healthy enough to serve’ in this capacity or that.
As long as you aren’t bent on kicking my ass to get over your angst, I’m a safe place for you to say, “I am angry, I feel betrayed” –
No happy wappy-positive thoughts only advice from me here – although, I tend to have a dark humour streak – and look at possibilities if only to make us laugh for a moment or snort in derision over fanciful ideas that are being trucked out by the boatloads in memes.
Those things are the only way I personally know how to deal with and separate my inner core from external world things enough to be functional and do what needs be done without falling into a puddle of ‘do nothing’ status….
I’ve quietly mourned and grieved all while you’ve spouted off to me how I know nothing about the sacrifice you and your unit went through, and how I don’t appreciate your sacrifice.
You’re right – I can’t fully appreciate it in all its full measure, simply because, You saved me from having to survive various fields where slaughter occurred and I somehow managed to live long enough to crawl to safety and to know within myself, the full scope of the story…
But do not ever imagine that I take such things lightly and I grieve over your personal losses as best as I can in imperfect knowledge and understand, if you need to be mad at me or I somehow missed a fine point and need corrected? I’m okay with that –
I’ll sometimes address you as sir or ma’am – to show respect to you. Not based on what your rank was, whether you ‘worked for a living’ or not (is that a real thing? I suspect it is, though I’ve seen it displayed more in movies/fictional works than in real life interactions), or your age and I may not be recognizing your preferred form of address (I’ve worked with women veterans – took some explaining by me, in stammered fashion, for them to get over being mad as hell when I called them ma’am – they managed to forgive my idiocy).
It’s simply my way to show respect and deference if we meet, and I recognize just enough hints to understand, but not educated enough to address you by your full title or name or rank or preference.
I recognize you, often – not because of uniform, or patches, pins, ribbons or medals…no, to my mind & being, it’s more subtle than that –
I know you are A Warrior who protects me and many, because of the look in your eye, the way you carry yourself and move your body through time/space. Through the words you say when all hell breaks loose on this front or that and how you react to external stimuli.
If I’m lucky
I’ll never have to test myself on the field of battle – never have to find out whether or not I’m really a coward at heart – this makes me soft and of no use to you – I get that.
And if YOU Are Lucky
You’ll never find yourself wondering if you can depend upon me on the field of battle – I’m untrained…. an unknown – I know just enough to consider myself useless to you in such circumstances –
On the other hand? If all hell breaks loose?
I hope I am equipped well enough to look at you and solemnly promise,
“Okay then. If you’re asking for my help, it must be desperate times. Put me where I can cause the least damage to your plans and optimum place to take out the enemy.
Oh, and if I get gut shot? Leave me behind – with some ammunition if you can spare it – Too many resources wasted to care for me and in face of chaos? I’ll probably die anyways – and I don’t want to die from being gut shot – cuz I’m a coward and it’s a horrific way to die – I’d rather go out with a bang facing the enemy while you retreat/move to out flank them, if it’s all the same to you…”
You have my full permission to leave me behind unless it upsets you so badly you can’t bear to do it – You are the Warrior – so I leave it to your discretion.
One day a year isn’t enough – and I hope my missive doesn’t offend.
But this Veteran’s Day? I wanted to write and tell the truth of what goes on in my mind when I think year ’round about those who serve and how I see my place in all of it.
I know not how else to tell ya the depth of my gratitude over the things you are willing to take upon yourself, to spare others the need to do such things.
Signed – the comfortable civilian who thanks you for your service.