Try as I may, I can’t control the veteran inside me. Regardless of my self-discipline, or my attempts at restraint, I am bound to say the wrong thing. “What do you think about this Freeman?” I open my mouth and out waltzes the wrong thing. Mind you, it is only wrong in the civilian sector, in the military I would be told to shut my mouth and assume parade rest. Then I would be allowed to speak after I took my scolding. This is only one of a few veteran problems I struggle with daily. “Oh my God, you are so crude!” Um, thank you? I don’t fit in here. Maybe my buddy is right. The powers that be should cryogenically freeze me until the next war starts.
Stating the truth should not be revolutionary. The PC culture is out of control, a guy can’t even be funny anymore without offending someone. In the military you have your lane and I have mine, at no point should your lane intersect with my lane. I miss this aspect of the military. In civilian life, people are constantly crashing into my lane, and then get offended when I verbally escort them back to their lane. “You are so crass!” God forbid you get silent on people. All too often I find myself going silent to maintain my temper. “Why are you quiet? Why are you mad?” Gah….
Then there is my skewered perspective of life. My sense of humor is horrible or inappropriate according to most. I talk about things which others find repulsive; their weak constitutions are unable to digest most of my conversations. The looks I receive range from terror to disgust. I don’t sugar coat my feelings. My wording is often wrong, some would say obtuse. My outlook consists of “someone is out to get me, so let me get them first.” I am often told I am paranoid. Perhaps this is true, but then again, with people committing suicide in the park by shooting themselves three times in the back of the head, maybe I am just a realist. Potato, potato.
I feel like this post is one big boohoo fest. I am not crying, just stating facts about my personality.
After fighting in Fallujah, I felt something break inside of me. No amount of time can heal it, I don’t even know what it is that broke. Perhaps, it was the illusion that most civilians live under. Maybe it was my mind breaking from seeing too much or doing things no one should have to do to come home. Who knows? God loves the broken, or so I have been told. Years after the last explosion which threw me fifty feet into the side of a Humvee, I still scan the roads, look for choke points, assess dangers which may or may not be lurking in the restaurant I am frequenting, and check vehicles for signs of a VBIED. I trust few and keep my circle small.
Maybe its just me, or maybe it’s the madness.
I knew I would never be the same guy I was prior to going to the Middle East. Many people only remember that guy, the one they got in return is foreign to them. It’s hard to understand how a person can change so much in the course of a year. My patience for stupid people and stupidity in general decreases daily. I have neither the time nor the crayons to explain to people why they irritate me. If the truth is to be told, I am sure its not even them. The problem lies within me. Years after the last bombing, explosion and death, I still want to fight. It’s in my DNA. I’m not the guy you want to fight with, because I assure you, I will do whatever is necessary to win. There will be no quarter given, no mercy shown.
In conclusion, its just another day of veteran problems. My favorite Bible verse simply states, “It came to pass…” Thank God it didn’t come to stay.
24 September 2019