14 January 2009

Joe Summarizes the Gist of Veteran Sentiment for a Generation in 3 Sentences

Modern veteran culture is something I take special interest in, because there's not that many of us out there and I consider it a decent group of people to try and form a network with to share experiences. I also will probably need to borrow money someday. Anyways, it's really tough to nail down that elusive "homecoming" experience of when you come back from a combat zone, especially when there are very few cultural mediums (movies, art) that even come close to expressing the reality. I've always looked for that voice of our generation to tell the world how it is. Old Blue once had a decent post about the malaise that follows a deployment, GI Kate does an excellent job of explaining what it's like for lovelorn female vets, a blogger you all know (who shall not be named) goes for the jugular of Washington elites for dissing vets, and Paul Reickhoff wrote about his desire to become more involved with politics in Chasing Ghosts. There are many more vets that have had excellent narratives about "what it's like", but I think Joe has successfully summarized a broad sentiment possessed in just a few quick sentences.

I was talking with BT and as much as I love to hate the Army, I hate civilian life more. It's very mundane and I can't stand most of the people I interact with in public. People here are just douchebags.
Bravo, Joe!


Anonymous said...

Joe is right.

Thank you, Joe.


cathcatz said...

and you call US elitist?


Antoinette said...

LT, Joe and you need to get out more. Or drink more. Or eat more chocolate. Or get up on the right side of the bed next time. No nicotine is hell, I guess.

Your satire, wit, and humor are outstanding. But, ouch, "douchebag"?

Next time you are in the South - going through ATL - come see us. We like our veterans here.

LT Nixon said...


Elitist? Hardly. He's just another Joe.

Anonymous said...

It took a bit for me to get used to being a civilian, but now that I've been out a bit, ya'll seem like the idiots now. why the hell would anyone in their right mind stand around waiting for someone for over an hour because someone told you to do it. Not me, boss.

Joe said...

Just for the record, nothing I do in civilian life alludes to my military career. I don't wear Army PTs to the gym, I don't whip out my ID for a 3% discount and I don't wear an army hat or a unit shirt. The douchebag part wasn't in regard to how I am or expect to be treated as a combat veteran, it is how I view the majority of Americans. I see people worrying about how much foam is in their latte at Starbucks while other Americans are bleeding out in the street overseas. Part of the reason I am trying to get deployed again as soon as possible.

LT Nixon said...

. I see people worrying about how much foam is in their latte at Starbucks while other Americans are bleeding out in the street overseas. Part of the reason I am trying to get deployed again as soon as possible.

Joe, you should seriously consider that spokesman gig I talked about on your blog. This is good stuff!

Elizabeth said...

Joe, you should listen to LT! You have a very special way of getting to the heart of the matter.

M said...

i don't know, man, i'm probably gonna get railed on for saying this, but if the majority of americans are douchebags, then why'd you sign up to fight for us? maybe it's something i have yet to understand about the military, or maybe joe's thoughts are just a product of a rough transition, but i don't really get it. i mean, granted, there's plenty of people that could either give two shits about the war(s) or about actively supporting the troops, but there's also a lot of people that do care.

in any case, the people that DO care will probably sometimes bitch about their lattes and go about their daily business, because we're not gonna go around shouting through the streets every day about how much we think war blows balls and how pissed we are about young americans dying in the streets. i guess i'm saying that it sucks that some of our military guys and gals are so jaded when they get home that they can't see the good in americans.

LT Nixon said...


I would just wager that it's the result of an all-volunteer military that is completely isolated from American society. And you're making the mistake that people are the same the day they signed up as they are later on down the line.

Elizabeth said...


I think you may be asking the wrong questions.

The right questions? Why is it that the only ones who are sacraficing anything in the name of keeping all of us safe are the service members and their families?

Could it be that a lack of political leadership over the last eight years may be largely to blame for creating and exacerbating the disconnect that exists between those serving in the military and the rest of us?

I think one of the biggest problems here is that those serving in Iraq and Afghanistan come home feeling completely isolated, and that most of us are just not in this game with them...in any way, shape or form. How do we begin to change that? It seems to me that the answers are not that complicated.

Have you seen the latest commercial from Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America (IAVA)? You can view it on their website - it is some of the most powerful 30 seconds you'll ever see!

Brandon Friedman said...

For Joe:


cathcatz said...

elizabeth... we were told to shop, after 9/11. THAT'S what our stellar leadership told us to do by way of sacrifice. so no wonder we are douchbags. monkey see, monkey do, i guess.

M said...

E & LT -

first - i don't think servicemen and their families are the only ones that make sacrifices for America - there's a whole slew of other people that serve that aren't in the military, and they often sacrifice a lot. regardless, maybe the question should be, "what do you want me to sacrifice?"...time and money seem like the only viable options for people that want to keep their day jobs. aside from that, i haven't seen a solid answer to that question.

in any case, i still don't get why vets feel isolated when they come home. i thought the military offers pretty decent help for vets that are having trouble re-adjusting - then again, the vets i know would be damned before they sought out help - when they came home, all they wanted was a beer, a lay, and to be left the fuck alone.

maybe it's a national change in the way people treat vets and service members, or to get more respect or appreciation for their service, but from where i stand, we give a whole helluva lot of (well-deserved) benefits to vets, not to mention their very own day in November. aside from the code pink whackjobs, i'd say the majority of the country respects military service. maybe the best question to ask is "what more do you want from us?"

Girl in the Middle said...

It only took 11 comments to blame it on GWB! Brilliant! That's the answer to everyone's problems - blame someone else, and if there's a Republican around, they're a good choice.

As for the very tired "Bush told me to shop after 9/11!" - bullshit. You know what I did after 9/11? I found several very worthy charities, all of them involving supporting current military folk or veterans. No one told me to do it, the government didn't deliver the info to me on a silver platter, I found it myself.

Is that going to make everything better for guys like Joe? No. But it goes a long way in showing that some civilians do see the sacrifices of our military and their families, and appreciate those sacrifices, and understand that no matter how hard I try, as a civilian, I will never understand what compels someone like Joe, LT, BT, etc. to serve for the likes of me. But I can be very glad they do it.

Girl in the Middle said...

And another thing: Joe *is* right, there are a lot of douchebags! Does saying so make him a poor jaded Veteran with adjustment issues, or just astute?