I came home from the Middle East 15 years ago and have been a civilian for 10 years. I’m pretty much civilianized, I don’t embrace the suck for shits and giggles anymore or wake up at ungodly hours in the morning but somethings never change. I still go head first into anything I want to accomplish, do not recognize inferior leadership as my superiors and have an overall disregard for feelings.
It does not matter how long ago I separated myself from the Army that made a man of me, I will always be a soldier. I will always be an American warrior and I will always stand up for what I believe in. Many like me have succumbed to the charade that is the civilian world. A place where no one knows their place and couldn’t stay in their lane if tracers were on their ass like DI’s on chewed up in red phase.
I have been called out for my lack of consideration in regard to the feelings of another human being on more occasions than I can count since then. To be honest, I don’t give a fuck. I will not surrender to the civilian world what the Army gave me to survive. I was in an emotional place during the time I transcribed this so please by all means, forgive the human being inside of me….
I’m a civilian now and I was reprimanded this morning at work because I didn’t say good morning in a cordial manner. The feelings involved in this reprimand I do not understand. Is that the biggest problem you have in life? Do you not wake up every day in a place where the pursuit of happiness is a consequence by default? There is so much I do not understand but I refrain from engaging those who know not, what they don’t know.
They do not know the taste of dirt in their teeth, the weight of TA-50 or the camaraderie necessary to place your life in the hands of a battle buddy. Or my friends who do not understand that my friendship is a bond I hold as dear to my heart as my engagement. They do not understand that to me a friend is not an acquaintance but a bonding of masculine divinities. My fiancé does not understand that she is my peace from the war within me. She does not understand that when I call her beautiful, she is all I know to be beautiful. She does not know the ugly I have seen, so she cannot understand beauty as I see. I pledged my life to protect her and to keep my promise, I hide the part of me that is not a lover of her, but a lover of destruction. The peace within me does not understand that everything inside of me wants to erupt into an inferno of chaos. The chaos does not understand that I am in a place it is not welcome.
The place I am in is a place I do not belong and I want to explode. To understand me is to understand the feeling of combat boots on your feet when you hit foreign land.
I am not a victim of the war you see on the news, I am a fallacy of the culture I swore to die for. I am the descendant of warriors on ancient battlefields and commanded to uphold the ethos of those who died in the uniform I dared to place upon my skin. I awake every morning to the sound of those who speak for the nation but would never wear the uniform I drape myself with and will never know the humility I feel in it.
I am freedom. I am your right to hate me and above all else I am a warrior. I am the essence of grit, the lion in a cage you make a spectacle of, until you are scared and release me to eat what you are afraid of.
I am an American warrior. I am not the one percent. I am the one percent of the ninety nine percent. I am not your hero; I am my child’s hero. She is the one who cried at night while you argued over demographics and gasoline prices. I am not your martyr. My mother is… I locked and loaded in anticipation of a fight, she cried ever night for a year begging her God to bring me home. I am not your protector, my father kept shelter on the home front. He also raised me to be a man who stood up for the weak as he slaved away at the American dream.
I need you to understand that I am not heartless. I am your coworker, your son, your friend, your parent and your lover. I am a man of simple means who wakes up every day to fulfill your dreams.
I was given a choice to serve or supplicate. I looked to my left and to my right; I saw you and chose to fight.
I’m not asking for anything, just let me be. I want to die with the warrior ethos inside of me. Don’t make me conform to the norm of society. Live your life, eat, drink and be merry. I wish the best for you, my brothers died for you. Their lives will not be in vain. Live your life as if nothing has changed. Pursue all that this life of freedom has to offer. It was paid for, take it, own it love it!!! Please… I beg you.