I don’t know how many of you are going to read this, not that it matters, but I just wanted to share some of my own experiences with you. Not that I’m this important guy with a profound amount of life experiences, but mostly, I wanted to share these musings with you because honestly, I am sick of writing about video games and grown men crying about who is going to be the fourteenth Batman. I know that most of the “news” out there today is dealing with video games and comic books, but my opinion about those is not really a major contributor to the world and will more than likely change in the next ten years or so. But I wanted to tell you more about me because the things I want to write to you are starting to fade from my mind. Seriously, it’s kind of scary how much of me I don’t remember.
While I’m not a political person, outside of realizing that our political system is fucked, I wanted to talk to you about my military experience. There’s a lot of propaganda out there for the military as well as veterans that got out and seemingly walk around with the IBA’s on at all times, carrying an M4 and telling young, stupid and impressionable people how to act. They say drink beer, eat bacon and own a weapon. While I get the joke that some people are putting out there about the military and about veterans, a lot of people don’t and will enter the military for the wrong reason.
While I’m not an authority on military life, I can only tell you what happened to me, the way I remember it. So with that being said, you should know that I grew up in Chesterton, Indiana. A small town about an hour outside of Chicago. It’s one of those towns that a kid would think nothing ever happens in, and you might be right. Growing up, I certainly never thought that it was anything special, but I don’t remember ever hating it. I had friends, I grew up in a nice apartment that my parents still live in, and there was no real crime to speak about. It was nice, but it wasn’t enough. After I graduated high school in 2002, I started working the night shift at a hospital kitchen for three years. My life had become a simple routine of sleeping during the day until around four PM, got to the gym at four thirty and stay until six, eat breakfast and be at work by eight thirty. While at work, I would clean floors and serve food until six AM, I’d be home by six thirty, have dinner, drink a beer and be in bed by nine AM. For three years, every day, even on my days off, that was my life. In 2005, I was twenty two and I was bored out of my stupid skull. I didn’t see my friends any more, the ones that didn’t go to college were working during the day like a smart person would, and I had nothing to show for the hard work I was doing. Of course I wasn’t as good at saving money as I was spending it and I may have been more of a problem for myself than I realized. I didn’t need to drink as much as I did or go to an expensive gym and I certainly didn’t need to frequent strip clubs to combat loneliness. But I did anyway.
One day, as I was telling my boss to have a good day, I told her that I wouldn’t be back the following night. She was pissed and I don’t blame her. I should have given two weeks notice like a normal person would, but I was kind of an asshole back in the day and I didn’t really care about another’s feelings. As I was driving home, I passed a military recruiters office and thought about making a drastic change. I was bored and I didn’t want to be bored anymore, so I decided to join the Army. I had no delusions of winning a Medal of Honor, or punching Nazi’s in the face, there was no star-spangle dream of protecting America, I was fucking bored and I didn’t want to be any more. I was smart enough to realize that nothing was going to change unless I changed and my setting changed. So in September of 2005, instead of going to college or finding a new job, I enlisted in the Army. I trained at Fort Knox in Kentucky, I became a mechanic and learned how to operate M88A2 recovery vehicles and a bunch of other impressive-sounding bullshit that gave me no skills in civilian life whatsoever.
You know what I found out, being a soldier is very similar to being who you are right now. You work for dumb people who don’t give a shit about you, you drink too much and eat at Burger King whenever the opportunity arises and you find out very quickly that Captain America is bullshit and no one really wants to be a high speed symbol of valor, and the ones that do are only doing it so they can kill and get laid. But I’ll get to that.