Don’t Hate the Uniform by Guest Writer

New Navy Recruits Try on Their Uniforms
With his permission, a friend and Veteran has allowed me to share his reflections about his time of service as a sailor in the U.S. Navy. Over the past few years, I have been feeling like the expressions of gratitude and the political discussions, albeit important, have drowned out the actual stories of service, courage, and leadership exhibited by our military.

This Veteran’s Day I was reminded of the best deployment ever!! Before that deployment I was thinking about getting out. However, living that Devil Dog type lifestyle at a FOB helped me to see the camaraderie required to make the military fun. Making the most of what you have in order to not think about what you had. Building friendships like therapeutic walls to keep out the doubt and longing for home. And most importantly knowing that no matter how bad we smelled in the 140 degree heat…no matter how bad the food was…no matter how much we may get on each other’s nerves or fight during the middle of a 2am basketball game, if the shit pops off WE have each other’s backs. That just doesn’t exist in corporate America.

Folks wanna know why we purposely put on those hot uniforms and leave our families….because its something rewarding to know when we temporarily abandon “society” we permanently strengthen a bond with “humanity”. We are immersed in an environment where it’s one for all and all for one, in order to protect the way of life of the guy back home who will cut you off just to make it though that yellow light before it turns red.

It’s nice to live a life of selflessness. We do it with a committed courage and steadfast honor. We don’t ask for rewards (but we will take those discounts at Golden Corral) and we don’t ask to be made a martyr.

We do demand respect. While in Cali I encountered several folks that “disagreed” with our “business objectives”. Hate the game. Don’t hate the uniform. You have an issue with diplomacy contact your politician after you’re done drinking your $8 venti mocha caramel latte. Leave the soldier and his MRE out of it.


Happy Veteran’s Day!

Note: Originally published on the Tru Story Blog on November 13, 2013.

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